University of Chester

Programme Specification
Sports Coaching BSc (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Science (Combined Honours)

Sports Coaching

Sports Coaching

University of Chester

University of Chester


Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 Years

7 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Sport and Community Engagement

Subject Benchmark Statements for Events, Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (2016) and National Occupational Standards for Sports Coaching at Level 3


Sport and Community Engagement MAB

Tuesday 8th July 2014

The Combined Honours BSc Sports Coaching programme aims to provide a high quality academic and practical programme of study in sports coaching through the delivery of compulsory and option modules at levels 4, 5 and 6. 


1. To develop in students the ability to understand theoretical concepts and frameworks and apply them to practical sports coaching settings;

2. To develop coaching effectiveness through the provision of learning opportunities provided by actual work-related experience and coaching practice;

3. To provide the opportunity for students to carry out an individual research project at Level 6 in a sports coaching related field;

4. To provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required by employers in the sports coaching industry by developing professional experience concurrent with academic development. 


Students who successfully complete the programme should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an ability to analyse, synthesise and critically reflect on sports coaching and apply this to a range of practical situations;

2. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the coaching process in at least one sports coaching setting;

3. Conduct and present an independent research study into a specific sports coaching related issue which enhances knowledge and evaluates critical evidence acquired;

4. Make an informed decision about future areas of employment within the sports coaching industry.

Level 4

  • Explain the role of sport in society and understand sports coaching in a social context (SS4112, SS4113)
  • Describe the historical and developmental context in which sports coaching exists (SS4113)
  • Understand the conceptual principles that underpin sports coaching (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)
  • Understand the relationship between the sports coach and the performer (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)
  • Understand the process that underpins effective sports coaching practice (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)

Level 5

  • Interpret and evaluate the process, principles and practice of coaching (SS5104, SS5111)
  • Examine the key pedagogical concepts and theories that can be used to inform and enhance sports coaching practice (SS5104)
  • Evaluate the ethical, moral and professional implications as they apply to sports coaching and leadership (SS5104, SS5111)

Level 6

  • Critically analyse sports coaching from a sociological, cultural and educational perspective (SS6108)
  • Critically evaluate the role of the coach, pedagogical principles and strategies and the nature of the coach-athlete relationship (SS6105, SS6107, SS6108)
  • Critically evaluate the role of the school and physical education and school sport (SS6105)
  • Critically analyse research findings within the context of contemporary themes in sports coaching (SS6101)


Level 4

  • Recognise the contribution of sport, and in particular sports coaching, to society (SS4113)
  • Examine the coaching process and the role of the coach (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)
  • Reflect on learning and identify further development needs relative to coaching knowledge and skills (SS4105, SS4114)
  • Evaluate coaching practice relative to the planning and delivery of coaching sessions (SS4105, SS4114)

Level 5

  • Analyse and discuss contemporary UK coaching policies, organisations and practice (SS5111)
  • Apply academic theory in the area of sports coaching to the research process to enable the development of a research proposal (SS5102)
  • Apply key pedagogical theories and concepts to the planning and delivery of coaching sessions and evaluate coaching practice (SS5104)

 Level 6

  • Critically analyse coaching methods when dealing with different populations (SS6105, SS6107)
  • Critically evaluate coaching practice and engagement with the mentoring process (SS6107)
  • Critically evaluate the role of the school in the context of community youth sport development (SS6105)
  • Critically analyse socialisation into coaching roles and coach interaction, philosophy and power (SS6108)
  • Critically evaluate research findings in the context of the methods of enquiry, existing literature and knowledge and understanding in a selected area of sports coaching (SS6101)

Level 4

  • Understand the professional expectations for a career in sports coaching and related occupations (SS4105, SS4114)
  • Undertake relevant vocational qualifications to meet minimum industry standards for deployment as a sports coach (SS4114)
  • Reflect on learning and undertake personal development planning (SS4105, SS4114)
  • Conduct a risk assessment of a coaching venue (SS4105, SS4114)
  • Plan and deliver safe and effective coaching sessions (SS4105, SS4114)
  • Use reflective processes to enhance personal coaching performance (SS4105, SS4114)

Level 5

  • Apply knowledge and skills gained from the sports coaching programme to work-based tasks for an approved placement provider (WB5101)
  • Use transferrable and work-specific skills and competencies required to enhance performance in the work place (WB5101)
  • Identify personal and professional development/learning needs and formulate a personal and professional development plan designed to further enhance employability (WB5101)
  • Complete research tasks and interpret and analyse quantitative and qualitative data using relevant data collection techniques (SS5102)
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate coaching sessions using a range of different pedagogical/coaching styles (SS5104)

