Professional Practice in Sports Coaching (Postgraduate Certificate / Postgraduate Diploma / MSc)

Male rowing team on canal.

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Oxstalls, Gloucester

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 alongside fellow professional practitioners and aspirant UKCC level 4 coaches who in many cases are operating as full-time professional coaches.  You will learn from teaching staff with excellent professional experience and research profiles 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, pedagogy, reflective practice and mentoring, sport psychology and talent identification. An emphasis is placed on the relationship between practice and theory, with students supported to develop reflective, analytical and critical thinking skills in order to develop their professional practice.

The delivery of taught content takes place on site at the Oxstalls Campus and at a number of National Governing Body venues such as Bisham Abbey (GB Rowing) and Stoneleigh Park (British Equestrian), therefore students must be prepared to travel. This provides a valuable opportunity to further develop professional networks and to engage with real world environments.

Module Descriptions

  • Coaching pedagogy - Explore pedagogic theory and concepts in coaching practice and coach education
  • Work-based project - Engage in a research project that addresses personal and professional goals
  • Expert coach in context - Critically analyse the role of the coach in identifying, developing and managing talent
  • Independent project - Conduct a sustained and independent investigation into a chosen area of study


Full-Time 18 months or 2 years (dependent on when students start their dissertation)

Part-Time 3 years

Block Delivery


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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 and for practice to inform theory and the interpretation of academic sources. 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 content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2.2 honours degree in a sport-related course or relevant subject
  • Those with a non-sport degree or without a 2:2 honours degree will be considered on an individual basis
  • You are a practising coach
  • Applicants may be invited for interview
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent


Fees - 2020/21 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £7500
Postgraduate Diploma £5000
Postgraduate Certificate £2200
International Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £14700
Postgraduate Diploma £9800
Postgraduate Certificate £4900

The fee displayed is the total course fee for full-time or part-time study; see also the details of potential extra costs. 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, coach education and policy, commercial and social enterprises, community sports programmes, and national governing bodies (NGBs). Roles include:

  • Academy coach
  • Specialist technical coach
  • Coach educator
  • Coach manager
  • Career in education or further research, eg PhD.

Meet the Lecturer

Discover more about your course by visiting the university to speak with one of our lecturers. Learn about the modules, teaching style and the modes of assessment by speaking to our experts, and get a feel for the facilities you'll be using. Visit our Meet the Lecturer page to find out more and book your place.

Tristan Mayglothling

Student Focus

Tristan Mayglothling

I really enjoyed studying my BSc Sports Coaching at the university so it was an obvious choice for me to continue my studies here. I work as a professional rowing coach alongside my studies and the master’s is run in parallel to the level 4 rowing qualification. I feel the lecturers here have really supported my interests in researching athlete welfare and elite environments in sport. On completion I’m hoping to progress to a PhD.

Two people training in a gym

Opportunities to join the wider professional community, connecting with aspirant level 4 coaches from a range of sports, benefit from guest speakers, share best practice across disciplines with extensive networking opportunities.

Sports teacher on laptop

Develop reflective, analytical and critical thinking skills.

Two people looking at results on the computer

First-class teaching facilities, brand new international standard sports hall and a collaborative environment where you will learn from other coaches and teaching staff with excellent professional experience and research profiles in their respective fields.

School of Sport and Exercise

Our School of Sport and Exercise degrees are based in our new international-standard sports arena and state-of-the-art labs. You'll be challenged and supported by experienced coaches, therapists and scientists, building strong skills for employability and for lifelong learning.

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