Football Coaching and Business Management

BSc (Hons)

2022/23 Part-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Sport


Off Campus

Start date:

September 2022

With this degree you could become:

  • Coach
  • Development Manager
  • Development Officer
  • Director of Sport
  • Education Manager
  • Performance Analyst
  • Physical Education Teacher

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Education Sector
  • FIFA
  • Governing Bodies
  • Local Authorities
  • UEFA


To lead, inspire and shape the next generation of football leaders.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible.

In addition it undertakes formal periodic review of courses in a process called 'revalidation’ to ensure that they continue to meet standards and are current and relevant.

This course will be revalidated in the near future and it is possible that there will be some changes to the course as described in this prospectus.


The BSc Hons Football coaching and Business Management degree is a unique course stimulating 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 (inclusive of UEFA coaching awards). 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

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About this course


The course is delivered through intensive block teaching involving four modules spread across the academic year each lasting one week, supplemented with online tutorials and work based learning. This structure enables students to continue in full time employment or faciliated internships alongside 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 group reflective practice.

Structure and content

  • Internship– 26 week 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, project based or 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 UEFAB 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 face to face block teaching involving four modules spread across the academic year each lasting one week, supplemented with online 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 2022

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The course is taught in blocks with assessment and feedback built around constructive alignment theory. In general each module includes two forms of assessment (practical, presentation of written).

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.

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.

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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

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) by Advanced HE - 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.

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 2021-2022.


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

Applied Coaching Principles

Year: 3

Through a series of lectures, workshops, tutor-led and participant led practical sessions students will develop a clear understanding of the essential components of the coaching process in addition, develop competence in planning, implementing and evaluating effective coaching sessions.

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.

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, educational policy and education 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, 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.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency


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

As an alternative:

(a) Provide evidence of your ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL).


(b) Have gained a Certificate of Higher Education or an equivalent standard in an approved alternative qualification related to sport or business studies,

Minimum requirement alongside option A or B is GCSE grade C Mathematics

Interviews may be part of the selection process.

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

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of Ulster University for modules amount to at least the final 50% of the credit value of the award at the highest level.

Careers & opportunities

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Education Sector
  • FIFA
  • Governing Bodies
  • Local Authorities
  • UEFA

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Coach
  • Development Manager
  • Development Officer
  • Director of Sport
  • Education Manager
  • Performance Analyst
  • Physical Education Teacher

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

Students will under take a 26 week internship, which can be completed as a full time 26 week placement or part time over a longer period, either on a regular basis or on a project by project basis


Start dates

  • September 2022

Fees and funding

Important notice - Tuition fees for this course may vary

Visit Tuition Fees 2022/23 for more details on the price of this course.

Fees (total cost)

Additional mandatory costs

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.


Admissions contact regarding application process:

Julie Nesbitt


T: +44(0)28 9036 6192

Course director regarding course content:

Dr Kyle Ferguson


T: +44(0)28 9036 6623

For more information visit


  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.