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.

 

Get a glimpse of what it's like to study at USW before you apply

'Introduction into Football Coaching' - Free Online Taster Course

Study Mode
2024
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
2025
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 - Year 1

  • The Football Coach as Psychologist (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr Lee Baldock will focus on the coach’s role in developing the psychological aspects of their players’ performance as well as how they must personally consider and develop their own psychological states that facilitate personal and professional functioning. Through a critical analysis and discussion of the extant literature and the applied experiences of tutors and learners working in collaboration, learners will be challenged to reflect on and question the normative language concerning psychology in football and reassess their role in addressing this aspect of performance. Finally, building on the research expertise at USW, learners will be asked to reflect on their own psychological performance to better understand the importance of coping to manage the stress process and maintain their own well-being. 

  • Pedagogy in Football (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr Lee Baldock and aims to equip students with knowledge surrounding player and coach learning. The module aims to appraise traditional and contemporary learning theory and apply such information to a variety of football settings and landscapes. The idea being to produce coaches who are able to create potent learning environments that are theoretically underpinned. 

  • Curriculum Design and contemporary Player Development (20 credits)

This module is led by Grant Kalahar. With player development being an ever more debated topic, this module aims to appraise a variety of approaches to both training and playing curriculum design, whilst also appraising contemporary approaches to development. In order to enhance industry relevance, this module also aims to share insights and approaches from the field and the contemporary nature of this module requires students to approach content with an open mind and indeed position the knowledge exchanged within their own philosophy. This module seeks to challenge existing beliefs and practices in pursuit of a more evidence-based player development methodology. 

 

Full time students - Year 2

  • Advanced Coaching Practice (UEFA A) (60 credits)

The module is led by Professor Brendan Cropley and aims to develop an enhanced awareness of Individual and team performance through a range of advanced coaching methods. To successfully develop the necessary skills to allow effective evaluation of Individual & team requirements for sustained optimal performance.  Develop a critical understanding of the role, scope and value of the coaching process and the application of key coaching principles. To develop a heightened understanding of key management related issues, applied to a variety of roles within the football industry.

Or choose 3 from 4 modules

  • Effective Coaching (20 credits)

This module is led by Melanie Tuckwell and aims to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of critical self-reflective skills through the use of video analysis. The ability to analyse and identify key coaching styles, behaviours and feedback techniques required in advanced coaching situations. In addition, students will develop an in depth understanding of the interdisciplinary approaches that contribute to the coaching process, including their ability to recognise and develop current coaching practice and coaching philosophy. 

  • Periodisation in Football: Player Performance & Development (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr David Adams. With the ever-increasing demands placed on industry professionals to plan and schedule training with appropriate knowledge of recovery, loading and tapering for competition, this module has been developed to ensure this understanding is framed to provide the requisite knowledge in order to prepare athletes for high performance. Similarly, this module also respects how this scheduling and specific approaches to periodisation can be applied to ensure effective transition of a player throughout a player development programme. 

  • Analysis of Performance and Tactical (20 credits)

This module is led by Benjamin Stanway. This module aims to provide students with the skills required to analyse football practice through computerised means. In keeping with the demands of advanced coaching practice, this module also seeks to develop a refined understanding of tactical approaches both developing game intelligence and informed football recruitment.

  • Leading People in Sport  (20 credits)

This module is led by Tom Overton and aims to introduce students to effective leadership concepts with practical application of the skills and knowledge required within contemporary sports organisations. Explore the nature of leadership and the wide-ranging organisational factors that impact on leadership approaches. Debate differences between management and leadership and the role they play in sport. 

And

  • Research process (20 credits)

This module aims to develop the student's ability to understand research design in accord with principles of methodological rigour.  The student to engage in the research process from conceptualisation to dissemination.  Appreciate the ethical issues associated with different forms of research and the researcher’s responsibility for good ethics governance.  Recognise and critically interpret the strengths and limitations of the different quantitative and qualitative research designs used in sport and exercise research. 

  • Research Project (40 credits)

This module is led by Melanie Tuckwell, and aims to enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to produce a scholarly, in-depth, empirical research study, resource, or report. 

