BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development (Top Up)

The Sports Coaching and Development (Top Up) degree will consolidate your learning from a Foundation Degree in an associated area and prepare you to work in a multitude of coaching, teaching and development roles. Focusing on both the sport and business-related knowledge needed to develop professionals for the sports industry, you will consolidate your learning and start to specialise your work-based learning experience in line with your career ambitions.

The BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development (Top Up) course is a natural progression from the FdSc Sports Coaching and Development course delivered at a Partner Club hub (EFL Trust, Wigan Warriors or Cardiff Blues) or a Partner College (Merthyr or Coleg Gwent). And has two distinct routes of study:

Blended Learning

This unique and exclusive delivery route, run in partnership with the English Football League (EFL) Trust, Wigan Warriors and Cardiff Blues allows you to study in the workplace.

To study this degree, you will need a formalised affiliation with a professional sports club under the EFL Trust banner, Wigan Warriors or Cardiff Blues. Your lectures will be produced by USW staff, but you will watch these remotely at your club's learning environment or even at other times to suit your own weekly schedule. A member of staff from this club would be assigned to you as a Mentor and they would support you by facilitating the learning materials and organising your placements.


Students will gain direct entry onto Year three of the BSc Sports Coaching and Development course delivered out of our world-class USW Sport Park facility.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A
Full-time 1 Year September Online 8
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Glyntaff A

You will study a broad range of subjects including Physical Education, Sports Development, Sports Coaching, and Leadership. These will all be studied alongside your final year applied research module, Applied Professional Project.

Year Three – the top-up year of study – will consolidate your learning and start to specialise your work-based learning experience in line with your career ambitions. 

Modules delivered via Blended learning

  • Creatively Teaching Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing (20-credits)
  • Critical Issues in Sports Coaching and Leadership (20-credits)
  • Strategic Sports Development (20-credits)
  • Leadership in Sport (20-credits)
  • Applied Professional Project (40-credits)

Modules Delivered On Campus

  • Applied Professional Project (40 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Leadership in Sport (20 credits)
  • Critical Issues in Sports Coaching and Leadership (20 credits)
  • Creatively Teaching Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing – (20 credits)
  • Work-Based Learning – (20 credits) (optional) 
  • Applied Sports Coaching – (20 credits) (optional)
  • Strategic Sports Development (20-credits) (optional)
  • Contemporary Issues in Sports Development (20 credits) (optional) 


Blended Learning

As a student studying via our well-versed blended learning approach, you will have access to an online library, Blackboard (virtual learning environment) and other learning materials, and will spend time at the USW Sport Park during Residential Study Visits to participate in practical sessions.

You will undertake your studies at your clubs learning enviornment or at times that are appropriate to your own weekly schedule, whilst being supported by your Club Mentor. Materials are produced by academic staff at USW, then you will complete these pre-recorded sessions at times that suit you, as well as attending live tutorials and seminars delivered by USW staff. You will then attend 3 Residential Study Visits at our world leading USW Sport Park in September, January and April.

There will be on average 12 hours per week of content to view, and it's expected a further 10/15 hours a week is taken for further / directed study.

Guest lectures are often invited to deliver within the various fields of the modules from industry.

You will complete work-based learning that is managed by your Club Mentor and supported by USW staff through tutorials and a mentoring programme. It is expected that you will complete between 7 and 14-hours per week of work-based learning.


Each student will be supported not only by academic module leaders but will also be encouraged to engage in 1 to1 academic support coach sessions throughout the year with the course specific National Academic Support Coach (or your assigned PAC Tutor for students at Wigan Warriors and Cardiff Blues).

On Campus

This sports coaching degree is available to study on campus, based at USW Sport Park. You will be taught by leading specialists in the field and have the opportunity to undertake placements with some of our key partners.

Learning and teaching methods include lectures, interactive workshops, practical sessions, work-based learning, guest lectures, debates and tutorials. 

Most lectures/tutorials will be fairly small groups (around 20-40 students) which provides a more interactive and personal approach.

