Sport, PE and Coaching Science BSc (Hons)

Start date
3 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
£9,250 (Home/EU - 2020-21)
£18,120 Fee Band 1a (International Students - 2020-21
More detail

Our Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science BSc degree is a dynamic, three-year full time course. You will develop the in-depth knowledge, professional competency, and transferable skills 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;
  • Build a wide range of transferable skills including leadership and presentation skills, ability to innovate and to work collaboratively as part of the team, as well as critical thinking skills.

Our Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science degree is an established course, with excellent employability prospects. 98% of our graduates are in employment six-months following graduation (figure drawn from DLHE 2017 data). This is testament to our commitment to support you become knowledgeable, innovative, evidence-informed professionals.

The course is designed to be tailored to you.

This means that, as the years progress, you will be able to specialise on a topic or area of interest to you and in line with your future career goals.

Theory and practice: A unique aspect of this course is the meaningful blend of theory and practice. This means that you will learn about key concepts and then how to apply and use them in practical settings (e.g., games, athletics, dance, gymnastics, and swimming).

We also believe in embedded placements, so that you do not incur an extra years’ costs and we can tightly align your placement with your theoretical learning. There is a module in year 2 designed to do that.

Employability skills: Alongside opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, presentation skills, and the ability to work with and lead teams as part of your learning in various modules, you can also have placements in local organisations. For example, you will move from practicing and trialling innovative and evidence-based practice within your peer group to leading swimming lessons to local children.

Expand your experiences (International year, optional): When studying on this programme you can apply to spend an additional year studying overseas at one of our partner universities.  Find out more about the International Year

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?

There are plenty of reasons to study the Bachelor of Science in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science at the University of Birmingham:

  • 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. In the latest Research Excellence Framework over 50% our research was ranked 4*, meaning that it is world leading. You will be taught by academics who are authors of the leading textbooks, delivered talks around the world and who have worked with policy.
  • 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.


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:

Core modules

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

Optional module

There is one optional module, the Widening Horizons Module (WHM). A WHM 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. 

Second year

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 
You will then also choose four modules from the indicative list below:

Third year

In the final year, you will have the opportunity to choose all your modules. 

Core modules

Research Project or Civic Engagement Dissertation

Optional modules

You will then need to choose four additional optional modules from the indicative list below:

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. For further advice contact Dr Thomas Solomon, International Year Abroad Tutor, at

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 2020. 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/EU student fees 2020-21

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2020, 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 2020-21

International fee
Fee Band (Undergraduate) Full-time
Band 1a (Classroom) £18,120

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.

EU Referendum

Answering your questions and concerns about the outcome of the EU referendum.

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, Global Perspectives, Moving Image Arts, Science in Society, Use of Maths and World Development.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and science related subjects will be accepted (D*D*D* including Distinctions in all units.)

BTEC Diploma in Sport and science related subjects accepted in combination with an A level (D*D* including Distinctions in all units plus grade A, or grade B if subject on preferred list).

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Sport and science related subjects accepted in combination with two A levels (D* including Distinctions in all units plus grades AA, or Bs if subjects on preferred list). 

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.

Applicants who take the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and meet our offer criteria will be made the typical offer for the programme, plus an alternative offer, which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ.

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 will learn

You will have opportunities to be actively engaged in interactive lectures and seminars, and to develop your knowledge and ideas through dialogue and debate with fellow students and your tutors. In all three years there are practical sessions related to different aspects of your course, from teaching and coaching to psychology.

How you will be assessed

Attention to individual needs is deeply embedded within all modules. That is why we strive for a mixture of assessments to be included in all modules whenever possible, ranging from exams and essays/coursework to professional presentations or practical assessments. Formative assessment is also important and embedded and this enables us to diagnose learning gaps so they can be addressed before the summative assessments in place.

Your personal tutor

You will be allocated an academic member of staff as your personal tutor on your first day at University and you will have the same tutor throughout the course of the three years. Your personal tutor will provide meaningful and personalised academic and pastoral support to you. Your interactions with your personal tutor are designed to help you learn to manage and reflect upon your own academic and personal development, capabilities and skills. You will be invited to attend regular meetings. For example, in year 1, your personal tutor will organise one group tutorial in the Autumn and one in the Spring term. This is in addition to the 3 personal/individual tutorials over the year (one per term).

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials/personal tutorials run alongside our lectures, addressing any individual problems you may have and allowing you to consolidate lecture material, as well as test your understanding through problem-solving exercises.

Self study is an essential part of the programme and requires self motivation and enthusiasm for your subject. It also allows you to pursue your own lines of enquiry and become an independent thinker.

Lecturers and world leading researchers

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. 


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.

98% of our graduates are in employment six-months following graduation. This is testament to our commitment to support you become knowledgeable, innovative, evidence-informed professionals.

Employers include:

  • 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

The University offers advice through our award-winning Careers Network. They have specialists who can advise you on what the possibilities are on graduating. Joining one of the School’s student societies is also a good way of finding out about future careers. 

"My experiences at Birmingham helped me develop my pedagogical knowledge in detail and gain relevant volunteer experience in the community and school contexts. Furthermore, the enthusiasm and superb knowledge demonstrated by my personal and academic tutors enabled me to reach my full academic potential." - Chris Gann, Graduate