Sport Coaching Science BSc

BSc single honours Sport Coaching Science 2020/21

Year of entry

95% of our Sport Coaching Science students were satisfied with the quality of their course.

National Student Survey, 2019

Sport Coaching Science offers you the opportunity to study and experience sport coaching from an applied base. You will explore the science behind sports performance and physical activity, and have access to a range of excellent coaching resources and sports facilities.

You will enjoy modules in coaching theory and practice, you can study a range of disciplines including the analysis of sport performance, psychology, physiology, and sociology. To enhance your studies, you will have access to the latest technology including laboratories, gas and body composition analysis, cardiac and vascular ultrasound, force mat and platform assessment tools, 3D high speed filming and eye tracker hardware.

Importantly, the opportunity to undertake coaching placements and work alongside expert coaches will give you valuable practical experience.

You will explore areas including:

  • sport coaching pedagogy
  • sport coaching in context
  • sport coaching excellence

Our Sport Coaching Science course includes applied sport coaching with sport and exercise science. This provides you with the opportunity to explore the exciting and challenging world of sport coaching with the underpinning science associated with coaching individuals and teams.

It builds on the reputation of sport and exercise sciences which has been well established at Canterbury Christ Church, having been successfully delivered for over 35 years. You will have access to a range of excellent coaching resources at our sport centres provided by the University and in partnership at Polo Farm Sports Club. This allows for a varied student learning experience where theoretical understanding can be contextualised through practical experience.

The opportunity to experience coaching placements is embedded in the second and third year of the degree. In partnership with sport clubs you will be guided to work with qualified coach mentors. This will normally consist of a 40 hours coaching placement in year two and 60 hours in year three. You will be supported to identify a coaching placement which will provide you with a bespoke practical coaching experience whilst under the guidance of a tutor and an experienced coach mentor. The development of professional coaching skills will enhance your knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of sport coaching.

There are a wide range of coaching providers who have been able to offer sport coaching placements including Polo Farm Sports Club, Kent Cricket Club, Canterbury Rugby Club, Tankerton, Canterbury and Kent wide Football Clubs and the Canterbury Pilgrims Netball Club. Local coaching in Schools include Kent College and the Canterbury Academy.

“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 being 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 breath and understanding of my gymnasts needs, not just the technical coaching."

Claire Parker, Level 6 student and Gymnastics Coach

The acquisition of National Governing Body (NGB) awards are encouraged at each level of the degree. The NGB qualification will not contribute to the outcome of your degree but will enhance your coaching credentials. To assist you in the pursuit of sport coaching expertise a bursary scheme is available in each year. It is expected that students will complete a level 2 qualification by their third year.

In addition to excellent practical sport resources,  the range of equipment for teaching and research uses the latest technology such as our student focused laboratories that include aerobic, flexibility, strength and power testing, blood, gas and body composition analysis, cardiac and vascular ultrasound, force mat and platform assessment tools, 3D high speed filming and eye tracker hardware.

Top reason to choose this course:

Top reason to choose this course is the opportunity to undertake coaching placements as part of the degree experience and a bursary to help you gain sport coaching qualifications.

Studying within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences guarantees that you will be taught by a well-qualified and dynamic team of research active staff. The work will be contextualised with our applied research and consultancy informed teaching to ensure that your course is stimulating and fun.

Awards to staff & students from within the Section of Sport & Exercise Sciences include:

  • Student BASES conference presentation prizes.
  • Joint British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences/British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine award for best exercise science research conference presentation.
  • Coubertin Prize 2008 awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Pierre de Coubertin Committee (IPCC).

“The residential outdoor activity experience during personal academic week was described as “a great way to experience new outdoor activities and meet other first year students”, Ben Shanahan-Sanders, Sport Coaching Science student."

Ben Shanahan-Sanders, Sport Coaching Science Student

97% of our Sport Coaching Science students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey, 2019

You will study Sport Coaching and the multidisciplinary subject areas of Sport and Exercise Science including the academic disciplines of biomechanics, physiology, sociology and psychology underpinned by research methods. You will have the opportunity to study core modules associated with the growing profession of sport coaching, including Sport Coaching Pedagogy to understand principles of coach behaviour and Sport Coaching in Practice to engage with practical coaching.

Work experience

As a Sport Coaching Science student you will participate in placements in the second and third year of your degree. This will provide an in-depth and wide range of experiences with sport clubs working with a variety of sport populations.