Level 6

  • Design and produce independent research examining an aspect of sports coaching (SS6101)
  • Implement an ethically approved research proposal demonstrating application of relevant and appropriate methods of enquiry (SS6101)
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate coaching sessions conducted in a community or developmental setting (SS6107)
  • Apply differentiation to coaching sessions and select and interpret the differing leadership skills appropriate to given situations (SS6107)
  • Apply methods of notational analysis to evaluate coaching behaviour and athlete/participant performance (SS6107)
  • Reflect upon the symbiotic relationship between schools, clubs and community sport (SS6105)

Level 4

  • Demonstrate competence in a range of key and transferable skills including written and oral communication, numeracy, IT and problem solving (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)
  • Demonstrate a range of interpersonal skills including cooperation, team working, motivational and organisational skills (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114)
  • Plan, conduct and evaluate a personal development plan including the processes of reflection, target-setting and the self-management of learning (SS4114)

 Level 5

  • Use appropriate written communication skills using IT in order to present argument and convey presented information effectively (SS5102, SS5104, SS5111, WB5101)
  • Demonstrate ability to manage and coordinate independent learning activity (SS5102, WB5101)
  • Demonstrate individual and group skills associated with organising and managing people and resources within a sports coaching context (SS5104, WB5101)

 Level 6

  • Utilise appropriate communication and IT skills to present argument and justify conclusions (SS6101, SS6105, SS6107, SS6108)
  • Demonstrate an ability to work autonomously to research and produce a dissertation on a topic specific to sports coaching and employ appropriate methods of analysing and presenting the research findings (SS6101)

The Combined (Honours) Sports Coaching programme is designed as a balanced academic and vocationally relevant programme that offers those students with an interest in sports coaching the opportunity to enhance skills and acquire knowledge in a different subject area.

Combined (Honours) programmes within the Faculty of Business and Management, in particular Business Management and Events Management and from the Faculty of Arts and Media, might be appropriate combinations.  Students will not be able to combine the programme with BA Sport Development. 

Studying for this degree will ensure students have the same underpinning theory and knowledge available to Single (Honours) students.  Year 1 introduces underpinning theoretical and practical modules which can be continued during Year 2 and in Year 3 students can opt to major in Sports Coaching. The Sports Coaching programme can be taken in combination with other subjects from another academic discipline as major, equal or minor subjects.

The programme comprises of three modules at Levels 4 and 5 of 20 credits in value and either two modules at level 6 with a 40 credit Dissertation module (Major), three modules (Equal) or two modules (Minor) which can be seen to fit into the conceptual area of sports coaching.

The programme will adopt WB5101 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning from the Faculty of Business and Management at Level 5 as the work based learning option which mirrors current practice on the BSc Sports Coaching programme and within the broader Undergraduate Modular Framework.

In addition to this, the nationally recognised (against the government's skills agenda) UKCC-endorsed qualifications and bite-sized workshops, designed to supplement sports-specific, National Governing Body awards are incorporated into the curriculum.

The teaching and assessment methods utilised throughout the course encourage the development of knowledge and skills, concurrent with academic development, which have been recognised as important by lead industry bodies. The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Sports Coaching, developed by the sector skills council Skills Active, are embedded into the programme. 

There is the opportunity for students wishing to study on a part-time basis to create a viable route through the programme by negotiation with departmental staff. 

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
SS4105 4 Introduction to Sports Coaching 20 Comp Comp Comp
SS4113 4 Principles of Sports Coaching 20 Comp Comp Comp
SS4114 4 Coach Education and Development 20 Comp Comp Comp
SS5102 5 Research Methods for Sport & Physical Activity 20 Optional Optional Optional
SS5104 5 Coaching Process and Practice 20 Comp Comp Comp
SS5111 5 Sports Coaching: Professional Issues and Challenges 20 Comp Comp Comp
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
SS6101 6 Dissertation 40 Comp N/A Optional
SS6105 6 PE and Youth Sport 20 N/A N/A Optional
SS6107 6 Applied Coaching Practice 20 Comp Comp Optional
SS6108 6 Social and Educational Concepts of Sports Coaching 20 Comp Comp Comp

The award of BSc (Combined Honours) in Sports Coaching shall involve the accumulation of 120 credits each at Levels 4, 5 and 6.

