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

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

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Development Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Physical education Teacher
  • Personal trainer
  • Professional athlete
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Sports Marketing

Overview

Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

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.

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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

Students will attend on a full-time basis studying 120 credits in their Year 1 of study.

In Semester one they will choose two optional modules. In Semester 2 they will cover a further two optional modules.

Throughout the year students will complete a 40 credit Research project on a subject of their choice for completion in Semester 2.

Start dates

  • September 2017
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. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Sport Research and Practice

Year: 1

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.

Advanced Coaching Practice

Year: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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: 1

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.

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

NA

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science at grade C/4. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable 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

Pass Foundation Degree in Sport Coaching with an overall mark of 50% in level 5 modules, individual interviews may be used as part of the selection selection. You will also be required to undertake a bridging module prior to progressing onto final year of the course.

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.

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

There will be no exemptions for the optional modules or research project. Students may apply for prior learning in terms of some of the prerequisites required for some of the optional modules based on their previous experiences at our partner institutions.

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
  • Sport NI
  • Sports Institute NI
  • Ulster Rugby

Job roles

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

  • Development Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Physical education Teacher
  • Personal trainer
  • Professional athlete
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Sports Marketing

Career options

There are numerous opportunities for students to progress their study either within the University of Ulster 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 optional module 'Advanced Coaching Practice' give students the opportunity to complete work based learning in Year 1.

Apply

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

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 costs - AccessNI check

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

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 wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

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

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

Faculty Office (Jennie Smyth)

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

Course Director: Tandy Haughey
T: +44(0) 28 9036 6118
E: 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