Skip to navigation Skip to content

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • Disability Sports NI
  • Fitness First
  • Irish Cricket
  • Irish Football Association
  • Sports Institute NI
  • Ulster Rugby
  • Sport NI

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Active Community Coach
  • Development Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Performance Coach
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education Teacher

Overview

To lead, inspire and shape the future of sport.

Summary

Study Sports Coaching at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The course is targeted at those currently working in or with aspirations to gain employment in the field of sports coaching and aims to provide the knowledge, critical awareness and transferable skills that will equip them with the ability to be highly competent, socially aware and reflective practitioners.

The course has direct links/ access to postgraduate courses in physical education, as well as many masters programmes upon successful completion of the undergraduate programme.

Sign up for course updates

Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.

We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

About this course

In this section

About

The programme will be delivered through theory and practically applied sessions which are underpinned by three key strands: Coaching Pedagogy, Subject Matter and Professional Practice to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate and understand the roles and qualities of a coach.
  • Prepare, plan, deliver and evaluate effective coaching sessions for a range of sporting populations.
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon the coaching practice of oneself and others
  • Be able to articulate an understanding of coach development structures in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theoretical principles of athlete development in a coaching context.

Attendance

The BSc Hons will be delivered on a part-time basis over a minimum of 4.5 years. Students will partake in 80 credits per academic year – 40 credits per semester. Students in year 1 will have no optional modules whereas in year 2 – 4, students will be given the opportunity to select modules which will be beneficial to their specific areas of interest. Year 5 will be dedicated to completing a research project. Work based learning elements are a theme throughout this programme and will assist in the development of individuals in the programme.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

Modules

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.

In this section

Year one

Effective Learning and Employability in Sport

Year: 1

This module aims to develop both students? study skills and employability capacities. Self-awareness, IT skills, career planning and transferable skills will all be delivered within this module. Students will also have the opportunity to complete the `Building Your Skills? PDP module through the Career Development Centre which can contribute credit to students achieving the Edge Award.

Principles of Teaching and Coaching

Year: 1

This module will introduce students to the best practice principles of teaching and coaching in relevant contexts. It will involve the examination of basic theory into basic coaching/teaching practice

Fundamentals of Movement

Year: 1

Through a series of lectures, work shops and tutor-led practical sessions, students will understand the importance of the development of fundamental movement skills and coaching/teaching concepts for the development of performance and/or lifelong physical activity.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

Year: 1

Through a series of lectures and tutor-led seminar sessions, students will understand the theoretical and practical importance of sport and exercise psychology to enhancing performance.

Year two

Sports Policy and Planning

Year: 2

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 in the second and final year of the programme. It will examine fundamental concepts of sports management, strategic planning and sports development and will highlight the key role of government in the implementation of sports policy.

Coaching in Context

Year: 2

This work-based learning placement is designed to facilitate opportunities for students to plan, deliver and evaluate coaching sessions and programmes. This will be enhanced in the year 2 placement where students will lead the coaching process.

Sport & Exercise Psychology

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides students with a grounding in the theoretical constructs underlying contemporary issues in the domain of sport and exercise psychology. Students are encouraged to critically evaluate competing theoretical accounts of psychological phenomenon. They also gain an understanding of the measurement of different concepts and constructs. ?

Strength And Conditioning

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides students with the basic knowledge, skills, and abilities to physically prepare athletes to meet the demands of competitive sport. A special emphasis is placed on the development of the student's practical proficiency.

Health and Fitness Instruction

Year: 2

This module is optional

This module provides students with the knowledge and skills to effectively develop and maintain fitness in healthy populations and/or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise.There is an opportunity to attain a recognised Fitness Instructor qualification.

Coaching Science

Year: 2

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.

Performance Analysis

Year: 2

This module is optional

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.

Year three

Applied Coaching Principles

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.

Coaching Practice

Year: 3

This work-based learning placement is designed to facilitate opportunities for students to plan, deliver and evaluate coaching sessions and programmes. It will also require them to prepare an action research proposal in preparation for the Year 3 placement module.

Research Methods

Year: 3

This module is designed to introduce both the practical and conceptual understanding of research methodologies within sport, exercise and leisure research.

Sports Development and Management

Year: 3

This module is optional

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

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 and theories that underpin effective learning and teaching in key stages 1 and 2. Students are given the opportunity to discuss and apply theory to practice in practical teaching scenarios in seminars, workshops and micro teaches/practicals.

Year four

Advanced Coaching Practice

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module further develops the work based learning elements required to develop coaches in the field to ensure successful reflection within their practice. It is a work placement module, with placement lasting eight weeks.

Elite Athlete

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will aim to develop student's ability to critically analyse current elite sports and coaching programmes and assess how programmes can be successfully planned implemented and evaluated.

