Sport Performance and Coaching BSc (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
Sport Performance & Coaching students using gym equipment and spotting each other

Sports coaching and athlete development is an exciting and rewarding field which includes a range of employment opportunities across the sport and exercise industry.

Course option

Year of entry


CU Scarborough (Scarborough)

Study mode



4 years sandwich
3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC

UCAS codes

N089 / N090 / N099

Start date

June 2024

Course overview

An engaging, industry-aligned and values-led course, the Sport Performance and Coaching BSc (Hons) aims to provide you with the knowledge, skills and experience required to progress successfully into employment or postgraduate study.

The course has been designed to be broad in scope and is therefore both interdisciplinary and inter-professional. The curriculum aims to enable you to acquire a robust understanding of professional, applied practice in the sport coaching and sport performance sectors.

Why you should study this course

The concept underpinning the course is the building of academic and professional skills for professional practice.

  • In addition to the academic qualification gained, you will be signposted to continuing professional development delivered by key stakeholders such as the Football Association and UK Coaching, as well as established communities of practice, which are embedded into the modules.
  • Practitioners can work with athletes of all skill levels, and across the many coaching positions available in the areas of performance analysis and performance sports.
  • CU Scarborough is part of a complex which includes a modern campus building, a sports village and a football stadium that is home to Scarborough Athletic Football Club. The state-of-the-art sports village hosts two swimming pools, a 60-station gym, fitness studios and a sports hall, in addition to a 3G sports stadium pitch.
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What you'll study

The first year introduces you to an overview of sport performance and coaching through the fundamental components of the sector and the professional application within the industry.

Students who successfully complete year one are eligible for an HNC in Sport Performance and Coaching.


  • This module aims to introduce you to the theory underlying effective sports performance. You will be introduced to the analysis of performance indicators, planning and evaluating individual training programmes, use industry-based methods to measure performance and apply problem-based learning to develop sport performance improvement strategies. You will be introduced to the multidisciplinary environment within sports performance and coaching.


  • The main focus of this practical-based module is to introduce you to the fundamentals of physiological and movement assessment, which is at the cornerstone of effective strength and conditioning provision. Also, you will be exposed to core gym-based exercises.


  • The module aims to equip you with theoretical knowledge and practical skills that underpin the application of sport and exercise nutrition to enhancing sporting performance. This will include the fundamental processes within energy metabolism required for sport and exercise. Consideration will be given to the controlling mechanisms as they relate to digestion and absorption, the metabolism of macronutrients, adaptation through training, fluid balance, nutrient timing and metabolic demands of various sports.

    The module will also provide an overview of the basic nutritional guidelines and recommendations to athletes during training and competition, methods of dietary analysis and research, developing personal nutritional plans, working with and educating athletes to promote health, adaptation, performance and recovery.


  • The module aims to introduce the underpinning issues of practical sports delivery. The module also aims to introduce the coaching process and focuses on the requirements of participant/athlete; the demands of the activity/sport; the pedagogical approaches to facilitate the learning environment (decision-making, planning and reflection); the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ approach used across a range of sports. The practical delivery of coaching sessions and underpinning theory will be at the core of module. You will be asked to complete some of the free introductory training offered by a range of governing bodies and subsequently consider a formal coaching qualification.


Year two will introduce you to further practical elements of both coaching and strength and conditioning, while exploring an interdisciplinary approach to maximising performance and the importance of research in sport performance and coaching.


  • This module introduces you to the fundamental principles of strength and conditioning with a specific focus on periodisation, testing and athlete assessment, benchmarking and data interpretation.


  • This module introduces you to the skills needed for researching sport performance and coaching. Key aspects of scientific methods will be introduced including the various experimental methodologies, study design, conduct, summarise and evaluate research as well as analysis of data and the basic descriptive and inferential statistics commonly used.

    The key concepts of reflective practice, evidence-based practice and interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary work will be introduced. Data presentation in various formats for a variety of different scientific and non-scientific audiences will be considered.


  • This module aims to build upon previous modules by developing both theoretical knowledge and applied practical skills of sports coaching in a performance setting. You will focus on an experiential approach to learning and be exposed to a range of practical scenarios, including observations of peers and experienced sport performance coaches. Additionally, you will explore and evaluate a range of current theoretical thinking developed by national and international policies and frameworks for sport performance and coaching, and how these influence the design of their own practice. The learning environment will be considered in further depth with a particular focus on feedback and new frontiers in technological advances in sport performance coaching.


  • This module aims to provide you with an opportunity to apply mono, interdisciplinary approaches to maximising sport performance. The module is designed to encourage reflection upon current theory and practice across the key disciplines within sport performance and coaching, namely: exercise physiology, human movement, sport and exercise psychology, nutrition and coaching as well as British, European and International perspectives. It will provide an opportunity for students to understand mono and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding sport performance and will draw examples across sport and exercise domains, from elite sports performance to exercise for health.


