University of Chester

Programme Specification
Sports Coaching FDS
2016 - 2017

Foundation Science Degree

Sports Coaching

Sports Coaching (Foundation Science Degree)

University of Chester

University of Chester, Reaseheath College, West Cheshire College.

Warrington Campus, Reaseheath College, West Cheshire College Ellesmere Port.


Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

5 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Sport and Community Engagement

Foundation Degree Sector Framework for the Active Leisure and Learning Sector

Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmark (2004) QAA

Subject Benchmark Statements for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (Unit 25)


Department of Sport and Community Engagement Module Assessment Board

Thursday 1st September 2016


* To provide a high quality academic and practical programme of study in Sports Coaching, with learning opportunities for students from a variety of backgrounds both in their place of work and through utilising specialist facilities at the respective site of study.


* To provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required by employers in the Sports Coaching industry, through using teaching learning and assessment strategies that develop professional experience concurrent with academic development.


* To offer flexible delivery modes and study patterns to meet the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds and employment situations.


* To provide a high quality academic and practical programme of study in Sports Coaching that remains relevant, valid and responsive to the needs of employers and students through maintaining and expanding effective partnerships with students, employers, professional bodies and sector skills councils.


* To provide a programme of study in Sports Coaching that enables students to apply for further study at graduate level 6 on the BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching programme offered at the University of Chester, Warrington Campus.


* To provide a degree programme that equips students with both the academic skills and required confidence to pursue and engage in further development and learning opportunities in their future.

Level 4 :

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of UK coaching policies (SS4207, SS4218)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of coaching principles and practice (SS4207)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the underpinning physiological and psychological factors contributing to performance, adaptation and development in sport (SS4210, SS4203)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles of play and rules of competition across a range of game types (SS4220)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the legal duties expected of a sports coach (SS4207, SS4218)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of child protection issues within a sports coaching session (SS4207, SS4218)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the events operations cycle and its effective management in the sports industry. (SS4204)

Level 5:

  • Identify and apply a wide range of principles, concepts and theories of coaching, sports counselling and effective communication. (SS5204, SS5209).
  • Demonstrate developing knowledge and understanding of specific coaching methods, behaviours and styles (SS5204, SS5209).
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the coach-athlete relationship from grass roots to excellence. (SS5209, SS5204).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of the sports coaching industry and the role of organisations within it (SS5203).
  • Identify and evaluate key elements of the events planning process (SS5217)


Level 4:

  • Demonstrate an initial ability to evaluate the relationship between CPD, coaching initiatives and organisations. (SS4218)
  • Demonstrate an initial ability to analyse the coaches’ role relative to the advancement of performance from both a psychological and physiological perspective.(SS4203, SS4210)
  • Analyse the factors of risk and harm in sports coaching and demonstrate knowledge and of approved methods of risk assessment. (SS4207, SS4218)
  • Develop and substantiate arguments by drawing on academic and practical evidence when evaluating the process and practice of sports coaching sessions. (SS4207, SS4220)

Level 5:

  • Analyse the appropriateness of a variety of research methods and discern between approaches to data collection (SS5202)
  • Analyse, interpret, summarise and present theoretical information and data in a competent and effective way (SS5202)
  • Critically develop and substantiate arguments by drawing upon a broad range of academic and practical evidence when evaluating the process and practice of coaching sessions and related issues in the sports industry.(All modules)
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognise and critically reflect upon strengths and weaknesses in their own personal approach to a range of situations. (SS5204, SS5211, SS5209, SS5217)

Level 4:

  • Demonstrate an ability to plan and conduct a coaching session as part of a small team. (SS4207)
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognize and evaluate performance in sports settings and offer points for development through corrective practice (SS4207, SS4220).
  • Conduct appropriate risk assessments and manage identifiable risks of a sports / coaching venue. (SS4207, SS4204).
  • Demonstrate a basic ability to utilise the skills necessary in events management with particular reference to the sports industry. (SS4204)
  • Demonstrate an ability to improve their own individual performance across a range of game sports (SS4220).
  • Utilise abilities developed on the programme to construct an effective CV and letter of application to increase likelihood of success in application for work in the Sports Coaching industry (SS4218)

