FAQs - Applied Golf Management Studies BSc

Frequently Asked Questions about the Applied Golf Management Studies BSc degree course.

What grades and what subjects do I need to be able to apply?

The current entry criteria for students is to have (or be predicted to achieve) grades of AAB-ABB at A-Level or equivalent (the average grades for 2015 entry were ABB). Please note that conditional offers may be higher than this, since these are based upon competition for places. Students who are taking qualifications other than A-Levels are advised to speak to the University’s Admissions Team for a more precise comparison. If a prospective applicant, or applicant’s school/college, is unsure ahead of submitting an application, then they should get in contact for further advice. 

After a number of years’ experience of the programme and student achievement, we strongly recommend students to undertake A-Levels, as we feel these to be appropriately rigorous and are a good preparation for degree level study. However, we do also consider students who have completed other formal post-16 qualifications such as Scottish Advanced Highers, and Irish Leavers at Higher level. It is also essential for all applicants to have GCSE's (or equivalent) including English, Maths, and Science at grade C or above. 

In the past we have welcomed students from around the world, offering many diverse qualifications: A-Levels, International Baccalaureates, BTECs, Access to HE, American SATs, as well as welcoming UK and overseas graduates. Please note: the University only considers AS levels from courses in Year 13/final year; we do not normally include General Studies; and students doing an NVQ3/Advanced Apprenticeship of Sporting Excellence should normally also be doing 3 A-Levels, the BTEC Extended Diploma (triple award) or equivalent. 

We consider students who are studying a BTEC qualification – please contact Dr Toms for more information on grade requirements, acceptable subjects and qualification combinations.
For example, students undertaking the BTEC Extended Diploma (triple award) will be asked to achieve an overall profile of "D*D*D*" and to achieve Distinctions in every single unit across both years. Where there is competition for places, then the number of unit Distinctions will be taken into account when considering offers/places, as will the applicants overall GCSE result profile and personal statements.

Students should be aware that we prefer them to have undertaken a minimum of at least 2 of the following subjects at A2 Level (or equivalent), although there is some flexibility around subject areas. The following are identified as preferred subjects:

  • Physical Education or Sports Studies/Science 
  • Business Studies or Economics 
  • Design & Technology or Maths 
  • Science (e.g. Biology, Physics, Psychology)

For further information, please see the qualifications and links pages online (or contact Dr Martin Toms). The University qualifications webpage can be found at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergraduate/requirements/index.aspx

What if I’m not doing the precise subjects?

If you are not doing the precise subjects listed above (or perhaps only 1 of the relevant A-Levels), you may also still be considered. However, this will depend upon competition for places and each individual application. We may also look in detail at your GCSE results. If you are unsure about the subjects you are taking or wish to clarify your position, please contact Dr Martin Toms (m.r.toms@bham.ac.uk) to discuss the best way forward.

Please note that it is in your best interest to have underpinning knowledge and understanding in the key academic areas in order for you to succeed on the degree, but we appreciate that not everyone has knowledge in all areas. It is strongly suggested that all students wishing to undertake the degree develop a theoretical awareness of the key areas they will be studying.

How do I apply and what are the fees?

All students must apply through UCAS (the University & Colleges Admissions System). For details and to apply, please visit UCAS at www.ucas.com. In most cases your school or college will help you with your application. 

Applications will be considered on an individual basis, but students must achieve (or be close to achieving) the entry requirements in order to make it through to the shortlisting stage. When writing their personal statement, candidates should consider their golfing experiences (such as working at a golf club NOT a list of competitions they have won), their current handicap (at point of application) and also the personal qualities they think can bring to the degree course and to the PGA.
For the latest details regarding fees, please see the fees and funding pages of the website. The Home/EU fees for 2015 entry were £9,000 per year. 

Programme UCAS details: 

Institution code: B32 
Course code: N290 
Course short name: AGMS

What is the handicap requirement?

The current stipulation is "a handicap consistent with PGA requirements" (currently 6 for men and 8 for women) for candidates to be eligible to apply for membership of the PGA. Students who apply for the Applied Golf Management Studies degree will be asked to supply bona-fide supporting evidence (current handicap certificate plus 12-month record from their club) before A level results are published. It is advisable for students to state their current handicap in their personal statement, and be prepared to supply further evidence if they are made an offer. 

Applicants need to meet a golf handicap as stipulated by the PGA (before A level results) in the year of application. Currently these are 6 or better for men and 8 or better for women.