There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur before your final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or participating institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


During the final year of the course, you will focus on the professional environment. You will spend time on practical application, the high-performance environment and working with specific populations. You will have the opportunity to produce a research project in your chosen field of interest.


  • This module aims to build upon previous modules by developing both theoretical knowledge of and applied practical delivery sports performance coaching. You will aim to create and evaluate innovative and evidence-based mid-term coaching plans critically appraising how they design and deliver effective participant and athlete-centred learning. You will be expected to critically reflect on all aspects of your coaching practice and develop a clear understanding of coaching expertise. Additionally, you will reflect on your coaching practice with reference to coach education frameworks and potential career pathways.


  • This module aims to prepare you to work with athletes and players across a wide range of levels from beginners through to elite athletes. You will gain a broad range of practical analytical skills, capable of analysing the physical and movement demands of your chosen sport. You will also take responsibility for the design, planning and implementation of a comprehensive strength and conditioning programme.


  • This module aims to further develop your knowledge, skills and experience to prescribe, plan and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes at an advanced level. You will be able to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to plan, review and adapt programmes of physical activity and exercise for a variety of specific populations and to those with specific programming needs. Subsequently, you will aim to make the best possible use of a range of environments and equipment to achieve the best results for the participant.


  • The module enables you to undertake a sustained, in-depth research exploration and thereby demonstrate the ability to search and evaluate relevant academic literature and data and apply the necessary and appropriate research skills for the production of a scholarly empirical or conceptual piece of work. You will undertake a research project using secondary research, within an aspect of sport performance and coaching. The experience you have gained on the course will allow you to construct a project to link theory and practice. This will support your development as an emerging researcher and coaching practitioner. As part of the project, you should demonstrate an ability to work independently, a high level of organisational skills as well as awareness of issues of health and safety, ethical considerations and time management.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This course is available as a full-time three year or optional four-year sandwich course, the latter incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field2.

Our teaching methods are varied, offering a number of teaching styles, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work. Additional support is available via email and our online learning platform, which is currently Aula.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end of year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of our learning model.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from module to module, however, on average, it is likely to be around 20 contact hours per week. Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, laboratory experiments, tutorial tasks and assessments.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Completing a Sport Performance and Coaching degree at CU Scarborough is a transformative experience that opens doors to a world of opportunities. This course goes beyond theory, immersing you in practical, hands-on learning that enhances your skills and knowledge. You'll work closely with experienced academic and industry professionals, gaining invaluable insights and mentorship. The dynamic curriculum equips you with the expertise to optimize athletic performance, inspire teamwork, and lead with confidence. Additionally, CU Scarborough provides a supportive and vibrant community where you can forge lifelong connections with like-minded individuals. As you graduate, you'll possess a competitive edge, ready to excel in various sports-related careers and make a positive impact in the ever-evolving field of sports.

Mathew Butterworth, Head of Academic Studies, 2023
Head and shoulder shot of Mathew Butterworth

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, we offer a number of programmes to help you secure a place. We also recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

CU Support Scheme

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

All HNC/Degree courses require at least two A2 level or a BTEC equivalent qualification.

CU Scarborough welcomes international students from all around the globe. If you are an international student and are interested in applying for a Foundation Year, HNC or Degree course you can do so by completing our online application form.

Once your application form has been processed you will receive the outcome of your application via your given email address.
Please be aware you will need the following information in order to make your application:

  • All academic transcripts
  • Copies of degree/diploma certificates or work reference if employed
  • One academic reference
  • Be trained to English language proficiency level IELTS 6.0
  • Your personal statement
  • Copy of your current passport

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English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 (HNC - year 1/HND - year 2) or 6.5 (Degree/Top Up - year 3).

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Not available
EU £7,950 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,300 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,300 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees3:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Our purpose-built campus building includes a library, IT suites, mock law court, engineering and science labs, cafe and lots of individual and group study spaces. Next to us is Scarborough’s new leisure village. The complex includes an Olympic legacy swimming pool, sports hall, fitness suite, all weather pitches and the new Scarborough Athletic football ground.

Careers and opportunities

This course prepares students to pursue a career in high-performance sport as an analyst, sport performance or strength and conditioning coach, sports coach, or one of the many other professional roles aligned to sport performance and coaching.

 The flexible and interdisciplinary nature of this degree will enable you to take your career in a number of directions. You could also choose to progress your expertise with a master’s programme in a related discipline, such as nutrition, sports coaching, or strength and conditioning.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.