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Distance/blended learning available?

Not needed

Tier 4 visa

1-3 Years


Tom Hounsell
Tom Hounsell

Programme Director for the suite of Foundation, BSc and MSc Football programmes

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A Master's degree enabling you to develop and apply cutting-edge, evidence-based knowledge and skills in football (soccer) coaching and performance to advance your career.    

Why study Performance Football Coaching (Distance Learning)?

This innovative online distance learning programme allows football coaching professionals worldwide to develop a critical understanding of issues relating to coaching and performance in football (soccer), and advance their professional practice whilst working.

The course content and design are informed by our partners in the football industry, including coaches and coach educators from The English FA and European professional clubs.

Taught by nationally and internationally renowned coaches and football scientists, the applied nature of the programme means that you are continually asked to reflect on course content in your professional practice.

Why St Mary's?

St Mary's is the first institution in the UK and internationally to offer a distance learning football coaching course of its kind, allowing you to study when and where it suits you. This flexible format means you can advance your knowledge, expertise and professional skills in parallel.

We are a leading provider of postgraduate taught sport science programmes and are widely recognised as one of the UK’s premier sports institutions. 

The University has a wide knowledge-base in football; we are an FA Women's High-Performance Football Centre, playing a pivotal role in the positive future of the game in the UK. We also offer a foundation degree programme in Football Education, Coaching and Development (in partnership with Chelsea FC Foundation) and have several PhD’s funded by London’s top professional clubs regarding the science of football. 

Our staff is comprised of highly regarded coaching professionals and academics involved in world-leading and applied research, consultancy, and high-level football coaching activities; all of which are directly relevant to - and inform - the modules delivered on the programme.

Key facts

  • Taught as an online distance learning programme
  • Course informed by our industry partners, including coaches and coach educators from The English FA and European professional clubs
  • Academic staff involved in world-leading and applied research, consultancy, and high-level football coaching activities

Course content


  • PFC7001: Expertise and Skill Acquisition in Football 
  • PFC7002: Contemporary Approaches to Player Development  
  • PFC7003: Professional Development in Football Coaching 
  • PFC7004: Applied Research Methods  
  • PFC7005: Performance and Match Analysis in Football 
  • PFC7006: Football Coaching Cultures 
  • PFC7007: Independent Project 
Please refer to the programme specification document for a summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

Football coaching is a well-established profession with clear employment routes. In today’s football marketplace, employers look for up-to-date knowledge and skills.

We equip emerging and practising football professionals with the knowledge- and skill-set for a variety of jobs in the elite performance and youth development environments, such as: 

  • head coach
  • youth academy coach
  • specialist technical coach
  • performance analyst
  • development coordinator
  • coach educator
  • researcher/scientist

Considerable resources continue to be employed to the sport globally with a growing body of football professionals in many countries and regions worldwide.

How the degree is taught

Teaching and assessment methods

The programme is delivered in a full-time (1 year) and part-time (2-3 years) distance learning format through our bespoke online learning platform. Each module has a number of activities to complete, with each activity encompassing a set of learning ‘tasks’.

The programme utilises a variety of teaching and assessments methods to enable you to learn from practical and theoretical perspectives. These include: 

  • pre-recorded lectures
  • coach/player video analyses and feedback
  • discussion forums
  • quizzes
  • collaborative group tasks
  • case studies
  • presentations

To enable you to complete video-based tasks, we will provide you a GoPro camera and access to the Coach Logic online video analysis software.

You will be asked to attend a 4-5 day mandatory on-site period in May. This incorporates study visits to Premier League club academies in London, practical sessions, workshops and a coaching conference. 

We will also organise an optional one-day on-site induction in September to welcome and prepare you for the course. For students who can’t attend, we will provide an online induction. 

In addition, we will allocate a personal tutor to guide you academically and provide support throughout your studies with us.


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Fees and funding

2018/19 fees

  • Home/EU: £8,000
  • International: £13,650

2019/20 fees

  • Home/EU: £8,320
  • International: £13,650

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Part-time fees

Part-time students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree.

Tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee per module for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.


For guidance about financing your studies, including information about government-funded loans, please check out Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.

Additional costs

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

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information