Foundation Degree Sports Coaching and Development

Are you passionate about a career in the sports coaching and development industry? The Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching and Development provides the opportunity to gain an industry-recognised qualification and relevant work experience while being affiliated to an organisation in the sector.

The course will be based within your organisation - which could be a professional sports club, sports development organisation, social enterprise, school or community organisation - with your lectures, seminars and tutorials delivered on-site and online.

Through placements organised by your organisation, you will gain practical experience of working within the sports coaching and development industry. Plus, you will gain an understanding of the varied nature of sports coaching and development, from grassroots community projects that engage people to take up sport and/or physical activity to working with elite athletes who are at the top of their game.


UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
S1H9 Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
S1H9 Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

The course will teach you aspects of generic children and youth coaching, sports coaching, sports development, social inclusion, and sports management skills. There will be further opportunity to apply your knowledge with an extensive work based learning programme provided by the club.

Year One: Foundation Degree Sports Coaching and Development degree

Your first year will provide you with the underpinning theory and practice of sports coaching and development.

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’ and ‘what’ to coach with young children and the scientific principles of psychology, performance analysis and exercise science will underpin your coaching knowledge.

You will learn sports skills and the different stages of the sports development continuum and this will help to inform your industry work-based learning experience which you will undertake on the course. You will also have the opportunity to undertake coach education, safeguarding and first aid qualifications to boost your CV.

  • Academic Research and Professional Skills
  • Introduction to Sports Coaching
  • Introduction to Sports Science for Coaching
  • Introduction to Sports Development
  • Managing Sport
  • Sports Development in Practice

Year Two: Foundation Degree 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.

The Physical Education School Sport module will provide knowledge of primary and secondary physical education, fundamental movement skill and physical literacy and introduce you to the key challenges faced in developing physically educated young children. The modules will also provide an opportunity for you to gain acquire additional qualifications.

  • Project Management
  • Sport Placement (double module)
  • Community Sports Development
  • Physical Education and School Sport
  • Sports Coaching and Leadership 


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 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).


You will be assessed via a range of methods to ensure that you develop a number of different skills. Approximately 80% of the assessment methods are coursework orientated

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). 


In addition to your lectures, you will have the opportunity to undertake voluntary coaching and sports leadership work with local partners at your clubs and within your communities during the degree.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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. 

Apply now 

Admissions statement

The Foundation Degree Sports Coaching and Development will prepare you to work in a multitude of sports coaching, teaching and development roles, instilling the coaching, leadership and development skills that will allow you to change lives through sport. Graduates with a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching and Development can go on to work as sports development officers, Workforce and coach education coordinators, school sport coordinators, 5x60 officers, National Governing Body officers, PE teachers (primary and secondary), community coaches and self-employed business managers.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.