Post- graduate





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Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Full-time: one year, Part-time: Minimum two years*

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The MSc Sports Coaching degree is the new programme developed to support the strategic objectives outlined in the UK Coaching Framework. Sports Coach UK have provided the strategy for the UK to be considered the number one coaching system in the World by 2016. Our challenge is to support this and produce postgraduates with a high degree of knowledge and understanding so that they can challenge and innovate their own coaching practice. This will require knowledge of leadership, communication, pedagogy, allied sport sciences and relevant management principles. Students will be afforded the opportunity to work in an environment relevant to their developmental needs. Our sports coaching 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.

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Entry Requirements

Students require a good honours degree (or equivalent) in which a major part of their studies has incorporated aspects of sports coaching or related disciplines (e.g. sport science). Other graduates who can demonstrate a commitment to the study of sport or who have significant experience in the sport industry will also be considered for entry. Students where English is not the first language need to demonstrate their ability in the English language through obtaining an IELTS score of 6.0 or above or equivalent.

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

Programme at a Glance

Modules studied

  • Philosophy to Practice (Compulsory) 40 Credits
  • Contemporary Practice in Sport (Compulsory) 40 Credits

  • Research Methods in Sport (Compulsory) 20 Credits
  • Analysis of Coaching and Performance  (Compulsory) 20 Credits

  • Dissertation for Sport (Compulsory) 60 Credits

Further Information

The full-time MSc in Sports Coaching course is a twelve month programme comprising of three parts. The first two parts are the taught element (running in semester 1: September to January and Semester 2: January to April) and the final part is the research element (Master Dissertation running May till August).  The taught element focuses on key aspects of sports coaching, where students are required to complete a reflective profile of evidence regarding personal and professional development.  For full-time students, the taught element is normally completed over a twelve-month period starting at the end of September. Part-time students will normally attend on a half a day per week basis and complete the taught element in two years. Students who complete the taught element of the programme, in part or in its entirety, may graduate with either a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Sports Coaching.

Students wishing to complete the MSc in Sports Coaching must complete the research element. The research element culminates with a dissertation. Full-time students will normally complete this in the four months (May-August) that follow the taught element, whilst part-time students will complete at the end of their second year (May-August) or during a third year of study (as required).

*Full-time: One year (one full day per week, taught sessions are usually on a Friday),
Part-time: Minimum two years (one half day per week, taught sessions are usually on a Friday (also available by blended learning)

Danny Massaro Sports Coaching

Are you thinking of studying a Masters in Sports Coaching at UCLan?
Find out more from our successful graduate Chris Brammall

Taught modules:

Philosophy to Practice This module examines the effects of our values and beliefs and how these translate into specific behaviours. Factors that influence self-awareness will be discussed in relation to personal philosophy and coaching behaviours. The module will also focus on leadership behaviour as well as communication and pedagogical tools for effective leadership. A key focus of this module will also be critical self-awareness theory and personal, professional development planning.  Students will be allocated a mentor to support with this process.

Coaching Contemporary Practice focuses on the mechanics of session design right through to the consideration of global periodised training systems. This is placed within the context of skill development. Moreover, talent recruitment and development form a significant proportion of the module, as well as effective planning and Delivery. The module will also explore coaching pedagogical issues relating to engagement and inclusion of individuals within teaching and coaching environments.

Analysis of Coaching and Performance provides a focus on performance analysis. This is referring not only to the performer that you are working with, but also personal performance as a coach/leader/manager. Such factors as interpersonal skills will be deconstructed and evaluated in relation to effective practice. The main focus however will be to critically review the industry standard equipment used for analysis of performance. Issues of the link between analysis and intervention planning will be explored.

This information can then be placed into context while students develop their own area of research interest while being supported though the research methods module.  This will culminate in a Masters dissertation.

"Overall the course has been the most valuable learning experience I have engaged in. This was not necessarily due to the content that was covered (although it was excellent) but down to the staff, their knowledge, experience and the learning environment that was created. I felt the assignments offered a good mixture of assessments and particularly thought the debate in the Coaching Environment module was a good idea."

