MSc Sports Development & Coaching
School of Sport, Ulster University
Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
equipping me with research skills which lead to the publication of a number of academic papers and a qualification which were both essential criteria for my current post. My positive experience with this Ulster programme had a significant influence on my decision to apply for an academic post.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
The opportunity to develop my knowledge and understanding of the research process through engagement in an independent research project.
This experience had a significant impact within my industry role (Performance Systems Manager, Sport Northern Ireland). In particular enhancing my critical thinking and evaluation skills, establishing a more evidence based approach to decision making and providing a more in-depth critical perspective on the role of elite sport.
How placement enhanced my employability
Work experience within the sports development industry was an essential factor in making me more employable for my current post. The opportunities work experience provided enabled me to build practical front line experience of sports development across participation, coaching and performance. This experience has proved invaluable to me.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- Transition from a local council Sports Development Officer to a national role in coaching development. This enabled me to gain experience of developing national strategies, influencing policy development and delivering programmes / initiatives across a whole country.
- Promotion to the role of Performance Systems Manager with Sport Northern Ireland. Central to this role was the development and implementation of strategies and polices with an all Ireland and UK dimension harnassing partnerships with other national development agencies such as UK Sport and Sport Ireland.
- Completion of a MSc in Sports Development and Coaching at Ulster University. This provided an insight into higher education and the motivation to apply for a lecturing post.
What would your advice to students be?
Work experience in the career you want to follow is essential. Develop a philosophy which will come to define your approach to your intended career, be prepared to have this challenged, seek advice from experienced practitioners to evolve it and review it based on your experiences.
Finally, have fun!