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?

For 2015-16 entry, we are looking for students to have (or be predicted) grades of AAB-ABB at A-Level or equivalent (the average grades for 2014 entry were AAB). 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 13 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.

Over the past 13 years 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.

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 they are normally required to have a minimum of at least  2 of the following subjects at A2 Level (or equivalent): 

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

Please note that in general the 25 candidates with the best grades (who meet the minimum University entry requirement) and the required handicap are given places each year. This does therefore depend upon grades and competition for places year by year, so if you are not sure - you have nothing to lose by applying! (The University reserves the right to raise grades dependent upon competition for places).

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 mayalso 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 (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. Due to tight timescales we do not normally accept late UCAS applications.

For the latest details regarding fees, please see the fees and funding pages of the website. The fees for 2014 entry were £9,000 per year.

Programme UCAS details:

BIRM
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 4.4 for men and 6.4 for women) for candidates to be eligible to apply for PGA Professional Status. 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 their application is considered. It is advisable for students to state their current handicap in their personal statement, and be prepared to supply further evidence when required.

Students with handicaps higher than 4.4/6.4 may  also be accepted, although this is at the discretion of the shortlisting board, and is based around volume and quality of applications. Please note, however, if you are accepted on the course with a handicap higher than 4.4/6.4, you will be ineligible to enter a Playing Ability Test (PAT) until your handicap has reached the required level.

Students who apply with handicaps of more than 9.0 (male) and 12.0 (female) are likely to be rejected at an early stage.

N.B. Students must provide proof of handicap (12-month playing record and current handicap certificate) by no later than the UCAS closing date – failure to do so may lead to the application being rejected. Please contact Dr Martin Toms (m.r.toms@bham.ac.uk) if you wish to discuss this issue.

What about if I want to defer a year to reduce my handicap?

Students must be aware that if they wish to defer a year, they must still fulfil ALL of the offer criteria (a DBS check will also need to be undertaken just prior to entry) by the August of the application. For example, if you are a male and apply in 2014-15 for deferred entry to 2016 and you have a handicap of 5.9, you would still have to lower your handicap to 4.4 or better by mid August 2015 (this would be a condition of any offer made).

Since this is rather complicated, if you do wish to apply for deferred entry please contact Dr Martin Toms (m.r.toms@bham.ac.uk) to discuss your current situation and seek advice on the best way forward.

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

All applications must be made to UCAS by the closing date of mid-January. It is unlikely that late applications for the AGMS degree will be considered.

Once applications have been received by the University, a letter will be sent out asking candidates to provide evidence of their current handicap by providing a bona-fide certificate and 12-month playing record by a given deadline (usually by the UCAS closing date).

Please note that our interview process is currently under review, and may be replaced by an applicant visit day for those who have been made offers.

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)

How many places are there?

Currently we have 25 places per year. Places are open to all students regardless of background, and all applications will be considered on both  academic grades and golf handicap (i.e. below 4.4 or 6.4). There is no compensation for having a very good handicap but weak grades (or vice versa), so as long as you are off 4.4 or 6.4 or better the precise level of handicap does not matter.

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: 
http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/visit/ug-opendays.aspx 

There will also be a specific AGMS Open Day at The Belfry for prospective applicants on Friday 11 September 2015. 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 Admissions Liaison on 0121 414 3374 and they will be able to inform you of any additional campus tours etc. Unfortunately, staff do not normally have time to meet individually with prospective students away from the organised open days.

Why is this degree so unique?

This degree is currently the only one of its kind in the world. It is a partnership degree 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.

No other golf related degree is 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 first year applies generic (and golfing) principles, and the 2nd and 3rd years are far more applied. 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 2014 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 
Integrated Coaching
Business Planning
Project

More details will be made available at point of entry and modules may be subject to change.

When and where will lectures be?

Lectures will take place on weekdays, and there will be approximately 12-14 hours contact time per week. Students are expected to do at least 200 hours of additional self-study in total for each module covered.

Lectures will take place at the Edgbaston campus as well as at The PGA National Training Academy (The Belfry) 15 miles away. Students and parents must be aware that they will be required to arrange and fund their own travel to The Belfry.It is anticipated that lectures will be block-booked on campus, so students will not 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. 

