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BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology & Coaching Sciences

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  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    CX81
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

Psychology has rapidly become a fundamental part of sports coaching and so we've developed a course that perfectly combines both disciplines to give you a solid understanding of psychology and the methods you can use to enhance sporting performance. This course covers sports coaching, sports psychology, performance analysis and the management of sports performance.

It’s been designed in consultation with various high-profile industry organisations including UK Sport, BASES, Sport England, Sports Coach UK, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity and National Governing Bodies, and will give you a comprehensive academic education, all underpinned by varied practical experience.

Our brand new sport performance laboratories enable you to measure the impact that changes to a training regime can have, and how you as a coach can use that information to better athletes or a team’s performance.

93% of our final year students agree our staff are good at explaining things and have made the subject interesting. Join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day.

Want to know what you can expect from a sports degree at BU? Read one of our student blogs to find out more.

Sport scholarships

If you’re passionate about sport and you’re a high performing sport athlete with the desire to continue developing your talents whilst you’re studying, then have a look at our BU Sport Scholarships which are available to help support you financially. Assistance provided for coaching, equipment, competition entry fees, travel expenses and/or support services.

Interested in studying this course part-time? Enquire now.

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 2018, September 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

4 years including a minimum 30-week work placement

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 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

  • Introduction to Sport & Exercise Psychology: Understand sport and exercise psychology theories, and learn how sport psychology and the sporting environment are linked. You'll look at how the brain impacts on human behaviour.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 Three.

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.
  • Psychology of Exercise: Study human behaviour in the exercise environment. You'll look at the relationship between exercise and health and wellbeing, and how exercise could improve mental health.
  • Psychology of Human Performance: Building on what you learnt in the Introduction Sport & Exercise Psychology unit, you'll learn how to make informed judgements about the psychological factors that affect human performance, and how to make psychological interventions in the sporting environment.
  • 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.
  • 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 which gives you the opportunity to turn theory into practice in a business environment. Our Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre has excellent links with sporting organisations and national governing bodies in both the UK and Australia. This includes Sport England, UK Sport and the Australian Institute of Sport. We also have links with a number of European sporting organisations and their counterparts in North America.

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.
  • Applied Sport Psychology: How applied sport psychology can enhance sport training and performance. You'll learn how to evaluate the psychological factors that affect sports performance and how to use intervention strategies.
  • 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.

Option units (choose two)

  • Critical Notional 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 and 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

You'll be assessed through a mix of coursework and end of year exams.

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-credit bearing learning and teaching: 42 hours

Year 2 – 22% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 259 hours 
  • Independent learning: 941 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 42 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-credit bearing learning and teaching: 5 hours

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 82% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

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 Psychology & Coaching Sciences (pdf 1mb).

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. Possible overseas locations for the placement include Spain, Portugal, Australia, France, Germany and 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 Sport Psychology Intern, Soccer Coach, Student Teaching Assistant, Activiites Counselor, Assistant Community Project Officer and Team Performance Analyst & Coach.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • West Ham United FC
  • AFC Bournemouth
  • Global Premier Soccer
  • Henley Royal Regatta
  • Oakmeadians RFC Ltd
  • Active Dorset.

Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

International students

If you will need a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, please be aware that the immigration rules do not allow you to do a paid work placement as a sports coach.

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

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Are passionate about developing others and well as themselves
  • Show signs of developing good inter and intra personal skills
  • Have knowledge of psychological concepts
  • Have experience of sports science
  • Want to work with people.

Students on this course will typically have a sports background and experience of both psychology and the sport science domains along with a proven ability to work creatively, in groups and individually.

We look for creative, independent and innovative thinkers who are familiar with current coaching practices and want to use psychology in order challenge and be a part of the dynamic sports industry. We would encourage applicants who are interested in new ideas, can express themselves well in writing as well as practically, work well in groups and can demonstrate a wide range of sporting interests.

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 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

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104-120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of GCSE English, Mathematics and Physical Education or Science grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) 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 Future Students Enquiry team 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 Future Student Enquiry team – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 112 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/ 90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/ Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104-112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 principal subjects. 

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires 112 tariff points
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 28-31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects. 

Scottish Advanced Higher: 104-112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

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.

Careers

Athletes at all levels and all over the world want to have the edge when they're competing and the skills you'll gain on this course will help you offer just that. This degree will prepare you for work in sporting performance environments, sporting national governing bodies and events organisers, as well as giving you the skills you need to coach or work as part of a support team.

Within six months of graduating, 95% of our students are in work or further study, earning an average salary of £21,000 a year. Our students are working for companies such as David Lloyd Leisure, Bright Wells Tennis Club, Pinnacle Sports, The Connectic Foundation, West Ham FC and London Wasps, among others. Our graduates are working in roles such as:

  • Assistant manager
  • Football coach
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports coach
  • Sports development officer.

The combination of coaching and management experience you'll gain on this course will help you to become a self-employed coach - a route several of our graduates have gone down with great success, moving into coaching in Olympic sports in some cases.

Industries worked in

  • Sports
  • Leisure
  • Events.

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.

Our lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the sports sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Dr Ian Jones

The Head of the Department of Sport and Physical Activity

Ian's areas of interest are sporting identities, sport fan behaviour, the phenomenology of well-being, and research methods for sport. He is author of Research Methods for Sport Studies which has been translated into several languages, and co-author of Qualitative Research in Sport and Physical Activity.He is a member of the editorial advisory boards for Leisure Studies, The Journal of Sport & Tourism, the Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, and the International Journal of Festival and Event Management, and has acted as reviewer for a number of journals including The Journal of Sport Management, Leisure Studies, Leisure Sciences, The International Journal of Sport Management, the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Sociology of Sport, and The European Journal of Sport Science.

Paul Boyce

Senior lecturer in Sports Business and Administration

Paul specialises in the areas of Sport Management and Finance. He currently holds the post of Head of Education and Professional Practice for the Department of Sport and Physical Activity. Paul has a keen interest in the business of motor sport and has worked on BU's behalf within a British Touring Car Chanpionship team and with the organisers of the Rallye Sunseeker.

Dr Emma Kavanagh

Pathway leader for BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology & Coaching Sciences

Dr Emma Kavanagh is a  BASES Accredited Performance Psychologist and Chartered Sport and Exercise Scientist, working with a number of athletes at National and International level. Emma teaches across the sports degree programmes and specialises in sports psychology and mental performance and athlete-centred coaching methodologies. Her research interests are within the academic disciplines of psychology and sociology. Current projects include an examination of humanisation and dehumanisation in high performance sport and its impact on athlete wellbeing, understanding human rights in elite sport and an exploration of virtual and face-to-face maltreatment in high performance environments. Emma is a part of a number or international research networks which have a clear vision to enhance the climate and environment in which high-performance athletes function

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, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • 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
  • Optional 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 (with or without attendance) 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.

Course changes

The table below indicates any changes to the course content.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
14.11.17

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790
06.09.17 2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to: minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent. 2018 entry requirements

minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

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Open day walking courtyard

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Purbeck House common room

International students

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