“A career in sport coaching provides great challenges physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially. Seeing students’ progress in their studies and enhancing the lives of sport participants to achieve their potential through their coaching is hugely satisfying. To support students during their studies to become excellent sport coaches and develop as people is really worthwhile and enjoyable."

Dr Andrew Balsdon, Principal Lecturer in Sport Coaching Science

Core modules

Year 1

Introduction to Sport Coaching Pedagogy (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the fundamental principles of pedagogy in relation to sport coaching as a process. You will engage with a variety of learning theories and coaching styles that underpin coaching practice and the development of a coaching philosophy.

Introduction to Sport Coaching Practice (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to sport coaching practice and consider the application of learning theory and coaching styles. You will examine how to plan, deliver and evaluate sport coaching sessions and following your coaching placement, reflect on sport coaching practice.

Orientation to Higher Education and Research in the Sport and Exercise Sciences (20 credits)

This module facilitates a smooth transition into Higher Education (HE) and the challenges it presents by building on your pre-existing skills, enabling you to become more independent and self-managed in your approach to study, learning and time management. The module covers developments skills and techniques used in the study of sport and exercise. It will identify a variety of methods by which research is conducted in sport and exercise science and will provide the opportunity for you to develop a scientific approach to your studies. You will have your personal academic tutoring initially aligned with the content of this module.

Year 2

Research Methods and Career Skills Development (20 credits)

You will explore alternative approaches to research in sport and exercise science, and the philosophies and practices associated with each. The research process will be explored from conceptualisation through to presentation. Accordingly, you will develop an understanding of how to design research, collect, analyse, and interpret data, and present research in an appropriate manner. This module develops your ability to critically evaluate and conduct research in sport coaching science and provides the conceptual underpinnings for a third year individual study. It also supports the development of fundamental skills utilised in the sport coaching industry.

Sport Coaching in Context (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to provide an understanding the principles of sport coaching which apply to a variety of different populations. There will be an emphasis on understanding child development and recognising individual differences for participation and performance. There will be a focus on the relationships inherent in the coaching process, in particular the coach athlete relationship, and a consideration for various approaches to sport coaching.

The Sport Coach in Action (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to explore how coaching principles apply to a range of populations using a variety of approaches to coaching. You will engage with and examine applied coaching through practical lectures and your placement. There will be a further opportunity to use reflective practice to understand coaching behaviour.

Year 3

Sport Coaching Excellence (20 credits)

This module aims to provide an opportunity to explore critical issues in Sport Coaching Science and appreciate expertise in sport coaching and the development of the coach as a professional. You will examine current practices in relation to coach education, career development and lifestyle management and particular reference will be made to the coach as a mentor and role model.

The Expert Sport Coach (40 Credits)

This module aims to consider best sport coaching practice, to review, analyse and critically assess professional sports coaching with expert coaches. You will be provided with the opportunity to participate on a coaching placement and to critically assess, reflect and record professional sport coaching experience and personal practice.

You will undertake one of the following core modules.

Applied Research Study (40 credits)

The module offers the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic in the sport coaching science. The module gives you an opportunity to build upon your knowledge, understanding and skills developed in years one and two, and a vehicle by which to further explore the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies used within the discipline. You will design, carry out, analyse and write up an individual research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff with teaching responsibilities and/or research interests in your area of study.

Individual Research Project (20 credits)

The module offers the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic in the sport coaching science. The module gives you an opportunity to build upon your knowledge, understanding and skills developed in years one and two, and a vehicle to further explore the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies used within the discipline. You will conduct a literature review and propose a research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff with teaching responsibilities and/or research interests in your area of study.

Likely optional modules

Year 1

Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise (20 credits)

This module introduces you to the biomechanical basis of sport and exercise, through practical laboratory experiences underpinned by scientific theory. The module provides a foundation in the analysis of human movement, covering basic movement terminology, functional anatomy and principles of movement. The module utilises laboratory work to apply fundamental biomechanical concepts to the study of human movement in sport and exercise.

Psychology of Sport, Exercise and Skill Acquisition (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the fundamental psychology that underpins our understanding of human behaviour and learning in sport and exercise settings. Central concepts such as personality, attributions, aggression, motivation, arousal, anxiety and stress are examined with reference to behaviour in the sport, exercise, and the physical activity setting. The nature and development of groups and the influence of group dynamics on individual behaviour are also explored, along with cognitive processes involved in skill acquisition and performance, and the relationships between exercise participation and health and well­being.