  • Sports Science (University & The PGA National Training Academy)
  • Business Management (The PGA National Training Academy)
  • Equipment Technology/Applied Custom Fitting (The PGA National Training Academy)
  • Golf Coaching (University & The PGA National Training Academy and other local coaching facilities)

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

Over the past few years we have noticed an increase in applications from students who wish to return from studying in the USA in order to gain PGA Status in the UK. These students have realized 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. There are a number of local clubs and courses on which you can play, and some also offer subsidised membership to our students. We are currently reviewing membership and coaching opportunities available specifically for our students, and hope to have more details when you apply. 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 have now set up the Chris Gray Memorial Trophy which is open to students and graduates of the degree, and is played every year.

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 best in the UK, and with support from The PGA and also private sponsors, this is bound to continue. 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 – making it probably the best University for Golf in the UK. All BUCS home games are played at Edgbaston Golf Club (www.edgbastongc.co.uk) where one of our graduates is 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).

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 the award winning Golf Volunteerz project which puts them in the position of being able to offer volunteer coaching for local schools etc. There are other coaching schemes such as CampusGolf that students can engage with to support their coaching as well.

Are Royal & Ancient Bursaries and TASS scholarships available?

Students can apply for individual R&A Bursaries (for those who play off better than +1 [male] or 3 [female]) and/or TASS Scholarships (for those who play off 1 or better [male] or 4 or better [female]). Further details are available from Luke Gunn in the UBSport office (0121 414 2581 or l.s.gunn@bham.ac.uk).

N.B.  R&A Bursaries and TASS Scholarships are open to ALL students within the University, regardless of degree 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. 

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. Pass The PGA’s Playing Ability Test (PAT) (you must be playing off 4.4 or 6.4 or better to enter a PAT).
  2. Find a PGA Professional who is prepared to propose you as a “student member” of The PGA and act as a mentor to you.
  3. Pay the required fees to The PGA (around £200).

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 Professional Status 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 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. You must also successfully complete the 3 golf club work placements.

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 status) 
  2. First aid qualification (provided by The PGA - offered to students at cost in year 1; around £40). 
  3. Child protection qualification (as above; around £40). 
  4. Shown basic competence in club building and custom-fitting in years 1 & 2 
  5. Passed the Rules of Golf exam (taken in year 3) 
  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 £110 for each)

In addition you will need a letter of reference and support (reflecting attendance, participation etc) from The PGA National Training Academy. 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 in a golf setting within the organisation, working with the public, in the shop and as a coach. 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 – and many students have been given time off to play in national and international events whilst on their placement.

Where can I do the placements?

Initially we would recommend that placements are done where it is most convenient (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.

Information from the summer placements from 2011 showed an average hourly income of around £7 (year 1) and £9 (year 2). In many cases (for those abroad) these also included flights, accommodation, food and all golf access. The range therefore was approximately £4 per hour (including all of the above) to approx £22 per hour). We encourage (and can support) students in these discussions.

During the summer of 2014, our students where on placement in the following locations:

Abu Dhabi Golf Club x 2

United Arab Emirates

Alderley Edge Golf Club

England

Allegria Golf Club

Egypt

American Golf

England

Binowo Park  Golf & Country Club

Poland

Bowood Golf & Country Club

England

Celtic Manor Resort Ltd

Wales

Donaghadee Golf Club

Northern Ireland

Edgbaston Golf Club

England

Elea Golf Club

Cyprus

Ennis Golf Club

Southern Ireland

Exsportise Ltd

England

Forest Dunes Golf Club

USA

Golf du Cognac

France

Hawarden Golf Club

Wales

Hawkstone Park Hotel & G.C.

England

High Legh Park Golf Club

England

Johnny Foster Golf Academy

Northern Ireland

K Club x 2

Southern Ireland

Kirkby Lonsdale Golf Club

England

La Cote Golf Parc

Switzerland

La Manga Golf & Country Club

Spain

London Golf Club

England

Lough Erne Resort

Northern Ireland

Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club x 2

Wales

Marriott Forest of Arden Golf Club x 3

England

Moor Park Golf Club

England

Palm Island Resort

China

Penha Longa Golf Club

Portugal

Playitas Grand Resort

Spain

Quinta Do Lago Sociedade do Golfe x 4

Portugal

Real Club de Golf El Prat

Spain

Reigate Hill Golf Club

England

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

England

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club

Wales

Rye Golf Club

England

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club x 3

United Arab Emirates

Sebonack Golf Club

USA

Sundridge Park Golf Club

England

The Belfry (Tournaments Department)

England

The Country Club of Sapphire Valley

USA

The V Golf Club x 2

Lithuania

Wentworth Club x 2

England

Wynyard 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, one graduate is already a Director of Golf within 4 years of completing his degree.