Level 5:

  • Apply an increasing range of coaching techniques, methods and strategies (pedagogical, psychological and physiological) to ensure effective delivery at participation and increasing performance level. (SS5204, SS5207, SS5209, SS5211)
  • Develop and present a feasible research proposal demonstrating awareness of rationale, potential research designs (SS5202).
  • Select appropriate techniques/methods for the analysis and presentation of data (SS5202)
  • Develop an ability to operate in an athlete centred manner, generating the core conditions of the person centred approach in a range of role play settings. (SS5209)

Level 4:

  • Demonstrate developing self-confidence to contribute to group discussions, seminars and practical activities.(SS4219 specifically + all modules generally)
  • Apply research skills to approach both familiar and unfamiliar situations associated with the study of sports coaching.(SS4219 specifically + all modules generally)
  • Use ICT skills such as word processing, spreadsheet and graphical presentation packages.(SS4219 specifically + all modules generally)
  • Search various resources e.g. library, online databases, internet with guidance.(SS4219 specifically + all modules generally)
  • Demonstrate an initial ability to undertake independent learning through the development of learning and organisational skills.(SS4219 specifically + all modules generally)

Level 5:

  • Demonstrate effective communication, feedback and reinforcement within a work-based learning environment (SS5211).
  • Adopt a flexible approach to learning which includes effective group interaction and increasing autonomy.(All modules)
  • Use ICT competently and effectively to analyse, present and communicate information and data.(All modules)

The Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching requires a total of 240 credits, 120 (6 modules) at Level 4 and 120 (6 modules) at Level 5.  On a full time course of study this would usually take 2 years, whilst in part-time mode this would normally take 4 years (60 credits to be attempted each year).

The Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching is available for study at one of three sites (Warrington Campus, Reaseheath College or West Cheshire College), but in all cases the design and structure of the programme will remain the same, as follows;

Modules:  Level 4 Sports Coaching Compulsory Modules (80 credits):

SS4219 Academic Preparation and Development, SS4203 Psychology for Sport and Exercise, SS4207 Practical Sports Coaching Skills, SS4220 The Sports Experience.

Option Modules (40 credits): Select two from the following:

SS4210 Anatomy and Physiology for Sport, SS4204 Introduction to Events Management, SS4218 Professional Development for Sports Coaches

Level 5 Sports Coaching Compulsory Modules (80 credits):

SS5202 Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity, SS5204 Pedagogy for Sports Coaches, SS5203 Sports Policy and Agencies, SS5209 Positive Communication & Counselling Skills.

Option Modules (40 credits):Select 2 modules from the following:

SS5211 Learning at Work (Sports Coaching), SS5205 Applied Physiology: Growth Development and Training in Young People, SS5217 Event Planning Management and Evaluation.

Rationale for Programme Structure:

