BSc (Hons) Sports Studies

If you want a career in the sports industry, this Sports Studies degree will give you the professional knowledge and broad range of skills you need. You’ll gain a sound understanding of several core sports, exercise and physical activity disciplines, including applied coaching and development practice, physiology, psychology and physical education, to name just a few.

You’ll engage in practical and theory sessions using facilities on and off campus, including our sports hall, outdoor 3G and astro pitches, physiology and performance analysis laboratories, and our strength and conditioning suite. These sessions help you learn how to assess and evaluate individuals and teams using a range of sports science and coaching tools. You can engage with the UK sports industry through relevant work placements, as well as the opportunity to acquire sport-related qualifications.


UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C604 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
C604 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A

Year One: Sports Studies Degree

Your first year will provide you with the underpinning theory and practice across a broad range of subject areas. You will gain knowledge of how sport is organised and coached, and you will have the opportunity to lead sports activities and events. You will explore the fundamental principles of how young athletes develop and learn sports skills, develop knowledge and understanding of sport science, and develop an understanding of sport in relation to wider societies.

The broad range of topics studied in year one will help to inform the module choices you make in years two and three of the programme and will also help to guide you in the industry work-based learning experience which you will undertake in years two and three. You will have the opportunity to undertake sports leadership and coach education qualifications to boost your CV.

  • Academic Research and Professional skills: The aim of this module is to enable students to gain the fundamental social, interpersonal and academic building blocks for a vibrant and successful University experience. The module also equips students with transferable professional skills that enable them to function in a professional environment.

  • Fundamentals of Coaching Children: The module will introduce you to theories of physical literacy, fundamental movement skills (FMS), long-term athlete development (LTAD) and coaching the whole child and how these can be applied practically when working with children.

  • Sports Development in Practice: The focus of this module is to provide students with the skills to be able to plan, deliver and evaluate a range of sports activity sessions in various contexts.

  • Foundations of Sports Studies: This module will introduce students to various aspects of sport and exercise disciplines (such as psychology, sociology, motor learning, skill acquisition, ethical and historical contexts of sport) so that they can make links between each of the theoretical areas.

  • Exercise Physiology 1: This module will provide an introduction to human physiology applied to sport and exercise. The student will learn about human musculo-skeletal anatomy and gain vital knowledge underpinning the subjects of exercise physiology and biomechanics.

  • Exercise Prescription (for non-referred populations): The module aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills they require to plan, prepare, instruct and evaluate gym-based exercise programmes for children and apparently healthy, non-referred adults

Year Two: Sports Studies Degree

You will complete a community sport placement, which will enable you to put your ideas and knowledge into practice in the sports industry.

Core Modules

  • Research Methods
  • Sports Coaching and Leadership
  • Community Sports Development

Chose one from the below options

  • Fitness Assessment Management
  • Sport Placement
  • Performance Analysis
  • Enterprise in Sport
  • Physical Education and School Sport
  • Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition
  • Exercise Physiology II

Year Three: Sports Studies Degree

Your final year of study will help you to consolidate your previous years’ learning and start to specialise your work-based learning experience in line with the career path that you would like to take after graduation.

During this year, you will have the option to undertake a placement working with one of our partner sports organisations. Some of our current students are working with organisations such as Golf Wales, Welsh Netball, Welsh Football Trust, Sports Development departments, School and other sports organisations.

Many students complete placements in Primary Schools and Secondary PE departments. These experiences combined with vocational qualifications and the broad variety of modules on the sports studies course means that this is a great course as a route into teaching, with many students obtaining places on PGCE courses.

Core Modules

  • Dissertation ,or Applied Professional Project
  • Contemporary Issues in Sports Development

Optional modules

  • Work Based Learning
  • Physical Activity and Health
  • Strategic Sports Development
  • Critical Issues in Sports Coaching and Leadership
  • Leadership in Sport
  • Mentoring in Sport
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Advanced Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition
  • Exercise Physiology 3
  • Applied Sports Coaching


The sports studies degree is taught via lectures, interactive workshops, practical sessions, work-based learning, guest lectures (from industry professionals), debates and tutorials. 

All lectures/modules are sport specific which you will attend with other sports students. Most lectures/tutorials will be fairly small groups which provides a more interactive and personal approach to your study. Group work and class discussions help you to develop critical thinking skills and we encourage students to voice their opinion and challenge the norm.

Most modules are studied over the year for 24 weeks (2 × 12 week terms); but some are delivered more intensively during a term (e.g. Fundamentals of coaching children and Sports Development in Practice).

Contact time varies over each year of study due to differences in modules, work placements and dissertation/project work in your final year. Average lecture contact time per week in each year is as follows:

  • Year 1: 12 hours contact time (18 hours of independent study per week).
  • Year 2: 10 hours (20 hours independent study per week).
  • Year 3: 8-10 hours (15-20 hours independent study and 7-14 hours of placement per week – depending on module chosen).


You will be assessed via a range of methods to ensure that you develop a number of different skills. Assessment methods include:

  • Written essays and reports
  • Presentations
  • Practical sports coaching and leadership assessments
  • Work-based learning assessments
  • Posters and leaflets
  • Reflective blogs
  • Team debates
  • Exams (multiple choice and essay style)


You will also have the opportunity to undertake voluntary coaching and sports leadership work with local partners and Active Valleys during the degree; become a member of our Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport; and take on leadership roles such as becoming a Course Representative or Student Ambassador.

Where possible, your timetable in your final year will be organised to give you at least one day off teaching to enable you to undertake a work-based placement with a sports organisation, meaning that you can balance your studies and gaining valuable experience.

Our Centre of Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS) demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our students are employable upon graduation. We have partnerships with over 50 sports organisations who offer work placements for our students, enabling you to gain first-hand experience of working in the sports industry during your sport studies degree – an essential requirement for anyone wanting to gain employment in sport.

Some of the organisations who are hosting students on placement include:



At USW Sport Park, you’ll find a notational analysis suite and over 30 acres of playing fields, including five floodlit pitches. We have a sand-dressed ‘astroturf’ pitch, as well as a full-size FIFA-approved 3G pitch. In addition to these all-weather pitches, there are six grass football pitches, three grass rugby pitches, and a large changing pavilion.

Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, such as the Wales national football team and Cardiff City Football Club, as well as the touring New Zealand, South Africa and Australia rugby squads. This confirms the high quality of our pitches and the versatility of our equipment.


George Rose, course leader

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a Science subject or Physical Education and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to include a Science subject or Physical Education but to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions (12 Science units), 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions from Science units, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £11900 
  • Part-time UK and EU:  £620  per 20 credits.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £12300 
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £57.2
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service £13
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Placement *
Travel costs to work placements can vary, depending on location.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Our particular combination of practical sport, science, sports coaching, sports development and psychology means that a wide range of career opportunities and postgraduate study are available in the UK and abroad. These may include teaching and coaching, development, health science such as fitness assessment and exercise prescription, sports promotion or leisure management in the sports industry.

Your sports studies degree will integrate theory and practical lectures with community sport experience, so you will develop practical coaching, teaching and leadership skills and gain experience of working in the industry. Our graduates are working in a range of sectors from education, coaching, health, sports development and sport science.

Some examples include:

  • Sports Coach
  • Sport Development Officer
  • Leisure Club/Centre Manager
  • PGCE /Teaching
  • Workforce and coach education coordinators
  • School sport coordinators
  • 5×60 officers
  • Self-employed business managers

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.