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, instilling the coaching, leadership and development skills that will allow you to change lives through sport.

You will gain first-hand experience of working in the sports industry, either with a sports development organisation, a social enterprise, a school or community club.

Through these 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 or physical activity 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 blended learning for students who are currently working in a sport setting.

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

There are two study options: 

On campus 
Based at the USW Sport Park, our state-of-the-art coaching and performance development centre, you’ll be taught face to face by leading specialists in the field. You will have the opportunity to undertake placements with some of our key partners, including Golf Wales, Welsh Netball, FAW Trust, StreetGames, USW, Sports Development departments, schools and other sports organisations. 

Blended learning 

This is for students currently working in a sport setting and looking to develop their knowledge and skills. Your work placements can be completed in your current sport work setting and you will receive lectures, seminars and tutorials via online material and on campus block teaching periods.  

Modules you will study include introduction to sports coaching, physical education and school sport, community sports development, enterprise in sport, leadership in sport, applied sports coaching and practical work-based learning modules. These work-based learning modules are an opportunity for you to gain valuable experiences that will build and test your existing knowledge and skills, while enhancing your personal reputation and networks in the sport industry.

Year One: BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree

Your first year will provide you with the underpinning theory and practice of sports coaching and development via practical lectures and classroom-based lectures. 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. You will also have the opportunity to undertake coach education, safeguarding and first aid qualifications to boost your CV.

  • Academic Research and Professional Skills - 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: BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree

You will develop the skills and knowledge gained in year one around understanding coaching and leadership principles and approaches to developing and managing sport across a range of target groups. You will enhance your breadth of knowledge by studying barriers to sport and completing a school and/or community sport placement which will enable you to put your ideas and knowledge into practice. Additional qualifications such as the AFPE Teaching Qualifications and Disability Inclusion Training have been embedded into the course. You will also have the option to experience running a development orientated social enterprise event or further your understanding of a more elite coaching subject through a specific performance analysis module. This year will expand your understanding of the world of sports coaching, teaching and development and the different career options available to you.

  • 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
  • Performance Analysis - 20 credits (optional)
  • Enterprise in Sport - 20 credits (optional)

Year Three: BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree

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 on graduation. You will develop your confidence and communication through debating key issues in sports development and constructing and tutoring contemporary coaching workshops on a range of critical issues. You will undertake a management or research project examining a sports coaching, teaching or development related issue.

During this year, you can choose 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, Streetgames, USW, Sports Development departments, schools and other sports organisations. Some of our final year students are even starting out as young entrepreneurs pursuing their own enterprising sport projects. During this year, you could also play a lead role in the management and running of our student led social enterprise called Active Valleys. This experience will enable you to enhance your CV and create a strong network within the sports industry in Wales and beyond.

  • 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
  • Mentoring in Sport - 20 credits (optional)
  • Work Based Learning - 20 credits (optional) 
  • Applied Sports Coaching - 20 credits (optional)
  • Teaching Physical Education, Health and Wellbeing Creatively - 20 credits (optional)


Learning and teaching 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 (around 20-40 students) 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.

The Sports Coaching and Development course is delivered over the year from September to May. Each year of study includes 120 credits to complete - six 20-credit modules in years one and two; and one 40-credit plus four x 20-credit modules in the final year.

Most modules are studied over the year for 24 weeks (two 12-week terms); but some are delivered more intensively during a term (e.g. Sports Development in Practice, Managing Sport, Leadership in Sport, Critical Issues in Sport Coaching and Leadership and Contemporary Issues in Sports Development).

Contact time varies over each year of study due to differences in modules, work placements and dissertation/applied professional project work in your final year. Average lecture contact time each year 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)


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.


There is added value from key partners such as Hockey Wales, Welsh Netball and Sport RCT, with all three organisations heavily involved in the delivery of the course from year’s one to three. Through these partnerships you will regularly meet staff from these organisations, complete coaching qualifications and undertake specific project based work placements.


Field Trips

Field trips and study visits will be embedded within the curriculum throughout each year of study where appropriate.

There may be additional costs associated with this course


We have a brand-new specially designed sporting performance facility that focuses on rugby and football coaching. It includes a specialist centre for strength and conditioning with 12 lifting platforms, providing a high performance environment for aspiring athletes.

Our full-size indoor 3G pitch is built to the Fifa Pro standard and World Rugby 22 standard. It will guarantee training all year round for our rugby, football and coaching students. We are the only university in England and Wales to offer this facility.

You'll also find a notational analysis suite and over 30 acres of playing fields, including five floodlit pitches. We have a sand-dressed 'astroturf' pitch, as well as a full-size FIFA approved 3G pitch. In addition to these all-weather pitches, there are six grass football pitches, three grass rugby pitches, and a large changing pavilion.

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.


The USW Sports Coaching and Development team are experienced staff all who have worked in the sports coaching and/or development industry, some of whom have even played and coached at a professional/elite level.

Our staff have experience of coordinating and managing sport in both local authorities, sports clubs and national governing bodies of sport, and are able to bring this real-life knowledge and experience into the classroom to bring topics to life.

Many of our staff are still active in the industry either coaching or representing sports organisations on boards and strategic groups.

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.nsiders 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.

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

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

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 PE but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include one Science, Mathematics or Psychology at Higher Level(this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Access to HE Offer

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, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS tariff points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 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 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £12600 

  • Part-time UK and EU: 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 * £57.20
The cost includes the DBS check, Post Office verification service and online administrative fee. Admission requirement.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Years 2 and 3
Placement *
Students have to pay travel and subsistence costs for their placement. Costs vary, depending on location.

UK and EU students

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. 

International students

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

Admissions statement

Graduates with a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Development degree can go on to work as sports development officers, Workforce and coach education coordinators, school sport coordinators, 5x60 officers, National Governing Body community officers, PE teachers (primary and secondary), leisure centre development officers, community coaches and self-employed business managers.