Postgraduate Certificate Personal Development in Sport

Our course will provide an innovative curriculum which covers aspects of elite performers (athletes / players / coaches / support staff etc) transitions, career development and communication skills for elite sports people pre and post career. An increased emphasis in today’s elite sport environment is the required support that athletes / players / coaches / support staff need in relation to personal and career development, that compliments other performance services received.  

Those in the industry require an understanding of the impact personal development can have on enhancing performance and preparing individuals for life during participation and subsequent discontinuation from the sport.

The integration of theory and practice is delivered by experts in the field of Personal Development in Sport, the course offers access to rarely-shared knowledge, and will enhance your employability and professional development.

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2021/22 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 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through 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. 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
Part-time 1 Year January Glyntaff A

The Postgraduate Certificate Personal Development in Sport is based on three modules:-

Career Transition in Sport

The module will enhance the students’ knowledge and understanding of the history and background of career transitions in sport including analysing lifestyle management & personal development needs. Provide opportunity to develop knowledge competencies and skills in the theory, research and integrated approach of athlete transition processes. Identify and critically appraise transitions that an athlete can face during their career and the main factors and behaviours that can influence transitions and their outcomes.

Understanding Personal Development in Sport

The module will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the role personal development plays in sport (for participants and support staff). Enable students to recognise and understand the benefits of personal development in sport. To research and plan personal development interventions to assist the player / athlete to achieve their performance and post participation career. To develop the students’ knowledge of the various methods, strategies and impact of personal development for the sport.

Mentoring in Sport

The module will enable students to explore current mentoring philosophies in order to provide a holistic view of mentoring delivery. Enable students to understand and explore the difference between the role of a mentor / coach and develop dynamic and reciprocal relationships within the working sporting environment that is required. Recognise and appreciate the need for mentoring within sport and management contexts, develop the skills necessary for mentoring and apply them in a diverse non-judgemental environment. Ensure that students are provided with and develop the strategies required to meet the outcomes of the mentees and their environment.


Learning and teaching methods include lectures, interactive workshops, practical sessions, guest lectures (from industry professionals), debates and tutorials. This range of teaching and learning approaches ensures that you gain a wide variety of skills. 

It is very much focused on gaining the students' views and experiences to guide the group’s learning. All content will be applied in a sporting context to aid learning, and provide practical ideas and solutions that students can take back to the workplace or apply in the industry.

Most lectures will be fairly small groups (10-25) 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 student will be expected to attend lectures (time varies dependent on module) but will normally be about 24 hours of contact time per module. Additional hours of study expected will depend on the student and their level of understanding of the subject material.

Lectures are either block delivery (module covered in a single three-day block, Monday to Wednesday, 9-5pm). A draft timetable can be requested from the course leader Melanie Tuckwell.


Each module will have 1 piece of coursework equivalent to 6000 words either a Case Study or Portfolio depending on module. These have been chosen to ensure that you develop a number of different skills to be able to utilise in the industry


USW Sport Park is 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. 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.


Melanie Tuckwell, course leader

Entrance to the course normally requires an Honours degree classification of at least a 2:2 in a relevant subject/or extensive experience considered by the Course Leader.



International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications who are looking for strength and conditioning courses UK. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.


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

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

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.

This courses is aimed at students with an interest or working in Personal Development in Sport. This course will provide an innovative curriculum which covers aspects of elite athlete transitions, career development and communication skills for elite sports people pre, during and post career. An increased emphasis in today’s elite sport environment is the required support that athletes / coaches / support staff need in relation to personal and career development, that compliments other performance services received.

The Postgraduate Certificate Personal Development in Sport provides advanced skills and knowledge which prepares students to excel in the following roles:

  • Performance Directors
  • Academy Directors
  • Personal Development Officers
  • Athlete Lifestyle Officers
  • Player Liaison Officers
  • Player Welfare Officers
  • Player Care Officers

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.