Sports Strategic Management

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module explores the background, principles and practices of the strategic management process, which sports and leisure organisations employ to ensure competitive advantage over their competitors. 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.

Coaching Process

Year: 4

This module is optional

Sports Coaching is a facet of the sports industry which has exhibited exceptional growth in recent times and something that has come under increasing academic scrutiny. Professionalisation of coaching is of paramount importance and an understanding of Coaching Processes is vital to ensure this development.

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.

Physical Education: Advanced Policy & Practice

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will involve students in the critical appraisal of recent educational policy and initiatives and a critical assessment of how the subject area of physical education can respond to such initiatives. Issues that impact the effective delivery of physical education will be critically examined in theory and in practice in both the school and university context.

Applied Sport Psychology and Contemporary Issues

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module provides students with a critical overview of the contemporary topics in applied sport psychology. It also equips them in developing entrepreneurial cognition and innovation in their group tasks. Furthermore, they will develop an understanding of a client-centred approach to consulting in their needs assessment case study.

Physical Activity, Exercise and Health

Year: 4

This module is optional

Society is faced with an inexorable rise in chronic disease development, often linked to lifestyle factors such as poor diet and physical inactivity. This module equips students with a critical understanding of the role of exercise in the prevention of such diseases, by exploring the underlying physiological mechanisms, and the importance of health promotion in target populations.

Sport and Exercise Nutrition

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module considers the relationship between nutrition and exercise. The module provides the student with the opportunity to further develop an understanding of the human body and how good nutritional practices can be effective for exercise performance and good health.

Applied Performance Analysis

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module will provide students with an in-depth knowledge and the practical skills required to evaluate the impact of performance analysis theories, principles and concepts on sporting performance and how these can be applied to a coaching, teaching and service provider environment.

Year five

Sport Research and Practice

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.

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.

In this section

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BBC (280 UCAS tariff points) to include at least one subject from History, Geography, Psychology, English, PE, Politics, Sociology, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Sports Studies at the appropriate grades.

BTEC

Overall BTEC award profile DMM (to include a unit grade profile of 9 distinctions) in a relevant BTEC.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is 280 UCAS tariff points. UCAS tariff points based on an overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile BBBCC at Higher level. To include at least two of the following subjects at Higher level: History, English, Geography, Economics or RE at the appropriate level. Plus English and Mathematics Grade D at Higher level or Grade C at Ordinary level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is AAAA (280 UCAS points). To include at least two of the following subjects from: English, History, Geography, PE, Psychology, Politics or Sociology at the appropriate level.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is BBC to include at least one subject from English, History, Geography, PE, Psychology, Politics or Sociology at the appropriate grades.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at Higher level). To include at least one of the following subjects at higher level from: English, History, Geography, Psychology or Social and Cultural Anthropology at the appropriate grades.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 65-69% in a relevant area.

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science at grade C. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable 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 www.accessni.gov.uk (http://www.accessni.gov.uk).

It is expected that students will have an interest in coaching or teaching and ideally have, or be in the process of obtaining a relevant national governing body coaching award.

Teaching and learning assessment

Each module will seek to expose students to a variety of teaching and learning methods including:

Formal lectures – These are a core activity in teaching within the School of Sport and will constitute a major part of the teaching programme across a number of modules. Lectures are a foundation of the teaching and many sessions are taught in the form of workshops and with interactive activities contained within them. Lecture sessions will be supported through the development of online learning materials and Blackboard Learn.

Practical classes – Given the nature of sports coaching and the need to apply theory to a practical setting these will also be a key teaching method. Practical work will be conducted in groups and will involve sports participation, laboratory, computer and analytical work. Attendance at practical classes will be compulsory and these activities will in some modules form the basis of assessment.

Seminars – Many modules have seminar sessions where students are expected, in small groups, to discuss ideas raised in lectures. Students will be required to review research topics and make oral presentations.

Tutorials – A series of compulsory tutorials will be run by advisers of study during the first year of the course. They will cover a range of subjects and will be designed to help students develop study skills, organise their time, and generally provide support for them. In addition in second year some subject based tutorials will be linked to some modules, allowing for greater interaction.

Work based learning – Students will be required to complete a work-based placement in all three years of the programme. These placement opportunities will involve the compilation of a reflective diary, a placement provider's report, an academic supervisor's report and an action research project.

Independent work – Students are expected to read widely for all modules and to learn to manage their time in order to do so. Independent learning is also closely associated with preparation for assessment. The requirements of self directed study will have been covered in Semester 1 Year 1 module Effective Learning and employability in sport. In addition, clear guidelines on independent study will be contained within the student and module handbooks.

Group work - This is an important element of the learning regime within the school. Sports Coaching is both an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject and as such requires the integration of activities from a wide variety of individuals and disciplines. Group and collaborative working within the school tries to encourage this approach to assessment tasks and problem solving. Where group work is used students will be guided on completion of self and peer evaluation.