 

Part time students – Year 1 

  • The Football Coach as Psychologist (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr Lee Baldock will focus on the coach’s role in developing the psychological aspects of their players’ performance as well as how they must personally consider and develop their own psychological states that facilitate personal and professional functioning. Through a critical analysis and discussion of the extant literature and the applied experiences of tutors and learners working in collaboration, learners will be challenged to reflect on and question the normative language concerning psychology in football and reassess their role in addressing this aspect of performance. Finally, building on the research expertise at USW, learners will be asked to reflect on their own psychological performance to better understand the importance of coping to manage the stress process and maintain their own well-being. 

  • Pedagogy in Football (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr Lee Baldock and aims to equip students with knowledge surrounding player and coach learning. The module aims to appraise traditional and contemporary learning theory and apply such information to a variety of football settings and landscapes. The idea being to produce coaches who are able to create potent learning environments that are theoretically underpinned. 

  • Curriculum Design and contemporary Player Development (20 credits)

This module is led by Grant Kalahar. With player development being an ever more debated topic, this module aims to appraise a variety of approaches to both training and playing curriculum design, whilst also appraising contemporary approaches to development. In order to enhance industry relevance, this module also aims to share insights and approaches from the field and the contemporary nature of this module requires students to approach content with an open mind and indeed position the knowledge exchanged within their own philosophy. This module seeks to challenge existing beliefs and practices in pursuit of a more evidence-based player development methodology. 

Year 2

  • Advanced Coaching Practice (UEFA A) (60 credits)

The module is led by Professor Brendan Cropley and aims to develop an enhanced awareness of Individual and team performance through a range of advanced coaching methods. To successfully develop the necessary skills to allow effective evaluation of Individual & team requirements for sustained optimal performance.  Develop a critical understanding of the role, scope and value of the coaching process and the application of key coaching principles. To develop a heightened understanding of key management related issues, applied to a variety of roles within the football industry.

Or choose 3 from 4 modules

  • Effective Coaching (20 credits)

This module is led by Melanie Tuckwell and aims to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of critical self-reflective skills through the use of video analysis. The ability to analyse and identify key coaching styles, behaviours and feedback techniques required in advanced coaching situations. In addition, students will develop an in depth understanding of the interdisciplinary approaches that contribute to the coaching process, including their ability to recognise and develop current coaching practice and coaching philosophy. 

  • Periodisation in Football: Player Performance & Development (20 credits)

This module is led by Dr David Adams. With the ever-increasing demands placed on industry professionals to plan and schedule training with appropriate knowledge of recovery, loading and tapering for competition, this module has been developed to ensure this understanding is framed to provide the requisite knowledge in order to prepare athletes for high performance. Similarly, this module also respects how this scheduling and specific approaches to periodisation can be applied to ensure effective transition of a player throughout a player development programme. 

  • Analysis of Performance and Tactical (20 credits)

This module is led by Benjamin Stanway. This module aims to provide students with the skills required to analyse football practice through computerised means. In keeping with the demands of advanced coaching practice, this module also seeks to develop a refined understanding of tactical approaches both developing game intelligence and informed football recruitment.

  • Leading People in Sport  (20 credits)

This module is led by Tom Overton and aims to introduce students to effective leadership concepts with practical application of the skills and knowledge required within contemporary sports organisations. Explore the nature of leadership and the wide-ranging organisational factors that impact on leadership approaches. Debate differences between management and leadership and the role they play in sport. 

Year 3

  • Research Process (20 credits)

This module aims to develop the student's ability to understand research design in accord with principles of methodological rigour. The student to engage in the research process from conceptualisation to dissemination. Appreciate the ethical issues associated with different forms of research and the researcher’s responsibility for good ethics governance. Recognise and critically interpret the strengths and limitations of the different quantitative and qualitative research designs used in sport and exercise research. 

  • Research Project (40 credits)

This module is led by Melanie Tuckwell, and aims to enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to produce a scholarly, in-depth, empirical research study, resource, or report.

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Facilities

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)

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. 

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:  £10250

  • Full-time International:  £16000 

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 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.

* 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

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.

 

USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24

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.