Professional Practice in Sports Coaching (Postgraduate Diploma / MSc)

Male rowing team on canal.

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Oxstalls, Gloucester

Become a high performing coach

The main aim of the programme is to provide a basis for career development into - or through - the sports coaching profession.

The course is designed to help you build on your existing experience to refine your coaching. You will develop a deeper appreciation of theory and research related to sports coaching and will consider how best to apply this in practice.

You will study in a collaborative environment where you will learn from other coaches and from teaching staff with excellent professional experience in their respective fields. You will consider a range of contemporary issues and practices, using modern methods and approaches in areas such as developing expertise, reflective practice and mentoring, sport psychology and talent identification.

An emphasis is placed on the application of theory in a practical setting, and students are supported to develop reflective, analytical and critical thinking skills.


  • Coach development – explore the conceptual frameworks proposed for sports coaching and develop the ability to recognise the need for self-reflection
  • CPD – utilise a developed ability to reflect in order to engage with relevant professional development
  • Work-based project – engage in a project that addresses personal and professional goals and allows for an enhanced understanding of the relevant professional setting
  • Expert coach in a high performing setting – critically analyse cutting edge sports science and technology from an interdisciplinary approach, in order to find innovative and creative solutions to coaching problems
  • Independent project - conduct a sustained and independent investigation into a chosen area of study to deepen knowledge and understanding around a specific topic.

Study style

Assessments - including written assignments, research projects, presentations and reflective writing - are designed to allow students to relate theory to their own practice and the context in which they coach. Students will be encouraged to engage in research within their own context to promote higher levels of evidence-based practice.

Course modules

Take a look at the course map for a breakdown of modules that you'll study to complete the course. Some modules are compulsory, but in some cases you can also choose modules which interest you from outside your core area of study.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2.1 honours degree in a sport-related subject
  • Those with a non-sport degree or without a 2.1 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis
  • You are a practising coach
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.


Fees - 2018/19 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £6300
Postgraduate Diploma £4200
Postgraduate Certificate £2100
International Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £13840
Postgraduate Diploma £9250
Postgraduate Certificate £4600

The fee displayed is the total course fee for full-time or part-time study. Please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.


There is a range of employment markets for graduates, including professional sports clubs, commercial and social enterprises, community sports programmes, schools, disability sports clubs, county sports partnerships and national governing bodies (NGBs). Roles include academy coach, specialist technical coach, coach educator and coach manager. There is also potential for progression to a career in education or further research, eg PhD.

Develop your professional network

Students on this course join the wider professional community, connecting with UK Coaching and UKCC level 4 coaches, sharing discussions, speakers and networking opportunities.

Taught by experienced, research-active coaches

Our teaching team have extensive experience and are actively engaged in research.  This means ours students can underpin their practice and development with the latest innovations and emerging ideas.

Career development

This course provides a basis for career development into, or through, the sports coaching profession.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414