Tomas Davis, Golf Coach / Senior Lecturer Golf Coaching and Performance

"I particularly learnt a lot about the coaching philosophy - the importance of having one. I have introduced this notion to my current organisation. I found the coaching philosophy module most useful. It has definitely had a huge impact on the way I coach and how effective I am. I would highly recommend the MA Sports Coaching course to every aspiring coach."

Gareth Haylins, Football Coach, Manchester City FC - China Schools Project

Academic expertise

We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions. All our dedicated staff are current practitioners, coach / teacher educators and research active. Please take a look at our staff profiles:

John Stoszkowski: Lecturer in Sports Coaching and Development. John joined the School of Sport and Health Sciences in 2010 from his role as Regional Coaching Development Manager at The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). At The PGA, John facilitated the implementation of a learner centred approach to player and coach development whilst developing the England Golf player development and talent pathway. He established county academies in 8 counties across the North of England and was also responsible for developing and managing a regional coach development, education, and mentoring programme in line with the National Club Coaching Programme. Prior to this, he was Regional Development Officer (North West of England) at The English Golf Union. John teaches on The Coaching Environment module.

Cliff Olsson: Senior Lecturer and Course Leader BA hons Sports Coaching. Cliff's main teaching responsibilities are in coaching practice and international development and aid. In addition to his main teaching responsibilities Cliff works closely with UK Sport as a Sport for Development Consultant and the Football Association delivering coach education programmes. Cliff delivers on Coaching from Philosophy to Practice and the Coaching Environment and supports students with dissertations and consultancy projects.

Clint Godfrey: Senior Lecturer and Course Leader BA hons Sports Development. Clint was previously employed for approximately six years within local authority sports development settings. His roles have ranged from community sports coaching to managing a sports development teams that had the specific responsibility for developing and providing opportunities for people to engage in sport and physical activity. From 2004 to 2007 he was employed as a Development Manager for Sport England. Clint's role included supporting various National Governing Bodies of sport with their CCDP National Investment Strategies and managing the Community Club Development Programme (CCDP) projects in the North-West. Clint leads the consultancy module and supports students with dissertations.

Bryan Jones: Bryan has been lecturing in higher education since 1994 in sports psychology and coaching. He has worked with a variety of sports performers and teams as a sport psychologist and strength and conditioning coach for the past 15 years. He has also worked as a coach in both a voluntary and professional capacity in a variety of sports including, hockey, volleyball, rugby league and weight lifting. He is a coach mentor to several elite coaches throughout the country. He worked for and on behalf of UK Sport, the Professional Footballers Association, the British Olympic Association and the Rugby Football League.

Craig Wright: Craig is responsible for the academic management and development of the MSc Sports Coaching programme within the Division of Sports Development and Coaching. His teaching and practitioner focus is in applied sports coaching and coaching science. This includes performance analysis, performance assessment, strength and conditioning. Within the school Craig has led on the use of coaching observational analysis, match and notational analysis and has established and supervised a number of student placements and internships with professional sports organisations across the northwest.

Daniel Massaro: Daniel contributes across a number of modules on the MSc programme. He has been teaching sports coaching related topics for 17 years and is a highly valued member of our team. Danny is currently a professional Squash coach and works at all levels including Elite. He coaches his wife who is currently World Number 2 and recently the first English winner of the British Open for 22 years. Danny has a portfolio of National level junior players who represent England in squash at U15, U17 and U19 levels. Danny also specialises as a psychologist for performers across many sports. He travels the world coaching at various events which brings up to date experience to his lecturing content. Danny is also a coach educator working alongside a number of UKCC level 4 coaches. Last year Danny was one of only five staff members from across the University to win an award for teaching from our Student Union. Danny is still a competitive squash player, competing for England over 35’s.

