Sports Coaching and Performance

Sports Coaching and Performance BSc (Hons)

Our sports coaching and performance programme is designed to provide students with the skills, experiences and networks that will establish our graduates at the forefront of coaching 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 professional and amateur sport 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 Spots Coaching and Performance and Sports Coaching and Development.

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 full-time

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Sport And Exercise Sciences at UCLan is 3rd in the North West for learning opportunities - National Student Survey 2019.
  • Previous UCLan Sports Coaching graduates currently work for a wide variety of professional sports clubs across the UK and abroad.
  • Our great industry links provide you with opportunities to engage with industry practitioners in the UK and abroad.
  • This course is endorsed by CIMSPA to meet its Coach professional standards.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Improving Performance
  • Coaching Toolkit
  • The Development Environment

Year 2

  • The Reflective Coach
  • Research and Enterprise for Sport

Minimum of 2 options from:

  • Talent Pathways
  • Performance Enhancement
  • Applied Performance Analysis
  • Coaching Practice Experience I

Maximum of 1 option from:

  • Sport and International Development
  • School and Community Sports Development

Year 3

  • Research Project


  • Consultancy Project


  • Entrepreneurship and Enterprise for Sport
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • The Critically Reflective Coach

Options from:

  • The Performance Environment
  • Applied Performance Analysis for High Performance Sport
  • Talent Development Systems
  • Coaching Practice Experience II

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

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

104-112 UCAS points at A2
BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit - Distinction, Distinction, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction* Distinction - Distinction* Distinction*
Pass access to HE with 106-112 Points
International Baccalaureate 104-112 P
GCSE 5 at Grade C/4 including Maths and English or equivalent
IELTS 6.0 with no Component lower than 5.5

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 students

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

sports coaching st georges

Sports Coaching Students experiencing high performance training and testing environments

The programme covers a range of physical, technical and psychological elements that underpin performance coaching by providing opportunities for students to understand and acquire the skills of a performance coach.  Throughout this course, there is focus on developing your professional and academic skills in addition to the knowledge that is essential for a career in the performance coaching. 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 performance, you are introduced to the key concepts and components of the profession and encouraged to apply theory to practice at all times. There are opportunities for you to utilize paid and voluntary placements to claim academic credit and gain much valued experience.  Year one follows a generic programme of study that provides a platform for students to tailor their studies toward their own interests and aspirations.

You will expand your knowledge, understanding and experience of the sports coaching performance sector through a range of modules such as 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, The Performance environment, 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 performance coaching 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.

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 Wright, Cliff Olsson, Dr Clive Palmer, Sean Burgess, Andrew Procter, Bryan Jones.

dotted line

Career Paths

Performance Sports Coach | Performance Analyst | Technical Scout | Player Recruitment Manager | National Talent/Competition Manager | PE Teacher

Case Study

Patrick McElwee

Sports Coaching and Performance student, Patrick McElwee, made his first appearance for Gibraltar under-21s in their match at the Ammochostos Stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus, where they narrowly lost 1-0 in the Group 7 match.

dotted line

sports coaching students

Professional Accreditation

CIMSPA Endorsed

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.

sports coaching students

dotted line

Exciting Opportunities

You’ll have the opportunity to work with professional sports organisations and clubs; to undertake work experience or research opportunities at home or abroad. Via our student exchange programmes you could study part of your programme in the USA, Italy, Spain or France. You could also be part of our flagship sport for international development programme in Zambia working with peer leaders to make a difference to young people’s lives through sport.

Our Industry Links

As a student on Sports Coaching and Performance 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. WE have many industry practitioners making a contribution to our modules. 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).

dotted line

UCLan Sports Arena

Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre

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.

  • 'UCLan Sport for Development Project in Zambia' is part of the Sport and International Development module.
  • Visits to St Georges Park, home of the FA. 

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.

Course Enquiries

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

Lewis Childs

Lewis Childs


Lewis Childs has his dream career: working for his hometown football team, Premier League giants Manchester City, as Football Delivery Manager at the Club’s base in Abu Dhabi. It was at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where Lewis’ journey began.

Jason Todd

Jason Todd

BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching & Performance, 2012

Getting the job at the FA is a huge highlight and without UCLan that wouldn’t have been possible, the University has given me the basic fundamentals of what my job is. Without the core work that I did here, I don’t think I would’ve been able to go on and do what I do now.

Aaron Briggs

Aaron Briggs

BA (Hons) Sports Coaching, 2008

From studying Sports Coaching and taking advantage of work experience, Aaron’s career has gone from strength to strength where he now leads the Academy Performance Analyst Department for Manchester City FC.

Benefitting from the work experience available to him at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Aaron was working part-time with Preston North End’s first team in his final year, when he was offered a full-time contract after graduating.

Liam Sweeting

Liam Sweeting

BA (Hons) Sport Coaching, 2013

Liam always had an interest in coaching football as a career so decided to study at UCLan because of the solid links between the University and many football clubs in the North West. He was also impressed by the international summer placements on offer.

During his degree, Liam opted to do a 12-month industry placement where he worked at Blackpool Football Club as their First Team Performance Analyst.

John McGuigan

John McGuigan

BA (Hons) Sports Coaching, 2008

UCLan Sports Coaching graduate, John McGuigan, has boosted his career with a performance analysis role at Hudl.

John McGuigan chose to study BA (Hons) Sports Coaching at UCLan due to his passion for sport as well as the mix of academic and practical-based learning and the good industry links that the course offered.

After graduating from the University in 2008, John fulfilled analysis roles with Blackpool Football Club, the English Football Association, Manchester City Football Club and Ghana Football Association. He also did some part-time coaching and teaching in further education colleges.

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.