BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development

Top in Wales for assessment satisfaction Guardian League Table 2022

The Sports Coaching and Development degree will prepare you to work in a multitude of coaching, teaching and development roles.

You will gain experience of working in the sports industry, either with a sports development organisation, a social enterprise, community club or primary / secondary school and have the chance to gain industry-recognised coaching qualifications.

Through placements, you’ll gain an understanding of the changing nature of sports development from grass roots community projects that engage people to take up sport to working with elite athletes at the top of their game.

There are two study options: on campus, based at our USW Sport Park, or a blended learning route for students who are currently working in a sport setting.

2022/23 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 Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during 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. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, 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
C614 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C614 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A

Year One: Sports Coaching and Development degree

You will gain knowledge of how sport is organised, delivered and managed in the community, and you will have the opportunity to lead sports activities and events.

Understanding fundamental principles of how young children learn sports skills and the different stages of the sports development continuum will help to inform your industry work-based learning experience which you will undertake in years two and three.

  • Fundamentals of Coaching Children - 20 credits
  • Introduction to Sports Coaching - 20 credits
  • Introduction to Sports Science for Coaching - 20 credits
  • Introduction to Sports Development - 20 credits
  • Managing Sport - 20 credits
  • Sports Development in Practice - 20 credits

Year Two: Sports Coaching and Development degree

You will study barriers to sport and complete a school and/or community sport placement which will enable you to put your ideas and knowledge into practice.

You'll also have the option to organise and run a sports development event or further your understanding of a more elite coaching subject.

  • Research Methods - 20 credits
  • Sport Placement - 20 credits
  • Community Sports Development - 20 credits
  • Physical Education and School Sport - 20 credits
  • Sports Coaching and Leadership - 20 credits
  • Replace with Adventurous Activities and Outdoor Leadership - 20 credits (optional)
  • Enterprise in Sport - 20 credits (optional)

Year Three: Sports Coaching and Development degree

You will develop your confidence and communication through debating key issues in sports development and developing and leading coaching sessions on a range of topics.

You will undertake a management or research project examining a sports coaching, teaching or development related issue. You can also take a work placement with one of our partner organisations or get involved in our student-led social enterprise Active Valleys. 

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


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 One: 12 hours contact time (18 hours of independent study per week)
  • Year Two: 10 hours (20 hours independent study per week)
  • Year Three: 8-10 hours (15-20 hours independent study and 7-14 hours of placement per week – depending on module chosen)

Your studies will be underpinned by the latest research undertaken by the University’s Sport, Health and Exercise Science Research Group which collaborates locally, nationally and internationally with partners from industry and academia to provide world-leading knowledge and impact. For you, this means you will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their specialist field. 


You will be assessed via a range of methods to ensure that you develop a number of different skills. Assessment methods include:

  • Written essays and reports
  • Presentations
  • Practical sports coaching and leadership assessments
  • Work-based learning assessments
  • Posters and leaflets
  • Reflective blogs
  • Team debates
  • Exams (multiple choice and essay style)

Approximately 80% of the assessment methods are coursework orientated.


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

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

Gain coaching qualifications for free

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.

These qualifications include:

  • National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
  • Cricket Wales Level 1 – Coach Support Worker
  • Disability Inclusion Training and Sainsbury’s Active Kids
  • workshop
  • Golf Development Wales - Tri-Golf Activators course
  • LTA - Tennis Activators course
  • LTA – Tennis Competition Organisers course
  • FAW C certificate
  • FAW Football Leaders award
  • WRU Tag Leaders course
  • Welsh Netball – Netball Tots Orientation workshop

Field Trips

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.

In many cases, there will also be an opportunity to participate in the range of activities offered by our key partners. Whether that’s cycling around the Newport Velodrome, conquering the rapids at the Cardiff International White Water Centre, students will gain valuable and enjoying experiences to enhance their learning. 

There may be additional costs associated with this course


You will be based at USW Sport Park, a brand-new specially designed high performance facility.

The Sport Park is 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. 


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.

Find out about the great research happening in sport, health and exercise science.

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 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.

We consider all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Additional Requirements:

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)


Typical A-Level Offer

BBC- CCC to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BB - CC at A Level to include a Science subject or PE but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Merit in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including a score of 5 in a Science subject, Mathematics, or Psychology at higher level, and 5 or above in English at standard level

(score must be equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma in Sport/Science with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 


International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

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.

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:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

  • Part-time UK:  £700 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: 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.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
The cost includes the DBS check, Post Office verification service and online administrative fee. Admission requirement.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Placement *
Students have to pay travel and subsistence costs for their placement. Costs vary, depending on location.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK 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. 

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement

Graduates with a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree can go on to work as a sport coach, coach education coordinator, school sport coordinator, 5x60 officer, National Governing Body community officer, leisure centre development officer, community coach and self-employed business manager.

This coaching course is ideal if you want to go on to study a PGCE and become a PE teacher.