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What makes MSc Sport (Sports Coaching) at Worcester special?

Our Sports Coaching MSc creates a community of dedicated postgraduate students who are passionate about being better coaches. The mix of full-time and part-time students means that you will be welcomed into an established and thriving group of like-minded developing coaches and practitioners drawn from a wide range of sports. We spend a great deal of time discussing our coaching, digesting the latest research in the field and critically reflecting on our own practice. We offer a supportive, yet challenging, coaching environment and our students regularly tell us that this course has revolutionised their approach to coaching. 

Every member of staff teaching on this course publishes several research articles a year focusing on pertinent issues in coach learning and development. They are also active coaches with decades of cumulative experience at local, national, and international levels. Whether your focus is on grassroots sport, talent development, or performance – we can enhance your skills as a postgraduate student.




Key features

  • MSc Sport (Sports Coaching)
  • Full and part-time study options
  • Flexible modular structure allows you to study at your own pace
  • Choose from multiple pathways: Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master's Degree
  • Choice of assessment topic, so you can tailor your assignments to your personal and professional interests
  • An extensive Professional Placement element which enables you to develop your practice in an applied environment – either of your own choosing or facilitated through our extensive network of providers including our own professional sport franchises (Worcester Wolves Basketball and Severn Stars netball).
Man in wheelchair playing cricket

Ranked 1st for Teaching

University of Worcester Biological and Sports Science courses were ranked 1st for teaching in the 2021 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey

We are proud of our strong reputation for sporting excellence. Our mission is to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of our students so they can continue to make a meaningful contribution to society at all levels.

Lerverne Barber, Head of School

Register your interest

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Students will normally have a 2:1 degree classification in either a sport management, sport development/coaching or business discipline.

Students who hold a relevant degree classification of either 2:2 (or below), or, a non-related degree will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be required to submit a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate experience of work within the field. Applicants should be able to demonstrate academic capability for study at this level and strong interest and commitment in the relevant disciplines.

The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered. For more information please click here.

Admissions procedures

All applicants will be interviewed.

Due to the nature of the programme, all students must complete a criminal records disclosure check prior to the start of the course.

Other information

Mature Students

We value diversity in our student body and applications from mature students are very welcome. Students with few or no formal qualifications should contact the Admissions Office. Please provide Admissions with details of your age, any work undertaken, including caring or organised voluntary work, and any other relevant experience.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Candidates with an acceptable academic background and/or relevant work experience may apply for Accreditation of prior learning (APL) and experience (APEL). It is advisable for candidates to discuss this with the Course Leader initially. The programmes follow our Policy for Accreditation of Prior Learning.

Please contact the Admissions Office for further information or guidance on 01905 855111.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 


  • Athlete and coach learning
  • Leading People in sport
  • Contemporary issues in sports coaching
  • Professional placement
  • Sports Research Project

What will you study and when?

An example of the structure which will be followed by a full-time student on any of the pathways, and normally would be:

  • 1 x 30 credit pathway specific module to be taken in semester 1 (September – January)
  • 1 x 30 credit Leading People in Sport module in semester 1 (September – January)  
  • 1 x 30 credit Professional Placement module in semester 2 (January – May)
  • 1 x 30 credit pathway specific module to be taken in semester 2 (January - May)
  • 1 x 60 credit Sports Research Project module including research methods to be taken between May and September

Part time students would normally complete the course over 2 years:

  • In Year 1 they would take one pathway specific module in semester 1 and 2.
  • In Year 2 they would take Leading People in Sport in semester 1, complete their Professional Placement in semester 2, and complete their Sports Research Project over the summer.
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

The ‘heart’ of the MSc Sport (Coaching) concerns the coach primarily as an educator.  Therefore, the course focus explores the latest research and practice concerning how to help our athletes learn and develop.  On the course you will explore different perspectives on how athletes learn and critique the underpinning evidence relating to these competing perspectives.  We also explore how coaches learn and analyse the ways in which National Governing Bodies, education institutions and non-governmental organisations (e.g. UK Sport and UK Coaching) currently structure learning opportunities for coaches.

The course addresses a number of other theoretical and practical perspectives examining leadership, inclusive practice and a range of other contemporary issues such as the use of technology and athlete-centred coaching.  There is also a strong focus on developing understanding of research methods.

Every element of the course will be related to your coaching practice so the content of the programme evolves with every cohort.


You are taught through a combination of workshops, seminars and practical sessions. In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are throughout the academic year.

Contact time

For the Welcome (and Welcome-Back) study weeks, students are expected to have 2 x 8 hours of contact time per intensive week (2 in total). In addition, full-time students are expected to study two modules per semester and have approximately 8 hours of ‘in-person’ contact time per week. Part-time students are expected to study one module per semester and have approximately 4 hours of ‘in-person’ contact time per week.

In addition, students are able to access 8 hours of tutorial support during the course of their Sports Research Project study. Students will also receive two days of structured Research Project preparation.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, full-time students are expected to undertake around 2 hours of personal self-study per module per week. Typically, this will involve online study tasks, reading journal articles and completing formative assignments.

The Sports Research Project requires substantial independent work and can be expected to require 600 hours of study. In addition students are required to undertake 100 hours of placement activities as part of their Professional Placement.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


  • 1 year full time
  • Typically 2 years part time



Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings. Given the importance of planning ahead, indicative timings of intensive teaching blocks are normally available at time of application / interview.


Teaching staff

Students will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics with research and applied experience, and postgraduate students.

