The PhD programme in Health Psychology and Sports Psychology is divided into two areas of application and research, with the same teaching staff and approach to research: health psychology and psychology of physical activity and sport. These two branches share the same psychological principles and models  and the same research methods, and their area of application varies according to the end-users and their situations (health in the general population and health in sports practitioners). The two research areas are important for the development of health and well-being, whether physical, psychological or social, and have a long research tradition.

Moreover, health psychology and physical activity and sports psychology is a discipline in which the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has acquired considerable experience and recognition at home and abroad and can offer research teams that are perfectly capable of training doctoral students in cutting-edge research methods. As stated previously, these research groups share the same master's and PhD teaching staff, who carry out research in the general area of health psychology and the more specific sub-area of sports and physical activity psychology.

Candidate profile

This programme is addressed to graduates in psychology, human health sciences or physical activity and sport.

It could also be of interest to students from other disciplines, such as social sciences (education, prevention and integral safety, or labour relations).

Whatever the case, all applicants must have the academic qualifications described in the section on specific admission requirements.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options:

  • health psychology
  • psychology of sport
  • psychology of physical activity
  • specialist research in the field of health
  • specialist research in the field of sport.

Objectives and justification

The main objective is to train up researchers in the following areas:

  1. psychology applied to health,
  2. psychology applied to sports and physical activity.

The programme is structured to favour the integration of students into the priority lines of research of the department's consolidated research groups:

  • stress, coping skills and health
  • lifestyle, physical activity and health
  • motivation and sport
  • psycho-oncology and palliative care
  • risk prevention and health promotion
  • mindfulness, psychoneuroimmunology and chronic pain.

Another objective is to offer specialists in these areas methodological training and an opportunity to refresh their knowledge. Students should leave this programme with the ability to initiate, develop and complete an original, innovative research project that has an impact at the basic or applied level. The research is to be presented in a doctoral thesis and in high-quality publications that form part of the thesis or are derived from it. The aim is therefore to produce PhD graduates who perform research of great quality.


Miquel Torregrossa Álvarez



Secretary of the Department of Basic Psychology
Office B/150, Faculty of Psychology, Building B
Hours: 9:30am to 1:30pm and 3:30pm to 17pm (Friday afternoon closed)
Phone: 0034 93 581 1377 / 2758


Persona de contacte: Esther Calderon Fajardo


Number of places available: 10
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
English, Spanish and Catalan
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Basic, Developmental and Educational Psychology

Collaborating institutions:

Sant Cugat del Vallès High Performance Sports Center (CAR)
Health & SportLab
Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)
Sports Research Institute (IRE-UAB)
Sant Joan de Déu Health Park (PSSJD)
Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR)

Health Sciences

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