Sport Coaching Postgraduate Diploma/MSc

This programme is a unique development in the field of sport coaching in how it seeks to develop high quality coaches in a research active environment.

The distinctiveness and knowledge that you will gain from this programme will place you in an ideal position to inform the future direction of sport at all levels and to impact upon participation and performance by challenging current practices.

International students: Please check your visa requirements before applying as most of the sessions in this programme are delivered online via distance learning.

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By taking this programme you will develop the skills to critically evaluate new developments/theory and integrate this knowledge, where appropriate, into your own personal coaching practice.

Throughout the programme you will be encouraged to develop yourself as a lifelong learner, understanding the importance of learning and the theory behind coaching practice and also development of performance and expertise.

This programme is an innovative blended delivery using both high quality online resources complemented with face to face discussion time with academics and leaders in the programme fields. You will be encouraged to develop your use of theory in practice, and to reflect upon your own personal coaching philosophy and development in light of new knowledge. 

Students will be required to attend three to four compulsory block teaching weeks during September, December and March. When attending these taught sessions on the University’s Edgbaston campus, you will be required to book and pay for your own food and accommodation. A list of accommodation is available from the programme administrators.

For the academic year 2018-19 teaching days are campus are currently scheduled for:

  • Session One    19-21 September 2018
  • Session Two    10-11 December 2018
  • Session Three  25 March 2019

There are also optional face to face sessions, which will be recorded for those not attending for the Research Methodology in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation module on the following days (all dates subject to confirmation):

  • Thursday 4 – Friday 5 October 2018
  • Wednesday 31 October – Friday 2 November 2018


The postgraduate diploma consists of 6 taught modules that are taken part-time over two years. In each year of the postgraduate diploma you will take three modules. Should you transfer to the MSc you will also complete a dissertation in a third year. The modules are briefly outlined below

Induction (year 1)

  • 19, 20, 21 September 2018

Research Methods in Sport

This module will develop your research skills within the areas of sport and physical activity. It will cover the practical usage and critical analysis of methodologies providing an essential understanding of conducting research in a real world sport/physical activity environment.

Through this module you will gain an in depth understanding of conducting research in a real world sport/physical activity environment which will allow you to develop as a research-led practitioner. The module also provides the grounding for the masters’ dissertation research.

Module dates:

  • 20 September 2018
  • 4 October 2018 (optional attendance for distance students)
  • 31 Oct – 1, 2 November 2018 (optional attendance for distance students)
  • 10 December 2018

Innovation in Professional Development

The aim of the module is to allow participants to evaluate current personal and professional development within the context of their professional role. It seeks to progress and enhance critically reflective skills through linking theory with practice, and developing informed strategies to support own and others’ professional development and learning within the workplace. Drawing from contemporary adult learning theories, the module will address the challenges of professional learning in multiple contexts, and the need to think more critically (and creatively) in supporting learner development. 


The module adopts a blended learning approach comprising 12 sessions. Students attend for ½day at the beginning of the module and again at the end of the learning and teaching period for the optional final day. All other learning and teaching will be hosted by evening webinars and daytime face to face (F2F) sessions. F2F sessions will be recorded on Panopto, the University of Birmingham’s video platform and published on the integrated virtual learning environment ‘Canvas’. Therefore distance learners will have access to locally taught sessions, at a time to suit them, without the need to come into the University; resident students will have the option to attend. 

Other support will be available through the on line webinars, discussion groups and individual tutorials.

Module Dates

Thursday         20 09 2018      F2F                  (3:00pm-5:00pm)

Thursday         04 10 2018      Webinar           (8:00pm-9:00pm)

Wednesday     10 10 2018      F2F/Panopto   (2:00pm-4:00pm)

Thursday         18 10 2018      Webinar           (8:00pm-9:00pm)

Thursday         25 10 2108      Webinar           (8:00pm-9:00pm)

Wednesday     31 10 2018      F2F/Panopto   (2:00pm-4:00pm)       

Tuesday           06 11 2018      F2F/Panopto   (9:00am-11:00am)

Tuesday           13 11 2018      F2F/Panopto   (9:00am-11:00am)

Thursday         22 11 2018      Webinar           (8:00pm-9:00pm)

Wednesday     29 11 2018      F2F/Panopto   (9:00am-11:00am)

Wednesday     05 12 2018      Webinar           (8:00pm-9:00pm)

Wednesday     12 12 2018      F2F (optional)     (9:00am-3:00pm)

Advanced Pedagogies

This module examines key aspects of physical education practice through the theoretical lens of ‘pedagogy’. In particular, it focusses on ‘advanced pedagogies’ which frames practice in 3 areas: knowledge in context; diverse learners and learning; and career-long professional enquiry.

