Are you passionate about a career in the sports and exercise sector? This Sports Studies degree will give you the knowledge and skills you need to enter this competitive industry and pursue a career in sports coaching, health, sports development or teaching. You’ll acquire an understanding of several core sports, exercise and physical activity disciplines, including applied coaching and development practice, physiology, psychology, and physical education.
Your teaching and practical exercises will take place at USW Sport Park, our £3.7m state-of-the-art coaching and performance development centre, which is regularly used for training by public and professional sport teams. There will also be opportunities to accumulate additional qualifications, such as United Kingdom Coaching Certificates (UKCC) that will enhance your employability.
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Get the knowledge, skills and experience you need for a career in sport; if you are keen to engage in a practically oriented course with employability embedded throughout this is the course for you! The flexible programme allows you to experience a range of subjects in the first year and make informed choices about the modules you want to study in second and third year. Give yourself more time to find the sporting career pathway that you are interested in.
Your first year will provide you with the underpinning theory and practice across a broad range of subject areas. You will gain knowledge of how sport is organised and coached, and you will have the opportunity to lead sports activities and events. You will explore the fundamental principles of how young athletes develop and learn sports skills, develop knowledge and understanding of sport science, and develop an understanding of sport in relation to wider societies.
The broad range of topics studied in year one will help to inform the module choices you make in years two and three of the programme and will also help to guide you in the industry work-based learning experience which you will undertake in years two and three. You will have the opportunity to undertake sports leadership and coach education qualifications to boost your CV.
Academic Research and Professional skills
The aim of this module is to enable students to gain the fundamental social, interpersonal and academic building blocks for a vibrant and successful University experience. The module also equips students with transferable professional skills that enable them to function in a professional environment.
Fundamentals of Coaching Children
The module will introduce you to theories of physical literacy, fundamental movement skills (FMS), long-term athlete development (LTAD) and coaching the whole child and how these can be applied practically when working with children.
Sports Development in Practice
The focus of this module is to provide students with the skills to be able to plan, deliver and evaluate a range of sports activity sessions in various contexts.
Foundations of Sports Studies
This module will introduce students to various aspects of sport and exercise disciplines (such as psychology, sociology, motor learning, skill acquisition, ethical and historical contexts of sport) so that they can make links between each of the theoretical areas.
Exercise Physiology 1
This module will provide an introduction to human physiology applied to sport and exercise. The student will learn about human musculo-skeletal anatomy and gain vital knowledge underpinning the subjects of exercise physiology and biomechanics.
Exercise Prescription (for non-referred populations)
The module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills they require to plan, prepare, instruct and evaluate gym-based exercise programmes for children and apparently healthy, non-referred adults
You will complete a community sport placement, which will enable you to put your ideas and knowledge into practice in the sports industry.
Chose one from the below options
Your final year of study will help you to consolidate your previous years’ learning and start to specialise your work-based learning experience in line with the career path that you would like to take after graduation.
During this year, you will have the option to undertake a placement working with one of our partner sports organisations. Some of our current students are working with organisations such as Golf Wales, Welsh Netball, Welsh Football Trust, Sports Development departments, School and other sports organisations.
Many students complete placements in Primary Schools and Secondary PE departments. These experiences combined with vocational qualifications and the broad variety of modules on the course means that this is a great course as a route into teaching, with many students obtaining places on PGCE courses.
Methods include lectures, interactive workshops, practical sessions, work-based learning, guest lectures (from industry professionals), debates and tutorials. This range of teaching and learning approaches ensures that you gain a wide variety of skills and the variety keeps you on the ball.
All lectures/modules are sport specific which you will attend with other sports students. Most lectures/tutorials will be fairly small groups which provides a more interactive and personal approach to your study. Group work and class discussions help you to develop critical thinking skills and we encourage students to voice their opinion and challenge the norm.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake voluntary coaching and sports leadership work with local partners and Active Valleys during the degree; become a member of our Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport; and take on leadership roles such as becoming a Course Representative or Student Ambassador.
Where possible, your timetable in your final year will be organised to give you at least one day off teaching to enable you to undertake a work-based placement with a sports organisation, meaning that you can balance your studies and gaining valuable experience.
Most modules are studied over the year for 24 weeks (2 × 12 week terms); but some are delivered more intensively during a term (e.g. Fundamentals of coaching children and Sports Development in Practice).
Contact time varies over each year of study due to differences in modules, work placements and dissertation/project work in your final year. Average lecture contact time per week in each year is as follows:
You will be assessed via a range of methods to ensure that you develop a number of different skills. Assessment methods include:
At USW we are proud of our work-based learning opportunities available and believe that as a Sports Studies student, you are unlikely to find another university who can offer you the same support in helping you to develop your employability skills. We have a Centre of Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS) which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our students are employable upon graduation. We have partnerships with over 50 sports organisations who offer work placements for our students, enabling you to gain first-hand experience of working in the sports industry during your degree – an essential requirement for anyone wanting to gain employment in sport.
Some of the organisations who are hosting students on placement include:
All placements are advertised to students at the end of their second year at our USW Sport Employability Conference. Formal recruitment processes are followed for all applications which gives students experience of application forms, CV writing and interview experience.
We are now seeing more and more of our graduates gaining employment with either the same organisation that they undertook their final year placement with, or a similar sport organisation, upon graduation.
Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, such as the the touring New Zealand, South African and Australian rugby squads. The £3.7m USW Sport Park has been designed to train and develop our students to their highest potential. The Park is home to dedicated strength and conditioning facilities and state-of-the-art teaching rooms. The sports hall includes a national-standard six badminton court with sprung floor. This complements our excellent outdoor facilities of 11 pitches – including five floodlit pitches, a new artificial training pitch and 3G rubber crumb floodlit football pitch.
We have invested significantly in the development of performance analysis, and the notational analysis suite at USW SportPark features cutting-edge technology that will enable students to analyse coaching effectiveness and performance, in both a laboratory and a field-based environment.
George Rose, course leader
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
BCC - CDD to include a Science subject or Physical Education and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include a Science subject or Physical Education but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions (12 Science units), 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions from Science units, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
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Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
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Travel costs to work placements can vary, depending on location.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
92% of our Sport graduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduation (Source: Graduate Destination Survey 2011/12.)
Our particular combination of practical sport, science, sports coaching, sports development and psychology means that a wide range of career opportunities and postgraduate study are available in the UK and abroad. These may include teaching and coaching, development, health science such as fitness assessment and exercise prescription, sports promotion or leisure management in the sports industry.
Your studies will integrate theory and practical lectures with community sport experience, so you will develop practical coaching, teaching and leadership skills and gain experience of working in the industry.
Sport has a diverse range of job opportunities the flexible and broad range of studies options on this course has meant that our graduates are working in a range of sectors from education, coaching, health, sports development and sport science.
Some examples include:
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.