SPORT, COACHING AND FITNESS

BSc (Hons)

Accredited by University College Birmingham

Award

BSc (Hons)

Duration

3 years full-time

UCAS Code

C605

Placement

Opportunities available

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

Sport and Nutrition

104,000 employed/self-employed sports coaches, instructors and officials in the UK*

*Statista, 2019

£44m invested in flagship facilities on campus, including sport, to support your development and career prospects

Fitness and coaching are two major sectors within the world of sport, offering opportunities to help a wide array of people achieve their health, fitness and sporting ambitions. If you are interested in working in the fields of fitness training and coaching, our Sport, Coaching and Fitness degree course will give you advanced knowledge to help inspire and support others within this diverse and dynamic industry.

Our sports degree course critically explores the wide array of skills and knowledge you will require for this evolving field. The course will help you develop into an exercise professional, from client assessment to programming and supporting clients with various conditions. It will also develop you as a sports coach, analysing performance and exploring working with special populations, as well as equipping you with further vital knowledge of the role of nutrition and psychology in sport, fitness and health. 

Our course also offers opportunities for you to acquire additional qualifications recognised within the industry, from fitness instructor and personal trainer qualifications to sports coaching and weight lifting instruction. You will have access to a range of cutting-edge sports facilities on campus such as our Human Performance Centre, while you will also have the chance to undertake placements in the industry throughout your course, helping you gain valuable experience and contacts before graduating.

Why should I choose this course?

  • ENRICHMENT – Gain a range of further qualifications recognised by the sport and fitness industry to boost your employment prospects
  • WORK EXPERIENCE – Take on a range of work experience opportunities throughout your course, with previous students having worked for leading professional sports clubs
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Put your training and skills into practice in real-life, supported by expert staff and cutting-edge sports facilities
  • SPECIALISE YOUR STUDIES – Tailor your course to suit your interests with a variety of modules and placement opportunities as well as choosing a subject for your research project
  • TEAM SCOTLAND PARTNERSHIP – University College Birmingham will be the home for Team Scotland at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, offering unique opportunities for our students to work with the team and its athletes

Our facilities

Students on our sports courses have use of a variety of outstanding practical training facilities, from our Human Performance Centre and Laboratory to a state-of-the-art gym on campus, as well as access to 4G astroturf and grass pitches at nearby Avery Fields.

Human Performance Centre 3D tour

Course breakdown

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Academic Skills

Your vital skills and abilities will be developed to enable you to study effectively at an undergraduate level. Key learning concepts will be identified and related to skills relevant to the industry, which will then be developed through a variety of tasks and activities. This is done in a relevant context that takes into account the wider education and community focus of your course as a whole.

Applied Anatomy and Physiology

A thorough understanding of the body and how it works is key to many career paths in the industry, and will support your work in fitness and coaching-related modules throughout the programme. This module will be a combination of theoretical and practical application of the musculoskeletal, energy, cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as muscle contractions and basic neurology. You will also have the opportunity to attend additional study support workshops.

Principles of Sports Psychology

Within exercise and coaching, sport psychology can have a key impact on the performance of both the leader and participants. This module aims to introduce you to key concepts within sport psychology. You will consider the role of motivation when considering participant adherence and life-long participation within sporting, exercise and physical activity.

Principles of Coaching

This module aims to give you an understanding of different styles and practise designs in order to create a positive learning environment for your participants. You will also look at coaching in a range of contexts from school sport through community participation and working with adult groups. By the end of the module, the aim is that you will be confident in preparing and delivering a coaching session to a range of audiences. As part of this module, you will also have the opportunity to work with/observe a range of coaching sessions in these environments.

Health Promotion

Health promotion as a field draws on the behavioural aspects of social science, and may be applied in a range of settings, from public health to patient-facing contexts. Health promotion aims to promote health and help prevent disease and early mortality through information-driven, patient-centred, voluntary behaviour change activities. Factors influencing both societal and individual health will be explored, in addition to the evidence-based rationale for health promoting approaches. As such, this module will incorporate an appreciation of the wider determinants of health, risk factors for ill health, and recognised issues in acute and chronic health. Focus will be applied to health promotion strategies for different populations and individualised skilled communication approaches for discussing health information, coaching health, and influencing behaviour change.

