Start dates:

September: UCFB Wembley, UCFB Etihad Campus or Distance (with attendance)

Course length: One year (full-time) and two year (part-time) options available

Degree overview

This programme provides students with the opportunity to develop systematic knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of coaching to enhance both individual and team performance. It also equips students with a range of research skills necessary to design and conduct applied research in a sports context. The course is available to study either full-time, over one year, or part-time over two.
Programme participants will evaluate a range of traditional and contemporary models of leadership, and review the core components that underpin expertise in sports coaching. Students will have access to clubs across the football pyramid, as well as first-class teaching, learning and coaching provision from professionals with backgrounds in both academia and professional football.

Students on this programme have access to world-leading performance analysis tools from Hudl, the industry-standard software used by athletes, coaches and clubs across the globe.

Teaching locations & learning options
UCFB Wembley on campus or Distance (with attendance)

This degree is available at UCFB Wembley, London, which the iconic Wembley Stadium at the heart of its campus. What could be more motivating for a future career in the sports industry than walking into the most famous stadium in the world?

This degree is also delivered via Distance (with attendance). Our Distance (with attendance) degrees are delivered by the same leading industry experts who teach our on campus degrees with teaching online via our dedicated Online Hub which can be accessed anytime making this a flexible study option that fits around your existing commitments. Your online study is further consolidated with on campus residential block(s) consisting of in-person teaching, networking and opportunities to meet your academic staff and peers.

Wembley Stadium

Arch View House

UCFB Etihad on campus or Distance (with attendance)

This degree is available at UCFB Etihad Campus, Manchester, a state-of-the-art campus devoted to the football industry in the heart of Manchester – one of the world’s most famous footballing cities with a thriving student population.

This degree is also delivered via Distance (with attendance). Our Distance (with attendance) degrees are delivered by the same leading industry experts who teach our on campus degrees with teaching online via our dedicated Online Hub which can be accessed anytime making this a flexible study option that fits around your existing commitments. Your online study is further consolidated with on campus residential block(s) consisting of in-person teaching, networking and opportunities to meet your academic staff and peers.

Etihad Stadium

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Degree content

The MSc Sports Coaching course is designed for those wishing to deepen their understanding of coaching practices. The programme provides opportunities to engage in different aspects of coaching including new modules exploring high performance culture, talent development alongside tactics and strategies, and more. 

It is ideal for current professionals working within the sports industry or those who aspire to work within the professional game.

Declan Jackson Take 1

I chose to study here it was something different, unique, and an opportunity to gain entry into a career I’ve wanted to pursue for a long time.

Declan JacksonGraduate and Talent ID Development Coach at Football Talents


Degree specification documents & information

The Global Institute of Sport is an embedded college of the University of East London. All GIS graduates will receive a degree from the University of East London.

Click here for the full programme specification

Applying Strategies and Tactics in Practice

This module will teach you how to critically analyse tactical problems and skills across net games, strike and field games and invasion games, exploring the different moments of the game and associated principles of play. In order to develop advanced tactical knowledge, you will explore the different strategies and tactics alongside the styles of play. Drawing on your own coaching experience and context. You will explore the efficiency of your coaching practice and subsequently explore any sport specific knowledge gaps for further development. The module will help you design your own ‘game model’ of performance and integrate tactical periodisation into the effective planning for team or individual performance encompassing a holistic approach to practice. You will be expected to critically explore the challenges faced in implementing a game model approach within your context

Understanding Coaching Expertise

This module will explore the concept of expertise within the context of sports coaching. You will examine and critically evaluate the key factors associated with developing expertise in sport coaching and review your own actions and behaviours against these. The module will provide you with an overview of the cognitive and social factors that define expertise and how these can be developed in applied settings. You will be required to reflect on and evaluate your current skills as a coach and to produce a plan to develop these further. The module will also enable you to assess and implement relevant coaching practice in relation to developing expertise in athletes and teams.

