Psychological Basis (PhD)


Understanding the factors that influence why we do what we do in terms of physical activity, exercise and sport helps set the foundation for enhancing health and wellness.

Programs in the Psychological Basis of Kinesiology field focus on the cognitive, affective, and behavioural antecedents and consequences of participation in physical activity, exercise and sport. Particular attention is given to individual and group processes in sport and exercise settings and the psychological bases of learning and control of human movement.

About the Program

Working alongside a world-class researcher who is a leader in their field, PhD students in Western’s School of Kinesiology develop a program of research that pushes the boundaries of discovery and contributes to the knowledge base of their area of expertise. Typically taking four years to complete, students finish the program with the skill set required to be independent researchers and are prepared to make significant contributions both inside academia and in industry/government/private sector.


Students typically take four years to complete this program. Students are active and enrolled during the Fall, Winter and Summer academic terms.

Course Load

2.0 credits

  • 2.0 credits selected by the student and supervisor suitable for the student’s area of research.
Non-course Milestone Requirement:

Candidacy Examination

The Candidacy Examination represents a “Milestone” within the program.  All Doctoral students are required to successfully complete program specialization-specific Candidacy Examinations within the first two years of being admitted into the graduate program. The Candidacy Examination in Kinesiology consists of both written and oral components.

Thesis and Public Lecture

Every candidate for the Doctoral degree must complete a thesis. The thesis must indicate in what respects the investigation has increased knowledge of the subject. A candidate may not submit a thesis that has been previously accepted for a degree, but may, with the permission of the Graduate Program, incorporate material included in a previous thesis.

Doctoral candidates must present a Public Lecture on their thesis research. The Public Lecture allows the candidate to present his/her research projects to a Western University community of scholars in an open forum. Learn more.