Students that enter the Programme with no relevant industry award / recognition will typically follow the operationally focussed pattern (e.g. including SS4218 Professional Development for Sports Coaches) and will be guided as to the most appropriate modules from the limited option choice that remains. The programme structure has also been designed to accommodate the needs of prospective students that  already possess relevant qualification (UKCC levels 1 & 2), a range of industry experience and that are currently in an appropriate working environment (minimum 6 hours per week). In effect these would largely be students in work (part-time) who may require a different mix of modules to enhance their professional development.The programme structure also enables students that have a relevant award, but have limited industry experience to undertake a more operationally focussed approach and should allow them to extend their knowledge, skills and work related experience appropriately.In this respect the programme is designed to be clear and distinct yet offer some flexibility on entry to prospective candidates based on their industrial and work-related background.The decision on the most appropriate level 4 set of modules will be based on discussion with the student (and employer representative, if appropriate), however the final decision on this will lie with the Programme Leader. The SS4219 Academic Preparation and Development and SS5202 Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity modules are aimed specifically at developing student's potential to engage with and successfully produce academic work at undergraduate level. In addition they aim to develop an appreciation of the relevance of academic work and study to the sports coaching industry. The focus at level 4 will predominantly be upon academic study skills, with a shift to developing the research capacities of candidates at level 5. Such preparation is deemed vital in order prepare students for more extensive independent study at level six, should they apply to Top-Up to the BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching programme and engage in study for a third year.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SS4203 4 Psychology for Sport and Exercise 20 Comp
SS4204 4 Introduction to Events Management 20 Optional
SS4207 4 Practical Sports Coaching Skills 20 Comp
SS4210 4 Anatomy & Physiology for Sport 20 Optional
SS4218 4 Professional Development for Sports Coaches 20 Optional
SS4219 4 Academic Preparation and Development 20 Comp
SS4220 4 The Sports Experience 20 Comp
SS5202 5 Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity 20 Comp
SS5203 5 Sport Policy and Agencies 20 Comp
SS5204 5 Pedagogy for Sports Coaches 20 Comp
SS5205 5 Applied Physiology: Growth, Development and Training in Young People 20 Optional
SS5209 5 Positive Communication & Counselling Skills 20 Comp
SS5211 5 Learning at Work II (Sports Coaching) 20 Optional
SS5217 5 Event Planning, Management and Evaluation 20 Optional

Certificate of Higher Education:  The award of Certificate of Higher Education shall involve the accumulation of 120 credit points at Level 4.
Foundation Degree (FdSc): The award of Foundation Degree shall involve the accumulation of 240 credit points, with not less than 120 at Level 5.

This standard equates to that laid down for Intermediate level in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (QAA, January 2001).

The foundation degree in Sports Coaching is designed specifically to offer education and training to people who have not had the opportunity of a university education, but who will benefit both personally and in their career, by developing their work-related academic knowledge and higher-level skills.  For conventional students the programme requires relevant qualifications (see below).  For mature students there are no formal entrance requirements as such, but entrance onto the the programme requires evidence that applicants have the enthusiasm and aptitude to tackle a university education. Such evidence may arise through a formal interview with the programme leader, or via a written personal statement/testimony.

Conventional candidates should normally be able to demonstrate ONE of the following qualifications:

  1. An appropriate BTEC National Diploma achieving a minimum of 180 UCAS points
  2. An appropriate Access to Higher Education course ‘Certificate of Achievement’
  3. 2 A/S Levels or 1 A Level in an appropriate subject area, typically sport or sports science

However the University encourages wider access and participation in higher education and applications are encouraged from those who may not have the necessary points/qualifications. The Programme Leader will be happy to discuss the requirement of the course and assess prospective students for their suitability based on a combination of qualifications, experience and motivation. Appropriate NVQ Level 3, modern apprenticeship, work experience, and free-standing qualifications that form part of the post-16 qualifications framework will also be considered. 

Mature students (21 years of age or over) without evidence of the above qualifications but with appropriate experience, will be required to demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude for higher level study.

Candidates for part-time study will demonstrate a minimum of 6 hours per week employment / volunteer activity in an appropriate setting, and have the written support of their manager (as appropriate) for the integration of their studies with their workplace activities.

 * QAA Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmarks have been used to guide the development of the programme throughout. 

* FHEQ Intermediate level descriptors (as cited by the QAA, 2004) have been used to develop the programme learning outcomes and have informed the development of the module learning outcomes. 

* Skills Active Foundation Degree Sector Framework for the Active Leisure and Learning Sector and subject Benchmark Statements for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (Unit 25) have been consulted to guide in the development both of course content and module learning outcomes.


Foundation degrees should "enable learners to benefit from the interpretation of ideas and the experience of practice, within the wider context of employment and one in which knowledge, understanding and skills are clearly integrated" (QAA: Foundation Degree qualification benchmark. 2004. p.8).