Most modules are studied over the year for 24 weeks (two 12-week terms) but some are delivered more intensively during a term.

Contact time varies due to differences in modules, work placements and dissertation/applied professional project work in your final year, but average contact time is as follows:

Year Three: 8-10 hours (15-20 hours independent study and 7-14 hours of placement per week – depending on module chosen)


Each student will be supported not only by academic module leaders but will also be encouraged to engage in 1 to1 academic support coach sessions throughout the year with the course specific Personal Academic Coaches.

As a student on this course, you will have access to the Personal Academic Coaching (PAC) system we operate, where you will meet twice a year with your personal assigned PAC. This individual will support you with your studies as best they can to ensure you are able to meet your own expectations.


You will be assessed through a range of varied authentic assessments which are relevant to the types of professional roles you may aspire to. These are also adapted annually based upon industry requirements and student feedback. Currently, the assessments being used on the course are:

  • Reports
  • Practical coaching deliveries
  • Oral Presentations
  • Multiple Choice Questionnaires
  • Lesson and session plans
  • Reflections
  • Coaching workshops and resources
  • Delivery of a 1-2-1 management appraisal


We have a brand-new specially designed sporting performance facility that focuses on coaching. Our full-size indoor 3G pitch is built to the Fifa Pro standard.

There are audio and video recording software to support the coach education programme that students will be immersed in during studies. We are the only university in England and Wales to offer this facility.

You'll also find a notational analysis suite with Apple Macs installed with industry leading software for students to use at your disposal.

Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, such as the Wales National football team and Cardiff City Football Club, as well as the touring New Zealand, South Africa and Australia rugby squads. This confirms the high quality of our pitches and the versatility of our equipment.


Lecturers on the sports coaching degree have all worked in the sports coaching and/or development industry; some have played and coached at a professional/elite level.

Staff have experience of coordinating and managing sport in local authorities, sports clubs and national governing bodies of sport, and bring this real-life knowledge and experience into the classroom.

Blended Learning

Course Leader:

  • Chris Emsley

Module Leaders:

  • Lyn Jehu
  • Stuart Jarvis
  • Tony Wallis

On Campus

Course Leader:

Tony Wallis, 

Module Leaders:

  • Andy Thomas
  • Chris Emsley
  • Lyn Jehu
  • Ben Stanway
  • Mel Tuckwell

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The successful completion of an appropriate Foundation Degree or equivalent. USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience.

In addition a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check is required (additional cost applies, no offences are considered spent).

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

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.

When applying for this course please ensure you select the ‘Online’ campus should you wish to study via blended learning. Should you wish to study this course on-campus please select ‘Glyntaff’ campus.

Blended Learning

When applying, during your personal statement you should make it very clear as to which club you have a formalised affiliation with and would be studying at.

UK and EU students

You can apply directly via the university.

You can also apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one 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

Students graduating from this degree may progress to roles as Community Sports Coaches, Sports Development Officers, various positions within the Leisure industry, Sports Managers and business owners. Students will also have the opportunity to access further study required to become a Primary or Secondary School Teacher.

How does the course prepare me for employment?

Blended Learning

The 7-14 hours per week of work-based learning you will experience will be coordinated and managed by your Club Mentor and the type of experience you are exposed to should give you an increased level of responsibility compared to your Foundation Degree.

The main employability benefit to you from studying this course is similar to our Foundation Degrees; that you are studying in the workplace. In doing so, you are able to apply learning on a daily basis and be exposed to what it’s like to work at a professional sports club’s Community Trust.


Students can take a work placement with one of our partner organisations such as Wales Golf, StreetGames, Hockey Wales, Welsh Netball and Sport RCT.

You will regularly meet staff from these organisations, complete coaching qualifications and undertake project-based work placements.

Twice a year, in October and February, students on our sports coaching degree take part in an enrichment week where they have the chance to gain recognised industry qualifications at no extra cost.

Enrichment week, during October and February, includes a range of study trips to major sport organisations, such as the FAW or WRU, where you’ll gain a behind-the-scenes look and insightful networking opportunities with the staff who work there.