Football Coaching and Business Management
BSc (Hons)

2021/22 Part-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Sport


Off Campus

Start date:

September 2021


‘to lead, inspire and shape the future of football by creating industry ready graduates.


The football course offers a combination of football coaching and business management content. This unique course stimulates learning as part of an innovative curriculum taught at the inspiring National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

Delivered through a unique academic and industry partnership formed between Ulster University and the Irish Football Association. Designed to create industry ready graduates who can apply theory to practical situations. Producing the next generation of football industry leaders through a programme which will both challenge and support students.

All students will complete a minimum of UEFA B licence embedded within the course and inclusive of cost.

This fast track programme enables students to combine academic education with employment.

A supervised internship with the Irish FA is available to all students to provide access to opportunities within the football industry. This involves a variety of options such as grassroots or elite coaching, match day operations, logistics, coach education or football development.

Those with prior or existing experience can continue in their own employment while following the academic study.

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About this course


We deliver face to face teaching over intensive weekly blocks during the year. You will complete four modules each year, with each module being delivered over a two week period 9-5 each day. You will then be supported through online tutorials and work based learning.

On typical day on the course.a guest speaker from the world of football will present a practical case study, followed by university sports tutors who will deliver the theory behind the case study, we then consider the learning poiints fthrough group work and personal reflection.

This structure enables you to continue in full time employment while fast tracking through the degree programme.

A further work based learning internship is available for you to build experience and relationships within the Irish FA, creating a full time learning environment.

Structure and content

Internship– within the football industry facilitating opportunities

with the international team and Northern Ireland Premier League clubs playing in

Champions league or Europa league, as well as study abroad and global

placements. This can be offered on a part time throughout the duration of the degree

programme, project based or a full time basis.

  • Network–Access to an exclusive collection of leading industry professionals through guest lectures and networking events., internships and networking events.
  • Underpinning knowledge–The content of the course is informed by relevant research in the area of coaching and business management. Promoting application of theory in practice. Includes study exchange to a leading European football body or club (cost included in the fee).
  • Industry qualifications–Students will undertake a minimum of UEFA B licence as part of their accredited studies (cost included in the fee).
  • Inspirational Industry leaderssuch as the International Manager, Organisation CEO, Directors and key stakeholders in the global football industry.
  • Student Experience–As a student of Ulster University you will have access to all the benefits a leading University offers, with more than 70 sporting clubs offering social and competitive playing opportunities.

Transforming lives, stretching minds, developing skills and raising ambitions.


The course is delivered through an intensive block teaching involving four modules spread across the academic year each lasting one week, supplemented with on line tutorials and work based learning.This structure enables students to continue in full time employment then travel to Ulster for each week of study.

A typical day on the course.will involve a practical case study presented by inspiring industry leaders, underpinning theory presented by University sports lecturers, peer learning and reflection in groups.

Start dates

  • September 2021

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course is taught in blocks with assessment and feedback built around constructive alignment theory.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching will be based on a block teaching model, based on direct contact through the use

of lectures; seminars; tutorials; group work; supported elearning; case studies, practicals and

experiential learning. The course will provide access to relevant environments within the

football industry as a means of providing case study examples with supported elearning,

directed and self directed reading to supplement the learning and teaching process.

Assessment Methods

Assessments will be adopted to support the learning process and will involve: Essays; case

study reports; research reports; class tests, critical reviews; reflective logs; oral presentations; multimedia presentations and peer assessments.

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    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Football Operations Management

Year: 1

The aim of this module is to provide a general introduction to the growing internationalization of the football business. Central to this is the development of the student's business skills and acumen.

Introduction to Coaching Practice

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to the best practice principles of coaching in relevant contexts. It will involve the application of basic theory into a practical context.

Foundation Principles for Learning

Year: 1

This module will assist first-year students to prepare for success in their university studies and success in the planning of their future careers.

Sport Policy and Governance

Year: 1

This module will provide students with a clear understanding of how sport is managed, administered and delivered and will underpin teaching in a number of related modules that students will encounter within the programme of study. It will examine fundamental concepts of sports management, strategic planning, sports development and sport for development and will highlight the key role of government in the implementation of sports policy.

Year two

Leading and Managing People in Football

Year: 2

Through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminar sessions, students will understand the theoretical and practical importance of innovative leadership practice and sports psychology in leading teams and individuals to enhancing performance.

Football Fitness and Conditioning

Year: 2

This module will provide students with the principles needed to devise strength and conditioning programmes for athletes involved in team sports. Students will develop the practical skills and knowledge required to develop strength and conditioning through formal and informal learning opportunities.

Beyond the strategic objective of the School of Sport , this module is underpinned by a number of key developments

• Sport Matters (DCAL, 2008) recognises the importance of a qualified, competent and available workforce (paid and voluntary) is a key development input to the realisation of the Strategy vision.

• The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation 2007-2017 highlights the role of higher education in developing the human resources required to meet the ever changing and expanding demands of the sports industry. In particular, the strategy highlights the role of Higher Education as a 'training ground' for the next generation of sports administrators, coaches, sports development officers and physical educators

Performance Analysis

Year: 2

This module will provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts underlying notational analysis systems .It will also provide practical skills to help them provide analysis that can be applied to a practical coaching and service provider environment to enhance the coaching process.

