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Sports Coaching


Delivered online

The only UK-based sports coaching course that’s taught fully online

Flexible part-time study

Study with minimum disruption to family or working life

Expert coaching team

Our lecturers and tutors will engage, inspire and support you

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Mode of study:
Part-time, distance learning
2 Years
Academic year:
2 September 2019 - 26 June 2020
Come to an Open Event Enquire about this course Apply now

Our MSc in Sports Coaching has been developed for active coaches whose work, family commitments or location mean attending university would be challenging. Delivered online, the course is completed over a minimum of two years by part-time study.

Recent Olympic and Commonwealth games have put a spotlight on the importance of sports coaching at all levels. UK Sport funding has helped to encourage an active nation – and as part of that initiative, the UK government has pushed additional funding for sport into schools.

With the focus on effective coaching at participatory, developmental and elite levels greater than ever, coupled with an increasing acknowledgment of the role that sport can play in regard to positive mental health, our MSc will equip you with an advanced, multidisciplinary understanding of current issues relating to the theory and practice of sports coaching.

The only course of its kind in the UK to be delivered exclusively online, it’s designed for both ‘participation’ and ‘performance development’ coaches who are seeking academic recognition as part of their professional development – whether that is for personal benefit or in relation to endorsed National Governing Body coaching qualifications.

The course is part-time, starting in early September each year and finishing two years later in late September.

On successful completion of study, you'll receive the following award:

MSc Sports Coaching

Course content

Study with us and you’ll benefit from a curriculum that is focused on using evidence-based practice to examine effective coaching at both strategic and at operational levels. This includes detailed coverage of reflective practice, skilled performance under pressure, and an examination of effective group dynamics and leadership.

To bring learning to life, you’ll be encouraged to apply theory to real-life coaching situations. As part of our dynamic community of learners, you’ll benefit from a variety of online approaches to study that will support the exchange of knowledge. These will include reading, listening, producing and viewing online content and interacting with fellow students and tutors within a dynamic community of practitioners.

In Effective Coaching 1: Strategy and Practice (15 credits) you develop a critical understanding of both your coaching philosophy and different approaches to the coach-athlete relationship. Contemporary topics that influence modern day coaching practice are introduced, examined and assessed.

The module Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis (30 credits) develops and enhances research methods, statistical and qualitative analysis skills. Key analytical techniques will be addressed via data sets that are provided to you and which allow you to demonstrate your growing understanding of both quantitative and qualitative approaches to research in the area of sports coaching

The module Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport and Exercise (15 credits) covers the application of social psychological theory to sport and exercise settings, with a focus on audience effects, groups, and leadership, and on how these processes may impact on the performance of athletes, coaches, trainers and managers. Adopting a social psychology framework, the module will examine contemporary approaches related to the impact of audiences, group dynamics and cohesion in the performance domain.

The Effective Coaching 2: Reflective Practice (30 credits) module examines different approaches and practices related to reflective practice to allow you to develop an advanced and critical understanding of reflective practice in sports coaching.  The role of experiential learning, mentoring and technology to modify existing coaching practice and support professional development lies at the heart of the module.

The Skilled Performance Under Pressure (30 credits) module uses psychophysiological interpretations of how athletes interact with motivated performance situations to explain skilled performance under pressure. First, the module will explore historical and contemporary approaches to understanding skilled performance. Second, recent approaches to understanding skilled performance under pressure will be explored. Finally, investigation will take place of the psychophysiological markers of the human reaction to stress in the context of their relationships to skilled performance under pressure by examining the use cardiovascular reactivity as an indicator of adaptive and maladaptive responses to stress.

The final module is the Masters Research Project Dissertation (60 credits). This module involves the planning and execution of an empirical research project. Typically, students are encouraged to write their thesis in a journal style and where appropriate submit for publication. A formal presentation and oral examination of the research is a key feature of the module.


As a Staffordshire University online student you may wish to use our extensive set of facilities based on the Leek Road campus of the University. Our laboratory facilities can support you if you wish to undertake some lab-based research as part of your Maters Research Project module.


This map is an indicative list of compulsory modules for 2019/2020. The range of modules available, and the content of any individual module are subject to change in future years, and according to the mode of study, entry date, award type. In the event of any 2019-2020 compulsory modules changing, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Effective Coaching 1: Strategy & Practice
Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis
Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport & Exercise
Effective Coaching 2: Reflective Practice
Year 2 compulsory modules
Skilled Performance Under Pressure
MRP/Dissertation in Coaching Related Area

Entry requirements

You’ll normally need an undergraduate Honours degree (grade 2:2 or higher) from a UK university in a related subject such as sports coaching, sports development, physical education, sports science or sports studies, and possess (or be working towards) at least a UK Level 2 coaching qualification or equivalent, alongside evidence of a sustained commitment to coaching practice.

If you have an appropriate degree (or equivalent) in another subject, you’ll also be considered if you have significant relevant employment experience in sports coaching or a demonstrable interest in (or commitment to) areas related to sports coaching as evidenced by possession of (or working towards) a UK Level 3 coaching qualification or equivalent.

If your first language is not English, you’ll need a minimum score of IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in all bands) or an equivalent qualification.



The main focus of the MSc Sports Coaching is personal development. Successful completion of the award demonstrates a high level of knowledge and understanding in relation to professional practice and research.

Teaching and assessment


As a distance learning student, you'll be an active learner interacting with content, your fellow students and your module tutors. Support is available when you need it. You can contact your module tutor, your personal tutor, Information Service staff and subject specialist librarian by phone, email or in person.

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are via your PC, tablet or phone. This includes accessing video, audio and discussion forums where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.


Assessment includes both informal (formative) and formal (summative) methods, including tutor and peer feedback and self-evaluation. You’ll receive clear guidance on the submission and marking of assessments at the outset of each module you study and be given both verbal and written feedback.

Assessment methods are varied and provide the opportunity to develop transferable skills. In particular, assessments are designed to include elements linked to your real-word experiences as a sports coach and to enable you to call on your own practice and principles.

Learning support

You’re supported throughout the course by specialist tutors within the modules you study and are also allocated a personal tutor during your time with us. We have a well-developed personal tutorial system and staff are only a phone call, email or Skype chat away. In addition, you’re carefully introduced to the online learning process and have access to a subject specialist librarian and course administrator.

As an online student of the University you have access to all our facilities, including our laboratories. We have bespoke facilities in the following areas:

• Sports Therapy Lab

• Nutrition and Physiology Lab

• Sports Psychology Lab

• Biomechanics Lab

You can also access our recently added Strength and Conditioning facility which supports learning, teaching and research in this area of provision.

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our AccessAbility Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it’s important for you to be able to gauge your progress. So, your tutor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We will normally give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days.


For the academic year 2019/20 the tuition fees for this course are:

Mode of study
Part time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£3,803. per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£3,803. per year of study

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 90 credits in your first year of study and the other 90 credits in your second year of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay the same fee for each year of study. You will be invoiced for the modules that you register for each year, so if your study pattern is different from the expected pattern, you will pay more or less each year accordingly.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Stoke-on-Trent campus
Part-time, distance learning
02 September 2019

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

21/10/2018 22:05:06 / Sports Coaching / Part-time, distance learning / 17.0 / 18.0 / SSTK-09937