Sports Coaching and Development

Sports Coaching and Development BA (Hons)

Our sports coaching and development programme is designed to provide students with the skills, experiences and networks that will establish our graduates at the forefront of sport coaching and development practice. The programme is rooted in applied practice by linking theory to practice and provides many opportunities for students to apply their skills in real world contexts across a range of contexts both in the UK and abroad.

The course has been designed to allow students to choose options that reflect their personal interests and aspirations and allow flexibility between Sports Coaching and Development and Sports Coaching and Performance.

Our focus is on learning not testing, therefore we have no formal examinations but an emphasis on developing independent, resourceful, problems solving coaches who have developed transferable skills that can be applied across many contexts. 

Key Information

  • Duration:

    3 Years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston and Burnley (Campus code: Preston: U, Burnley: A)

  • Start Date:


  • Sport And Exercise Sciences at UCLan is 3rd in the North West for learning opportunities - National Student Survey 2019.
  • This course is endorsed by CIMSPA to meet its Coach professional standards.
  • The programmes are supported by our Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP) and its world renowned practitioners and consultants.
  • We have extensive links with a range of employers both in the UK and abroad that include the USA and China so that you can study abroad.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • The Development Environment
  • Coaching Toolkit
  • Improving Performance

Year 2

  • School and Community Sports Development
  • The Reflective Coach
  • Research and Enterprise for Sport

Minimum of 1 option from:

  • Sport and International Development
  • Coaching Practice Experience
  • Performance Enhancement

Maximum of 1 option from:

  • Talent Pathways
  • Applied Performance Analysis

Burnley Campus Modules

  • Research and Enterprise for Sport
  • The Reflective Coach
  • School and Community Sports Development
  • Performance Enhancement for Sport
  • Applied Technology in Sport

Year 3

  • Research Project OR Consultancy Project OR Entrepreneurship and Enterprise for Sport, Health and Wellbeing
  • The Critically Reflective Coach
  • Developing Sport in Practice



More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our online events Find out more about our online events

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit - Distinction, Distinction, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction* Distinction - Distinction* Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 106 - 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, industry professional qualifications, relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are welcome and considered on an individual basis.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

Sports Coaching

UCLan Sport Coaching Students working on a sports for development project in Zambia supporting the Sport In Action

The programme covers a range of contemporary issues relating to the planning, programming and delivery of sports coaching and development in the UK and abroad. Throughout this course, emphasis is placed on developing your professional skills, academic skills and the knowledge that is essential for a career in the sports coaching and development industry. Additionally, emphasis is placed on supplementing the teaching with real world practical experiences and opportunities.

To ensure that you have a good understanding of the sports coaching and development sector, you are introduced to the key concepts and components of the profession and encouraged to develop your own networks to establish yourself as a developing professional. There are opportunities for you to utilize paid and voluntary placements to claim academic credit and gain much valued experience.  Those students at this point in the programme that are hoping to pursue a career in the sport and education sector can tailor their work towards developing their skills and experiences in this area.

You will expand your knowledge, understanding and experience of the sports sector through a range of modules such as School and Community Development and The Reflective Coach.  A range of optional modules are also available exploring a range of coaching and development topics such as: Sport for International Development, Coaching Practice Experience, Talent Pathways and Applied Performance Analysis. By now your degree will start to take shape in a way that fits your longer term goals. You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a 12-month sandwich placement with a sports organisation at home or overseas. Using the optional placement year extends the development of a professional approach and the successes after graduation.


In your final year you will build upon your academic and vocational skills through the compulsory modules in coaching and development and demonstrate your ability to work independently   and professionally by engaging in an independent research study.

Graduates from the UCLan Sport programmes have traditionally entered a range of professions that include, Community Sport Coaching Officers, Physical Education Teachers, Sports Development Managers , Match Analysts,  etc.  The range of skills that are acquired through the programme ensures that students are equipped to work in a wide range of contexts and are fit to enter the work place immediately.

To the left: Sports Coaching Students experiencing high performance training and testing environments

We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions. Please take a look at our staff profiles: Craig WrightCliff OlssonDr Clive PalmerSean BurgessAndrew ProcterBryan JonesRobin Taylor, Matthew Crowther and Leona Trimble.