N.B. Students must provide proof of handicap (12 month playing record and current handicap certificate) prior to exam results being published. However, if you are made an offer and already have the required handicap you can send these documents through earlier than this. Please contact Dr Martin Toms (m.r.toms@bham.ac.uk) if you have any queries or wish to discuss this.

What is the timescale and process for applications, selection and offers?

Once your UCAS application has been processed by the University and passed on to Dr Toms as the admissions tutor, you should have a response to your application through UCAS within the University response time. If you are not successful, that does not mean you cannot reapply next year (having identified areas to work on) or perhaps you might consider the PGA’s Foundation Degree.

What sort of offer will I receive?

Students will be expected to satisfy a number of criteria. Any offer made is likely to be based upon the following: 

  1. Academic grades (not UCAS points) 
  2. Handicap (currently 4.4 men, & 6.4 women) 
  3. Successful completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check through the PGA (to be paid for by the student)

When are the Open Days?

There are currently Open Days organised at the University in June and September of each year.

For precise dates please see the Open Days web pages.

There will also be a specific AGMS Open Day at The Belfry for prospective applicants on Friday 9 September 2016. To receive an invitation to this open day please ensure you have completed the database form found here. Full details of the open day will be sent to you closer to the date).

On each of these occasions there will be students from the degree available, and representatives from both the University and the PGA on hand to discuss particular issues.

If you cannot make any of these dates and you still wish to look around the University, please contact Student Recruitment on +44 (0)121 414 3374 and they will be able to inform you of any additional campus tours etc.

Why is this degree so unique?

This degree is a partnership programme that offers a unique opportunity for golfers to study their sport in-depth with world leading experts in their fields. It is a degree that combines a high level academic qualification with a vocational focus and professional opportunities.

This is only one of two degrees that are accepted by the PGA for application to membership.

Students who complete the degree are expected to lead the development of golf throughout the world. 

The University and the PGA have very strong links, and as well as the full AGMS degree, the PGA qualification is now a University-accredited Foundation Degree [FdSc] in Professional Golf. We have also developed opportunities for further postgraduate programmes for those involved or interested in golf (we run a popular Masters degree in Sports Coaching) plus we also have PhD students researching in the golf area. There is active research being conducted into various aspects of the game (e.g. research work with the England Golf, and the PGA's of Europe), and international links being developed around the degree course itself.

What will I be studying?

Throughout the 3 years of study you will cover what is a multi-disciplinary applied approach to golf. You will cover sports science; business management; materials science; and coaching science in an applied theoretical manner. The modules that you study will be taught by specialist world leading academics and researchers (including PGA golf specialists), and can be seen in more detail elsewhere. You will be taught by staff from the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences as well as specialist staff from the PGA National Training Academy. We also ensure we bring in industry experts and graduates to enhance your educational experience and knowledge.

The degree is set up in such a way that the degree covers both theoretical and applied perspectives. For example, in the first year you will look at the biomechanical principles of movement in sport and how these apply in a coaching scenario, and you will then go on to develop these principles and apply them to specific golfing examples. You will also be assessed through essays, presentations, plus seen and unseen exams, with marks in your second and third year counting towards your final degree classification on a 25%:75% basis.

Whilst everyone asks this question, you will not be playing golf during lecture time. The degree is an applied theoretical approach to the game, and whilst you will be improving your game through applied knowledge and understanding – you will not be having very many lectures on the fairways or greens. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to develop your game in your own time.

Some of the key modules that you cover include (for 2016 entry students):

Year 1 
The Golf Industry in the 21st Century
Marketing for Golf Businesses 
Introduction to Applied Sport Sciences 
Equipment Technology
Principles of Golf Coaching

Year 2 
Applied Golf Coaching 
Applied Custom Fitting
Applied Sports Science and Golf 
Financial Performance 
Golf Event Management

Year 3 
Human Resource Management 
Work Placement Analysis 
Integrated Golf Coaching

From 2015 we have also introduced pathways into Year 2 and 3, so students can take an optional module around Sports Science & Coaching; Sport Psychology or Business within each year.

When and where will lectures be?

Lectures will take place at the Edgbaston campus as well as at The PGA National Training Academy (The Belfry) 15 miles away. Students are required to arrange and fund their own travel to The Belfry. It is unlikely that students will be expected to travel between each campus on one particular day. Precise details will be available on entry to the course, but it is anticipated that there will be one timetabled day per week at The Belfry, and the rest will be based at the University. Where possible the PGA will make efforts to minimise the need for students to travel to The Belfry, and will teach on Campus, however, with the specialist golf teaching facilities and Driving Range at The Belfry then these are utilised wherever possible. More details will be provided upon entry.

