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BSc Sport, PE and Coaching Science

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home - 2024-25)
£22,080 Fee Band 1a (International Students - 2024-25
More detail
Video transcript

Our Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science BSc degree is a dynamic, three-year full time course, designed to prepare you to pursue a rewarding career in the fields of education, coaching, sport development, sport policy, and other related physical activity and health industries.  

By studying the BSc in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science, you will have the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the art environment, under the guidance of experts in the field.  

You can choose modules designed to support you to:

  • Develop in-depth, critical knowledge of the relevant disciplines;
  • Advance your professional competency and practical skills with a mixture of hands-on tasks and work placement opportunities;
  • Develop a range of transferable skills, such as leadership and critical thinking, as well as the ability to innovate and to work collaboratively in various contexts.

Since graduating from University of Birmingham with a First Class with Hons in Sport, Physical Education (PE) and Coaching Science BSc, I have completed a PGCE in Secondary PE and been teaching PE at Oldfield School in Bath for the past 3 years. My experience at University of Birmingham gave me a head start in my career and has allowed me to fulfill my own ambition of inspiring the next generation to participate in inclusive physical activity and sport.

Christopher Gann

Why study this course?

  • Teaching Excellence: You will be part of an academic community that is one of the leading Universities, with global reputation as an outstanding higher education provider. This means that the teaching will be consistently of high quality, innovative and inspiring.  
  • Interactive and Applied Learning: You will have opportunities to be actively engaged in interactive and evidence-informed lectures, seminars and practical sessions. We also have extensive partnerships to support you to develop your practical knowledge and skills in sport, physical activity and health settings.
  • Comprehensive Pastoral and Academic Support: We understand that to succeed, we need to put you and your needs at the heart of your learning. You will be allocated an academic member of staff as your personal tutor, who will help to guide you as you develop the skills and the confidence to achieve academically and to pursue your career.
  • Research Informed Teaching: The course content is based on the latest evidence on Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science. The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) results rank research at the University of Birmingham as 6th* in the UK for ‘Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism’. These results provide further compelling evidence of the long recognised research strength of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham.. You will be taught by academics who are authors of the leading textbooks, delivered talks around the world and who have worked with policy.
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 - during the Commonwealth Games in 2022, we hosted hockey and squash here on our campus, as well as being the primary campus village for athletes, with a wealth of opportunity for students to be involved. 
  • A Vibrant Learning Culture: Our campus is located in a vibrant city, offering a wide range of placement opportunities, and alongside our award-winning career network service.

* ranking by Grade Point Average (Times Higher Methodology)


The Bachelor of Science in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science offers you the opportunity to examine the theory, research, policy and practice of physical education, coaching science, sport development, sport policy, psychology, anatomy, and sociology:

Year One

In year one, there are core modules on a range of topics:

Year two

Your second-year modules extend your knowledge of sport and exercise pedagogy (physical education and sport coaching), sports development, sport psychology and research methods.  There is also an optional volunteering placement module which can be undertaken either in an educational setting or sport, physical activity, leisure or community context.

Core modules

Optional modules 
Example optional modules may include:

Year three

Students must select one of the following options:

Project or Professional Dissertation

Optional modules

Students must take a total of 80 credits from the modules below on offer within the School, or from modules on offer from the Business School Profile of modules available varies depending on availability and viability and agreement from Programme Lead.

Example optional modules may include:

International year

Students on this programme can apply to spend an additional year studying sport overseas at one of our partner universities before returning to complete their final year in Birmingham, graduating with a BSc with an International Year. On average, around 20 students undertake the International Year. Currently students are studying in Australia, Canada and the USA.

Find out more about the International Year here

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Standard Home student fees 2024-25

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2024, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Standard international student fees 2024-25

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1a (Classroom) £22,080

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 the UB Sport website

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

How To Apply

Apply through UCAS at 
Learn more about applying

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
Required subjects and grades:
A level requirements dependent on the number of preferred subjects° being offered. GCSE Mathematics, English and a science at a minimum of grade 4/C.

Preferred subjects at A level: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Geography, Human Biology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sport Studies/Physical Education, Statistics, English Language, English Literature, English language/Literature, History, Sociology, Politics, Environmental Science, Geology

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

Specified subjects excluded for entry:  Applied Science, Citizenship Studies, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Critical Thinking, General Studies, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

BTEC Extended Diploma (18 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Psychology, Applied Science, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Personal and Business Finance, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport and Outdoor Activities, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development. Considered with D*D*D*.

 BTEC Diploma (12 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Psychology, Applied Science, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Personal and Business Finance, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport and Outdoor Activities, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development. Considered with D*D*, plus grade A or grade B if subject is on preferred A level list (see above).   

