Two-year degree puts aspiring football coaches ahead of the game

"There is a demand for skilled football coaches and this way we can meet that demand more quickly."

Ashley Gill, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Football Coaching and Performance

Staffordshire University is launching a new accelerated degree to meet the demand for professionally trained football coaches at home and abroad.

As the new football season and academic year kick off, Staffordshire University is accepting applications for the BSc (Hons) Football Coaching and Performance two-year degree which is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Delivered in partnership with Staffordshire Football Association over two years – instead of the typical three for an undergraduate degree – the course which starts in September 2018 is supported by Stoke City Football Club and the Sir Stanley Mathews Coaching Foundation.

Course Leader Ashley Gill explained: “There's an identified need for football coaches at a grassroots level in the community, at professional clubs and academies, and at an elite level. Women’s football is growing rapidly so there's a need for more coaches of female teams too.

“There has also been massive development internationally, especially in China which aims to establish 20,000 football training centres and 70,000 pitches by 2020.”

Staffordshire University hosted a summer school for 60 Chinese football coaches last year with Stoke City FC so is well placed to meet demand for skilled coaches.

Ashley has secured top talent from the Football Association to help deliver the course with Talent Identification Manager Nick Levett and Regional Coach Development Manager Jack Walton both teaching on the course.

The course combines FA coaching qualifications, performance and match analysis, as well as training and conditioning. In the first year students will complete an internship at Staffordshire FA followed by a work placement in the second year.

Ashley said: “Instead of waiting three years to get into employment, these students will be able to go into the workplace after two.”

Staffordshire University is an established provider of accelerated degrees and a new report by UK 2020 is calling for other institutions to follow suit. Universities Minister Jo Johnson also highlighted the benefits of two-year degrees earlier this year.

“There is a need for accelerated courses. There is a demand for skilled football coaches and this way we can meet that demand more quickly.” commented Ashley.

Kevin Staples, Head of Strategy and Investment at Staffordshire FA, added: “We see this as a great way to help develop the future generations of coaches and support current grassroots programmes.”

Discover more about the course at Staffordshire University's next Open Day on Saturday 23 September. Book your place and find more details here.

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