Exciting Opportunities

  • UCLan Sport for Development Project, Zambia
  • International Student Exchange Programme
  • Cyprus Campus Study
  • American University of Sharjah Internships, Dubai
  • Manchester City FC, China Project
  • Challenger Soccer Camps, USA
  • British Soccer: Russia

Our graduates have gone into careers in sports coaching, sports development, teaching, lecturing, health and social work, fitness training, community coaching, sports performance analysis and research.

For detailed case studies please visit our blog.

Masters Programme, PhD, Professional Doctorates.
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching
Graduate training programmes

The Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre (PSC)

The Sir Tom Finney Preston Soccer Centre (PSC) is in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the UCLan Students’ Union, has grown from a charity providing football coaching to 4 to 16-year-olds, including disabled children, into a full functioning club with several age group teams from under sevens up to and including under 14s. Based at UCLan Sports Arena, it also boasts two women’s open age teams, an adult men’s team and four disabled men’s teams. The Soccer Centre also provides football coaching sessions for homeless people.


Professional Accreditation                              

You’ll receive membership of CIMSPA – the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity – as part of the course. This allows you to attend seminars and meetings, where you learn more about the industry, in practice, and enhances employability.

CIMSPA Endorsed

UK Coaching logo

Great Industry Links

As a student on Sports Coaching and Development there will be many opportunities to for you to engage with industry practitioners. These include professional sports clubs, local authorities, international sports agencies and national governing bodies.  In addition, we have many industry practitioners making a contribution to our modules throughout the programme.

We have extensive links with a range of employers both in the UK and abroad that include the USA and China and if you want to study abroad we can arrange this for you through our International Student exchange programme (ISEP).

Careers Map

View our interactive map for guidance on progressing in a career in Sport.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Teaching on the course will consist of lectures, workshops, seminars, case studies and these will be supplemented by self-directed learning. There will be opportunities to visit local, national and international sports related projects/initiatives.

You will face a variety of assessments which is predominantly coursework based and includes essays, reports, presentations, group work, e-portfolios and project based work.

Across your degree programme students will be provided with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, understanding and awareness of mental health and its relevance to the sporting landscape

Our News

Degree success for Rochdale student who fled Afghanistan as a child
Rochdale student has achieved his education dreams 10 years after risking his life to flee Afghanistan in search of a better life.

Emma is at start line for successful teaching career
Emma Hargreaves, from Leyland, has collected her BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching degree at UCLan after spending two years as a partnership student at Runshaw College and completed her top-up year in Preston.

Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre (Preston Campus)

UCLan Sports Arena (Preston Campus)

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Gregory Ryder

Gregory Ryder

BA (Hons) Sports Coaching Practice, 2014

UCLan Sports Coaching Practice graduate, Gregory Ryder, has fulfilled his sporting ambition to take up Athletics Director role at BASIS International School in Shenzhen, China. Gregory followed his passion for sport and chose to study at UCLan because “UCLan not only offered brilliant links with local teams and clubs within the North West, but their links with international summer placements really stood out.”

Sarah Nickless

Sarah Nickless

BA (Hons) Sports Coaching, 2015

UCLan graduate, Sarah Nickless, has achieved success following her Sports Coaching degree to become a Football Development Officer at Somerset Football Association

Whilst Sarah was at college, she chose to pursue Sports Coaching for her undergraduate studies as she enjoyed coaching a local grassroots football team.

Caitlin Walker

Caitlin Walker

MA Physical Education and School Sport Student

UCLan Sports Coaching Graduate, Caitlin Walker, has recently completed the FA level 1 in Coaching Goalkeepers and impressed enough on the course that she was offered the chance of a placement where she will be mentored by Blackburn Rovers RTC Goalkeeper Coach, Kristian Whalley, and will have access to CPD events throughout the year.

Jayne Emmington

Jayne Emmington

UCLan Sport graduate becomes highest ranking Yoshinkan aikido female in the north of England

Jayne Emmington is celebrating being awarded the fourth Dan status in the Japanese martial art, Yoshinkan aikido.

The MA Physical Education and School Sport graduate has also has been awarded the instructors’ certificate, which recognises her as a teacher of the art and gives her the ability to award rank to the level of second Dan.

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Sport and Health Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.