MSc Advanced Performance Football Coaching

Designed with external partners, including the Football Association of Wales Trust and Swansea City Football Club, the Masters in Advanced Performance Football Coaching provides the optimal combination of professional and evidenced-based academic training for coaches, heads of coaching, performance analysts, fitness coaches and all those associated with performance player pathways.

Delivered by experts in the field, including Premier League and International level coaches and support staff, the course offers access to rarely-shared knowledge, and will enhance your employability and professional development.

The first masters course of its kind in Wales, it complements our extensive undergraduate football courses, and is delivered through a combination of face-to-face teaching (during residential visits) and guided online learning to offer flexibility of study for international students and industry professionals.

There are three exit points, which means you can study for the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or the full MSc.

2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A

You will develop an in-depth advanced analysis of pertinent issues relating to football coaching and performance and develop a critical appreciation of the role of the modern-day football coach and how their practice impacts upon the football environment.

What’s more, you will develop a reasoned appreciation and critical understanding of wider tactical, technical, physical, psychological and social issues related to football practice to not only enhance knowledge but also to further professionally develop.

Full Time Students studying this degree with the UEFA A Licence will undertake a 2-year course. Students will study the following modules:

Year one:

  • The football coach as psychologist (20 credits) Specified
  • Pedagogy in football (20 credits) Specified
  • Curriculum design and contemporary player development (20 credits) Specified

Year Two:

  • Advanced coaching practice (UEFA A) (60 credits) optional (interview only)
  • Research Project (60 credits) Core

Full Time Students studying this degree without the UEFA A Licence will undertake a 2 year course. Students will study the following modules:

Year one:

  • The Football coach as a Psychologise (20 Credits)
  • Pedagogy in Football (20 credits)
  • Curriculum design and contemporary player development (20 credits) Specified

Year 2:

  • Periodisation for performance & player development (20 Credits)
  • Effective Coaching (20 Credits)
  • Analysis of Performance & Tactical Insights (20 Credits)
  • Research Project (60 Credits)

Part Time Students studying this degree with the UEFA A Licence will undertake a 3-year course. Students will study the following modules:

Year 1

  • The football coach as psychologist (20 credits) Specified
  • Pedagogy in football (20 credits) Specified
  • Curriculum design and contemporary player development (20 credits) Specified

Year 2

  • Advanced coaching practice (UEFA A) (60 credits) optional (interview only)

Year 3

  • Research Project (60 credits) core


Part Time Students studying this degree without the UEFA A Licence will undertake a 3-year course. Students will study the following modules:

Year 1

  • The football coach as psychologist (20 credits) Specified
  • Pedagogy in football (20 credits) Specified
  • Curriculum design and contemporary player development (20 credits) Specified

Year 2

  • Periodisation for performance & player development (20 Credits) optional
  • Effective Coaching (20 Credits) optional
  • Analysis of Performance & Tactical Insights (20 Credits) optional

Year 3

  • Research Project (60 credits) core


One of a number of FAW courses we offer, the MSc Advanced Football Coaching and Performance course is taught by industry experts and the teaching methods used include lectures; seminars; work-based learning; practical workshops and scenarios; project supervision; question and answer; group task work and both directed and independent study.

The course in structured to work in sync with those already working within the football industry so there are two compulsory five-day residential study blocks (during October and May), and one optional five day residential in December/January, both held at USW Sport Park.

In between this, you will study additional modules online around your work/life demands. 

Students are allocated a personal tutor to offer academic and pastoral support. Tutorials are offered in person whilst on residential or via video conferencing when studying from distance; progress meetings are held informally within each module and more formal meetings held at each stage of study i.e. PgCert, PdDip and MSc.

Individual supervisors are provided for research projects. With a high level of expertise across all functions of football related and sport science fields, USW is well catered to meet individual needs.

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.


This football coaching course is based around ‘reality-based’ assessments, i.e. assessments that are linked to the skills and demands of the football industry. This ethos not only ensures an applied approach to assessment but further refines the student skill-set.

Students will be assessed via essays, but also via oral presentation; video analysis; reflective portfolios; practical coaching sessions; opposition analysis reports and player profiling to name a few.


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. 

Featured Lecturer:
Professor Brendan Cropley

Professor Brendan Cropley

Our researchers have developed novel understandings of mechanisms and interventions which can enhance effective service provision in sport. Working with government agencies, national governing bodies of sport, and education providers, our research has informed improvements in the education and performance of professional sports coaches, support staff and athletes nationally and internationally.

Sport has been advocated as a domain in which people can learn transferrable skills that will help them in all areas of their lives. However, little is known about how life skills are developed through sport. Research in reflective practice led by Brendan Cropley, Professor of Sports Coaching, has informed the Football Association of Wales Trust (FAWT) and UEFA coach education programmes and influenced coaching practice across Wales to enhance the personal development of players. 

Working closely with the British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences (BASES) and UK Coaching, Professor Cropley's research has also influenced coach education programmes across a wide range of sports and been made available to a worldwide audience. Between 2014 and 2020, this research has directly influenced the service delivery of over 4000 coaches working in Wales, over 100 elite football coaches working across the world, and over 100 sport science support staff. 

Professor Brendan Cropley leads the Sports Coaching and Development Research at USW. He is Head of the Centre for Football Research in Wales and the Coaching Science Lead for the Welsh Institute of Performance Science Research Steering Group.

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.

Upper Second Class sports related Degree or related industry experience.

Applicants must hold a valid UEFA B License or equivalent qualification. (E.g., NSCAA, AFC)

Please note that whilst applicants are not required to obtain a satisfactory DBS Check for entry to the course, there is an optional Professional Work Based Development module that may require students to obtain an enhanced DBS Check or evidence of subscription to the DBS Updating Service should it involve delivery to children or vulnerable adults.”

The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

As this course is taught by block teaching or blended delivery, and does not require fully time study in the UK on a Student Route Visa, it does not give access to the Graduate Route Visa on successful completion of the course.


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 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14500 

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International:  £14700 

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 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. Below we’ve listed what types of additional costs are associated with this course:

* 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/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


Apply directly to the University for this course.

Admissions statement 

This football coaching masters provides advanced coaching skills and knowledge which prepares students to excel in the following roles:

  • Academy coaches
  • Senior coaches
  • Head of coaching
  • Head of player development
  • Coach educators
  • Academy managers
  • Analysts and recruiters
  • Technical directors

Students may also progress to a sport PhD or research degree.