I have been offered a Scholarship to the USA, should I take it?

Every year,  we receive applications from students who wish to return from studying in the USA in order to gain PGA Status in the UK. These students have realised that studying and playing in the USA is a great experience, but it is difficult to find a future there. We advise you very strongly to do your homework before you decide what to do. Whilst it is very nice to be approached by a scout to go to the USA, please investigate this option very carefully. Also bear in mind that you will probably have been approached by a profit-making individual/organisation who act as an intermediary.

Whilst the weather, golf and experience in the USA will undoubtedly be fantastic, there is little chance of being able to achieve USPGA membership (should you not make it as a player) unless you are a US citizen or possess an appropriate visa. Academically, the degrees in the USA are also different from those available in the UK. Typically a four year Bachelors degree with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 in the US is usually equivalent to a three year Bachelors degree at 2:1 level.

In short, if you are thinking about going to the USA, please research everything thoroughly and consider where you want to be in 5 years time. If you were to study in the USA but then wish to become a member of The PGA (of Great Britain and Ireland), you would have to complete a further 3 years of study, either on the Foundation Degree or AGMS. From experience we would recommend doing your degree/gaining PGA Status in the UK and then (perhaps) going on to study for a postgraduate qualification in the USA. Whichever you choose, please do your research thoroughly.

As one of our students (who tried a year in the USA) explains:

“I was approached to go and play Uni golf in America when I was 18, and I had a fun time there but realised there was no long term future in what I was studying, and I could not achieve USPGA membership. America is great for the competitive side of golf, however you lose the individual aspect with playing in a team in all tournaments. With the education side, the first year was very much like GCSE's - studying lots of different subjects like 'math', english, history, geography, which all have to be passed before you can start your actual degree course! Which usually is the 2nd year, still combined with the GCSE style subjects!

Compared to the UK - at Birmingham and all UK uni's for that matter - your golf and studying is much more independent. Also with the aid of golf scholarships and access to the Belfry facilities (especially coaching) your game can improve greatly. You have to be careful you choose a place in America with qualified coaches - as you have no car or family for support-in my case I was dependent on others. I decided to come back when I realised that I could never make a career over there as a player or coach and that I could never get USPGA membership. However, I’m now about to graduate from a top UK University and gain my PGA membership - and already have a fantastic coaching job lined up in Egypt that I start before I even graduate – something I’d never have been able to achieve had I stayed in the USA”
(Lucinda Davies, AGMS 2005-8)

When do I actually get to play golf?

As well as studying, students will have the opportunity to play sport and socialise, and you will have the chance to play golf in your free time. However, this does mean you will need to be good at time management, and certainly should not compromise your studies. 

On a Wednesday afternoon you are free to play BUCS golf, or to play for one of the many other University of Birmingham sports teams. It is however, up to you to keep your handicap at the required standard, and play in as many competition rounds as you can. Should you choose to become an ‘Assistant Professional’, you will be required to play at least 7 PGA-endorsed tournament rounds in each year of membership. 

We encourage students to play in competitions, but not to the detriment of their studies. Students wishing to compete during term time (that may interrupt their studies) should speak to the Programme Manager. 

Tragically in October 2004 one of our Year 3 students was killed in an accident. In his memory we set up the Chris Gray Memorial Trophy which is open to students and graduates of the degree, and is played every year.

See the University of Birmingham Golf Pathway

How good is the University golf team?

The success of the degree has certainly helped improve Golf at the University and the teams have developed quickly. The University squad is one of the strongest in the UK. In the past few years our students have won team and individual recognition at local and national level.

Amongst the AGMS cohort we have students who have changed status and students with plus handicaps. During 2004-5 a third team was entered into the BUSA league, and in 2005-6 we were the first University in the UK to enter four teams into the BUCS competition. Current results highlight the strength of the UoB golf squad.. The majority of BUCS home games are played at Edgbaston Golf Club (www.edgbastongc.co.uk) where one of our graduates is currently the Director of Golf.

More details of our BUCS performances can be found at www.bucs.org.uk. You can also follow the University Golf Team on Facebook at “University of Birmingham Golf” ”, and do also check out their very own website at www.uobgolf.com.

It is also important to remember that playing golf is optional and is not covered by your University fees, and to play for the BUCS team will cost approximately £5-600 per annum (Edgbaston membership fee, AU membership fee and costs of individual entries to BUCS tournaments). More details can be found on the Uni golf team page – it is team separate (although dominated) by the AGMS degree and is run for students by students. 