Delivered on-line

Player and Participant Development

This module develops the theory and applied practice in the coaching and participation process. Drop out and issues of sports ‘membership’ will be analysed from the viewpoint of participants, coaches and sports administrators. The theory and application of sport science in assisting and improving coaching methodology will also be covered including areas such as motor learning, biomechanics and psychology.

Module dates:

  • 20, 21 September 2018
  • 11 December 2018

Applied Professional Practice

In this module you will work on a real-life case study from your own coaching. You will be expected to draw upon knowledge and skills gained in the other modules to create a fully considered and justified player or team development plan based upon a clear rationale and needs analysis. As part of this you will be expected to integrate theory into practice in the development of the player or team. You will then implement your plan to demonstrate the competency that you have achieved in applying appropriate theory into practice and the evaluation of and impact of decisions made.

Module dates:
This module is delivered online. A series of interactive webinars will be held and these will be scheduled at the start of the academic year in negotiation with the cohort of students.

Digital Practice in Sport and Exercise

In this module, students will examine: the professional learning needs of practitioners using digital technologies, the ethical implications presented by digital technologies, the applications of digital technologies in sport, exercise and health contexts, and the outcomes associated with digital technologies in sport, exercise and health

During this module, students will review existing evidence on the digital technologies relevant to their sport, exercise and health context to identify the professional learning needs of practitioners to use and apply digital technologies

Delivered on-line

Dissertation  (after successful transfer to MSc)

In this module you will integrate the areas covered in the taught modules within the programme. You will propose a research project, submit ethics, undertake and write up a piece of academic empirically based research relevant to your area of practice and interests in coaching.

Fees and funding

Fees 2019

  Home/EU International 
  Part time only Part time only
(MSc) Sport coaching £4,625 £8,498 - (For PGA professionals the International fee is equal to the Home/EU fee)
(PGDip) Sport coaching £3,083  

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2019. The total Home/EU fee for the MSc is £9,249 which is split over either 2 (£4,625 pa) or 3 (£3,083 pa) years depending upon the intensity of study. Please note that where courses last more than one year, the annual fees for subsequent years on the course may increase due to inflation. 

When attending the taught sessions on the University’s Edgbaston campus, students will be required to book and pay for their own food and accommodation.   

Fees Overseas

Please view our Fees for International Students page for further details. 

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. 

For further information contact the School directly or email  

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally require a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject or relevant professional experience. 

You will be required to be a qualified coach with an award recognised by their national governing body, normally at Level 2 of the UKCC or its equivalent. You will also be expected to regularly coach a minimum of three hours per week whilst on the programme.

We also encourage applications from coaches who do not have prior experience of higher education as well as those with first degrees. 

Find our more about postgraduate entry requirements

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements apply (IELTS: 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any band)

How to apply

International students requiring visas

Please check your visa requirements before applying as most of the sessions in this programme are delivered online via distance learning.

Monday 2 July 2018 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2018 made after this date; a new application should be made for September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2019 entry by 21 September 2018.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

On this distance learning programme you will learn through an innovative blended delivery using both high quality online resources complemented with face to face discussion time with academics and leaders in the programme fields. You will be encouraged to develop your use of theory in practice, and to reflect upon your own personal coaching philosophy and development in light of new knowledge.

Information for PGA Professionals

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), on behalf of the sport of golf, leads on the development of coach education and training. A full review of the existing coach education structure, following guidance from the quality standards of the UK Coaching Certificate, has led to the establishment of a player centred, coach led education system that meets the needs of coaches and, ultimately, players.

Coaches can work through a four level coaching pathway, starting with the ASQ Level 1 and 2 qualification, before embarking on an ASQ Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Golf, which incorporates the Advanced Certificate in Golf Coaching. The Advanced Certificate in Golf Coaching provides much of the under-pinning knowledge for the ASQ Level 3 qualification.

The final level centres around the University’s Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Coaching, which with additional PGA led assessments leads to the PGA’s Level 4 coaching qualification, with students having the potential to gain a full Masters Degree in Sports Coaching following completion of a relevant thesis.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Coaching provides the learning programme for PGA Professionals seeking to obtain a PGA Level 4 Certificate in Coaching Golf.

To be awarded the PGA Level 4 Certificate in Coaching Golf, individuals will need to have achieved the ASQ  Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Golf, successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Coaching and completed the additional assessments following submission of a coaching application to the PGA, to be considerd for Level 4 status.

Please note, Level 3 and Level 4 applications are currently closed, as both qualifications are in the process of being reviewed and developed to support and develop coaches as effectively as possible. The detail and structure of the qualifications will be subject to review and change going forward. Please contact The PGA at if you are considering enrolling on to any of the University of Birmingham courses, in order that we can offer you a realistic timeframe for progression on to a L3 or L4 PGA qualification. 

For further information on the PGA and the coaching qualifications in general, please click on the link below:

In the video above MSc Sport Coaching students give their perspective

In the video above a Distance Learning student gives his perspective