Health and Exercise Screening

You will explore the role of health and exercise screening in informing exercise practice. This module will review the importance of safe and effective client assessment and will delve into the key parameters of physiological, fitness and body composition testing. You will be able to identify the importance of exercise screening in protecting and developing clients. Within this capacity, you will be able to interpret the fitness and health of individuals and appropriately refer them to other practitioners or use this information to inform exercise prescription.

Core Modules

Research for Sport

Sport, fitness and coaching are very dynamic industries, and as such it is vital that you are able to keep up with latest developments and research. In this module you will be introduced to the management and application of research, looking at using primary and secondary research tools and techniques through various research activities. You will establish research aims, objectives, research methods and how to collect both qualitative and quantitative data for use in your own research.

Sport and Exercise Nutrition

You will examine the nutritional needs of athletes and those undertaking substantial exercise programmes, exploring the importance of nutrition in achieving optimal health. Other topics addressed will include exercise and metabolism, energy generation, hydration and vitamin and mineral needs for athletic performance.

Sports Psychology in Practice

The focus of this module is for you to gain experience in conducting a primary study focused on sports psychology. Within the module, you will be assessing the impact of selected sports psychology intervention, while completing a selected activity. You have the opportunity to consider how you could motivate participants or assess the impact of imagery on skill execution for example in the context of your choice.

Coaching and Performance Analysis

The aim of this module is to provide you with knowledge and experience of effective coaching sessions, focusing not just on the delivery of effective sessions but in addition giving consideration towards planning and evaluation. The module will introduce you to reflective coaching in order to improve coaching further. Within the module, you will also consider the role of performance analysis, and how it can be used by coaches to improve participants' skill execution further.

Personal and Professional Development

The focus of this module is to consider the different careers within the sport, fitness and coaching industries. There will be consideration for the skills and qualities needed for employment, and how these areas can be developed prior to graduation. You will complete a placement as part of the module, and you will reflect on your skill development and create an action plan for future development in preparation for your future career. This module will also feature talks from industry figures and alumni, all to support you in preparing for industry.

Exercise Training and Programming

The exercise training and programming module will prepare you to work as a knowledgeable exercise practitioner. You will use previously learned exercise and health screening skills to inform safe and effective exercise programming with individualised sessions and ongoing review. You will develop your applied exercise practice and will justify your training approaches based on individual client needs.

Core Modules

Sports Project

Your development on the course culminates in a final year project based on your own interests and career aims. This is a key project through which you will hone your independent learning, problem solving, analysis and data presentation skills. You will deepen your knowledge in a selected area of the industry of your own choosing to be explored as a case study or a journal submission. Both methods are supported by an additional poster presentation.

Exercise as Medicine

This module aims to promote health and wellness through the increased use of physical activity and exercise in the prevention and treatment of disease. You will be able to provide brief interventions on physical activity advice while protecting and promoting the health of patients.

Nutrition for a Healthy Population

This module will establish your understanding of nutrition and its direct impact on health. It will include a strong focus on human metabolism, the components of a healthy diet and how nutrition can help prevent disease. The module includes examining an evidence-based diet and looking at dietary interventions, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Ketogenic Diet. You will also consider diet and disease (non-communicable diets) including CVD, cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Finally, you will explore current issues in public health, children’s diet, influence of food companies, a leaner fitter future and 2016 European guidelines among other contemporary issues. This module adds a very current dimension to the degree programme and a number of future career pathways will be enhanced through its study.

Special Population and Inclusive Coaching

Building on the understanding achieved within previous coaching modules, you will be given the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge of working with different groups. You will experience an inclusive coaching environment (i.e. SEN, disability sport) and gain an understanding of the adaptations needed in order to deliver an effective learning environment. You will be able to evaluate delivery and highlight possible areas for adaptations and development.

