Coaching in the Community (Football)

Study options



Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
2 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024

Supported by Stoke City FC

Develop your expertise with the Championship club.

Professional development

Complete industry-recognised coaching certificates.

Higher Technical Qualification

This course is an approved Higher Technical Qualification. Develop the skills that employers want.

Kick-start your career in the most popular sport on the planet through our unique partnership with Stoke City FC.

The Coaching in the Community (Football) foundation degree, studied over a two-year period, will prepare you for working in professional and grassroots environments.

We’ve teamed up with Stoke City FC Community Trust to offer you amazing work experience opportunities which will help strengthen your coaching capabilities. You’ll also take part in activities at the bet365 Stadium, Clayton Wood training ground and The Academy Dome.

And if you show on-the-field talent to a professional level, you could be selected for the Championship club’s Player Pathway programme.

You’ll also have the chance to complete professional coaching qualifications and to ‘top up’ your foundation degree to honours degree level with an extra year of study. It means you will leave us work-ready and with plenty of skills.

In the first year, we will introduce you to industry practice and sport science, including physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology, and strength and conditioning. This will give you a grounding in all the essential components to work in football.

You can then tailor your studies to particular interests through optional modules in your second year. You will be taught through a combination of face-to-face sessions and online learning.

Other aspects of the course include coaching diverse groups, such as people with disabilities, and exploring contemporary issues in sport.

As well as the relationship with Stoke City and its Community Trust, we have an extensive network of contacts. It includes other football clubs, sports organisations and schools both nationally and internationally.

You’ll also get to meet and build connections with successful sports professionals through talks from industry experts. Previous speakers have included Manchester United FC Coach, Mike Phelan and Head of Coaching at Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Nick Levett.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: FdSc Coaching in the Community (Football)

Work placements

Employability is an integral part of the course and the partnership with Stoke City will give you lots of opportunities. It means you can get work experience and placements with an English Football League club with a worldwide reputation.

It could involve anything from coaching sessions with community groups to performance analysis or work on specific projects. Most of the work-based and professional practice aspects of the course can be undertaken within the club.

You don’t have to undertake your placement with Stoke City – other options include going into primary and secondary schools.

Course content

During your first year you will develop your knowledge of the underlying concepts and principles in coaching sport/exercise within community settings, with access to support and placement opportunities from Stoke City FC. You’ll also have the chance to get to grips with the fundamentals of exercise physiology, biomechanics and strength and conditioning. While building this foundational knowledge, you’ll also study a module that explores academic skills, bringing you up to speed with transferable skills that include research, data analysis and assessment writing.

Within the second year this will expand to allow you to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts surrounding the coaching of sport/exercise. You will learn how to demonstrate these attributes when evaluating the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems within and around the discipline of sport/exercise and coaching, whilst in your employer engagement sessions and placement. You’ll also have an assessed placement with our partners and will be able to tailor your studies to your evolving career aspirations with a choice of optional modules, including Fundamentals of Nutrition and Metabolism and Sports Science for Coaches and Teachers.


The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Entry requirements

48 UCAS points 

IELTS 6.5 (6.0 in all skills)

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.



Sports Equipment

Our facilities include a vast array of industry standard equipment, from our cryotherapy and electrotherapy machines to our eye tracker software.


Our foundation degree leads to a variety of career routes, including roles as a:

  • Youth coach at grassroots level, teaching young people the basics of sport and physical activity
  • Performance coach, working from grassroots to professional level
  • Sports development officer
  • Talent scout, identifying promising players on behalf of a club
  • Coach education coordinator, planning and delivering education programmes and other schemes on behalf of clubs or the Football Association
  • Sports management with regional or national governing bodies
  • International coaching

After completing the foundation degree, you can also continue your studies. You can top up to a full undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Sports Coaching through Staffordshire University. We also offer a Masters degree in Sport Coaching.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment


The course utilises a blended learning approach, using face-to-face learning supplemented with online activities. This improves learning outcomes, facilitates a deep sense of community and allows flexibility both in learning and when engaged with the employer/organisation. In addition it enables you to develop core digital competencies and remote working skills, essential in today's workforce.


You will be assessed in a range of formats performing/undertaking industry relevant activities, these include practical coaching assessments, observations, presentations and podcasts, amongst others. After conducting these assessments, you will receive specific feedback and guidance on your assessment performance, identifying areas for development and areas in which you display a strong ability, which in turn can be applied to future assessment/work experience. Ultimately, this feedback will enable you to further improve your personal and professional skill sets, preparing you for the workplace, or further study.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


The feedback from each assessment is part of a dialogue between the assessor and a student, rather than one-way communication. It is hoped that the formative and summative feedback you receive on the course clearly links to the learning outcomes and encourages you to reflect on your learning and development, enabling you to take control of your own personal and professional development for future success.

You will receive feedback for all elements of summative assessments, as well as for formative tasks that will help you prepare for summative assessments. Formative assessments are often completed within lesson times.

Year 1

17% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
83% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 2

12% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
88% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 1

52% practical assessments
37% coursework
12% written exams

Year 2

30% practical assessments
53% coursework
17% written exams


You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course supplemented by expertise for our placement organisations. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and virtually all of our full-time staff in Life Sciences and Education are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Jack Bullock


Jack is a Lecturer in Sport Coaching and Physical Education as well as an active researcher across the education sector. His main areas of interest are student experiences and teaching and learning pedagogy.

Jack's profile

Daniel Dawson

Course Director

Dan is a lecturer in Sport and Exercise and is the Course Leader for PGCE Physical Education and PE and Youth Sport Coaching courses.

Daniel's profile

Robert Needham

Senior Lecturer

Robert's research background is in the areas of sport and clinical biomechanics. The focus of his research is on the application of non-linear data analysis techniques to quantify movement coordination and coordination variability. Robert's rese…

Robert's profile

Ashley Gill

Course Director

I am Course Director for Sport and Exercise with oversight of all aspects of postgraduate provision within the department. My role ensures that students have a high-quality experience and that all courses are delivered to a high-standard.

Ashley's profile

Gareth Barrett

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Sports Coaching

Gareth is a Sport & Exercise lecturer, coaching practitioner, and researcher in Sport & Exercise and education. His expertise is sports coaching, talent development, coach education & mentoring, technology enhanced learning, curriculum development.

Gareth's profile


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for FdSc-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £16,750 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

One DBS check linked to placement.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting:

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus FdSc Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

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.

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