Sports Coaching & Performance

Ulster University - Belfast

Sports Coaching & Performance

The climate for developing sport and coaching in Northern Ireland and the UK has never been more positive. With major international events being hosted here, coach education and development has become a major focus for policy and funding decisions.

This course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills required to operate as a high-performing coach. This is a cutting-edge programme that will support those involved in coaching and coach education, linking directly with the needs of the industry.

You will be challenged to develop your coaching practice through a range of modules which focus on individual development and current approaches to coaching. The course content is based on the requirements of the sports coaching profession, employers, associated professional bodies, community, and industrial interests.

Graduates have secured employment in a wide range of sport and non-sport related organisations, including sport governing bodies, local authorities, education, or self-employment.

Work placement / study abroad
There are a range of approaches that will be utilised in this programme with regards to work based learning from minimal workplace guidance in some modules to full mentoring support in the Advanced Coaching Process module which entails the academic mentor viewing the student in their coaching environment. The value of this model of work-based learning is that it enables students to receive observational assessment in the workplace. All assessments will be reflective in nature which will ensure the engagement of work based practice.

For further course details please see "Course Web Page" below.

Subjects taught

Year one
Research Project in Sports Coaching
This module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in an area of their choosing within the cognitive field of sports coaching. They will present their findings and engage in critical assessment of their work by way of a written research project of between 12,000 and 16,000 words in total.

Performance Analysis and Monitoring
In order to provide optimal outcome for the sports person and the career development of the sports coach, it is essential to understand the key scientific, professional and practical concepts of coaching and athlete/ team performance. This module will advance the students' ability to manage and coordinate the range of support services within coaching, exploring the link between research and science based concepts of athlete monitoring with practical strategies to inform coaching, business and welfare based decisions to achieve maximal benefits against agreed outcomes. This module draws upon the student's previous knowledge and skills to ensure a multifaceted approach to the development of professional practice in Sports Coaching

Personal Skill and Leadership Development
This module is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to develop their leadership and mentoring skills as well as identify and support peer and work colleagues to develop their leadership and mentoring skills. This module aims to enable students to further develop their personal and professional skills.

Advanced Coaching Process
The professionalisation of coaching is a contemporary issue from both an academic and industry perspective. This module utilises an applied industry context to encourage students to critically reflect on existing theory, draw upon existing knowledge and experience to support the development of personal and professional skills.

Research Project Preparation in Sports Coaching
This module will engage the student in critically analysing research problems from an organisational context. Students will be awarded the opportunity to select and critically evaluate appropriate methodological approaches for undertaking research acknowledging strengths and limitations explicitly.

Motor Cognition and Performance
Through a series of lectures and tutor-led practical sessions, students will be able to critically reflect on the theoretical and practical importance of motor learning and performance. Students will also develop experience delivering a movement skills programme.

Entry requirements

Applicants must: (a) have gained; (i) a second class honours degree or better in a related discipline (for example – BSc Sports Coaching, BSc Psychology; BSc Sport and Exercise Psychology; BSc Sports Studies; Sports and Exercise Sciences or Physical Education) from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or (ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification; and (b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent); In exceptional circumstances, as an alternative to (a) (i) or (a) (ii) and/or (b), where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language this course requires
a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band
score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2023.

Post Course Info

Career options
The climate for developing sport and coaching across the world has never been more positive. Coach education and development has become a major focus for policy and funding decisions by many Governmental Departments. Coaching is emerging as a recognised profession in many countries, this has created a fast moving and dynamic environment in which coaches are challenged to continually develop their practice. In this context many coaches and coaching professionals (e.g. coach educators) undertake study at post graduate level to both enhance their practice and improve their career prospects.

Graduates who successfully achieve a Masters In Sports Coaching & Performance fulfil roles in a wide range of sport and non-sport related organisations.

For example:
Sport Governing Bodies:
Director of Coaching
Coaching Manager
Strength and Conditioning coach
Coaching Development
Talent Identification & Development
High Performance Coach
Professional Coach
Talent/youth/children's Coach
Performance Analyst

Local Authorities:
Sports Development Officer
Active Schools Coordinator
Coach (after schools, multi-skills, sports specific)
Physical Activity Coordinator

Physical education teacher
High school coach
University lecturer
University coach development officer
Director of Sport

·Self-employed business
·Full-or part-time coach

The expectation of what makes an high performing coach is growing and there is a need therefore for coaches at all levels to become more highly qualified, this can be achieved by continuing in education at postgraduate level.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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