Football Development and Management

Year: 2

This module provides students with theoretical knowledge of the football and wider sports industries as well as case study examples and guest lectures from the football industry to allow the students to appreciate the management of football/sports development work in practice.

Year three

Reflective Practice

Year: 3

This module will provide students with an opportunity to critically reflect upon their coaching practice while using action research to examine how academic knowledge and theory can be applied in a practical setting. The module allows students to demonstrate knowledge and skills that have been acquired in the course of their studies, building upon experiences throughout the programme.

Football Principles and Practice

Year: 3

Through a series of lectures, tutor-led and participant led practical sessions students will develop a clear understanding of the essential components of safe and effective coaching methodology and develop competence in planning, implementing and evaluating effective coaching programmes at both participation and developmental level.

Physical Education: Theory and Practice

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module introduces the student to the factors and policies which impact the design and delivery of physical education in schools at home and aborad and theories that underpin effective learning and teaching in key stages 1 and 2 and 3. Students are given the opportunity to discuss and apply theory to practice in practical teaching scenarios in seminars, workshops and micro teaches/practicals.

Coaching Science

Year: 3

This module is optional

This module will provide students with the knowledge required to evaluate the impact of sports science theories, principles and concepts on sporting performance and how these can be applied to a practical coaching environment.

Year four

Football Tactics and Strategy

Year: 4

Through a series of lectures, seminars tutor-led and participant led practical sessions students will develop a clear understanding of the essential components of safe and effective football coaching methodology and develop competence in planning, implementing and evaluating effective coaching programmes at participation, developmental and performance levels.

Athlete and Performance Monitoring

Year: 4

This module will explore the link between research- and science-based concepts of athlete monitoring with practical strategies to use with athletes and clients.

Sports Strategy and Business Management

Year: 4

This module explores the background, principles and practices of the strategic management process, which organisations with the football industry employ to ensure competitive advantage over their competitors. Comparisons are made to the broader sports industry and business environment to identify unique practices and structures within football. The module is designed to ensure the students gain the underpinning knowledge and competencies to become potential managers in the fastest growing global industry of the 21st Century.

Advanced Sports Development

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module is primarily concerned with investigating the evolution of sports development and examining the many different strands of the profession. The module will also highlight the role of government and key agencies in the formulation of policy and strategies that impact upon the sports development domain and seek to develop key vocational and entrepreneurial skills.

Advanced Physical Education and School Sport

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will involve students in the critical appraisal of recent research and educational policy and initiatives and their impact on the subject area of physical education and school sport and its effective delivery in the school context.

Year five

Research Project in Sports Coaching

Year: 5

This module enables students to enhance their theoretical and empirical understanding of the research process as it applies to sport. In so doing, it demonstrates the critical relevance of evidence-based practice to sport.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBC to include at least one subject from History, Psychology, PE, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Business Studies or Sport Studies although entry requirements can vary from year to year but a minimum achievement of BBC in three A levels is required.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DDD in a relevant subject.


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DMM in a relevant subject.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:

A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate

A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of four subjects at Higher level and one subject at Ordinary level. Higher level subjects must include two from History, History, Psychology, PE, Politics, Sociology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Business Studies or Sport Studies. The overall profile must also include English and Mathematics minimum H6 at Higher Level or Grade O4 at Ordinary level

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 63% in a relevant area.


GCSE Profile to include: English language, mathematics and a science subject at grade C/4. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an alternative to GCSE mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by (

Nepal flagAdditional information for students from Nepal


Each programme will have slightly different requirements, both in terms of overall points and certain subjects, so please check the relevant subject in the undergraduate on-line prospectus.

Normally Ulster University welcomes applications from students with:


For entry to undergraduate courses:

The minimum requirement is School Leaving Certificate Examination (Grade XI and XII) with overall 60% (GPA 2.8) to include a minimum of 5 subjects

GCSE Maths requirement- Secondary Education Certificate (Grade X) Mathematics

Equivalent to a Grade C- Grade C+

Equivalent to Grade B- Grade B

Proficiency Certificate with an overall average of 50%
Diploma from Tribhuvan University.

View more information for students from Nepal  

Careers & opportunities

Career options

The Football industry is a £8 billion industry offering a variety of opportunities both locally and globally. The transferable skills developed as part of the course opens a range of additional options for graduates in coaching or business.

Work placement / study abroad

You will have the opportunity to take part in a range of work based learning within the football industry. Opportunities are available to work with the international team and Northern Ireland Premier League clubs playing in Champions league or Europa league, as well as study abroad and global placements.

This can be offered on a part time throughout the duration of the degree or thorughout the duration of the degree programme to create a full time environment.


Start dates

  • September 2021


Admissions contact regarding application process:

Julie Nesbitt

T: +44(0)28 9036 6192


Course Director regarding content of course:

Dr Kyle Ferguson

T: +44(0)28 9036 6623


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Sport


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