 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (6 units) accepted subjects: Applied Human Biology, Applied Psychology, Applied Science, Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Personal and Business Finance, Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Sport and Outdoor Activities, Sport, Fitness and Personal Training, Sporting Excellence and Performance, Sports Coaching and Development. Considered with a D* and 2 A levels at AA to BB grades. A level grade requirements are dependent on the number of preferred subjects being studied (please see A level subject list above).

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.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 6,6,5 - 6,5,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. Higher level subjects need to include the required subjects as defined for the A-level qualification, where applicable.

Standard English language requirements apply 
Learn more about international entry requirements

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

How you learn is as important as what you learn. The learning experience at Birmingham combines a wide variety of study methods extending way beyond the lecture theatre.

Our degree programmes are taught using a range of methods including formal lectures, small group seminars, computer-based learning, practical classes in both laboratories and the sports centre, and practical placements.

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.

Staff teaching in our Bachelor of Science in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science are expert teachers and researchers. Their research has impact on both policy and practice and underpins and informs our teaching:

  • Dr Victoria Goodyear's work on young people, social media, digital technologies and health has been presented in the House of Commons and has shaped the ways in which teachers, coaches and parents support young people to learn about health. 
  • Over the last decade, Dr Mark Griffiths has worked closely with National Governing Bodies of Sport in developing innovative training programmes for coaches, and helping them create positive learning experiences for athletes. NGBs included Football Association, England Athletics, UK Coaching, British Fencing, Rugby League, and British Cycling.
  • With her research interests in sport policy analysis and Olympic legacy evaluations, Dr Shushu Chen seeks to inform and improve policymaking decisions in sport. She has been invited by the UN as a subject expert to provide direct input, guidance and critique on current policy and practice to the Division for Social Policy and Development.  
  • Dr Martin Toms' work with coaching and education has been utilised internationally with close relation ships to India and China, as well as at home with the PGA. 

Our state-of-the-art sports centre sits on the corner of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road, and is a gateway to the University for students, staff and our local community. The £55 million centre encompasses a unique raft of facilities, including Birmingham’s first 50-metre swimming pool, as well as a large multi-sport arena, a range of activity and fitness studios, an extensive gym, six glass-backed squash courts and various other facilities.

The centre underlines the University of Birmingham’s commitment to sport at all levels. In conjunction with the new athletics track and astroturf facilities, it is a home for our many sports clubs, allowing them to train and compete at the highest level.


You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to Higher Education.

  • Personal tutors - You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.
  • Wellbeing officers - We have dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond.
  • Academic Skills Centre - The centre aims to help you become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.
  • Student experience - Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They will offer research opportunities, study skills support and help you prepare for your post-university careers. They will also organise social events, such as field trips, to help you meet fellow students from your course.

During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into university. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support.


Contact Hours

Undergraduate students can expect around 12 contact hours per week, depending on year of study and optional module choices made. The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and requirements of specific modules.

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 and formal exams.

Throughout the degree, you will receive timely, constructive feedback on your work to help you progress and address any areas that may require attention. This will include written feedback on your assessments, class feedback sessions and discussions with your tutor.

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 15 working days, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done.  You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

The Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science BSc is an established course, with excellent employability prospects.

Preparation for your future career should be one of the key things you think about when you start university. By choosing to study with us you will embark on an enriching journey, building a strong foundation for your professional future.

Our graduates have gone on to diverse and exciting careers including:

  • QE Hospital Birmingham
  • Derby County Football Club
  • Premier Sport
  • University of Birmingham
  • Aston Villa Football Club
  • Rugby Football Union
  • Fit 4 Schools
  • Burton Albion Community Trust
  • Warwickshire Cricket Board
  • Dean Close Prep School
  • International Survey Agency
  • Walsall Academy

Roles include:

  • Professional Rugby Coach
  • Consultant
  • Research Assistant
  • Account Manager
  • Primary School Sports Coach
  • Academic Tutor
  • Events and Communications Executive
  • Women and Girls Cricket Development Officer
  • Swimming Co-Ordinator

Further study choices include:

  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • MSc Sports Politics and Business Management
  • PGCE Physical Education
  • PgDipEd Secondary School PE
  • MSc Sports Administration
  • PgDipEd Primary with Early Years Specialism

Careers Network

From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, Careers Network is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services, including:

  • Sector-specific career planning workshops and employer/alumni sessions
  • One-to-one advice appointments tailored to your specific needs
  • Our multi-award-winning work experience team with dedicated internship officers
  • Advice on CVs, interview skills and using social media more effectively
  • Our Careers Hubs and dedicated virtual learning resource