I want to be able to do some golf coaching – what options are there?

All our AGMS students will undertake the ASQ Level 1 and 2 Certificates in Coaching Golf. These courses are considered essential for student development as well as for PGA membership - and as such are compulsory to complete. (NB. There will be subsidised additional costs for these courses, and they will normally be arranged in advance and will take place during term time away from assessment or teaching sessions. In 2015/16 the cost for the L1 and L2 courses were £108 per course plus the cost of travel to Bromsgrove GC.).

Students this year have used these qualifications to work as golf coaches for Sport Birmingham. They have coached in schools and community projects and have been involved in helping professionals with junior club coaching. Please note, however, that you need to be aware that earning money through coaching could jeopardise your amateur status, so you will need to check this in advance.

Our AGMS students are also heavily involved in volunteer coaching in the local community, and work in local schools to introduce and promote the game, as well as some on-campus initiatives. There are other coaching schemes such as CampusGolf that students can engage with to support their coaching as well. Two of our students have also won awards for their volunteering, with Charlotte Stanton winning a volunteering award and being interviewed on Sky Sports. 

Are Royal & Ancient Bursaries and TASS scholarships available?

Applicants for R&A Foundation Scholarships must be in full-time tertiary education. Male applicants must hold a handicap of +1 or better, while female applicants must be 2 or below. TASS scholarships are currently unavailable, however National Governing Bodies can apply each year, meaning that golf may be part of the TASS scheme again in the future.

Further details are available from Hugh Sproston in the UBSport Scholarship office (0121 414 6484 or h.d.sproston@bham.ac.uk).

N.B. R&A Bursaries are open to ALL students within the University, regardless of academic course – please also see www.randa.org and www.tass.gov.uk.

What golfing success have students had from the AGMS programme?

Our students’ successes and highlights over the last few years are numerous. You can visit the news section on our website to view some of the most recent stories, and it is also worth Googling ‘AGMS’ to find out more about our students most recent successes. See also the UoB Golf team website (www.uobgolf.com).  

In 2013, Nick Brennan (a 2005 graduate) played in the PGA Cup, and others have played in many other Amateur and Professional tournaments. Lucy Williams (a 2010 graduate) won the PGA Glenmuir Championship in 2013, and also played in the US Women’s Open in June 2014. Jason Palmer (a 2006 graduate) played in the US Open in 2015, and is also known for his one handed chipping.

Can I apply for PGA ‘Assistant Professional’ status at any time during my studies?

You can apply for PGA ‘Assistant Professional’ status during your studies. However, you can only do this in negotiation with the PGA, and are advised to contact them to discuss this matter.

In order to apply during your degree course you need to do the following:

  1. Satisfy the PGA’s playing requirements. As at December 2015, this involves submitting a handicap certificate and playing record for a year and this will be assessed by the PGA. Depending on your playing record, a decision may be taken that you need to take and pass the PGA's Playing Ability Test.
  2. Find a PGA Professional who is prepared to act as a mentor to you.
  3. Pay the required fees to The PGA (around £200 in 2015).

If you choose to take up this option you will obviously relinquish your amateur status and you will be bound by the PGA’s Rules and Regulations and Code of Conduct.

For those who wish to stay amateur during their undergraduate studies it is still possible to gain full membership of The PGA by following the same route and then completing 12 months as a registered assistant professional after graduating. In order to gain PGA Membership as soon as possible after graduation, students must register with the PGA before the start of Year 3 of the course. [If you require further clarification of this please contact Gary Jackson (gary.jackson@pga.org.uk) at the PGA].

What are the benefits of PGA Membership?

Within many areas of the golf industry, PGA membership is a prerequisite for certain jobs i.e. many golf facilities will advertise specifically for PGA professionals to fill a range of positions. Even if PGA membership is not a prerequisite, The PGA training programmes are recognised worldwide, indicating a wealth of golf knowledge and, therefore, membership of the association is extremely advantageous when applying for jobs. 

The PGA is an internationally recognised badge of quality within the world of golf. In 2005, it was recognized as one of the year’s Sport Brandleaders:

Stephen Cheliotis, Council Chair of Sports Brandleaders
"The PGA is a powerful global brand built upon solid foundations with a firm commitment to the game of golf in its entirety. It has developed a premier reputation that sets the benchmark for other sports associations to follow’"

Membership comes with many benefits which are specifically offered to members. Examples include legal advice, car deals, courtesy golf, reduced price Ryder Cup tickets, PGA Professional Magazine. 

