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BSc (Hons) Sport Development & Coaching Sciences

BSc (Hons) Sport Development & Coaching Sciences video
  • UCAS Code:
  • Institution:
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

This course brings together the exciting disciplines of sports development, sports management and coaching science, designed specifically for graduates wishing to face the challenges of a rapidly changing industry. It has been developed in close consultation with a number of high-profile industry bodies to ensure that when you graduate you’ll be well prepared for work in this competitive and exciting discipline.

You need a certain amount of creativity when developing sport, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the principles behind coaching science and this course will provide you with all of this and more. Links have been developed with a number of key partners for example the Club Managers Association of Europe, the RFU and Dorset FA. You will benefit from an increasing numbers of guest lectures from companies such as FIFA. Other links exist with England Athletics, Wessex Volleyball, Southampton FC, and AFC Bournemouth.

82% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things – why not come and meet us?

My placement within Guildford FC allowed me to coach a vast amount of age ranges and ability levels. I had my own under 7s team I coached and managed. This opportunity hugely impacted my career. I have networked with coaches and gained so much experience.” – Freddie Shaw, 2016

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


4 years including a minimum 30-week work placement

Relevant subjects:

Sports Science, Sports Studies, Physical Education, Biology

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 104 to 120 tariff points, including 2 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

In your first year, you'll study a variety of subjects to help you understand the wider sporting context.

Core units

  • Functional Anatomy: An introduction to the anatomy linked with physical activity and sports performance. You'll learn about how the human body works particularity the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems.
  • Research Skills: Learn how to find and use academic literature and the variety of ways to submit your work. You'll also be introduced to principles that support the coaching process.
  • Social Perspectives in Sport: This unit will teach you about social issues in sport, and sociological theories you can use in a sporting context. You'll develop thinking skills to help you place your own sporting experiences in the broader sociological environment.
  • Principles of Coaching: Develop your knowledge of sports coaching theories and practices, and learn how they're used in practical coaching environments. You'll learn about issues related to working in the sporting industry, which will prepare you for the work-based learning placement in Year 2.
  • Sport Management: Gain business and personal management skills. You'll learn about operational management, marketing, planning and financial issues and key issues related to working within the sporting industry, and develop problem solving, numeric, reflective and analytical skills.
  • Sport, Physical Activity & Health: The role of physical activity in improving and maintaining public health. You'll gain a theoretical knowledge of health promotion using physical activity and learn about the relationship between sport, physical activity and morbidity.

Year 2

In your second year, you'll develop more subject specific knowledge and learn about what you'll need to work effectively during your industrial work placement in year 3.

Core units

  • Research Methods: You'll be taught about the importance of research in your understanding of sport. It will give you the skills you'll need for collecting, analysing and presenting data, and develop your understanding of research ethics. You'll learn about the diverse nature of research activity in sports contexts.
  • Exercise Physiology: Physiological changes happen because of training and exercise. This includes how changing environmental conditions affect the human body’s ability to function. You'll also become familiar with the requirements for valid and reliable physiological assessment in a laboratory setting.
  • Event Management for Sport: Here, you'll be encouraged to experience different theories of event management, and develop a positive attitude to risk taking and entrepreneurship through creative and innovative thinking. This unit draws on other disciplines such as finance, marketing and resource management.
  • Developing Coaching Principles: Build on your sports coaching skills. Gain experience of working in the sporting industry. You'll plan, assess and reflect on your personal development in relation to sporting knowledge and expertise, coaching performance, and interpersonal working relationships.
  • Managing Sport Development: Learn about how sport development is managed in England. You'll analyse the structure and systems of sport governance and the operations of national sports organisations, and assess the variation in “pure” sports development in contrast to sport as “community development”. You'll consider the challenges sports development practitioners face when creating opportunities that engage the whole community in lifelong participation and personal development.
  • Personal & Professional Development in Sport: You'll be taught about the relationships between personnel and human resource management in the management of people in sport organisations. You'll learn about the range of personnel and human resources practices in sport organisations, and the legal frameworks which govern the management of people in sport organisations.

