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The Postgraduate Elite Coaching Practice programme is an exciting collaboration between UCLan and Pentagon Sport (the Rugby Football League, English Hockey Board, English Table Tennis Association, English Basketball Association). This successful partnership has seen this postgraduate diploma course recognised as the first endorsed level 4 UK Coaching Certificate. If you hold responsibility or interest in developing and improving your team’s performance, as either a coach or manager, the Elite Coaching Practice course is for you. There are two possible pathways that you can choose. The first is elite performance, and focuses on the development of the very best performers and maximising their potential in competition. The second pathway, talent development is focused on maximising the development of athlete throughout the talent pathway, from children to elite athletes.


The modules that feature on the programme have been carefully devised using several industry partners to develop cognitive skills in a number of areas relevant to Sports Coaching and ensure a blend of theoretical and practical issues designed to increase awareness of, and enhance and improve application to population specific environments. Furthermore, the curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of the UK Coaching Framework and aligns closely with the skills and knowledge required for UKCC level 4.

Modules include:

  • The Sporting Environment
  • Issues in Performer Development
  • Coaching Practice
  • Planning for Development
  • Planning for Competition
  • Coaching Analysis
  • Work based learning


The PGDip Elite Coaching Practice is a dynamic course that aims to develop your critical understanding of the theories and practice of Sports Coaching. The UK Coaching Framework is well underway and the predominant aim of this strategy is to become the number one coaching system in the World by 2016. One feature of the implementation plan is the development of the UK Coaching Certificate. In order to achieve the high standards expected of such a system, it will require highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals to develop it over the next 5-6 years. Consequently the main emphasis of this programme is placed on developing a range of intellectual, professional, managerial and transferable attributes that are essential for the modern sports coach.

The underpinning philosophy of the PGDip Elite Coaching Practice is to create an education which is intellectually and academically challenging but is also clearly focused on the vocational needs of the sports coaching industry, generating practitioners who can challenge and develop existing systems and processes. It aims to challenge current practice and provide a platform to experiment and innovate. The PGDip Elite Coaching Practice programme has been designed to provide a high quality educational experience for existing UKCC level 3 coaches within the sports sector. Emphasis throughout the programme is therefore placed on developing your critical reflective and analytical skills from both a theoretical and applied perspective.

This course has been designed to thoroughly prepare you for a diverse range of career opportunities, from leading international expeditions, coaching and performance enhancement to sports management, public services and a wide range of roles within the outdoor leadership industry. Students and graduates have gone on to work in New Zealand, the Himalayas, USA and India, while others have opted to continue their studies at postgraduate and master’s level.

You will have a wealth of opportunities to work both at home and overseas during your time at UCLan. Each autumn, major employers such as PGL, Acorn, Camp America and CCUSA recruit directly from the cohort offering students the opportunity to have summer experience guaranteed by late February. CCUSA offer students the chance to sign up for skill specific placements with incremental responsibilities and the opportunity to apply for internships upon graduation.


Pentagon Sports is made up on 4 national Governing Bodies (formerly five) Rugby League, Table Tennis, Hockey and Basketball. In enrolling on the PGDip there is an option for you to works towards your UKCC level 4. For further information regarding this award please contact Arvinder.


Please note that all modules will be assessed. You are expected to attempt all required assessments for each module for which you are registered, and to do so at the times scheduled unless authorised extensions, special arrangements for disability, or extenuating circumstances allow you to defer your assessment. The timing of submission for the assessments undertaken as part of this award will be agreed through mutual negotiation between you and your director of studies. Once this has been agreed, you are urged to manage your time effectively so that you are able to meet the deadlines.

Visit the Elite Coaching Practice - PGDip page on the University of Central Lancashire website for more details!





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