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Designed for real world challenges in contemporary coaching, three strands run through the degree: coaching process, skill acquisition and performance analysis.

  • 82.6% of Sports Coaching Science students are in professional employment, further study or both six months after graduation (HESA, DLHE 2015/16).
  • This degree programme has superb national and local links to organisations within the industry.
  • Students have access to excellent sports facilities, laboratories and strength and conditioning suite.
  • There are Coaching opportunities available on campus and in the local area.

Why study Sports Coaching Science (with a Foundation Year)?

A Sports Coaching Science degree, alongside governing body qualifications, will provide a foundation for a career in performance coaching.

The course provides you with an environment where you can develop theoretical and practical knowledge at each level of study. You will gain a strong understanding of the key science topics and practical skills that will make you stand out from other graduates. 

You'll study a range of sports, but we encourage you to relate the degree content to your chosen sports coaching domain. Through the course, you'll develop skills relevant to other careers in sport-related fields, as well as those valued by all graduate employers.

Why St Mary's?

Sports Coaching Science is driven by scientific topics and includes three strands that will provide you with a well-rounded knowledge of the sports performance environment:

  1. Coaching process strand: enhances practical skills and develops critical analysis of coaching practice
  2. Skill acquisition strand: provides an understanding of motor learning and effective training settings
  3. Performance analysis strand: explores objective measurement of performance to inform performance and coaching effectiveness

The programme content also incorporates opportunities to specialise in the sport sciences of physiology, biomechanics and sport psychology. On top of this, you can also gain in-depth, coaching-related knowledge in skill acquisition, performance analysis and coaching pedagogy.

St Mary’s has a long-standing tradition of excellence in sports and a significant number of elite sports performers regularly choose to study for degrees in the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science.

You will have the opportunity to undertake a work placement during your degree, organised alongside the Workplace Learning Team. Placements are usually located at a place convenient to you - either near the university or close to your home. Previous students have undertaken placements within local schools and sports clubs.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Pedagogical Science Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the three-year undergraduate degree in Sports Coaching Science.

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.

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).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

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.

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Thinking Critically, Creatively and Ethically Core
  • Sociology of Education Core
  • Foundation of Life Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • Coaching Process Core
  • Introduction to Research Core
  • Introduction to Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition Core
  • Physiology of Exercise Core
  • The Developing Athlete Core
  • Basic Biomechanics Core

Year two

  • Skill Acquisition I Core
  • Research Methods Core
  • Social Psychology of Sport Core
  • Coaching Process II Core
  • Notational Analysis Optional
  • Physiology of Training Optional
  • Sports Biomechanics Optional
  • Science in Practice Optional
  • Experience and Employment in Education Optional
  • Experience and Employment in Business Optional
  • Experience and Employment in Sport Optional

Year three

  • Research Project Core
  • Applied Coaching Science I Core
  • Applied Coaching Science II Core
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology Optional
  • Applied Sport Psychology Optional
  • Experimental Biomechanics Optional
  • Coach Education Optional
  • Performance Analysis Optional
  • Skill Acquisition II Optional

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

There are so many career opportunities for Sports Coaching Science graduates, including:


  • Sports coaching in clubs and academies.
  • Coaching within sports organisations.
  • Coach education and management.
  • Performance coaching.
  • Performance analysis.
  • Post-graduate study or research.
  • Teaching or lecturing.

The School of Sport, Health and Applied Science has opportunities for students to continue to higher levels of study through taught Master's programmes and a range of MPhil or PhD research awards.

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

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

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

The Sports Coaching Science Programme provides students with a variety of teaching and assessment modes to suit a range of learning styles.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, labs, problem based sessions, computer based sessions, online lectures and peer teaching.

Class sizes for the core coaching modules tend to be around 30 students. For optional modules within the Sport and Exercise Science programme, classes can vary from 30 to 120 students.

Teaching breakdown

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

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

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

Assessment methods include; essays, reviews, reports, worksheets, web-based tests, poster presentations, oral presentations, practical vivas and written exams.


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.

Fees and funding

2021/22 fees

  • Home/EU: coming soon
  • International: coming soon

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

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.

Additional costs

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

Additional costs can occur if you opt to purchase a St Mary's sports kit and core text books.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate 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.


View all facilities

Further information

Teaching staff

Colm Murphy profile photo Colm Murphy
Lecturer - Sports Coaching Science

Dr Paul Dancy profile photo Dr Paul Dancy
Programme Director - Sports Coaching Science BSc and Sports Coaching FdSc

Emily Martin profile photo Emily Martin
Lecturer - Sport Science and Sport Psychology

Claire Mulvenna profile photo Claire Mulvenna
Lecturer - Physical Education and Sport Coaching

Liam McCarthy  profile photo Liam McCarthy
Senior Lecturer - Physical and Sport Education

Dr  Jade  Salim profile photo Dr Jade Salim
Senior Lecturer – Sport Science and Sport Psychology

Dr Alexandra  Atack profile photo Dr Alexandra Atack
Senior Lecturer - Biomechanics and Performance Analysis

John Pattison profile photo John Pattison
Senior Lecturer - Sport Science

Visit the campus

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

UCAS Application Timeline