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This two-year Foundation Degree (with the option of a 3rd year top up to BSc) provides a unique and innovative learning opportunity for you to learn and develop your coaching, football development, business and entrepreneurship skills whilst gaining an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the football industry

  • Unique collaborative relationship with Chelsea FC Foundation with a variety of work placement opportunities
  • Opportunity to develop coaching practice and use sport as a vehicle for social change in Chelsea FC Foundation settings
  • Vocational qualifications are embedded into the course including The FA Coaching Pathway (e.g FA Level One and Two)
  • Variety of teaching venues, including St Mary's University, Chelsea FC training ground (Cobham) and Stamford Bridge

Why study Chelsea Football Club Foundation Coaching and Development?

This degree has been developed as a collaboration between, St Mary’s University and Chelsea Football Club Foundation, a world-renowned charity working with the local community to improve the lives of young people through football and education.

Our Coaching and Development programme provides you with an innovative learning opportunity to enhance your teaching and coaching practice, as well develop your business and entrepreneurship skills. You will learn all of this whilst gaining an in-depth knowledge and understanding of football coaching and development.

During the degree, you will enhance your knowledge and understanding of football through a variety of coaching and research modules that will provoke you to consider the impact you will have on the development of the youth that you coach.

You will also learn to use the latest technology software to analyse your own coaching and the performance of teams through the Performance Analysis modules.

Successful completion of this degree will allow you to progress on to our one-year top-up degree, Chelsea FC Foundation Coaching and Development BSc (Hons).

Work placements

The course will also help you to develop valuable industry-relevant skills through the placement modules. Placement opportunities will be available within the world-leading Chelsea Football Club Foundation, projects and programmes will include:

  • Coaching across a variety of different settings (schools, football development sessions, girls and boys development centres)
  • Performance analysis
  • Education settings (primary and secondary)
  • Social inclusion
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Disability
  • Talent Identification

Why St Mary's?

We have a long tradition in developing excellent teachers, coaches and sport scientists. Through our teaching and research, we have begun to create an excellent reputation within the football industry as well. The development of this foundation degree in collaboration with Chelsea FC Foundation is recognition of the outstanding work being currently undertaken by staff and students within the sport of football.

A strength of the degree programme is the industry experience of the research-active academic staff. All members of staff currently teaching on the programme also coach or provide support services in Premier League Football Academies, as well as coaching at grassroots level.

The degree will be delivered at St Mary’s University, Stamford Bridge and the Chelsea training ground in Cobham by staff currently involved with football coaching and development.

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Course lead

Tom Howard headshotTom Howard
Course Lead - Chelsea Football Club Foundation Coaching and Development FdSc

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Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

Minimum 48 UCAS points to include a six-unit, Level Three qualification (A level/BTEC National or equivalent). GCSE grade C or equivalent in English Language and Maths are required. 

Applicants for full-time should apply through UCAS.

All applications are subject to an interview prior to formal offer. Applicants with non-traditional entry requirements will be interviewed to ascertain suitability for the course.

Vocational experience within related areas is an essential part of the course and applicants must be currently working, or gaining experience, within Sports Coaching.

Mature applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

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Course content

Year one

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Year two

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Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

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Career opportunities

Further Study

Successful completion of this degree will allow you to progress on to our one-year top-up degree, Chelsea FC Foundation Coaching and Development BSc (Hons).

This education pathway will also prepare you well for teaching, coaching and education related courses, such as a PGCE (primary or secondary), or FA level 3 (and above) award in coaching football.

Career Potential

You’ll be well-placed for a wide range of roles in football, whether you’re interested in coaching in the community, working in an elite football environment, teaching football in schools, development and project management, setting up your own business, or research/education. Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Football specialist in schools
  • Sports development officer
  • Academy coach
  • Talent identification
  • Disability football coach
  • Football education roles
  • Research roles

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Chelsea Football Club Foundation Coaching and Development students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

You will be encouraged to discuss your own experiences in light of the theoretical and conceptual areas covered in the foundation degree.

Teaching methods include practicals, seminars, lectures, workshops, observations, in-situ practicals (at various Chelsea FC Foundation contexts), problem-based sessions, technology-based sessions, and peer teaching.

Class sizes are around 30 students.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 20%
  • Work-based learning: 6%
  • Guided learning: 25%
  • Independent study: 49%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

A range of assessment methods and strategies will be utilised in the delivery of this degree. Presentations, small group work, workshops and practical sessions will be used to create a positive and enabling learning environment.

The assessments of the modules will be aligned to modes of teaching and learning. Specifically, the assessments will help develop skills and competencies that are required in the workplace.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

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Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home: £8,840
  • International: £12,900

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Fees for EU applicants starting courses in 2021/22 academic year

Eligible EU applicants will pay the same tuition fees as UK students to support EU students during this transition period. These fees will be applied for the duration of the course.

EU fees for 2022 entry are not yet confirmed.

View fees and funding information for EU students beginning their studies in 2021...

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

You will also need to pay for your National Governing Body awards, though these will be subsidised heavily.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new foundation students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.

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View all facilities
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Teaching staff

  • Tom Howard
    Course Lead - Chelsea Football Club Foundation Coaching and Development FdSc
  • Michael Ayres
    Senior Lecturer - Chelsea FC Football Foundation Coaching and Development
  • Joana Fonseca
    Senior Lecturer - Physical Education
  • Tom Hounsell
    Subject Lead - Football and Performance Analysis
  • Claire Mulvenna
    Course Lead - MSc Professional Development
  • Patrick Oxenham
    Course Lead - BSc Performance Analysis & Talent Identification
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Further information

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Visit the campus

Chelsea Football Club Foundation Coaching and Development subject talk and virtual visit

We've put together a bespoke virtual open day for anyone interested in studying at St Mary's.

Join the event now

Open days

Attending an open day is a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into what life is like as a St Mary's student. During the day you'll have the chance to:

  • Speak to current students to hear about their experiences so far
  • Meet your future academics to put a name and a face to who you'll be learning from
  • Take a tour of the University and the on-campus accommodation options
  • Get involved with activities going on across campus as you explore new surroundings

Book your place now

Campus tours

There are plenty of opportunities for you to explore the campus, even if you can't make it to an Open Day.

We run campus tours every Wednesday at 12pm. If you'd like to join us for one of these tours please register your place for your preferred day.

Virtual tour

We know that for it's important to you to see where you'll be living and studying before you make your decision. However, we also know that for many people it's not always easy to make it to the campus.

That's why we've developed a virtual tour of campus, allowing you to explore that facilities and the beautiful views that we have to offer.

Launch the virtual tour

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