Foundation Degree in Rugby Coaching and Development (Welsh Rugby Union)

The rugby industry is growing and it needs more coaching professionals at all levels. Developed in collaboration with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), the Foundation Degree Rugby Coaching and Development provides a unique opportunity to study a degree whilst working as a WRU community coach. This combination of academic and vocational learning, together with the opportunity to gain industry-recognised coaching qualifications, will ensure you develop the right practical, technical and analytical skills for a rewarding career in the professional rugby community.

To improve your employability, you will have the opportunity to acquire the WRU's Rugby Leader’s Award, Rugby Ready course and WRU Level 1 and 2 qualifications. Another boost to your employability is the work-based learning we offer, including hands-on coaching and rugby development in a range of areas including primary and secondary schools and regional community rugby. You'll learn about children and youth coaching, rugby coaching, rugby development, social inclusion, physical education and develop sports management skills. On successful completion of the course, you can progress to the third year of BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance.



UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

Year One

Your first year will provide you with the underpinning theory and practice of coaching young athletes, and you will be taught via blended learning, practical lectures and classroom-based lectures. You will gain knowledge of how grassroots rugby is organised and managed in the community, and have the opportunity to lead school and club activities and events like tag rugby festivals.

Understanding fundamental principles of how young children learn sports skills and the different stages of the sports development continuum will help to inform the industry work-based learning you'll do in Years One, Two and Three.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake coach education qualifications to boost your CV. Children’s Level 1 Coaching and Level 1 Refereeing qualifications are built into double rugby modules and paid for by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Year Two

You will build on the skills and knowledge gained in Year One with regards to understanding coaching and leadership principles and approaches to developing and managing rugby with adolescent groups. You will enhance your breadth of knowledge by studying the key components of Level Two and gain experience of running enterprising events and completing a community rugby placement, which will put your ideas and knowledge into practice in the rugby industry.

This year will expand your understanding of the world of rugby development and the different career options available to you. Providing you get the grades, you may have the opportunity to progress onto a full BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance degree at the University of South Wales. This 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 rugby development and performance and you will conduct a research project examining a rugby development or performance-related issue. During this year, you can choose to do a placement for one or two days a week, working with one of our partner sports organisations. Current students are working with organisations such as Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys and the Scarlets, sports development departments, schools and other sports organisations. This experience will enable you to enhance your CV and create a strong network within the rugby industry in the UK and overseas.



The Foundation Degree Rugby Coaching and Development course will be delivered through a blended learning approach and will be taught through a combination of blended learning, practical activities and classroom-based lectures. 

As the course is a partnership between the University and the Welsh Rugby Union, one day a week will be spent in traditional lectures at USW and one day a week at the WRU Centre of Excellence. The flexibility of the course will allow students to be deployed as WRU community rugby coaches, supporting and developing grass-roots rugby as part of their course.

Typically, you will study for two days a week, with three modules being delivered on each day. On each day there will be between six to eight hours of contact. In Year One, you will be expected to complete up to 10 hours a week of work-based learning supporting grass-roots community development. In Year Two, you will complete a bespoke work-based learning module and this will require you to complete 140 hours within the region, supporting community coaching.


Students will be assessed through a range of methods including; practical coaching activity, log books, work based learning, oral presentations and traditional essays.


You will be based at the Welsh Rugby Union Centre of Excellence and WRU stadium and deployed around the regions. Some of your time also spent at the University of South Wales' Sport Park and exciting new indoor coaching area.

You will be supported by excellent learning and teaching facilities. At USW you'll be able to access first class indoor full-sized coaching facilities with access to performance analysis and strength and conditioning. Similarly, whilst based at the WRU Centre of Excellence you will have access to world class coaching facilities and an exceptional learning and teaching environment.




Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers 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. All applicants for the course need to be affiliated to a Welsh Rugby Union Club.

Typical A-Level Offer

DD to include at least one A Level in Science, Mathematics, Physical Education or Psychology but to exclude General Studies.

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and DE at A Level to include at least one Science, Mathematics, Physical Education or Psychology subject but to exclude General Studies.

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Diploma Merit Merit in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

Pass IB Diploma or two IB Certficates at Higher level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits all Passes

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 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.

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:  £8000

  • Full-time International:  £12600 

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: 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.

As well as invaluable practical coaching experience and industry-recognised coaching awards, the degree will develop skills for employment in a number of related areas. These include academy coach in a professional club, rugby development officer, community coach, sports development officer, strength and conditioning coach, personal fitness instructor, teaching, plus the armed forces and emergency services.