MSc Sports Coaching and Performance

The MSc 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 MSc Sports Coaching and Performance course offers an insight into how psychology, physiology, strength and conditioning, and movement analysis impact on performance and 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.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years September Glyntaff A
Part-time 2 Years September Glyntaff A

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 include lectures, interactive workshops, practical sessions, work-based learning, guest lectures (from industry professionals), debates and tutorials. This range of teaching and learning approaches ensures that you gain a wide variety of skills.

All lectures/modules are sport specific which you will attend with other sports students. Most lectures/tutorials will be fairly small groups (10-25) 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.

As a USW student you will have the opportunity to become a member of our Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS) and put into place a personal development plan to enhance your employability skills and grow your CV via work placements, internships, professional qualifications and enterprise activities.

There are additional opportunities to take on leadership roles such as becoming a Course Representative or Student Ambassador.

The course is delivered over the year from October to April. As a full time student you will study six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module.
The majority of the modules are studied over one semester for 10 weeks so contact will usually be 3 hours a week per module. The Professional Work Based Development module is delivered in Semester 1, and the remainder of the module involves working in the industry.

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


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

  • Writing essays, reports and reflective blogs.
  • Producing leaflets and posters.
  • Examinations (multiple choice and essay style).
  • Presentations.
  • Practical sports coaching and leadership assessments..
  • Work-based learning assessments and assessments.


At USW we are proud of our professional work-based learning opportunities available and believe that as a MSc Sports Coaching and Performance student, you are unlikely to find another university who can offer you the same support in helping you to develop your employability skills. We have a Centre of Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS) which 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 degree – an essential requirement for anyone wanting to gain employment in sport.

Some of the organisations who are hosting students on 1-2 day per week placements include: Welsh Cycling, Welsh Rugby Union, Welsh Football Trust, Hockey Wales, Welsh Netball, Golf Development Wales, Welsh Athletics, Cardiff City, Swansea City, Bristol Rugby Club, a range of community clubs, Sport RCT, Sport Caerphilly, Newport Live, Play Learn Play, a range of primary and secondary school PE departments and Active Valleys.

We are increasingly seeing more and more of our graduates gaining employment with either the same organisation that they undertook their placement with, or a similar sport organisation, upon graduation.


As part of your studies you will be based at our USW Sport Park facilities and state-of-the-art sport science laboratories on our Glyntaff campus.The Sport Park has a large sports hall, teaching rooms, performance analysis suite and outdoor pitches, including 3G and an all weather surface.

There are libraries situated on Glyntaff campus and Treforest campus which include IT facilities, and access to online journals and books to support your studies.

The Sport Centre on Treforest campus offers a range of exercise classes, squash courts and a large gym with cardiovascular and weights equipment. We also have facilities for providing a variety of sports activities for the community.


  • 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.
  • Equivalent international qualifications are acceptable and if English is not your first language you must have a certificate in English Language Proficiency (e.g. IELTS at least 6.5).
  • A satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check is required.

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:  £6000 
  • Full-time International:  £12600 
  • Part-time UK and EU:  £670  per 20 credits.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £13000 
  • 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.

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

Apply now 

Admissions statement 

We have a Centre of Employability, Enterprise and Leadership in Sport (CEELS) which demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our students are employable upon graduation. We also 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 degree – an essential requirement for anyone wanting to gain employment in sport.

During your studies you will gain transferable skills which include: communication, problem-solving, customer service, leadership, management, working in a team, enterprising skills and further develop your ability to use your initiative. You will also have access to support and advice from our USW Careers and Employability team.

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.