Plymouth Marjon University

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of St Mark & St John

Sport Development and Coaching

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Course summary

The Sports Development & Coaching programme will provide prospective students with the opportunity to learn more about the trends, issues and challenges in creating a more active nation, the creation of high-quality sporting opportunities within various environmental contexts, and the crucial role of the coach as part of this process. The programme explores current good practice within more traditional sports development focussed on the ‘development of sport’ and explores issues aligned to the wider impact of sport as a ‘force for social good’ and the transformative impact of sports development and coaching work within the sport and wider wellbeing agenda. Sport England (2016) and UK Coaching (2017) have provided a new and broader definition of coaching. They define coaching as ‘improving a person’s experience of sport and physical activity by providing specialised support and guidance aligned to their individual needs and aspirations’. Such a statement challenges what we deem to be effective coaching, but also considers the impact of our work in creating high quality sport and physical activity experiences to benefit the health of the nation, lower crime, improve education, or in its purest sense, clearer player and participant pathways to aid retention in community sport. Essentially, coaching can bring individual and personal wellbeing to both the coach and the participant, but perhaps most pertinently can make a valuable, social and economic contribution to society by building stronger and healthier communities. In short, the Sports Development & Coaching programme proposes to help students to understand the role of sports development practitioners, including coaches, in acknowledging their role in contributing to the health, wellbeing, and development of wider society. The programme has been designed in consultation with students and local industry providers. The programme aligns wider developments in the sports and physical activity sector and through the Chartered Institute of Sport Management CIMSPA endorsement. This captures industry requirements and balances academic, transferable and practical skills across both ‘sports development’ and ‘coaching’ to ensure students are equipped with the relevant work-based knowledge and skills and are prepared for employment or further study. The modular structure is reflective of the knowledge and understanding required to work across a broad range of sports development and community coaching contexts. The applied nature of many modules, together with the integration of ‘real’ assessments linked to practice with local organisations (including a year long placement at level 5); creates a fantastic opportunity for students to build networks, enhance employability, and gain relevant employment. The programme will continue to seek to develop the students’ appreciation of the contested nature of both sports development and coaching to ensure they have a sound level of knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts, theories, principles and cultural contexts of delivering high quality sport and physical activity experiences that can transform individual lives and subsequently communities. It supports students to develop higher level skills and to become critically reflective thinkers through the development of their intellectual and practical skills in applied aspects of sport development and coaching. The programme encourages increasing independence of learning in applied work based and practical settings, with the programme aiming to foster a culture of continued personal and professional reflection amongst all learners to support career development planning. It aims to develop individuals with a strong theoretical and practical understanding of sports development and coaching to enhance ‘professionalism’ within and beyond the sector in line with the work of key accrediting bodies.


1st year Introduction to Sport Development and Coaching (immersive module) Coaching: Process & Practice Foundations in Sports Development Sport & Social Issues Sport Coaching in the Community Organisation in Sport 2nd Year Engaging in Employability: Sports Development/Coaching Sport and Physical Activity Event Management Sport and Physical Activity Policy to Practice Inclusion in Sport and Physical Activity Coaching Theory & Practice Research Methods 3rd Year Honours Project Strategic Sport Management Leadership & Mentoring in Sport Coaching diverse populations. Sport in Society Graduate Employability in Sport

Assessment method

Assignment Case study Critical Review/literature review Essay Evaluation/Evaluative Report Examination Honours Project Online Assessment Oral Presentation Portfolio / E-Portfolio / Resource File:/Reflective Portfolio Poster Presentation Reflective journal Report Research proposal Coaching practice Event management practice

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
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Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £14500 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
International £14500 Year 1

Additional fee information

EU applicants will be classed as International unless they have Pre-settled or Settled status.
Sport Development and Coaching at Plymouth Marjon University - UCAS