Applied Reflective Practice

This module will explore the process of reflection, its role in the development of knowledge and practical expertise and its subsequent impact on practice. You will examine and critically evaluate the key factors associated with a sound reflective process and what it is to be an effective reflective practitioner. In addition, you will review reflective processes and will develop a model of reflection, informed by a critical evaluation of existing models and current literature in this and other relevant fields.

Creating a High Performance Culture

This module will give you critical insight into how coaching and sports science combine to create a culture of high performance for elite athletes. The module will follow a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to high performance coaching across a range of sports, allowing for the application of theory to practice. You will synthesise theory and evidence-based practice to evaluate appropriate training programmes and critically analyse existing approaches to high performance coaching. You will critically analyse (through observation and/or delivery) current practices in order to develop the skills and knowledge to aid the development of high performance athletes. Furthermore, you will explore the key issues that surround the high performance sports coaching environment and the development of a culture of excellence.

Principles and Practice in Talent Development

The module will cover both the development talent in sport. You will critically evaluate the literature, research and evidence underpinning the predictors of talent used across a range of sports. You will evaluate these predictors within the context of talent identification processes, including selection and de-selection, using a range of case studies. Through application of key theories and critical analysis of processes in place within sporting environments, you will review the role of the coach in talent development processes in a chosen sporting field. Furthermore, you will examine the support mechanisms which aid the development of sporting ability and skills needed to help support towards the fulfilment of a young athlete`s potential.

Global Sports Leadership

Leadership is a fundamental element of both sport and business operating in a dynamic global arena. On this module you will review and conceptualise different approaches to leadership from both an applied and theoretical perspective to allow you to analyse critical incidents in order to judge organisational leadership performance. You will be able to apply leadership theory to examples from industry professionals who have experience of leading teams in a sporting setting. Cross-cultural leadership underpins many of the behaviours and skills discussed within the leadership framework, alongside diversity and inclusion, strategic leadership, communication and reflection. The module allows you to take responsibility for your own leadership development and effectiveness through the development of an e-portfolio and skills audit, alongside exposure to sports leaders from the global network of partners contributing to the live case studies.

Applied Research Project

This module will advance your research methods and critical thinking skills, and support you in applying these to the sports industry and its associated environments. This module will prepare you for research, reflective, and evidence-based development in future employment, as well as for higher study if applicable.

As part of this module, you will have an opportunity for sustained applied research and practice in the form of an applied project. Therefore, this module creates a space for you to apply competencies developed in your modules to date to a real-life football setting, leading to experiential and reflective learning.

You will direct your efforts towards addressing a topical issue in your area of interest. Your applied research project will allow you to showcase your intellectual articulation and knowledge, by undertaking an applied project, emphasising your knowledge of theory and current practice in your area of interest. By completing this project, and presenting your results, you will establish expertise in an area of academic, personal and professional interest, aiming to influence coaching practice.

Together with other modules in the programme portfolio, this module will give you real-world exposure to coaching issues that require investigation from you in the role of an applied researcher. You will gain a thorough practice-based understanding of project design, conduct and action. As result, you will be able to evidence management and leadership of an applied project, and show potential to change and influence coaching operations – something current and future employers will look for in your knowledge, experience and skills portfolio.

Requirements overview

Entry Requirements
Standard entry requirements
  • Undergraduate degree - minimum 2:2 (ideally a 2:1) or international equivalent
  • Some courses have additional industry qualifications and experience requirements. Where applicable, these requirements are outlined on each course page and will depend on previous academic or work experience.
  • English language qualifications: Applicants from non-majority English speaking countries will be asked for an English qualification which tests Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing and will be asked to achieve an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each section) or recognised equivalent.

Offers to applicants currently studying an undergraduate degree will be conditional on them going on to achieve the entry requirements on completion of their degree.

Flexible entry requirements

Applications that do not meet the standard entry requirements but demonstrate relevant education and/or work and/or life experience in the course subject area are welcomed.

Eligibility will be assessed on the basis of the information provided in the application – in particular the personal statement.

For further detailed entry requirements for MSc Sports Coaching, please click here.