Andy Procter: Senior Lecturer and Course leader for Sports Coaching Top-up Programme. Andy contributes across a number of modules on the MSc programme. He specialises in the teaching of high performance related modules having spent 16 years playing and coaching rugby league at a professional level. He is also Head of Performance of the University's rugby league team tasked in taking them back to the highest level of student competition.

David Grecic: David joined the School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors in August 2008 having previously worked in a variety of sport and education settings for 15 years. He is an active coach in a variety of sports including rugby union, swimming and golf. It is here that his specialist interest lies and that drives his academic research.

For further course relented information please contact Dr Craig Wright Couse Leader cmwright1@uclan.ac.uk


How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

The School of Sport and Health Sciences has strong links with a large number of sports organisations, including professional sports teams, public and private sector sports providers and grassroots sports clubs. We regularly invite guest speakers from industry to speak to students within the modules on this course.

This represents a valuable opportunity for students to meet potential employers and learn about life in the sports industry. For example, we have had guest lectures given by representatives of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Lancashire Football Association, The Rugby Football League and Preston City Council.

The MSc Sports coaching also benefits from a number of unique opportunities within the school. Within the school there are strong links with The Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP) which is Chaired and Directed by David Collins. The school is also responsible the delivery for the PGDip in Elite Coaching (UKCC Level 4 Coach Education: Pentium Group). As both ICAP and PGDip are central to the school there are a number of opportunities to share current research and practice from within the elite coaching environment.

Learning Environment and Assessment

All face-to-face delivery will use several types of media to encourage learning. The main vehicles will be through seminars, debates, practical workshops and problem-based learning. This will be supported with some electronic learning activities and resources. Those who choose the blended mode of delivery will be taught through a combination of interactive electronic learning activities and face-to-face delivery on residential blocks (for example weekends).

The use of guest speakers on the course is designed to facilitate networking opportunities for students to meet with potential employers.

Every effort will be made to apply theory to practice, and in some cases, practice to theory. There will be a requirement for independent learning throughout the programme, culminating in the Dissertation.

There are no examinations on this course. Every effort has been made to ensure that assessments are relevant to the coaching sector. For example a reflective portfolio of current practice, coach reports, case study reports, debates, critical reflections and presentations are used throughout the programme.


As a student on Sports Coaching there will be many opportunities 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, including the USA and China, and if you want to study abroad we can arrange this for you through our International Student Exchange Programme (ISEP).

Graduate Careers

Graduates from the course have obtained positions within the public, private or voluntary sector of sport in a range of coach, coach development, coach education, coach mentoring, management and academic roles. Examples include:

  • Lecturers at FE/HE colleges: Myerscough College, Burnley College, Accrington and Rossendale College.
  • Football Coach / Coach Educator: Beijing International Junior Football League.
  • Norwich City Community Sports Foundation: Football Coach.
  • Head Coach Great Britain & England men's hockey team.
  • Performance Analyst: Preston North End Football Club / Blackburn Rovers Football Club / Fleetwood Town Football Club.
  • Cricket Coach at Twenty20 Cricket Company
  • Multi Sports Coach/Sports Co-ordinator for National Deaf Children Society.
  • Head Swim Coach / Coach Educator – North West Swimming.
  • National Player Development Manager, Rugby Football League.
  • England Regional Performance Coach with The Rugby Football League.
  • Lecturers at UCLan / Salford University
  • PhD Students at UCLan

Progression Routes

A number of graduates progress into roles in local county, city council sport development programmes or sports management positions. A high proportion of students also progress onto teaching and support roles in secondary, FE and HE institutes. Some students progress into support roles at high performance sports clubs as coaching staff and performance analysts. A suitable progression would also be into a research role, such as PhDs and professional doctorates.

With a Masters often cited as a pre-requisite for jobs such as those at EIS, it has undoubtedly helped from that perspective. The content itself has changed both my understanding of coaching from a theoretical perspective and also heavily influenced the way I coach. A fantastic and well developed course I would recommend to others (and have done).

Andy Hill