PGA membership provides Public Liability Insurance for coaches. This is extremely important in a society where people are increasingly inclined to resort to legal action when they feel that things have gone wrong. 

The PGA offers extensive opportunities for Continuous Professional Development (CPD). So, whatever your chosen career route: coach, retailer, manager, psychologist, there are plenty of opportunities to learn from the experts through The PGA. There are now various levels of membership, leading up to the highest status within The PGA – Master Professional. Who will be the first AGMS graduate to become a PGA Master Professional? It could be you! 

The PGA provide a range of tournament opportunities for its members. These include regional and national events and Pro-Ams right the way up to the PGA Cup, which is the equivalent of the Ryder Cup for PGA Professionals. 

There is also a range of opportunities to shape the development of the game within The PGA. A regional committee structure draws on the experiences of the membership to plan future developments. There are also job opportunities within The PGA itself. The current Coach Education Manager for England, for example, is an AGMS Graduate and several PGA members work in the PGA Training Academy in a variety of roles. 

Overall, a degree from a prestigious University and membership of The PGA is a very valuable combination, which relatively few get the chance to achieve.

What must I do to achieve Membership of the PGA?

During the degree there are a number of specific modules and assessments that you must pass in order to be eligible to apply for PGA Membership. To be eligible to apply for full PGA Membership, you must also successfully complete the following: 

  1. Once you become an ‘Assistant Professional’ you must compete in at least 7 (PGA endorsed) tournament rounds per annum. (Minimum time for membership is 1 year before applying for full PGA membership) 
  2. First aid qualification (paid for by The PGA).
  3. Completion of the Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop (paid for by The PGA). 
  4. Shown competence in club building and custom-fitting. (No additional charge)
  5. Passed the Rules of Golf exam (taken in year 2)  (No additional charge)
  6. Passed all elements of the swing theory practical examination in year 3 
  7. Completed all three work placements to the satisfaction of The PGA 
  8. Completed the ASQ Levels 1 and 2 Certificates in Coaching Golf (provided at cost by The PGA; around £108 for each in 2015)

You will also need to be nominated for membership of The PGA by your PGA Professional, plus one other member of 5 years standing. 

Although you may have achieved the necessary qualifications to become a full PGA member, this can only achieved if you are proposed and seconded by current members and accepted by the appropriate Regional Committee of the PGA. It is for this reason that all applicants must be registered with The PGA for a minimum of 12 months before election. More details are available from The PGA. [NB Successful completion of the degree does not guarantee PGA Professional Status].

Tell me more about the work placements...

Students will be asked to complete work placements in PGA-approved clubs (with PGA Professionals) during the summer vacation of years 1 and 2. Ideally these should be in 2 different clubs and should be arranged by the student (with the aid of The PGA). The aim of the work placement is to gain experience working in the golf industry. The minimum requirement for each placement is 240 hours. In year 3, students will need to complete 240 hours after their final exams in a golf setting - completing their placement requirements. It is important that placements are arranged by the student early on in each academic year.

Many students ask about the opportunity to play in competitions whist on their placement. This is for the student to discuss with their employer, but we are not aware of any problems being caused by this.

Where can I do the placements?

Initially we would recommend that placements are done where it is most appropriate (this may be a course near the student’s home). However, it is very much up to the student. Many students have completed placements abroad – including: Spain, Portugal, Egypt, Lithuania and also the USA. We would recommend that most placements are done wherever the student feels most comfortable (although it must be done with a PGA Pro). Students are encouraged to arrange placements in a variety of clubs during their studies, if possible – this is in order to gain a wider range of experiences in different organisations. Students should think carefully about where they would like to do their placements, and successful candidates must ensure they plan ahead for these.

During the summer of 2015, our students where on placement in the following locations:

