I feel that I transferred the skills I learnt from the classroom into my own coaching sessions. I now feel much more confident and prepared for my coaching sessions because I know how to keep my students constantly engaged and motivated.


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Study and experience sport coaching with our modules in coaching theory and practice.

The foundation year gives you the opportunity to develop your confidence, skills and knowledge in sport coaching science.

Our Sport Coaching Science course includes sport coaching with sport and exercise science. This will allow you to explore the exciting and challenging world of sport coaching, with the science associated with coaching individuals and teams.

Placement opportunities and work with coaches will give you valuable knowledge and experience for a future in sport coaching.

Why study Sport Coaching Science with Foundation Year?

If you want to prepare for a career related to performance coaching then our applied course will help you develop the practical skills and scientific knowledge to help you achieve your career goal.

During the foundation year, you'll develop a grounding in scientific principles, practical skills and the application of science to sport and exercise. You'll learn in a highly supportive environment where you can develop your self-confidence, knowledge and skills.

As well as gaining plenty of hands-on experience in our sports labs, you'll develop strong analytical and research skills and you'll learn about the science behind what makes a successful coach.

We offer excellent resources in our dedicated labs, so you can conduct research and apply yourself using specialist equipment including: performance analysis systems, eye tracker technology; force platform technology; reaction timers, sprint timing systems and other sport/exercise/strength and conditioning related equipment (treadmills and weights, for example).

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During the foundation year, you'll gain fundamental knowledge and skills needed to progress to Year 1 of the degree. You'll focus on core aspects of sport and exercise as well as:

  • academic writing and study skills
  • theoretical and practical skills in scientific method
  • personal and career development.

As you progress to the degree, you'll have an introduction to sport coaching pedagogy and practice, where you'll learn about theories and coaching styles that underpin coaching practice, and how they're applied. You'll examine how to plan, deliver and evaluate sport coaching sessions and later on you'll undertake coaching placements, which you'll reflect on as part of your studies.

Throughout the degree, you'll develop research skills and you'll learn about physiology, psychology and the fundamental science of sport and exercise, so that as you enter your final year you're prepared to explore critical issues in sport coaching science. You'll review, analyse and critically assess professional sports coaching and you'll undertake applied research studies as well an in depth study on a topic of particular interest to you.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. 

Seminars and tutorials in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures and other sessions. In addition, you will meet with your personal academic tutor on a regular basis. 

In Year 2, you will undertake a 40 hour placement and in Year 3 a 60 hour placement with a sport organisation.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for workshops, seminars, coursework and examinations.

Each module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before and/or after class to support your learning and development.  Your allocated personal academic tutor will help you review your performance, and support your independent learning.


Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will also undertake 15-20 hours of independent learning and assessment related activity each week.

During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by a skilled technical team. They have a range of expertise and experience across the breadth of disciplines in science generally, and sport and exercise science specifically.

The majority of staff hold the highest academic qualification (doctorate), with a small number of staff working towards achieving this standard. Staff are research-active and many of the teaching team are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond. They have substantial experience in delivering research led and research informed teaching.

You can find out more about the current teaching teams on our Sport and Exercise Sciences Staff web pages. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

Coaching placements with an experienced coach mentor are central to this degree. We also offer a bursary to help you gain National Governing Body sport coaching qualifications.

Dr Andrew BalsdonPrincipal Lecturer and Programme Director for Sport Coaching Science

National Student Survey 2020

of our Sport Coaching Science students were satisfied with the teaching quality of their course

How you’ll be assessed

The course frequently provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Many modules contain practice or 'formative' assessments or similar submissions for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Formative or practice assessments and submissions are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

The formal or 'summative' assessments on each module are planned to take account of two interdependent aspects - the acquisition of relevant theory / principles, and the development of both academic and practical skills.

Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, your final year project (dissertation) and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including individual and group presentations, portfolio’s, case studies, essays, scientific reports and examinations. These are planned to take account of two interdependent aspects:

  • The acquisition of relevant theory and principles.
  • The development of both academic and practical skills.

Accordingly, assessment procedures will take account of not only your newly acquired knowledge and skills, but also the process of developing skills and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in the world of work.

Your future career

This degree opens up routes into sport coaching, sport development, coaching in sport clubs and Physical Education teaching through a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). The course prepares successful students for further postgraduate study at all levels through to PhD. It also qualifies graduates for roles in sport, physical activity administration and research, as well as the ever expanding leisure industry. In addition it provides an excellent foundation for careers in the public sector, sport related business, and the armed and police forces look favourably upon our graduates. Students who successfully complete a Sport Coaching Science degree possess many of the specific and generic knowledge, skills and sport coaching experience that employers require.

I have just returned from competition this weekend and we had a massive medal haul. I would say that part of the success was down to be able to apply all the psychological understanding, coaching skills, physiology and biomechanics that I learnt during the course. The degree has allowed me to add a greater breadth and understanding of my gymnasts needs, not just the technical coaching.

ClaireLevel 6 Sport Coaching Science Student and Sports Scholar


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - placement year * £1,850 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 / £1,850 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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