The MA Sports Coaching degree is the new programme developed to support the strategic objectives outlined in the UK Coaching Framework. Sports Coach UK have provided the strategy for the UK to be considered the number one coaching system in the World by 2016. Our challenge is to support this and produce postgraduates with a high degree of knowledge and understanding so that they can challenge and innovate their own coaching practice. This will require knowledge of leadership, communication, pedagogy, allied sport sciences and relevant management principles. Students will be afforded the opportunity to work in an environment relevant to their developmental needs.
The School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors has strong links with a large number of sports organisations, including professional sports teams, public and private sector sports providers and grassroots sports clubs. We regularly invite guest speakers from industry to speak to students within the modules on this course.
This represents a valuable opportunity for students to meet potential employers and learn about life in the sports industry. For example, we have had guest lectures given by representatives of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Lancashire Football Association, The Rugby Football League and Preston City Council.
The MA Sports coaching also benefits from a number of unique opportunities within the school. Within the school there are strong links with The Institute of Coaching and Performance (ICaP) which is Chaired and Directed by David Collins. The school is also responsible the delivery for the PGDip in Elite Coaching (UKCC Level 4 Coach Education: Pentium Group). As both ICAP and PGDip are central to the school there are a number of opportunities to share current research and practice from within the elite coaching environment.
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT
All face-to-face delivery will use several types of media to encourage learning. The main vehicles will be through seminars, debates, practical workshops and problem-based learning. This will be supported with some electronic learning activities and resources. Those who choose the blended mode of delivery will be taught through a combination of interactive electronic learning activities and face-to-face delivery on residential blocks (for example weekends).
The use of guest speakers on the course is designed to facilitate networking opportunities for students to meet with potential employers.
Every effort will be made to apply theory to practice, and in some cases, practice to theory. There will be a requirement for independent learning throughout the programme, culminating in the Dissertation.
There are no examinations on this course. Every effort has been made to ensure that assessments are relevant to the coaching sector. For example, coach reports, case study reports, debates, critical reflections and presentations are used throughout the programme.
The full-time MA in Sports Coaching course is a 12 month programme comprising three parts. The first two parts are the taught element and the final part is the research element. The taught element focuses on key aspects of sports coaching. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in consultancy or sport-specific placement. For full-time students, the taught element is normally completed over a nine month period starting in October. Part-time students will normally attend on a one day per week basis and complete the taught element in two years. Students who complete the taught element of the programme, in part or in its entirety, may graduate with either a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Sports Coaching.
Students wishing to complete the MA in Sports Coaching must complete the research element. The research element comprises a dissertation. Full-time students will normally complete this in the three months that follow the taught element, whilst part-time students complete this during the course of an academic session.
An integral part of the course is the Consultancy Project, which is an opportunity for students to work on a “live” sports coaching / coaching science project for an external client, agreed using a project specification negotiated between the student, client and academic supervisor.