  • Addington Golf Club
  • Archerfield Links
  • Blue Mountain Golf Club
  • Brocket Hall Golf Club
  • Carnoustie Golf Links
  • Centurion Club
  • Chevin Golf Club
  • Cuckfield Golf Centre
  • Cullasaja Club
  • Cumberwell Park Golf Club
  • East Sussex National Golf Club
  • Edgbaston Golf Club
  • Erewash Valley Golf Club
  • Exsportise
  • Gaudet Luce Golf Club
  • Golf Club Varese
  • Golf Parc Signal de Bougy
  • Grandfather Golf & Country Club
  • K Club
  • La Manga Golf & Country Club
  • Lahontan Golf Club
  • Lee Westwood Golf School
  • Lisburn Golf Club
  • London Golf Club
  • Lytham Golf Academy
  • Marriott Forest of Arden Golf Club
  • Mere Golf Resort & Spa
  • Nefyn & District Golf Club
  • PGA National Russia
  • Quail Lodge Golf Club
  • Quinta Do Lago Sociedade do Golfe
  • Reigate Hill Golf Club
  • Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club
  • Rudding Park Golf Academy
  • Sebonack Golf Club
  • SRFF Verdura Golf & Spa Resort
  • Steve Whiteside Golf
  • Sundridge Park Golf Club
  • Tewkesbury Park Hotel & Country Club
  • The Hong Kong Golf Club
  • The V Golf Club
  • TopGolf
  • TPC Boston
  • Trump International Golf Links
  • VPAR Live Golf Scoring
  • Wentworth Club
  • Whitehead Golf Club
  • Woodbridge Golf Club
  • Worcester Golf & Country Club

Placements: Examples of Feedback and Reports:

One of the things we ask our students to do is to write a few words about their placement experiences, and we also ask their employers to do the same.  Here is a sample of the feedback from placements some students and their employers:

Students about their placements:

“The people at Quinta Do Lago make it a great placement. Whilst the work can be challenging, if you are willing to work hard and take responsibility then the social aspects outside of work make it rewarding and enjoyable. The accommodation (a villa next to the driving range) is brilliant and the opportunity to both learn from senior coaches and develop your own game and golf coaching is great.” (Quinta Do Lago Golf Club, Portugal)

“This was a great experience for anyone looking to work as a traditional PGA professional. It is a great opportunity to learn about the running and working of a large professional shop at an Open Championship golf course, with the opportunity to learn about coaching from a former England lead coach. (Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club, England)”

“This placement gives you a first idea to understand how a golf club works overall, from welcoming customers in the reception, the golf school, dealing with the customers by phone and the financial part of the club. During the summer it is possible to also do some coaching experience because the PGA professional sets up a Junior Summer Camp for juniors that want to learn how to play golf with other 2/3 coaches. (Golf Club Varese, Italy)”

“I would definitely recommend this placement for future students. This placement gives the student the opportunity to do a variety of roles at a prestigious and busy venue. The golf team at the Forest of Arden are very experienced and friendly. Many members of the golf team are AGMS alumni which is of benefit as they have been through work placements themselves whilst studying.” (Forest of Arden, England) (K Club, Ireland)

“I would recommend this placement to other students in the future. Sebonack Golf Club is an amazing place, and will become world famous in the future. The people there are great, and they are the best of the best in terms of leading their fields. There are some incredible members there too that you can get to know. It is a good place to learn about the industry, as everything is kept very much as a tight ship. It is a unique experience at a private members' club in America and is located in a spectacular part of the world. It can be difficult at times, with hard work, long hours and high expectations, but can also be very rewarding in the end.” (Sebonack Golf Club, USA) (Royal Cinque Ports, England)

The reports we get back from students is also an important factor in this as well, so below are a sample of anonymised reports from the employers about our students:

“X was a tremendous addition to our team this summer. With his great personality, passion for the golf business and great work ethic, I am confident that X will have a successful career in this business”. (Sebonack Golf Club, USA)

“Y was excellent in all areas and was a great asset to the business. His willingness to go that extra mile is a great asset to have. ” (Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club, England)

“Z has excelled in all areas at Forest Dunes, and is well prepared for his next challenge in the golf industry. ” (Forest Dunes Golf Club, USA)

“S is well on his way to becoming a top class Coach. Added to his knowledge of the physical side of the game, the future is bright for S. ” (Jonny Foster Golf Academy, N. Ireland)

“P was a pleasure to have, a great work ethic. He will go far in the industry. ” (Wentworth Golf Club, England)

Can I get to play on the courses at The Belfry?

The PGA actually does not own the courses at The Belfry, so access to the courses is by payment only. Please contact Gary Jackson at the PGA for more information.

What are the job prospects likely to be when I graduate?

Well over half of all of our graduates achieve at least a 2:1 degree classification – excellent results when considering the multi-disciplinary content of the programme. On completion of the AGMS degree, you will be qualified to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities within the world of golf. If you choose to become a PGA Professional, you may wish to become a club pro or to specialise as a teaching pro. Ultimately, you may aspire to become a Director of Golf or Club Manager. - indeed, a number of students have moved into management roles within a few years of graduating.

