• Study mode: Sandwich
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: February and September 2021

Course Overview

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.

Work-Based / Placement Learning

A period of work-experience is located in the module SL524 Sport Development Practice and takes place at a pivotal point in the course, mid-way through Level 5. Although this element of the course is not a directly assessed, all students are expected to complete at least 30-hours of work experience and to reflect on this as part of their CPD to be included in Coursework 1 of the module.

Year Long Placement

This course allows you to undertake work experience in your third year of your degree programme. Following your year-long industry placement, you will then return to the University to complete your final year of study.

This ‘sandwich year’ allows you to apply the knowledge and skills gained in your first two years of studies to a work environment and gain valuable experience, helping you to stand out in a competitive job market once you’ve graduated.

Benefits include:

  • acquire relevant experience in your chosen area of study
  • build up useful contacts
  • network with key people within your chosen industry
  • boost your cv and career prospects.

You will need to set up your own work experience but our careers service can help you with applying for industry placements and offer further advice and guidance whilst you’re working.

If you do not wish to undertake a ‘sandwich year’, you can choose to study this programme over three years.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


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. 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.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS Tariff score between 80-104 points, as well as GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4 or above. 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.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Applied Sports Field Study
  • Professional and Academic Skills for Sport
  • Sport and Society
  • Sports Psychology: Individual Differences and Group Dynamics
  • Human Sciences for Physical Education

Year 2 Modules

  • Sports Operations Management (optional)
  • Understanding People in Sports Business (optional)
  • Research in Sport and Exercise
  • Sport, Diversity and Well-being (optional)
  • Outdoor Education (optional)
  • Applied Sport & Performance Psychology (optional)
  • Coaching and Athlete Development
  • Cognition & Emotion in Sport & Exercise Psychology (optional)
  • Performance Analysis (optional)
  • Sports Nutrition (optional)

Year 3 Modules

  • Internship (Sandwich Year) (optional)

Year 4 Modules

  • Club Business: Football (optional)
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship (optional)
  • Funding for Sport (optional)
  • Professional Development and Employability (optional)
  • Research Dissertation
  • Applied Performance Analysis (optional)
  • Contemporary Coaching Issues (optional)
  • Working and Learning in Exercise Health and Fitness


How much does it cost

Sandwich Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £9,250 (£1,400 for sandwich year) per year

Sandwich International, Academic Year 2020-2021: £12,500 (£1,875 for sandwich year) per year

Sandwich Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £9,250 (£1,400 for sandwich year) per year

Sandwich International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £13,750 (£2,100 for sandwich year) per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

Career opportunities   

Students completing the award will be highly employable in a field that values transferable graduate skills and prior engagement with the industry.

Typical job titles for graduates would include Sport Development Manager, Sport Development Officer, Sport-specific Development Officer (e.g. football, rugby), Community Sports Coach, School Sport Coordinator, Physical Activity Coordinator.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.