In addition, you can expect to receive sessions with guest lecturers who are currently engaged in Sport Coaching activities outside of the university. Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and the majority of lecturers on the course hold PhD’s and have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and a final research project. The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the course selected.

Programme Specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course and have experience of both research and applied practice and consultancy. 

You can learn more about the staff by visiting our sports staff profiles.

Dr Don Vinson

Professor Don Vinson

Don's specialist area is sports coaching.  He is driven by balancing his roles as teacher, researcher and practitioner, applying his expertise in learning and pedagogic theory to all areas of his work. Don has written extensively in the area of sports coaching, performance analysis, leadership and higher education pedagogy. In particular, his recent research focuses on Coach Developer learning through the perspective of Landscapes of Practice in various contexts.

Don is a member of the International Council for Coach Education (ICCE) Research Committee, founder-member and Secretary of the Cluster for Research into Coaching (CRiC) Steering Committee and is the UK representative for the International Advisory Board for the Teaching Games for Understanding Special Interest Group.

Don has worked with a large number of National Governing Bodies (NGBs) including the Football Association, British Cycling, British Gymnastics, British Rowing and the British Equestrian Federation. Don has also consulted for many influential bodies within the sport sector such as UK Sport, UK Coaching and the League Managers’ Association. 

Don is passionate about most sports and, in addition to hockey, can also be regularly found playing squash, badminton and golf.


Dr Christian Edwards

Christian is a Principal Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science and the Course Leader for the sports coaching degree pathway, and leads on sociological, psychological and research methods modules within the school’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Christian also coordinates the final year independent research project for all sports coaching and physical education degree pathways.


Richard Pepperell

Richard is an experienced PE teacher and sports lecturer and joined the University of Worcester in 2017. He has been working in education since 2002 and is the Course Leader for PE and Sports Coaching at Worcester since 2018.

He continues to work in rugby coaching, as a standards verifier for Pearson’s suite of PE and Sport BTEC programmes, an external examiner at two other institutions and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.




An MSc in Sports Coaching will provide students with opportunities in many areas of sport and/or coaching, and other areas of employment as well.

This degree is useful for a wide range of occupations, such as:

  • Professional sports coach    
  • Coach Developer
  • Physical education teacher
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Coach development officer
  • Sport development officer
  • Sports coaching lecturer
  • Recreation officer
  • Self-employed coaching consultant
  • Researcher
  • Performance analyst

Victoria Huckle, Head of Rowing at Bedford School

"My time studying the MSc Sports Coaching at Worcester has been an integral part of my personal, professional and academic journey, completely transforming my thinking and practice.

The content, delivery and application of modules was stimulating and insightful, ensuring that I left every lecture, practical and tutorial inspired by contemporary material, exciting conceptual and theoretical underpinning and thought-provoking discussion.

The commitment of staff to the growth and development of every individual is outstanding. Tutors do not only work tirelessly to help develop critical thinking and academic writing skills, but go above and beyond to support and mentor, offering guidance and advice to ensure development as a practitioner too. Nothing is ever too much trouble, and their commitment to my continuing journey is something for which I will be forever grateful.

Aside from gaining the qualification, over two years I have gained true friends for life, completely transformed the lens through which I look at coaching as a discipline, opened doors as a practitioner that I never dreamt could be opened, and ignited a true passion for learning that has inspired me to pursue further study. A fantastic journey that will always stand out as key in understanding why I do what I do."

Dr John Alder

Head of Player Development at the Welsh Rugby Union

“The MSc in Sport Coaching at University of Worcester fuelled a growing curiosity about all things coaching that grew out of a general dissatisfaction with my own practice.  Through the programme, staff challenged my deeply held assumptions and beliefs about how athletes (and people) learn and develop, and this fundamentally changed the way I saw our athletes, my coaching and me as the coach. 

Significantly, the flexibility provided by being able to study the MSc part-time afforded me the opportunity to continue teaching and coaching alongside my study, facilitating a playful interaction between theory and practice – something integral for any learning coach. 

Springboarding from my MSc, I’ve had the fortune to work in sport across the tertiary education, professional sport, Governing Body and government sectors across three continents.  Central to my career has been some special staff from the University of Worcester, some of whom have since become mentors and life-long friends.”

Sport Coaching graduate successes

Ollie Dudfield – Head of Sport for Development and Peace, The Commonwealth Secretariat

Andy Elleray - England Youth International Women's Goalkeeping Coach, Football Association

Dr John Alder - Head of Performance Pathways, English Institute of Sport

Victoria Huckle – Rowing Coach, Team UK Invictus Games

Marieanne Spacey-Cale MBE, Head of Girls and Women's Football/Head Coach Southampton FC

Dr Sarah-Kate Millar – Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching, University of Auckland

Matthew Lewis – Head of Performance Analysis at Norwich FC

John Major – Community Cricket Coach, Yorkshire County Cricket Association


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £9,000 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 is £17,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time home and EU students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes/PGCert/PGDip courses in the academic year 2024/25 are £750 per 15-credit module, £1,500 per 30-credit module, £2,250 per 45-credit module, and £3,000 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fees for part-time international students enrolling on MA/MSc/MBA/MRes courses in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,450 per 15-credit module, £2,900 per 30-credit module, £4,350 per 45-credit module, and £5,800 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £11,836 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2022 per eligible student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For more details visit our postgraduate loans page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £131 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

Sports Scholarships

At Worcester we are committed to supporting elite and talented sports performers who are dedicated to both sporting and academic success. Our sports scholarships are available for a range of team and individual sports. For further information, visit our sports scholarships pages.

How to apply