For more information, please contact


Priority Application Deadline - 31 August 2023

We strongly encourage you to submit your Masters application well before our 31 August 2023 priority application deadline (8 January 2024 for courses starting in January) to allow sufficient time for assessment of application, ensure availability on the course and enrolment in time for the beginning of your studies. Applications received after this date will only be considered on a case by case basis.

How to apply

To apply for this degree, please click here and follow the instructions to complete your application via our Learner Portal.

Application Documents
  • Application form
  • Evidence of highest academic and/or professional qualifications
  • Evidence of coaching qualifications, where required.
  • Evidence of relevant experience, where required
  • 500 word personal statement

Applications made through the flexible entry route may require a course leader review. The course leader will determine whether a professional reference or task is required.


The Global Institute of Sport is proud to offer an extensive suite of scholarships to support outstanding students as they embark on their postgraduate study. From scholarships to aid our elite athletes, to attracting aspiring sports leaders, and scholarships which support inclusivity and diversity within the sporting industry, our scholarships are there to support students who want to make a meaningful difference to the future of the sporting world.

Click here to find out more

Career prospects

The multi-faceted world of football requires modern football coaches to have highly developed skills and an in-depth knowledge of the principles of football coaching. The programme has been developed for those who have graduated from coaching or relevant degree programmes or coaches currently coaching within the game who want to develop their knowledge and skill set further or form part of their CPD. The broad, applied elements of this degree provide students with the skills and experience to progress and work either domestically or abroad in a multi-billion-pound global industry. GIS' ability to provide further Employability and Enrichment opportunities engages students in career development allowing students to find their place in the football industry.

UCFB's Global Institute of Sport was ranked in the top 5 'Best Universities for Employability' in 2021.

Employability & Enrichment

At GIS we bridge the gap between education and business, allowing a unique approach to education. We provide two curricula; the academic curriculum which encompasses exams and coursework and the Employability & Enrichment programme – a journey of professional and personal development.

This provides access to best-in-class industry guest speakers, additional qualifications and exceptional opportunities to apply for work experience placements to ensure our students graduate as well-rounded, empowered professionals.

Find out more


Graduate and Women’s First Team Analyst at Leicester City Amy Lomas

Master’s graduate Amy Lomas worked with Premier League side Norwich City as a Performance Analyst alongside her studies and has gone on to take a role as Leicester City Women’s First Team Analyst upon graduating.

Read more
 Amy Lomas
Graduate and Advanced Centre Coach at MK Dons Wesley McGrath

Upon completing his Master’s degree in 2019, Wesley McGrath is now a coach, scout and analyst for his own company, WM32Football, as well as an Advanced Centre Coach at MK Dons.

Read more
Wesley McGrath


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Available tuition fee discount
Postgraduate Loyalty Discounts

These discounts are open to any UCFB, Buckinghamshire New University and University of East London graduate who has received and accepted an offer to study at postgraduate level with UCFB’s Global Institute of Sport.

GIS Alumni

If you’d like to extend your time with us, we’re pleased to offer all GIS graduates:

UCFB and GIS business partners

We're pleased to offer all UCFB and GIS business partners 15% fee tuition discount on all Undergraduate, Master's programmes.

Additional costs

The provision of a facility or service including accommodation may be subject to an additional charge (i.e. separate from tuition fees). Where this is the case, we will make this clear in advance and payment for such service shall be made in accordance with any additional contract made between you and the University.

In some instances, optional Employability & Enrichment activities provided by UCFB may carry an additional cost for participants (e.g. qualifications with external certification such as FA Coaching Badges). Any additional costs will be provided to students in advance of any such sessions running.

Students will be required to purchase GIS branded kit for their studies, which costs £120-150. GIS students may also be asked for an additional contribution fee of £10-20 for trips.

Part-time option

For part-time courses the tuition fee will be split accordingly per year i.e 50% in year 1 and 50% in year 2 (for a two year programme) as per below table.

Full-time (one year) Part-time (two years)
£10,950 £16,450 £5,475 £8,225
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