Sport and Exercise Physiology (20 credits)

The module introduces key topics in physiology, including energy systems, the process of muscle contraction and the cardio­respiratory system. Laboratory practical work provides the opportunity to explore the physiological effects of these systems during exercise. Overall students will study the anatomy and physiology of gross structures and the responses and adaptations of these structures to sport and exercise training.  This module also extensively uses our state-of-the-art laboratories to enhance learning through a practical experience.

Sport, Culture and Society (20 credits)

An understanding of sociology can be very useful in order to study and investigate sport, culture and society. Your experience will begin by exploring the historical development and management of modern sport from its folk roots. A number of social factors in sport such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and disability are then studied encouraging an understanding of the social problems and social issues associated with sport. Various theories that can help conceptualise sport and exercise as a social phenomenon are then examined in relation to globalisation, national identity, deviance, the media and the environment which help to develop a critical sociological approach to sport, physical education and leisure.

Sport, Exercise and Fitness (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to explore the nature of sport and exercise training for fitness through theoretical and practical (laboratory and gym) experiences. This module will introduce you to the concept of exercise training specificity in relation to those with either sport and/or fitness orientated goals, and will provide a firm foundation for those seeking employment in the fitness industry.

Year 2

Biomechanical Analysis of Movement (20 credits)

Biomechanical principles that influence physical performance are explored in this module.  Through the application of selected theoretical concepts to sport and exercise contexts you will develop your competency in the scientific techniques used to evaluate biomechanical aspects of exercise. This module currently focuses on biomechanical principles of motion (conservation of momentum, impulse-­momentum relationship, work-­energy relationship), covering topics such as linear and angular kinematics and kinetics, forces and impulse, loading and injury, projectile motion, and fluid dynamics. It also includes an analysis of selected sports skills, and further develops your practical laboratory experience and use of selected analysis programs.

Nutrition for Sport and Exercise (20 credits)

This module explores the interaction between nutritional factors and physiological function associated with sport and exercise performance. The module investigates current thinking on key nutritional principles, investigates methods of data analysis in this field, and explores the efficacy of common dietary practices used in sport and exercise to promote health and performance.

Psychology of Sport (20 credits)

A range of factors influence the competitive sport performance of both individual athletes and teams, this module aims to explore these factors to understand, promote and enhance sport performance. Psychological phenomena currently addressed on the module include individual motivation, confidence and anxiety and such social psychological processes as group motivation and cohesion, the nature of the group environment and the components of effective leadership.

Skill Acquisition (20 credits)

There are many roles within the sport sector which require well-qualified people to teach, develop and enable others to successfully execute skilled movements.  This module provides insight into some of the factors which influence the acquisition and performance of perceptual and motor skills in sport. You will develop an understanding of selected cognitive and ecological methodologies to skilled performance. These theoretical approaches to skill acquisition will be used to critique the design and organisation of current coaching practice.

Sport and Exercise Training (20 credits)

Selected physiological factors which influence physical performance are identified in this module, and methods used to enhance these factors are investigated in the context of both sport and exercise. The module explores the physiological determinants of fitness, investigates technology and methods to collect, analyse and interpret the data from specific fitness assessments, and considers the role and limitations of training theory.

Year 3

Applied Sport Psychology (20 credits)

The module offers the opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of a particular topic in the sport and exercise sciences. The module affords an opportunity to build upon knowledge, understanding and skills developed in years one and two.  You will design, carry out, analyse and write up an individual research project under the supervision of a member of the academic staff with teaching responsibilities and/or research interests in the student’s area of study.

Applied Technique Analysis (20 credits)

This module focuses on the analysis of technique with distinct focus on the technologies used to develop sports equipment and to evaluate performance and training. Students will critically appraise selected sports skills, sports footwear, with consideration of sport specific injuries, culminating in an evaluation of a sporting performance underpinned by appropriate theory and research in biomechanics.

Sporting Extremes (20 credits)

This module will consider specific aspects of exercise physiology associated with selected sporting extremes and their potential impact upon an individual’s ability to perform strenuous physical exercise. These currently include the physiological considerations of participating in sport and exercise at extremes of age and environmental conditions, as well as some of the physiological parameters governing the limits of human training/performance capacity.