Work-Based Learning for Sport

In any industry experience and knowledge/qualifications go hand in hand. The aim of this module is for you to gain work-based experience within your chosen industry to support your knowledge development, and the ability to apply this in practice. The experience will allow you to further enhance both your career-specific skills and transferable skills. Throughout the work-based learning module, you will have the opportunity to experience and observe a variety of different practices, with talks from industry experts across a number of fields. The module further aims to develop your ability to analyse the work-based experience, with the use of reflection models.

The modules listed above are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain up-to-date as well as being informed by industry and the latest teaching methods. Occasionally we may need to make unexpected alterations to modules – should this happen, we will communicate with all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements

An overall average of at least 65% in 12th Standard from both State and Central Examination Boards.

Advanced entry to certain undergraduate degree programmes may be possible for students who hold a UK HND or India Diploma in a relevant subject.

English entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need a recognised English Language qualification to meet the entry requirements onto a degree programme.

English Entry requirements for students applying from India  

Board Minimum Requirement (2021)
CBSE B Grade
ICSE 60%
Cambridge B Grade / 6 Pointer
Maharashtra State 60%
Andhra Pradesh 60%
Kerala 60%
Karnataka 60%
West Bengal 60%

If you do not have one of the above qualifications, please see here for the full list of accepted alternatives.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS 6.0 with no element less than 5.5

Key information

Assessment

An estimated breakdown of assessment for this course:

  • Coursework – 50%
  • Practical assessment – 45%
  • Written examinations – 5%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024 (UK website).

Additional qualifications and training

As part of this course, you will have opportunities to gain further qualifications, including:

  • Emergency first aid qualification
  • Level 2 and Level 3 Gym Instructor and Personal Training qualifications
  • 1st4Sport Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Multi-Skills Development in Sport

Please note extra qualifications may incur an additional fee.

Uniform and kit costs

This course will require you to purchase a uniform and kit costing approximately £100. (Costs are subject to change each year – more details on exact pricing and how to order the items you need will be supplied to you before you enrol.)

Scholarships and bursaries

Sporting Excellence Scholarship

Students on our sports courses may be eligible to receive a Sporting Excellence Scholarship. These are open to applicants from any country who can demonstrate ongoing excellence in sporting achievement.

We offer two levels of support, with awards of up to £3,000 towards competitions, equipment and training costs over three years. The scholarship also includes:

  • Free gym membership 
  • University-branded training kit 
  • Weekly sports therapy/massage 
  • Individually tailored programme, which may include nutrition, strength and conditioning, sports psychology or lifestyle support

Find out more about the support available and our eligibility criteria by visiting our scholarships and waivers page.

Tuition fees

For international students enrolling on a full-time BA/BSc degree in 2022/23, your fee for the academic year will be £13,500 per year.

If you undertake a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year, or £250 for a half year.

Percentage
70%

of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Placements provide you with vital real-life experience and help build your skills and confidence before you graduate, as well as potentially leading to a job after your studies. Our dedicated hired@UCB employability team will help you to find your ideal placement.

Some of the modules on our BSc Sport, Coaching and Fitness course include integrated work placement opportunities and requirements, enabling you to put your learning into practice and boost your employability.

Work alongside experts in your field

Some of the employers we have worked with include:

  • Warwickshire County Cricket Club
  • Wasps Rugby Academy
  • West Bromwich Albion FC Women
  • Easy Gym
  • Vibro-Suite Health and Wellness Club
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, please be aware that opportunities to travel overseas for placements, residential trips or project work may be affected by government travel restrictions. Please see our Covid FAQs page (UK website) for more information.

The Sport, Coaching and Fitness programme offers students the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge across a wide variety of modules. The multidisciplinary approach allows students to progress into a broad range of careers.

Matthew Holmes Programme Lead – Sport, Coaching and Fitness

Career opportunities

  • Health and wellbeing/sports development officer
  • Further education lecturer
  • Community sports coach
  • Fitness centre manager
  • Personal trainer
  • Armed forces training and education officer

Thinking of continuing your studies beyond this course? On completing the BSc (Hons) degree, you will be able to progress onto our postgraduate courses such as Strength, Conditioning and Performance MSc. 

Please note: The examples of roles are to serve only as a guide.

hired@UCB

Our dedicated careers, employability and placements team is here to support you in every step towards your future.

Find out more

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