E-learning – A system of web-based support within the School of Sport. It is anticipated that significant progress on the provision of web based materials will be made in the near future.

Assessment

Modules will have a range of assessments associated with them. These will be designed to test both knowledge and skills and will vary from essays, literature reviews, practical/project/fieldwork reports, class tests and dissertations.

Modules may also be assessed by examinations. These will be of a two hour unseen format. Class tests may have a variety of formats including computer based testing, seen papers, data based tests or timed essays.

The means of assessment of the Research Project (Year 5) will be specific to and reflect professional practice in the selected subject area. Students choosing to conduct a scientifically-based project (e.g. measuring sporting performance) will be required to provide a comprehensive literature review, a written paper consistent with the areas research journals and an oral presentation. Students opting to submit a project focusing on coach development, sports development or coach education will be required to produce an extensive piece of written work.

Exemptions and transferability

Students wishing to transfer to other stages of the course will be judged on a case by case basis, based on the information provided about their previously completed modules and courses. We have students who have transferred from a number of courses throught the UK and Ireland.

Students who gain accelerated entry onto the course into year 3 will have demonstrated how they have meet the learning outcomes for modules covered in year 1 – 3, due to previous courses completed (for example the FDSC at UU).

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • Disability Sports NI
  • Fitness First
  • Irish Cricket
  • Irish Football Association
  • Sports Institute NI
  • Ulster Rugby
  • Sport NI

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Active Community Coach
  • Development Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Performance Coach
  • Personal trainer
  • Physical education Teacher

Career options

There are numerous opportunities for students to progress their study either within Ulster University or at another institution. Students currently on the BSc Hons Sports Coaching degree could continue their academic studies – PGCE or Masters studies in a number of fields such as MSc Sports Development and Coaching, MSc Physical Activity and Population Health, MSc Pscyhology, MSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition – which are all offered within the Academy or initiate research by applying for an MPhil or DPhil.

Employment opportunities within the field of coaching is a growth area due to current investments and the professionalisation of this area. Some graduating students have gained employment in local authorities or Governing Bodies of Sport as Sports Development or Coach Development Officers. Completing the PGCE will also open up opportunities for a career in teaching.

Work placement / study abroad

The core work based learning modules are Coaching in Context (year 1), Coaching Practice (year 2/3) and an optional module Advanced Coaching Practice (year 4) This will enhance the theoretical learning within the university by giving the students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a 'live' coaching environment. These modules are fundamental in the development of the core skills required for employment in the coaching profession.

Current students use a range of contacts/ employers that they have developed themselves- although staff can also help prospective students gain placement opportunities in local networks.

Apply

www.ulster.ac.uk/applyonline

Application is by direct entry to the Faculty of Life and health Sciences.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Fees and funding

In this section

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The best performing final year student each year receives the 'Pat Duffy award'.

Professor Pat Duffy was a visiting professor at the School of sport and had a wide range of roles in the devlopment of coaching in the UK and Ireland. Pat was Chief Executive of sports coach UK from 2005 to 2009, where he led the development of the UK Coaching Framework. He was a popular figure, passionate about coaching which he championed persuasively at every opportunity, drawing on his deep professional knowledge and personal charm to promote the cause.

Additional mandatory costs

Additional cost - AccessNI check.

Contact

Jennie Smyth regarding admissions and application process

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9036 6595
Email: j.smyth2@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director:
Tandy Haughey
Tel: +44(0) 28 9036 6118
Email: tj.haughey@ulster.ac.uk

Testimonials

"BSc Sports Coaching was exactly what I needed at the time in my career. I was looking for the much needed theoretical knowledge to back up the practical work I was carrying out in my daily working life. It developed me as a sports coach and gave me more confidence when dealing with matters such as sports science or sports development. I enjoyed the flexibility of being able to choose modules to suit my career. I gained much needed tutor support and I still have a working relationship with lecturers who are my first port of call when needing advice in the sporting world. I would strongly advise anyone looking for a career in the sporting industry to have a think about this course. Top class!"

Andrew Waterworth, Linfield Striker and Lead Coach at the Carvill-Waterworth Football Academy.

"This is an excellent course for all coaches irrespective of level. With a good focus on 'how to' skills the student will soon be confident in all coaching environments. I completed the course while working full time and managed to fit in very well. Well worth doing for the forward thinking coach." Dara Furey, Athletics Coach , and Director Furey Insurance services.

"The course was structured in such a manner as to afford me the flexibility of studying whilst remaining in full time employment. The format of combining both practical and academic aspects of sports coaching gave me the opportunity to firstly reflect upon all facets of my coaching and secondly to apply them in my sporting environment. I have also found the course beneficial in that it has assisted me in securing a number of positions within my chosen sporting field".

Ian McGregor

Head Coach North West Warriors

Assistant Coach Ireland Under 19