However, do not think that the options for PGA Professionals are limited to the ‘traditional’ golf club. The industry is changing and PGA Pros are working in many aspects of golf such as the organisation of events, golf course design and golf development. In addition, others work for equipment manufacturers and suppliers. Finally, many carve out niches for themselves as innovators and entrepreneurs in this country and around the world. With the AGMS Degree and PGA Membership the golf world really is at your feet.

Should you choose not to become a PGA Professional, there are opportunities to work within golf with the game’s governing bodies (e.g. the R&A or the Home Unions), or within the management side of the business (e.g. as a Golf Club Manager - although again this is a career that would be reached through a series of steps).A significant number of AGMS Graduates have gained employment with the PGA: some are employed within the Tournament Department; some at the PGA’s National Training Academy; others in Coaching Development roles; some with the PGAs of Europe, and, in one case, developing golf for the PGA in China.  

In short, our graduates gain leading and influential positions within the golf industry at every level. Whilst we all appreciate that many students wish to become Tour Pros, the reality is often different, so it is hoped that through a love, appreciation, and understanding of the game, our graduates will be the future managers, administrators and coaches of the sport. However, a playing career is not out of the question. For example, AGMS graduate Jason Palmer (2003-6), won the Alps Tour in 2010 and played in the US Open in 2014, and recent graduate Lucy Williams won the PGA Professional Championship in 2013, and also played in the US Women’s Open in 2014. It is of course possible for students to do further postgraduate study at the University when they graduate, and it is hoped that through the degree some world leading research will be established and as the degree progresses, more opportunities will become available for our students elsewhere.

A number have registered for Higher degrees (e.g. MSc in Sports Psychology, PhD in Golf Psychology and a PhD in youth coaching, MA’s and MBA’s in Business and HRM).

Other graduates are undertaking the MSc in Sport Coaching that we also offer (linked to the PGA level 3 and 4 golf coaching awards). It would appear that there are plenty of graduate opportunities for our students all round the world.

When it comes to graduate salaries, a recent internal survey (December 2015) conducted on AGMS graduates (who are PGA members) identified the following (from a sample of 98 respondents):

  • Average gross graduate salary on election to PGA membership = £22,875 
  • Average gross salary after an average of 3 years employment as a PGA member = £37,000

The data also showed that graduates who become PGA members consistently earned more than those who worked in golf but were not PGA members.

You can find out more about some of our graduates here.

What about accommodation if I choose to apply to Birmingham?

If you have questions about accommodation, please contact the individual University departments directly. Visit our Accommodation Services page here.

If a student wishes to bring a car to University, we suggest that you discuss this with Accommodation Services before deciding where to live. The advice we have been provided on this suggests that students should opt for Pritchatts Park or The Vale (subject to the type of accommodation preferred by the student). Please note that there may be charges for parking at these halls, so students are urged to apply for accommodation early and to contact Accommodation Services to discuss the issue of car parking and charges.

All students doing the AGMS degree can purchase either School of SportExR or UoBGolf team (polo shirts and tracksuit trousers) and should be prepared to adhere to the PGA’s dress code when at lectures at The Belfry. Information on this for successful candidates will be made available after confirmation.

Further information about the practicalities of life as a student at the University can be found across the University website.

What else can I study at Birmingham University or at the PGA?

The PGA has the Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Professional Golf in partnership with the University that keen golfers may wish to undertake. It is a 3-year programme undertaken by distance learning, and students need to be accepted as PGA Assistant Pros in order to be eligible to apply. For further information please contact the PGA National Training Academy. 

The University of Birmingham has a number of other world-renowned and popular Sports related undergraduate degree courses – e.g. Sport & Exercise Sciences and Sport, Physical Education & Coaching Science.

For further details about these courses please see our undergraduate courses page.

Why the University of Birmingham?

Ranked in the world’s top 100 universities, Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives. We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

In 1946 the University of Birmingham became the first university in the UK to offer a degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences, extending the original focus from physical education. Today, we are still leading the sector in both research and teaching in sport/exercise science and also physical education and coaching science.

Our graduate employability record speaks for itself with our 2014/15 figures our best yet; placing Birmingham fourth nationally. We have also been named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015-16.

What facilities are there for me to use?

On the degree you will have the chance to use the specialist PGA facilities (Swing rooms/Gym and Workshops) at The National Training Academy.

