Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science BSc (Hons)

Ranked first for Sport Science - University Guide 2015

This degree programme offers you the opportunity to examine the theory and practice of physical education, sport and coaching science across education, leisure and community sectors. You will gain skills that will enable you to contribute positively to your career prospects within sport, coaching, education and community contexts.

87.5% Graduate employability
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2012/13
See our graduate career opportunities

Course fact file

UCAS code: C6L4

Duration: 3 years

Places Available: 225 (Total number of places for all undergraduate courses in the school)

Applications in 2012: 1568

Typical Offer: AAA to AAB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September


Sport, Physical Exercise and Coaching ScienceThis degree programme offers you the opportunity to examine the theory and practice of physical education, sport and coaching science across education, leisure and community sectors. You will gain skills that will enable you to contribute positively to partnership enterprises within sport, coaching, education and community contexts.

You will study a range of topics including sport, coaching science, physical education and physical activity, as well as increasing your knowledge, understanding and awareness of significant national and international sport related bodies.

The degree also involves study of physiology, psychology, sociology, coaching and physical activity, which offer insights into the development and interaction of diverse groups in sport, coaching, school and community contexts.

A unique aspect of this course is the blend of theory and practice throughout the programme. This is evident in the range of applied teaching and coaching modules on offer. There is also the opportunity to experience a residential trip to the University’s Raymond Priestley Outdoor Centre in Year 1. 

SPECS students who have representative honours

See the selection of student profiles here.


Download details of the Outdoor Activity Trip (PDF 33KB, opens new window)


Undergraduate Programmes Module GuideModule Guide (PDF 842kb) for other module options and descriptions

Year 1

And one optional module from:

You will also be offered the opportunity to study a Module outside the Main Discipline (MOMD). An MOMD is a module in a subject which is not normally a part of your main degree programme but which may be taken for to enhance and broaden your study. This is available to replace any optional module during your degree programme.

Year 2

Your second-year modules extend your knowledge of sport and exercise pedagogy, sports management, sports coaching, physical education, sports development and research methods, with modules integrating theory into practice in sport.  You will also undertake a volunteering placement either in an educational setting or sport, leisure or community context.

Year 3

In your third year you plan and carry out a research project, analysing the data and presenting the results. There are also many optional modules providing detailed understanding of the application of physiological, behavioural and social science approaches to specific topics in exercise, sport and health and rehabilitation.

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply
Learn more about fees and funding

Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Sport Scholarships

For talented student athletes wishing to reach their sporting potential sports scholarships are available. For more information visit::

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: AAA to AAB

Required subjects and grades: All applicants must offer at least one of these preferred subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Human Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sport Studies/Physical Education, Statistics, English Language, English Literature, English language/Literature, History and Sociology.

Excluded A Levels: We do not accept Applied Science, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Global Perspectives, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

Additional information:

Also required: GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, Maths and a Science.

Some offers of ABB will be made to those applicants with multiple A levels from the preferred list and an exceptional supporting statement.

BTEC: We consider students with a BTEC in a science-related discipline, with the following requirements:

  • 18 units: Distinctions in all 18 units
  • 12 units: Distinctions in all 12 units plus an A level from the preferred list at Grade B
  • 6 units: Distinctions in all 6 units plus 2 A levels from the preferred list at Grade BB

Those taking A Levels subjects outside of the preferred list will be made A grade offers.

In addition, all BTEC applicants must have a strong GCSE profile.

Other qualifications are considered – Please contact the School's Student Recruitment Manager for advice on whether your particular qualifications, or combination of qualifications, will meet the entry requirements

A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (previously the Criminal Records Bureau check) and ISA registration are required from accepted candidates before registration on the programme.

International students:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 35-36 points, including one of the following subjects at HL: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English A1, Geography, History, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology or Social and Cultural Anthropology. Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay points are not considered. 5 points in each of SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student you will be taught by leading academics in their subjects. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge and expertise with you; you will become part of the School’s academic community which includes professors, lecturers, visiting experts, postgraduate students and researchers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner.

Learning will range from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials to self-study and peer group learning. In all three years there are practical sessions related to different aspects of your course, from teaching and coaching to psychology. Particular attention is paid to developing generic learning skills in addition to specific subject knowledge. We believe that attention to these skills is one reason why our graduates are so attractive to potential employers. In all three years of your programme there are practicals that link theory to practice and research in laboratory or applied settings. Often this will involve you acting as both the participant and the investigator.

We have introduced the Speed BSc which is an innovative approach to introducing new students to the school. As well as a great place to meet students from the course, the Speed BSc helps you learn useful skills that will serve you well during your time here and help you with the transition from school/college to university - watch the video above to find out more.
Video transcript here

How will I be supported?

There are plenty of opportunities to get to know the lecturers and postgraduates and you will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you. During your first week at University you will meet your personal tutor who will work closely with you throughout your programme to support your development and track your academic progress. In your first year, you will see your tutor every fortnight either in a small group with other students to discuss an aspect of teaching or research, or individually to review your personal progress.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations, laboratory-based work (depending on your chosen degree) and formal exams.

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done and you’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take.

In your final year you will undertake an extended research project in an area of interest relating to sport, exercise, health or rehabilitation.


Preparation for your degree should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

87.5% graduate employability
2012/13 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) - The DLHE survey is conducted 6 months after graduation.

First destinations of University of Birmingham Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Sciences graduates six months after graduation

Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Sciences - all undergraduate destinations 2012-13

Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education report (DHLE) 2012/13

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring , global internships and placements available to you.  Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

This degree aims to create graduates that are a new type of sport, PE or coach professional, that are capable of contributing to the growing trend for partnership enterprises in this field. On completion of your degree, you will be well equipped for a career in teaching, coaching, leisure management, sports development, postgraduate studies, as well as the armed forces or any graduate-entry profession.

See the career opportunities available to our graduates .

Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science

Our past students have gone on to a wide range of careers and this course will provide you with excellent transferable skills which are ideally suited to a wide range of careers in both the public and private sectors. These skills include:

  • written communication developed through writing essays
  • oral communication skills gained through reasoned debates during seminars and presentations
  • ability to work as part of a team, through collaborative group work
  • research and analytical skills with the ability to judge and evaluate information
  • organisational and time management skills by prioritising tasks to ensure academic, social and work commitments are completed on time
  • negotiation, informally with peers and formally with staff
  • problem solving
  • IT skills

Careers directly related to this degree include (post graduate or further professional training may be needed):

  • PE or Primary teaching
  • Sports Coach
  • Community Sports Coach
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Outdoor education
  • Leisure management
  • Education management
  • Social Care

Careers indirectly related may include:

  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Finance Officer
  • Accountancy
  • Journalism