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BA (Hons)
Sports Development and Coaching

This dynamic course prepares you for a variety of sport development roles from running community participation schemes to supporting the sports performance pathway. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop coaching skills. With increasing emphasis on the need for sport and fitness in our society, this course gives you the skills needed to make a valuable contribution.

Qualification: BA (Hons)

UCAS code: C610

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: September


Is this course for me?

Sports development and coaching can be hugely rewarding careers. From organising sport events, to developing programmes that target specific groups for increased participation, the industry is incredibly diverse. You could find yourself working on important sport policy and anti-social behaviour campaigns, or promoting participation opportunities within a number of national organisations. During this course you’ll practise delivering sport to the community through a number of projects, work-related learning, and volunteering opportunities.

What will this course cover?
On this exciting course of study you’ll learn about the history, development and structure of the sports industry in the UK. From here you’ll begin to look at the social and cultural issues that surround sport, as well as those for marketing and funding for sport policies, events and initiatives.

Athlete analysis and development
You will have the option to look at athlete development and analysis, spending time in our Human Performance Laboratory. You’ll explore both traditional and advanced technologies in your approach and become well versed in the various tools that are available in this field.

Coaching certifications
As well as this degree qualification, you’ll have the opportunity to take UKCC coaching certifications and Sports Coach UK awards. You’ll spend time studying sports nutrition and performance analysis in sport, as well as the philosophies and various learning styles of coaching.

Professional work experience
We encourage you to get as much industry experience as possible during this degree. Our strong links with industry partners enable you to seek volunteering and paid work opportunities, giving you first-hand knowledge of the professional environment. These experiences also give you a unique opportunity to network during your studies and prove beneficial after graduation.

We have strong links with a number of sports organisations, many of which sit on the University’s doorstep. These include the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey, home to several governing bodies of sport, Leap (County Sports Partnership), and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, birthplace of the Paralympics.

The University hosts the Reading Ladies Football Club Senior Academy and also the National League basketball team, London United.

Human Performance Laboratory
You’ll have the opportunity to blend academic study with a professional sports environment. You’ll have the opportunity to blend academic study with a professional sports environment. Located within our Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre, the Human Performance Laboratory features an indoor three-lane running track that incorporates 3D motion-capture technology. This facility helps to enhance athletes’ performance through improved technique, and also assists with injury prevention and rehabilitation. The Human Performance Laboratory is also equipped for assessing a range of physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters.

Year One

  • Introduction to Coaching Theory and Practice
  • Economics & Financial Operations in Sport Business
  • Applied Sport Field Study
  • Understanding Sport Development
  • Sport, Society and the Market
  • Professional and Academic Skills for Sport
  • Organisation of Sport

Year Two

  • Sports Operations Management
  • Sport, Diversity and Well-being
  • Rugby Union: The Global Game
  • Coaching and Athlete Development
  • Research in Sport and Exercise
  • Understanding People in Sport Business
  • Sports Event Planning
  • Football: The Global Game
  • Sport Development Practice
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Performance Analysis in Sport

Year Three

  • Club Business - Rugby
  • Contemporary Coaching Issues
  • Communications and PR in Sport
  • Funding for Sport
  • Club Business - Football
  • Strategic Sport Development
  • Research Dissertation
  • Professional Development & Employability
  • Applied Performance Analysis in Sport
  • Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship

What are the entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 200-240. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Full-time Home and EU: £9,000 per year
Full-time International: £9,500 per year

For information on fees and finance, please view our fees and funding section.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

For fees for international students, visit our international section.

Visit our Why Bucks? section to discover what studying at Bucks could mean for you.

How do I apply?

Applications for full-time undergraduate courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Information on making an application through UCAS is available on our Applicants' pages.

If you are an international student, visit our international students section.

What are my career prospects?

Having studied at Bucks, you will be associated with a university that has been a pioneer in sport-related studies for over 15 years. We have a strong reputation for our sport courses and, as a graduate, you’ll be able to make full use of our partnerships with public and private sector sport organisations.

By the time you finish, you will be well positioned to pursue roles in sports development within local authorities, sport clubs, charity trusts and national governing bodies of sports. Additionally, graduates will be able to explore a career in education, the youth service and community projects.

You’ll be qualified to find work in sports coaching, event management, marketing and media. The health and fitness industry will be wide open to you and with your acquired entrepreneurial skills, you’ll also be able to go into self-employment, or launch your own sports venture.

How will you help me prepare for my future?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employment pages to find out more.


The programme I followed was very manageable and made everything achievable - giving me a lot more confidence when coaching and I now feel comfortable with coaching all ages and sports. I enjoyed making new friends, meeting new people and the feeling you get on graduation day with all of your university friends around is incredible.

Sam Evans