Successful completion of LevelFour – accumulation of 120 credits – Certificate of Higher Education
Successful completion of LevelFive – accumulation of 240 credits – Diploma of Higher Education
Successful completion of LevelSix – accumulation of 360 credits – BSc (Combined Honours) Sports Coaching

Applications will be anticipated from students with a minimum of 112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent, such as a BTEC/OCR Diploma.  This is in line with current expectations for the Single (Honours) Sports Coaching Programme. In some cases potential students will be invited to provide a personal statement and/or attend an informal initial interview.

Candidates for part-time study should ideally demonstrate employment in an appropriate setting, and have the written support of their manager for the integration of their studies with their workplace activities.  

All offers of a place are subject to the appropriate completion of a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check that will be organised at the start of the academic year. For part time students, this may also need to be repeated at appropriate periods within the course of the study and continued programme registration is subject to this process.

The design of the programme has taken account of, and, where appropriate, incorporated the recommendations of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) benchmarks for programmes broadly concerned with sport.

The Subject Benchmark Statements for Events, Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (2016) have been consulted to guide in the development both of course content and module learning outcomes.

Students are expected to be able to:

(A) In the study of human responses to sport and exercise:

(i) Make effective use of knowledge and understanding of the disciplines underpinning human structure and function (SS4114, WB5101, SS6107);

(ii) Critically appraise and evaluate the effects of sport and exercise intervention on the participant (SS4113, SS5111, SS6105);

(iii) Demonstrate the skills required to monitor and evaluate human responses to sport, exercise and/or rehabilitation (SS4114, WB5101, SS6107);

(iv) Critically appreciate the relationship between sport and exercise activity and intervention in a variety of participant groups; this could include special populations such as older adults, disabled people, people with a chronic disease and children (SS4113, SS4114, SS5111, WB5101, SS6105, SS6107).

(B) In the study of the performance of sport and its enhancement, monitoring and analysis:

(i) Monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of sport, including where appropriate injury diagnosis and treatment, in ways underpinned by current research (SS4105, SS4113, SS5104, SS6107);

(ii) Evidence the skills required to monitor and evaluate sports performance in laboratories and/or field settings (WB5101, SS6107);

(iii) Display a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery (teaching, instructing and coaching) of enhanced sport performance (SS4105, SS4113, SS4114, SS5104, SS5111, SS6105, SS6107, SS6108).

(C) In the study of the historical, social, political, economic and cultural diffusion, distribution and impact of sport:

(i) Demonstrate a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for sport, and the political ramifications arising from these and their impact on the funding and delivery of sport (SS4113, SS5111, SS5102, SS6101, SS6108);

(ii) Employ social, economic, and political theory to explain the development and differentiation of sport throughout society (SS4113, SS5111, SS6108);

(iii) Demonstrate the application of the social and cultural meanings attached to sport and their impact on participation and regulation (SS4113, SS5111, SS6105, SS6108).

(D) In the study of the policy, planning, management and delivery of sporting opportunities:

(i) Understand and apply the theories, concepts and principles of practice from the generic management areas of operations, finance, human resources, economics and marketing to sports facilities and events in the voluntary, public and private sector (SS4114, WB5101);

(ii) Employ strategic planning and development planning skills in analysing, understanding and addressing the development needs and intentions of sport organizations and communities (SS5111);

(iii) Demonstrate a critical appreciation of sport development and facilitation principles in at least one vocational context (SS4114, SS5111, SS6101).

Programme modules will also utilise the National Occupational Standards for Sports Coaching at Level 3.

Learning and teaching on the Programme is underpinned by a variety of learning and teaching methods. 

As the student gains skill and confidence in his/her approaches to learning, higher levels of reflective and critical learning will be facilitated. There will be significant emphasis on student participation and an overriding attempt to relate to everyday experience that students bring with them to the course of study. Teaching and learning, consistent with the Benchmark objectives, will emphasise the shaping of critical thinkers who are able to describe and evaluate relevant philosophies and perspectives.

Lectures are employed for the purpose of orientation and for the transmission of key knowledge and perspectives in a structured form. Lectures also introduce a model for the generation of critical evaluation, as a fundamental process, in higher education. Finally, they provide a basis for self directed study. Key-note lectures in some modules will be supported by contextual seminars as relevant to the requirements of the Sports Coaching programme.

Inter-active Lectures - In this format the lecturer encourages discussion made during the presentation and interacts with participants by alterations and adaptations to both the content and pace of the lectures.

Discussion - This develops critical and evaluative processes by debate regarding perspectives, experiences and outlook. These can be tutor-led and/or student-led.