The FdSc in Sports Coaching has been designed for both part time study, by people already employed in the industry, and for full time study for those aspiring to forge a career in this field. The modules are designed so that students are given credit for competences developed and utilised within their place of work, or work placement.  Flexible delivery allows students to complete single modules as part of an ongoing CPD (continuing professional development) programme. 

Appropriate expert mentorship exists in the workplace (this is a requirement for any valid placement) and regular tutor contact and support is available. The University's intranet (PORTAL) will be used as the learning framework throughout and will contain information on work schemes and links to support materials as well as providing the platform for communication (through discussion boards and email).

On occasion UKCC / SCUK awards may be offered at the respective delivery sites, but students are able to enrol on accredited courses elsewhere. Delivery teams within each institution will 'signpost' and facilitate access to relevant courses at respective sites, locally and within the region.   

Within all modules the core emphasis will be placed upon the development of students' cognitive, key and professional skills, and the application of academic knowledge and understanding in Sports Coaching work settings. Aims, learning outcomes and content will be reflective of this.

University based learning will be delivered in the form of lectures, field practicals and workshops to provide the majority of subject knowledge and understanding, and of course to promote the development of academic skills. Seminars and discussion sessions will be used to promote formative communication with peers and tutors. A practical application of the acquired academic knowledge and understanding will be fostered through each students' work placement, which permeates throughout the whole of the programme. Strong tutorial support, mentoring in the workplace and visting speakers from the sports coaching industry will provide clarity of context.

Formative assessment features quite strongly at the start of the programme. This has been done purposefully in order to develop students' academic skills and confidence and to encourage to the development of more independent and autonomous learning subsequently. Summative assessment attempts to feature application of academic knowledge and understanding to the workplace as much as is possible.

A variety of assessment methods will be used within the programme and tasks will typically feature short objective / multi-choice tests, essays and structured reports, oral presentations, practical sports coaching, video analysis and reflective learning logs.

At level 5 there will be a greater emphasis on the development of cognitive and transferable skills and the use of academic literature to inform work related practice. Case studies, portfolios, seminar, group projects and a research proposal will feature in order to prepare students to engage in study at level 6 if they progress further.

The programme content and development of a skills base is mapped against the SkillsActive Framework for Foundation Degrees. The intention is to develop high quality graduates who will possess the intermediate Higher Education Skills identified as requirements for employment by the industry.  In short graduates of the FdSc Sports Coaching programme will have the requisite skills, knowledge and understanding (as identified in section 26) to gain, maintain and purposefully develop a career in Sports Coaching.

Students will also be provided with the opportunity to progress onto the third year of the BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching Degree at the University of Chester, Warrington Campus should they achieve an average of 50% or more during the second year.

The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an education institution, for this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice.  The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender, and Disability.  It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment.  The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies.  The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job.  The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination.  In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age (subject to University of Chester retirement policy); marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union, or socio-economic background.  It also aims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not suffer unfair discrimination and are enabled to achieve their full potential.

The objective of the policy is a University which is open to all sections of the community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.

The programme, specifically, is designed to be open to all who are sufficiently qualified to engage within it. As such, there are support mechanisms in place for students from the moment they enter the programme. The Department instigates a well established system of support, most noticeably, though not exclusively, through the Personal Academic Tutor system. In addition, students are represented on the Foundation Degree Programme Team, which meets twice per academic year, where issues regarding diversity and equality can be discussed. In addition, Teaching, Learning and Assessment strategies are deliberately varied in order to be as accessible as possible to all. Practical work can be modified to ensure that students of all physical abilities can engage appropriately with the intended learning outcomes. Aspects of the programme are also deliberately designed to discuss the myriad of ways in which race, gender, disability and age impact upon sport and exercise particpation.

This programme has a potential Level 6 top-up route delivered by the Department of Sport & Community Engagement at Warrington in; 

BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching.

Students are supported within their programme by a personal academic tutor from the respective delivery site (Warrington, Reaseheath, West Cheshire). However, within the workplace the students will also be supported by a workplace mentor. These individuals will help to ensure the students are obtaining the most appropriate opportunities/challenges.

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