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Sport, Philosophy, and Practice

Sport, Philosophy and Practice

An IATL interdisciplinary module

Module Code

IL022 Level 5 (Intermediate)

IL122 Level 6 (Year 3/Finalist)

Module Convenor

Prof Jonathan Heron (IATL)


Spring term

Tues 11:00 - 13:00

Studio 1, Millburn House


Practical Examination 40%

4 Blog/Digital Journal Entries 20%

2000 word essay 40%

What is the module about?

Sport has profound connections with our physical, social, and psychological lives. It perforates our everyday experiences whether we participate in it or not. What precisely do we understand as 'sport' and what constitutes a sporting environment? What is the distinctive value and nature of sport in human experience? How do ethics, aesthetics, and a search for knowledge about ourselves and the world factor into our sporting endeavours? Where does sport as an extra-curricular activity meet established curricula? These are just some of the questions this module will invite you to explore. In addressing them you will encounter theories from a variety of disciplines, have the chance to analyse film, literature, and your own sporting practice, and engage in practical field work through active learning.

What will the module cover?

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

You will embark on a practice-based and critically-reflective philosophical study of sport. In doing so, you will engage with a variety of learning methods including Open-Space Learning workshops, close textual analysis, practical fieldwork, and reflective writing. Issues explored may include historical and contemporary conceptions of gender, identity, health, knowledge, power-relations, the body, play/ludus, ageing, and ‘the extra-curricular’ in relation to sporting practice. You will develop an understanding of sporting practices as seen through ethical, aesthetic, and phenomenological lenses. Through self-reflective practice you will formulate your own philosophies and critical understandings of sporting practice and the role it plays in your life.

More information to follow.

Rowers on a boat
  • Practical Examination 40%

This will include submitting a written plan, a 15 minute practical exercise and viva

  • 4 Blog/Digital Journal Entries 20%
  • 2000 word essay 40%

Learning Outcomes

See module catalogue [link to follow]

Consider showcasing and celebrating your work. See our Assessment Exhibition Link opens in a new windowfor inspiration!

How to register

Complete our online form to request your place.

Once IATL have confirmed you have been allocated a place, follow your home department's procedure to register.