Year 3

  • Placement: A (minimum) 30-week supervised work placement in the UK or overseas. You'll have been encouraged to develop an area of interest in your first two years to help you find a suitable work placement. Our Sports and Physical Activity Research Centre has excellent links with sporting organisations and national governing bodies in both the UK and Australia.

Year 4

In your final year, you'll have the opportunity to develop and merge your academic and industrial skills. You'll choose a unit to reflect your area of interest.

Core units

  • Dissertation: A piece of independent work that involves collecting, interpreting and analysing data. You'll share your key findings through a sustained and balanced argument. The dissertation will develop your analytical and problem solving skills. You'll develop a critical attitude to research methods, and the ethical issues associated with researching.
  • Performance Analysis in Coaching: Performance analysis in sports coaching and performance sport. You'll learn how to apply various analysis techniques for performers and coaches and the ability to give appropriate feedback from your findings.
  • Critical Sport Development: This unit will teach you about theoretical approaches to sport development and how this relates to sport development practice. You'll be encouraged to critically analyse and challenge notions of sport development.

Option untis (choose two)

  • Applied Physiology: Physiological assessment and the best practices for it. You'll complete practical physiological assessments of athletes from the community, and assess how technical matters such as health and safety affect the management of sport laboratories and field-based work.
  • Consultancy Project: Gain skills in researching a business problem, identifying solutions and making proposals that satisfy a corporate client’s needs and circumstances.
  • Critical Notational Analysis in Sport: Learn how to apply notational analysis techniques within the coaching field and also how to write appropriate research papers to further the knowledge of performance analysis in the field of sport.
  • Managing Performance Coaching: Study the elite athlete and the performance environment. You'll learn to effectively identify and manage lifestyle, performance and training issues in the performance environment.
  • Marketing & Corporate Communications: Learn how to identify and manage marketing communications issues in business environments, with an emphasis on service sector issues.
  • Professionalism & Leadership: Improve your professionalism through personal reflection, group feedback and experiential learning. Analyse your leadership and management skills in situations you might encounter, and identify opportunities in large companies and training schemes.
  • Small Business Management: Learn about the role of small businesses in the economy, along with their aims, strengths and weaknesses. You'll develop enterprise awareness and an entrepreneurial mindset, which will help you assess business opportunities.
  • Sport, Physical Education & Pedagogy: Learn about the skills necessary for teaching and studying physical education. You'll look at key meanings of teaching and pedagogy, and the relationship between theory and practice of teaching young people.
  • Sport Tourism: Develop your understanding of sport tourism and demands for it. You'll explore supply structures and the impacts and responses of sport and tourism providers.
  • Digital Marketing: This unit will provide you with practical and theoretical knowledge for using and evaluating digital marketing. You'll develop a sound understanding of digital marketing principles.
  • Sport & the Law: Explore and analyse sport in a legal context. You'll be able to look at how the law can affect the way sports and sporting events are devised and managed. You'll analyse key areas of the English Legal System and how European and International Law influences sports.
  • Sport, Leisure & Politics: Learn about modern meanings and understandings of how sport and politics are linked within wider political and leisure industries. It explores political contexts to make sense of sport as a representational human activity loaded with sensitive values and an alternative environment for interaction.
  • Sports Injury & Rehabilitation: Best practices for recognising and managing sports injuries. You'll learn to analyse common musculo-skeletal injuries.
  • Sports Marketing: The sports sector is a significant part of international, national and local business. This unit will develop your understanding of this sector in economic and operational terms, and you'll learn about vital features for the day-to-day management of sport.

Please note that option units require minimum numbers in order to run and may only be available on a semester by semester basis. They may also change from year to year.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

The emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.

