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BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology & Coaching Sciences

BSc (Hons) Sport Development & Coaching Sciences video
  • 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.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

4 years, including a 40-week industrial placement (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry)

Relevant subjects:

Sports Science, Sport Studies, Physical Education, Biology, Psychology

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

  • 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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the first year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the seconf year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

Year 3

  • Placement: A (minimum) 40-week (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry) supervised and paid work placement in the UK or overseas which gives you the opportunity to turn theory into practice in a business environment. Our Centre for Events & Sports Research (CESR) 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.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the final year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

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

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.

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.

Placement opportunities

The third year of this course is spent on placement. These are varied reflecting the diverse interests of our students and can take place within the UK or overseas.

During the first two years of your course you will be encouraged to develop an area of interest which will be reflected in the type of placement you decide to take up in the third year. Possible overseas locations for the placement include Spain, Portugal, Australia, France, Germany and North America.

Our students have previously worked for*:

  • Sport England
  • UK Sport
  • David Lloyd
  • Fitness First
  • The New York Red Bulls.

*The above information is taken from BU institutional data.

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 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 20-60 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.

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.

Careers

  • Students in work/further study 6 months after graduation: 95.8%
  • Students in managerial/professional roles 6 months after graduation: 73.9%

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.

95.8% of our students are working or in further study within six months of finishing their degree and you'll find them 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.

Course statistics

The National Student Survey

The below information all comes from the National Student Survey completed by some of the students who graduated from this course last year.

  • Students agreed staff are good at explaining things - 96%
  • Students agreed staff made the subject interesting - 65%
  • Students were satisfied overall - 83%
  • Students agreed they got sufficient advice and support - 83%

At BU, we take our students’ feedback very seriously. We have reviewed all the responses to the survey, and we are implementing a number of new initiatives for our students. Why not visit us to see for yourself at an open day?

  • Developing further international links through placements, guest speakers and field trips
  • Relocated course administration and placement teams to be more accessible
  • New students welcome pack has much more information about where to go for help and advice
  • Continuing investment in new buildings with dedicated study and social spaces on campus
  • Recruiting new staff to help you Grow@bu – a Faculty support service run by recent graduates who really understand student issues.

61% of the course is assessed by coursework

Course assessment combines coursework, practical exams and written exams. Students engage in a variety of activities including student-managed discussions, case studies and practical activities.

15% is scheduled learning and teaching activities

This figure is an average over the 4 years of the course. Year 3 is an industrial placement year and includes no scheduled learning and teaching activities. Throughout the first and second years students are exposed to a variety of learning contexts, such as lectures, seminars and workshops.

In the final year students draw upon these experiences, and the further integration of theory and practice allows us to develop graduates with the attributes to be successful within the sport industry.

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.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

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

Open Days

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International students

International students

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