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The Sports Coaching specialist pathway has been designed to allow different sports coaching professionals worldwide to develop a critical understanding of issues relating to their professional development and performance to advance their professional practice.

  • Access to industry partners through course collaborations, including the RPA and coaches from professional football clubs.
  • Flexible learning allows you to study at your own pace around your professional role.
  • Access to academic staff involved in world-leading research and high-level consultancy.

Why study Professional Development: Sports Coaching?

The course content and design are informed by our partners within different sports organisations, including coaches, coach educators from professional clubs and national governing bodies.

Taught by nationally and internationally renowned coaches and coach developers and specialist staff 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 a renowned institution to offer a blended learning course, allowing you to study when and where it suits you. This course allows you to specialise in your given field, developing a bespoke expertise. This flexible format means you can advance your knowledge, expertise and professional skills in parallel through a specialised pathway in Sports Coaching.

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 the professional development of sports professionals.

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

Other specialised pathways in this programme include Performance Analysis and Rugby Performance.

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

Minimum 2.2 degree or international equivalent, preferably in a sports-related subject.

Additional requirement information

Applicants are encouraged to hold or have the intention to work towards, an NGB L3 coaching award or international equivalent qualification and demonstrate continued commitment to coaching or professional practice.

Applicants must satisfy the general admissions requirements of St Mary's University outlined in the Admissions Policy.

Non-degree entrance

Applicants without formal degree level qualification but with significant relevant work or playing experience are encouraged to apply. We will assess your suitability and any support you may need for the non-degree entrance through a two-step process. For more information please check our entrance task details.

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 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section (or equivalent).

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

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email apply@stmarys.ac.uk.

Course content

Modules

  • Contemporary Approaches to Player Development Core
  • Strategic Leadership in High Performance Core
  • Professional Development and Mentoring Core
  • Independent Project Core
  • Sport Psychology Core
  • Cultural Challenges in Sports Coaching Core
  • Athletic Development Core

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.

Career opportunities

As a MSc Professional Development with a specialism in sports coaching graduate, you will be highly sought after by employers in a rapidly growing market both nationally and globally.

Your professional placement will allow you to build your skills, knowledge and experiences within industry which will enhance your employability prospects in elite sport.

Employment areas include:

  • Academy coach
  • First-team coach
  • Lead phase manager
  • Head of sport
  • Disciplinary lead

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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

The programme is delivered through our bespoke online learning platform and face to face lectures.

Every core module will require you to attend for three hours per module once a month on campus. (Maximum 9 hours to be delivered Friday pm and Sat am/pm). Attendance is not mandatory as all sessions will be captured and made available online, but this does provide you with the opportunity to network, collaborate and have individual tutorials with academic staff.

All other weeks leading up to this will be delivered online, and 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 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

You will be asked to attend a four-day mandatory on-site period in late April/early May. This incorporates both academic and experiential components such as study visits to high performing organisations and environments, practical sessions, workshops and a networking conference. 

We will also organise an online induction in September to welcome and prepare you for the course.

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

Assessment methods

Assessment methods on the course deviate from traditional ideas, the main aim for assessments is to capture learning within the realms of your professional contexts.

Some of the assessment methods utilised on the programme are as follows:

  • Season long plan
  • Coaching practice sessions
  • Critical evaluation
  • Presentations
  • Position statement
  • Critical reflection

Modes of study

You can choose to study this degree as either full distance learning or blended learning (one visit per month to campus).

Studying this degree full-time will take 12 months. The duration of part-time study is either 24 or 36 months.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2021

  • Home: £9,150
  • International: £13,950

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.

Funding

Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many UK/EU postgraduate students.

For guidance about financing your studies, including information about the 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 tom.hounsell@stmarys.ac.uk.

Facilities

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Teaching staff

Tom Hounsell Tom Hounsell
Programme Director - FdSc, BSc and MSc Football programmes

tom.hounsell@stmarys.ac.uk

Dr Abbe Brady Dr Abbe Brady
Head of Department - Psychology and Pedagogic Science

abbe.brady@stmarys.ac.uk

Michael  Ayres Michael Ayres
Senior Lecturer - Chelsea FC Football Foundation Coaching and Development

michael.ayres@stmarys.ac.uk

Further information