Year 1 – 24% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 259 hours 
  • Independent learning: 941 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 42 hours

Year 2 – 20% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 234 hours 
  • Independent learning: 966 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 4 hours

Year 3 (placement year)

Year 4 - 15% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 181 hours 
  • Independent learning: 1019 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 5 hours

63% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 72%
  • Year 2: 85%
  • Year 3: 0% (placement year)
  • Year 4: 93%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Sports Development & Coaching Sciences.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career, therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement as part of their course. You can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Our students are encouraged during the first two years of the course to develop an area of interest which will be reflected in the type of placement they decide to take up in the third year. Possible locations for the placement include the UK, Australia, Europe and North America.

We have a number of excellent placement links with sporting organisations, health and fitness clubs and national governing bodies in both the UK and abroad, such as Sport England, UK Sport, David Lloyd, Fitness First, Holmes Place, Southampton FC, Fulham FC and the Australian Institute of Sport. Links also exist with a number of European sporting organisations and their counterparts in North America.

The Faculty has dedicated placements advisers, whose job it is to assist students in getting the most out of their period in industry. It is a very important decision to select the placement that is relevant to your studies and your individual career aspirations.

Our students perform very well on placement and a number of firms return to us year-on-year to source BU placement students. They work in roles such as Business Development Intern, Sport & Leisure Development Assistant, Coach and Club Development Officer.

Our students have previously worked for*:

  • UK International Soccer
  • Teddy Tennis
  • Active Dorset
  • Access Sport
  • Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
  • Dorset Cricket Board.

Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your application

Background and experience

Your UCAS personal statement is a great place to do this. Tell us about your personal achievements or any relevant work experience you have done, and show us how they make you the ideal candidate for a place on the course.

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Show signs of developing into well rounded leaders and team players
  • Have good inter and intra personal skills
  • Have a passion for sport and developing people through sporting activities
  • Want to learn the theory behind sports coaching
  • Want to develop as people.

Students on this course will typically have a sports background (practical or theoretical) and experience of the sports industry and have a proven ability to work both in groups and individually.

We look for creative thinkers who are familiar with current issues and practices within the sports environment and want to challenge and be apart the dynamic industry. We would encourage applicants who are interested in new ideas, can express themselves well in writing as well as practically and those who work well in groups and can demonstrate a wide range of communication skills.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications; there are no interviews or selection activities needed. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 2 A-Levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Science or Physical Education, English and Maths or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

Advanced/progression diplomas: We welcome applicants studying the Advanced or Progression Diploma – additional qualifications will be required to meet the tariff points for the Progression diploma.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit
  • Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level Grade C to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels in relevant subjects to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71 - 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 28-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects

Scottish qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma + one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


The roles open to you when you graduate from this course are varied and exciting, so you should be able to forge a career that you are truly passionate about and utilise the skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your degree. The employment opportunities are diverse, ranging from local authorities and sporting national governing bodies to international sports events providers, sports manufacturing and retail companies and sports and leisure centres.

Our graduate employment record is very strong, with 95% of our students in work or further study within six months of finishing their degree, earning an average salary of £20,000. You can find them working for organisations such as Arsenal FC, Badminton England, Fulham FC, AFC Bournemouth, Fitspace Gym, Freedom Leisure, Sail Croatia, St Anne's Hospital and Gosport School Sports Partnership. Among the roles they have gone into are:

  • Academy analyst
  • Assistant club manager
  • Event co-ordinator
  • Duty manager
  • Performance Head Coach
  • Football coach
  • PE teacher
  • Performance analyst
  • Sports coach
  • Swimming coach.

This course is professionally recognised by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), and on completion of your degree you will be awarded at least a level 3 certificate of professional practice from the organisation. This will make you stand out to potential employers in this competitive sector.

Industries worked in

  • Sports
  • Leisure
  • Retail
  • Events
  • Education.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Sports clothing

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages.
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Hear from our students

Rachel Turner

The topics allowed me to gain interest in different areas within sports development. My placement year was particularly rewarding as it made me as employable as possible.

Hear from our staff

Andrew Adams

Our students develop a vocational understanding of how sport development is enacted through understanding how theory and practice combine and operate.

What our graduates think

Serdal Yanmaz

BU was a huge stepping stone, one which helped mould my current success as a professional.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open Days

Open Days

Discover what makes Open Days so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.