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.

“Studying sport coaching at Christ Church provided me with the skills to pursue a career in sports development and engage coaches to make a real difference in people’s lives. I am now the coaching development lead for Kent and really love my job; I still work closely with the sport coaching science staff and SportsLab to provide opportunities for coaches in Kent to fulfil their potential.”

Louisa Arnold, Kent Coaching Network Officer


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Travel and Accommodation costs for Placements The travel costs cover your journey to and from the sport coaching placement. The cost depends on the distance to travel and normally up to £5. This cost maybe twice per week in the second year and 3 times per week in the third year.
DBS / Health Checks Sport Coaching Science students are required to complete a DBS check. This must be completed before registration. The cost is £75.
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) Sport Coaching Science students are required to travel to Polo Farm Sports Club for lectures and a mini bus service is provided.
Clothing / Kit It is recommended that all Sport and Exercise Sciences students including those taking Sport Coaching Science purchase a selection of required sport clothing items at the beginning of the first year. The cost is a minimum of £130.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

92% of our Sport Coaching Science students were satisfied with the teaching quality of their course.

National Student Survey, 2019

You will be taught through a combination of real and virtual lectures, seminars, practical sessions, labs, workshops and tutorials. You will typically have around 10-14 contact hours per week. Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

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

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. 

As a Sport Coaching Science student you will have access to specific resources including laboratories housing  ‘gold standard’ equipment; including eye tracker technology, brain imaging equipment (EEG), reaction timers, gas analysis systems, cardiac screening equipment, 3D imaging, isokinetic and balance dynamometry, sprint timing systems and other sport/exercise related equipment (treadmills and weights, for example).  The Sport Coaching Science students have access to their own IT lab, and all teaching is supported by online study skills material.

There are many opportunities within the programme to focus study on areas of interest and study topics that are aligned with career ambition.  All students in the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences will have a ‘consultancy’ and ‘research’ informed experience.  Students will engage in activity aligned to the University consultancy unit ‘SportsLab’ that provides scientific services for sports people.  There are opportunities for paid employment for undergraduate students working for SportsLab when undertaking their studies. The staff delivering this programme are nationally and internationally recognised for their research, and you will have the opportunity to conduct a final year project (dissertation) which will based on a topic area of your choice utilising support from the academic, technical and professional services staff.

Independent learning

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.

During the final year of study there will be a research project (dissertation) where you will work under the supervision of a member of the academic staff who you will meet regularly.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 10-14 contact hours per week. You will undertake 15-20 hours independent learning and assessment-related activity.  During each semester you will normally study three modules, so each module will have a 10-12 hour commitment per week.

Academic input

The programme team consists of highly qualified academics, supported by a specialist professional services and highly skilled technical team. They have a range of expertise and experience across the breadth of disciplines in Sport Coaching Science.

92% of our Sport Coaching Science students were satisfied with the academic support they received.

National Student Survey, 2019

It is a University requirement that all academic staff have, or are working towards obtaining teaching qualifications. 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 Sport/Exercise/Coaching staff are at the forefront of their research fields in the UK and beyond, and have substantial experience in delivering research led and research informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching team on our Sport and Exercise Sciences Staff webpage. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

The Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate cohort, and these students sometimes assist in teaching some module content in their areas of expertise, and assist with peer learning. However, the vast majority of delivery is undertaken by an experienced academic team.

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, portfolios, 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.

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework over the duration of the programme is 70%


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in.  

As a student within the Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences, you will have access to our well-equipped laboratories used to measure and assess sport and exercise performance. You will also have the opportunity to work within our consultancy unit SportsLab, through which we work with professional athletes, conducting performance related tests and using our expertise to help athletes boost their performance either as an individual or as a team.

We are currently one of 12 Universities working with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) to develop professional standards in the sector which are aligned with Higher Education qualifications.

Our other links with professional bodies include:

Expert sport-specific qualified coaches working with participation and performance, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) – selected accredited staff

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered – selected staff

Higher Education Academy (HEA) – accredited staff.

ICCE – The Sport and Exercise Sciences Section is a member of the International Council for Coaching Excellence


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • 38BD Sport Coaching Science

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

    Professional placement option available


  • September 2020

Entry requirements



More about

Last edited 29/08/2019 11:23:00

Save, Print or Share this page

Connect with us

Last edited: 29/08/2019 11:23:00