Foundation Degree Sports Coaching and Development

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

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.

To study this degree you will need a formalised affiliation with a professional sports club under the EFLT banner, Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club or Cardiff Blues. Your lectures will be produced by USW staff, but you will watch these remotely at your club's learning environment. A member of staff from this club would be assigned to you as a Mentor and they would support you by facilitating the learning materials and organising your placements.

A key part of this degree is the increased amount of placement hours you will experience. You will undertake 4-8 hours per week in year 1 and 7-14 hours per week in year 2, which will be organised by your Mentor and could be in settings such as schools, local clubs, community settings or in formal club events. This will give you 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.

Top in Wales for student satisfaction in Sports Science (Complete University Guide 2023)

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
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 Foundation Degree Sports Coaching and Development will be based within the student’s sports organisation, and lectures, seminars and tutorials will be delivered on site and via provided material. 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 Study 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 


You will be enrolled as a student at the University of South Wales and have access to a number of learning materials. Also, you will spend a minimum of five days per year at the University of South Wales High Performance Centre at the USW Sport Park and receive full accommodation during these teaching blocks.

You will have access to an online library, blackboard and other learning materials, and will spend a time at the USW Sport Park to complete practical teaching. You will complete coaching (work based learning) that is managed through tutorials and a mentoring programme. The work based learning programme can be completed within your own football work environment.

In year two you will complete up to 200 hours of coaching (work based learning) that is managed through weekly tutorials and a comprehensive mentoring programme. The work based learning programme will be completed within the sports organisations and will provide opportunities to gain experience in areas such as social inclusion, school and grass root club development, sport development, and coaching.

You will also have the opportunity to complete Coach Education within your organisation that is suited to your own development and career ambitions.


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.

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.

This course is delivered predominantly online and not available to International Students wishing to reside in the UK on a student VISA as formal affiliation with a UK EFL Trust sports club is required.

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 with one of our partner EFL/Rugby Clubs.


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 D and D 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 Pass in a relevant subject.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Access to HE Diploma in Science or Maths with a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points


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:  £8000

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2025 - July 2026 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: 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
Other: Travel to Residential (Compulsory) *
Students will have to fund the cost of travel to the residential elements of the course


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

To make it clear which club you are based at, please ensure you indicate this somehow within your application. You can do this by making a direct reference to them in your personal statement, or by identifying a member of staff from your associated club as a referee to your application.


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.