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.

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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 2017-18 teaching days are campus are currently scheduled for:

  • Session One    13-15 September 2017
  • Session Two    11-12 December 2017
  • Session Three  2 April 2018

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 5 – Friday 6 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 November 2017


The postgraduate diploma consists of four taught modules that are taken part-time over two years. In each year of the postgraduate diploma you will take two 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)

  • 13, 14, 15 September 2017

Research Methodology in Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

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:

  • 14 September 2017
  • 5  October 2017 (optional attendance for distance students)
  • 1, 2, 3 November 2017 (optional attendance  for distance students)
  • 11 December 2017

Professional learning in sport and exercise

This module seeks to develop enquiring, critical and innovative approaches to professional learning in sport and exercise environments. Drawing on links between theory and practice, students will be encouraged to critically evaluate strategies used to facilitate and support professional development in their own workplace. In the context of sport pedagogy, the module will encourage students to examine the relationship between learners, educators and context in facilitating professional learning.

Module dates:

  • 12 December 2017
  • 26 April 2018

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:

  • 13, 14 September 2017
  • 11 December 2017

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.

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 2018

  Home/EU International 
  Part time only Part time only
(MSc) Sport coaching £4,500 £8,145 - (For PGA professionals the International fee is equal to the Home/EU fee)
(PGDip) Sport coaching £3,000  

The fees shown above are annual fees for students starting their courses September in 2018. The total Home/EU fee for the MSc is £9,000 which is split over either 2 (£4,500 pa) or 3 (£3,000 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

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

International students requiring visas

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 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 lead to the establishment of a new, coach-centred education system that meets the needs of coaches and, ultimately, players.

This exciting and innovative pathway begins with the Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications; progresses through the Foundation Degree in Professional Golf or the Applied Golf Management Studies Degree towards the PGA Level 3 qualification (incorporating the Advanced Certificate in Golf Coaching); leading through the Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching to the Level 4 qualification; with the potential to culminate in a full Masters Degree in coaching following completion of a relevant thesis.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Coaching provides the learning programme for PGA Professionals seeking to obtain a Level 4 Certificate in Coaching Golf. To be awarded the new Level 4 Certificate in Coaching Golf, individuals will need to have achieved the new Level 3 Certificate in Coaching Golf, successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Coaching and submit a coaching application to the PGA. For full details of the new Level 4 Certificate in Coaching Golf, the pathway towards this qualification, how existing PGA Members can access the qualifications and information on how, and where, the new qualification will be delivered, see the PGA Member Education website,

In the video above MSc Sport Policy students give their perspective

In the video above a Distance Learning student gives his perspective