Thanks to a £16.4 million investment, the University’s boast one of the largest custom-built Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation facilities in the UK. This includes teaching and research laboratories for physiology, biochemistry, psychophysiology, musculoskeletal assessment, biomechanics, sport and exercise psychology, motor skills, immunology, muscle mechanics and the neurophysiology of movement. Our state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities offer excellent learning spaces for our integrated modules where theory and practice go hand in hand. We also work in partnership with UBSport, using their facilities for applied research and teaching practical sessions. This partnership will be further strengthened with the opening of a new £55 million sports centre in mid 2016 offering some of the best sports facilities in the UK including a 50m swimming pool and one of the largest gyms in Europe.

I’m really keen to apply – what else can I do to help my application?

When we look through a UCAS application we not only look at grades, GCSE’s and School statements - we also look at your personal statement in some detail.

We appreciate that you may wish to write a more generic personal statement if you are applying for a number of different types of degree course. However, in order to aid your cause it is worth writing at least a short paragraph citing your experiences of working in the golf industry/assisting a Pro with youth coaching/awareness of wider social issues and golf/understanding the role of a golf Pro. These would be far more useful than purely listing tournaments won and medals collected! At the same time please also mention your PRECISE current handicap in your statement (we will ask for proof before you can enter the shortlisting stage).

What are the University and PGA looking for in applicants?

As well as good grades in relevant subjects and a good handicap, we are also looking for students who are mature; motivated; have a strong willingness to work, improve and succeed; and who will be committed to their studies and their own personal development. They should also be aiming to become PGA Professionals and be willing to learn the skills involved in coaching, administration, management and the game’s development.

Students will be expected to represent the University and The PGA, and will be closely bound by their rules and regulations once they change status. Students should also note that lecture attendance is compulsory and a close eye is kept upon each student’s attitude, work, and welfare in order to help them progress and succeed.

This academic-pastoral approach will also be reflected in regular student reviews and reports, and will be central to any reference for your PGA application.

What are the expectations of me should I get onto the degree?

Because of the nature of the degree and the expectations of the golf industry, we expect a high level of commitment from our students. For example attendance at all lectures is compulsory; academic tutorials are vital; and behaviour and dress are equally important. In return for this high level of commitment, students will receive academic and pastoral reviews, support, tutorials and advice which can be lost on degree courses with large student numbers. AGMS staff get to know each student individually and we believe this is pivotal to the success of the degree and the student.

We have a public statement on the expectations of our students:

“The AGMS degree has very high expectations of its students. Because of the nature of the qualifications and the professional expectations of the industry to which you aspire, there are high requirements in terms of attendance, punctuality, appearance and commitment (much like they are in other professional qualifications like Medicine, Physiotherapy and Teacher Training). All of these are closely monitored and will be reflected in references, reports and ultimately applications for membership of The PGA”.

What else is happening with golf at The University of Birmingham?

As well as the Foundation Degree, we are developing Masters Degree routes in various aspects of the game, such as the MSc in Sport Coaching (as well as an MSc in Sports Policy Business and Management). It is also possible for appropriately qualified graduates to register for PhD research degrees within the University, using staff expertise of the golf field. We currently have a number of individuals heavily involved in Golf who are undertaking PhD’s with us. In addition, staff are involved in research into all aspects of the game, and are working with The PGA to develop golf participation, technology, health and social wellbeing through research into the sport.

I still have some questions about the degree – who should I contact?

If you still have further questions, please feel free to contact Dr Martin Toms at the University of Birmingham or Gary Jackson at The PGA. They can provide further information or advice on applications or entry requirements: 

Dr Martin Toms (University of Birmingham: Senior Lecturer and AGMS Programme Leader) 
Telephone: 0121 415 8392 
Email: M.R.Toms@bham.ac.uk 

Gary Jackson (PGA: Business Skills Development Manager and AGMS Co-ordinator) 
Telephone: 01675 470333 
Email: Gary.Jackson@pga.org.uk  

AGMS in the News

You can find stories about AGMS, our graduates and our success across the world in various publications, but as a taster, below are 2 links to TV snippets that have been AGMS focussed:


The information provided in this Frequently Asked Questions section is for guidance only, and should not be taken as definitive. More precise information will be provided upon entry to the programme.

Further useful contacts

Student Recruitment and Outreach Office: 0121 414 3374 
Housing Services: 0121 414 6444 
UBSport: 0121 414 4117 
Undergraduate Admissions: 0121 414 6623 
UoB Guild Of Students (BUGS): 0121 472 1841 www.guildofstudents.com  



University printed prospectus request page:

Video transcript here