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Sports Coaching and Performance (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc in Sports Coaching and Performance has been designed for those working within sport and the coaching industry, or have studied at undergraduate level and gained coaching experience. This postgraduate degree will provide you with an advanced knowledge base that will give you the best possible opportunity for pursuing your career goals within sport and the coaching industry.

The flexible modular structured course offers an insight into how psychology, physiology, strength and conditioning, and movement analysis impact on performance. This MSc Sports Coaching and Performance degree will give you an interactive approach to performance coaching so you can apply theory to your practice. The integration of theory and practice will enhance and develop your ability to reflect on current coaching practice, plan appropriate training programmes and critically analyse existing approaches to performance coaching. You will also develop comprehensive knowledge of the key issues that support the high performance sports coaching environment.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1805-msc-sports-coaching-and-performance

What you will study

Core Modules:
- Research Project
This project aims to enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to produce a scholarly, in-depth, empirical research study, resource, or report.

- Research Methods
This module will develop your ability to design and statistically analyse experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental quantitative studies. It will allow you to appreciate the strengths and limitations of the different quantitative and qualitative research designs used in coaching and sport, health and exercise science; and synthesize knowledge and competencies gained during taught modules to produce a scholarly, in-depth critical review and proposal for a research study.

- Effective Coaching
You will develop an advanced understanding of critical self-reflective skills through the use of video analysis, which includes identifying key coaching styles, behaviours and feedback techniques required in advanced coaching situations. In addition, you will develop an in depth understanding of the interdisciplinary approaches that contribute to the coaching process including your ability to recognise and develop current coaching practice and coaching philosophies.

- Professional Work Based Development
This modules provides an opportunity for students to observe and participate in work-based professional environments, including identifying a work problem for you to overcome, which will enhance your professional and vocational learning and inform your own everyday practice. As part of your studies you will critically reflect on your learning throughout the work placement. You will, together with the module team, identify an organisation or organisations that are relevant to your field of study and that will be able to provide 140 hours of work experience.

Option Modules (choose three):
- Developing Expertise in Sport
This module aims to enable you to develop a systematic knowledge and critical understanding of how coaches develop and maintain expertise in sport and the ability to critically appraise coaching practice in the context of current approaches to skill development

- High Performance Environment
This module focuses on developing a multi-disciplinary perspective of factors that act upon the elite athlete and how these contribute to the development of elite performance. You will analyse how the coach, psychologist, conditioning coach, medical staff and nutritionist assist and complement each other in producing a high performance environment. The management of the performance environment will be discussed and the many issues that underpin successful implementation of elite sport science support will also be analysed.

- Strength and Conditioning
At the end of this module you will have developed your knowledge and critical understanding of concepts and theories regarding strength and conditioning. You will also have developed the ability to implement effective strength and conditioning programmes into a range of performance environments. The above have been closely linked to the professional standards required for accreditation by both the NSCA and the UKSCA.

- Movement Analysis
This module aims to develop your awareness of the analysis of sports performance, with particular emphasis on technique analysis and notation analysis. The use of systematic observation techniques in the analysis of sports performance will also be considered.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching methods include lectures, video analysis, seminars and workshops, some of which will be student-led. Lectures will be held predominately held on a Monday between 2pm-8pm and /or a Tuesday depending on your module choice. A draft timetable can be requested from the course leader Melanie Tuckwell

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The UK Vision for Coaching has clearly identified the need to develop Talent Coaches, Performance Coaches and High Performance Coaches. This course will provide opportunities for individuals to develop in these roles within their National Governing Body or sport.

Our MSc Sports Coaching and Performance degree is designed to reflect current developments and ensure that students have the required skills to access a range of employment opportunities within sports coaching and performance. Graduates will possess the key skills, knowledge and competencies that can be used in a wide range of careers, for example:

• Coach Education Personnel
• Sport Coaching Science Personnel
• Elite Sports Coach
• High Performance Coach
• Community Sports Coach
• Physical Education Teacher
• Strength and Conditioning Coach
• National Governing Body Officer
• Self-employed Coaching Consultant
• Researcher
• Performance Analyst
• Sport and Exercise scientist

Assessment methods

Assessment activities include writing essays, producing oral and poster presentations and studying case studies and examinations.


As part of your studies you will use our USW Sport Park facilities and state-of-the-art sport science laboratories on our Glyntaff campus.

Work and Study Placements

The MSc Sports Coaching and Performance degree has a bespoke module, Professional Work Based Development, which all students will undertake. Our course team establish opportunities for students across a spectrum of coaching, allowing them to experience vital skills in the potential career they wish to progress.

Current work placements include: Cardiff City Football Club; Cardiff Blues Rugby Football Club; Football Association of Wales; Welsh Rugby Union; Swansea City Football Club; Welsh Netball; Newport Gwent Dragons; Sports Wales; Golf Union of Wales; Welsh Hockey and many local authority Sports Development units and National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Visit the Sports Coaching and Performance (MSc) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally entrance to the course requires an Honours degree classification (at least a 2:2) in a relevant subject although relevant experience can also be taken into account. This course is most suitable for those who hold a formal UKCC coaching qualification, preferably at Level 3, or those who have suitable coaching experience. Alternatively those working within a coaching environment such as, a NGB coach, Academy coach, High performance coach, Sports development officer, strength and conditioning coach or sport science support will be considered.

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