BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development

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.

Top in Wales for course satisfaction in Sports Science. (Guardian League Table 2023)

Top in Wales for assessment in Sport Science (Guardian University Guide 2024)

Sport Science is rated top in Wales for Teaching Quality and Student Experience (Times Good University Guide 2024)

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

The module will provide students with the basic concepts of what is required to coach fundamental movement (FMS) and multi skills when working with children. The module will introduce students to theories of physical literacy, FMS, long-term athlete development and how these can be applied practically when working with children.

Introduction to Sports Coaching - 20 credits - Andrew Thomas

This module aims to provide the student with the fundamental knowledge and skills to deliver safe and effective sports coaching sessions.

Introduction to Sports Science for Coaching - 20 credits - Andrew Thomas

The aim of this module is to gain basic knowledge and understanding about sports science and to identify how its application may aid the coach in developing athletes to achieve improved sporting performance. This module aims to ensure that coaches of children fully understand the different scientific needs of this population.

Introduction to Sports Development - 20 credits - Tony Wallis

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the principles, roles and scope of sports development work within the UK.

Managing Sport - 20 credits

This module will allow students to gain an appreciation of the key management skills and disciplines required in managing and developing sport from a number of operational contexts; recognise the issues associated with managing a range of sport environments; analyse a selection of contemporary sports operations and businesses; appreciate the importance of managing and delivering sports events as a vital delivery tool for sports development.

Sports Development in Practice - 20 credits - Tony Wallis

To provide students with the experience of delivering both formal and informal sports competitions and events for identified target groups.

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 - Lee Baldock

This will build your understanding of research methods and broaden and deepen your appreciation of the range of approaches to research using research for both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Sport Placement* - 20 credits

Students will be provided with the opportunity to conduct their work-related experience within a number of key vocational areas related to the sports industry. These will include school sport, competition/event organisation, community club coaching and other community sport delivery.

Community Sports Development - 20 credits - Chris Emsley

The module aims to introduce students to the concept of community sports development. This will involve an examination of the success of initiatives complemented by an overview of the challenges faced by specific population target groups.

Physical Education and School Sport - 20 credits - Chris Emsley and Stuart Jarvis

This module is designed to analyse the role of the PE teacher and sports coach, both within Primary and Secondary education and offer an insight into the contemporary initiatives that focus on School Sport provision with an emphasis on Government involvement and/or intervention.

Sports Coaching and Leadership - 20 credits - Andrew Thomas

The module aims to advanced the students understanding of the sports science principles that underpin coaching practice and to apply coaching skills in practice in a range of contexts.

Adventurous Activities and Outdoor Leadership - 20 credits (optional)

The module will offer students experiences of delivering, leading and observing outdoor adventurous activities in an applied setting and to work safely and responsibly in an outdoor setting, recognising boundaries of professional competence.

Enterprise in Sport - 20 credits (optional) - Tony Wallis

This module will introduce the students to the principles and processes relating to creativity and enterprising activity in sports development. Students will recognise various business models and appreciate the importance of applying key business in a sport context.

*This module is available to study fully in Welsh

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.

Dissertation - 20 credits - Stuart Jarvis

This will enable the student to design and conduct an independent study and to be able to critically evaluate scientific data and literature.

Applied Professional Project - 40 credits - Chris Emsley

The module aims to provide the student with a platform upon which they can enhance the effectiveness of their workplace experience and develop their vocational skills.

Critical Issues in Sports Coaching and Leadership - 20 credits - Andrew Thomas

The module aims to develop a student's critical awareness of contemporary topics across coaching, leadership, performance and participation in sport and develop a critical appreciation of the contribution of sociological, psychological, physical and practical concepts and their impact on sporting performance.

Strategic Sports Development - 20 credits (optional) - Lyndsey Jehu

To introduce students to the concepts of strategic management and planning; provide an overview of relevant frameworks and techniques with which to analyse contemporary sports development and management issues.

Work Based Learning* - 20 credits (optional) 

The module is designed to provide a platform upon which the learner can enhance the effectiveness of the workplace experience and reflect on these experiences. For their chosen professional activity the student will be expected to develop independent learning based on experience in the workplace.

Creatively Teaching Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing - 20 credits - Chris Emsley

To develop student’s professional teaching skills and subject knowledge of Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing topics arising from the National Curriculum to enable them to teach Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing.

*This module is available to study fully in Welsh


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.

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.  

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here


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

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

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

Typical BTEC Offer

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

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma in Sport/Science with a minimum of 112 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 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £15260 

  • Part-time UK:  £740 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* 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.


Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

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.