Workshops - These are intended to provide experience in collaborative and creative problem-solving. Workshops may include relevant case studies, simulation and virtual experiences from the sports coaching field.

Seminars and Presentations - These provide the participant with the opportunity to investigate issues and present these to the rest of the group. They have the role of providing the participant and investigatory experience, the sharing of knowledge, the justification to others of the conclusions reached and experience of semi-formal or structured presentation. Finally presentations will be the vehicle by which some formative assessment is provided (e.g. SS6101 Dissertation).

Tutorials - These are learning exercises, which are participatory. Small groups of participants share knowledge and experiences and attempt to develop information, which arises from the formal programme or from self directed study.

Self directed study - This is regarded as an essential component of any Honours Degree. Participants have a wide range of resources and learning materials at their disposal. These are introduced at the beginning of the course, and their use is encouraged and reinforced through the delivery of modules. These resources may include tutorial support, audio-visual materials, laboratory, library and information technology facilities.

Work-based/Experiential learning - This provides the participant with experience of a work environment that is relevant to the programme of study. In addition it provides a key basis on which to advance the process of reflection. Practical application of the acquired academic knowledge and understanding will be fostered through modules at level 4 (e.g. SS4105, SS4114), level 5 (e.g. SS5104, WB5101) and level 6 (e.g. SS6107).

Assessments are designed to assess student ability to achieve the learning outcomes identified at module level and these contribute to the learning outcomes for study at Levels 4, 5 and 6.  Assessment will be framed in terms of global/broad criteria and more specific criteria when appropriate.

Types of assessment opportunity provided by the programme include:

Coursework Assignment: includes traditional essay (with word limit), portfolio work, case study, reflective practice log, project report, seminar paper, etc. Therefore coursework can and will include elements of formative process and product as indicated in learning specifications.

Formal Examination: typically represented by examinations of up to 2 hours applied at the end of a module. Examination is applied in the form of both unseen and seen papers. This could be a multiple choice, short answer, an essay or a combination of these formats.

Presentation: includes both individual and group presentations and posters assessing quality of content and presentation skills.

Practical: includes assessment of competency/skills relative to the planning and delivery of practical sessions. 

Experiential Learning: assessment elements include portfolio of evidence and critical evaluation of placement activities.

It is anticipated that students who complete this programme will seek careers within the sports coaching industry, which includes employment by a local authority, a sport governing body or within the education sector.  Alternatively, students may choose to pursue career options in their combined subject area. 

The Sports Coaching programme is a vocationally-oriented degree that concentrates on the acquisition of relevant underpinning knowledge and the development of transferable skills. Students will be expected to work both autonomously or as part of a group demonstrating effective management of time and resources. The programme particularly emphasises the skills of synthesis, critical analysis and the development of reflective practice. It is expected, therefore, that graduates from this programme will exit with these attributes and in addition demonstrate the capacity to transfer them to relevant situations.

Graduates from this programme will have the appropriate academic, technical and professional knowledge to enter a career in the emerging profession of sports coaching (e.g. community sports coaching and youth sports coaching), sport development, physical education, sports administration or progress on to postgraduate study.


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, 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 participation.

The programme will have some unique selling points, such as the University’s employability rate, links with national governing bodies, Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation and Cheshire & Warrington Sports Partnership and the offer of work placements as part of the programme.  In addition to this, nationally recognised UKCC-endorsed qualifications or the equivalent National Governing Body awards and sports coach UK workshops are also incorporated into the curriculum.

 Students will not be able to combine the programme with BA Sport Development. 


Induction for Students:
An induction period is provided during which students are introduced to the expectations of life as an undergraduate in the Department of Sport and Community Engagement. This is followed with an intensive period of work that aims to integrate the new cohort to the department and peers.
Personal Academic Tutors:
The department fully endorses and adheres to the Universities established Personal Academic Tutorial scheme. All students are allocated a personal academic tutor and students are encouraged to see their tutor regularly. This personal tutor (PAT) will provide advice on academic development and progress.
Programme Information and University Regulations:
Students will have access to a student handbook detailing the structure of the programme and relevant information concerning the University’s regulations. All such information is widely available through Portal.
Careers and Employability Advice:
The Department has a Careers Link Tutor who maintains contact with students concerning both vocational and educational opportunities.
The Careers & Employability Centre offer information, advice and guidance on career planning to students and graduates of the University of Chester.  These services are free to current students and to graduates up to three years after graduating. There is an online Vacancies Portal for part-time jobs and paid placements, to help students earn while they learn and to develop skills for graduate employment.
 ** DBS checks will be carried out as required * *

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