However, do not think that the options for PGA Professionals are limited to the ‘traditional’ golf club. The industry is changing and PGA Pro’s 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 Pro’s, 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 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.

What are the current graduates doing?

We now have 7 cohorts of graduates, and a number of them have taken some key jobs in the industry. These include posts at such places as:

  • St Andrews Links,
  • The Belfry,
  • Royal Porthcawl,
  • Royal Liverpool,
  • St Mellion,
  • Machynys Golf Club,
  • TopGolf,
  • Wentworth,
  • David Leadbetter Academies,

as well as in other courses around the UK and the Channel Islands.

A number are now working as Professionals abroad:

  • Australia,
  • Cyprus,
  • France,
  • Dubai,
  • Egypt,
  • UAE,
  • Saudi Arabia,
  • China,
  • South Korea,
  • Germany,
  • Belgium,
  • Switzerland,
  • Portugal,
  • Lithuania,
  • USA,
  • Eire,
  • South Africa,
  • Italy,
  • Spain 

Students are also working within the wider world of golf for:

  • Project Manager for Ryder Cup 2018 (France)
  • the PGA National Training Academy (Coach Development Manager: England)
  • England Golf - National Lead for Women & Girls 
  • County and Regional Golf Development Officers
  • the Faldo Series (as an executive), working with GASP systems and V1,
  • Titleist (Area sales manager),
  • PR/Marketing Executive for TaylorMade-adidas Golf
  • Communications Manager (PGA of Europe)
  • Tournament Controllers and Administrators
  • International Business Development Manager (Lee Westwood Academies)
  • European Sales Consultant (Golfbreaks.com)

and other areas linked to golf.

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 Sports 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 (May 2012) conducted on AGMS graduates (who are PGA members) identified the following (from a sample of 54 respondents):

  • Average gross graduate salary on election to PGA membership = £24,670 
  • Gross Salary after an average of 2 years employment as a PGA member = £41,887

(8 students were not included in the above data as they are working abroad on ‘expat’ packages – with food, accommodation, flights, car and other benefits included within their salary.)

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 are expected to purchase either School of SportEx or UoBGolf team (polo shirts and tracksuit trousers) and should also come prepared to adhere to the PGA’s strict 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 (formerly The PGA Diploma) 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 Pro’s 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?

The University is a well-established elite Russell Group & Universitas 21 University, and its degrees are some of the most respected in the world. Just recently it was voted the Sunday Times and Times University of The Year. It is also one of the world’s top 100 universities. It has academic and sporting facilities that are second to none, and is one of the country’s most popular choices for undergraduate study. Its transport links and proximity to top-class sporting facilities also make it a key choice for students who wish to combine top-level sport with a high-quality degree.

The schools involved in the delivery of the degree at the University are all highly rated, and in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the lead School, Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences, received the highest marks of 6*, and was ranked Number 1 nationally for Sports Science in the complete university guide rankings 2014 and also in The Sunday Times and Times Good University Guide 2015. With research-based teaching and lecturing expertise this puts students at the forefront of advancing technology.

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, and at the University you will have access to specialist teaching space for lectures. On the sporting side the University has a range of facilities including water-based astroturf hockey pitches, gymnasia, a swimming pool, squash courts, athletics track and a Human Performance Laboratory. There are also plans in place to build a brand-new Sports Centre, including the first 50m swimming pool in Birmingham, that is due to open in 2016.

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 involved in beginning to develop Masters degree routes in various aspects of the game, such as the MSc in Sports Coaching (as well as an MSc in Sports Policy 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  

Websites

www.birmingham.ac.uk/agms 
www.pga.info 

University printed prospectus request page:
www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/prospectus.aspx