Work with athletes, players, and teams; refine their performance; boost their training, enable development. On our BSc Sports Performance and Coaching, you learn how science and practice underpins performance sport. A comprehensive knowledge of scientific theory and practical application is essential for those wanting to coach from grassroots to elite level, across all sports.
Our excellent links with national governing bodies, such as the Football Association, Volleyball England, Basketball England, and Rugby Football Union, give you real practical experience to enhance your learning. Our links also open up opportunities to gain experience working as a sports coach, and access coach education courses and workshops. You also have the option to work towards various, externally accredited, National Governing Body Coaching awards.
As well as gaining practical experience, you expand your knowledge and skills through studying topics including:
Pedagogical principles of coaching
Strength and conditioning
Talent identification and development
Methods of assessing the fitness and training loads of sports teams and athletes
You can get professionally certified whilst studying as some of our modules have qualifications incorporated in them. This means that you are equipped with the qualifications needed to work in the field. For example, we have embedded a Level 2 Gym instructors qualification into one of our first-year modules to become a qualified gym instructor (please note that a nominal fee applies for students wanting full accreditation).
You can also work with our Human Performance Unit based on campus, enabling individuals and teams to reach peak performance. Service provision ranges from supporting research, coaching, school campus visits, and performance analysis provision, to sports science support for our scholarship students as well as the general public.
Being part of our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences you will join a community focused on sports and exercise science, sports therapy and physiotherapy. We bring together our internationally recognised research, share knowledge, and enhance placement and vocational opportunities for our students and graduates.
We offer you one of the best student experiences around. You experience a lively, informal environment with many possibilities to pursue your own interests.
Our Performance Sport Scholarship programme has been created for talented athletes playing at regional, national or international level, and offers a range of benefits. We want students competing in our focus sports (basketball, volleyball, tennis, football and rugby 7s), as well as other team sports and individual athletes, to contribute to our performance sport programme. Our scholarships can include fee discounts of up to 100%, offered to athletes who demonstrate sporting excellence. Athletes who are awarded the scholarship will receive a host of other benefits, including free kit, access to state-of-the-art facilities, performance coaching, the option to live in our Athlete Village (accommodation fees may vary) and a support package valued up to £1,500. These benefits are designed to help athletes focus on their training, and development, and to enable them to reach their full potential alongside their studies.
Why we're great.
93% of our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022).
Work with elite athletes and gain experience in our renowned Human Performance Unit.
You have the option to work towards the National Governing Body of Sport coaching awards.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university
Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external sporting organisation. These yearly placements allow students to gain much needed hands on experience that will set them apart in the job market.
We have close associations with many sporting clubs, examples of placement opportunities include:
Essex Cricket. Our students have been involved in remote coding of the 2nd team and academy games from the ground at Chelmsford, live coding Women's XI and live coding some premier league cricket on Saturdays to assist the scouting department and identify local talent for the academy and EPP programme.
Tottenham Hotspur. Our students have worked with the club as part of its academy sports science staff. Tottenham's staff also provide invited lectures to our students.
Ipswich Town FC. Our students have had opportunities working with video analysis and GPS tracking data.
If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. Please check with the placement organiser as some of these placements can be arranged in 12 week blocks, allowing non-placement year students the same opportunities.
We offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. We are 23rd in UK for research power in sport and exercise sciences (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
As part of our vibrant sports science community you learn from and work alongside internationally recognised academic researchers, including:
Dr Ben Jones is a qualified rugby football Union and Strength and Conditional Specialist with over 15 years coaching experience in both the UK and the US. Ben’s research areas are in exercise science and competitive engineering.
Dr John Mills is a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology. John works with a range of charities, sports teams, and organisations to examine ways to improve coaching effectiveness, team functioning and the influence of sport on development teamwork and social skills.
Dr Ed Hope has over 8 years’ experience working within performance analysis at Football Radar, Everton Football Club and on a range of bespoke projects for FIFA, UEFA, Nike and the English Premier League. Research areas include skill acquisition and the development of expertise within team-based sports.
You will also be taught by Dr Jason Moran and Dr Alice Harkness-Armstrong, and we also bring in experts who are currently working in roles such as performance analysis, strength and conditioning coaching, who deliver practical sessions and lectures.
Our specialist facilities include our Sport Arena, physiotherapy labs, six specialist sport and physiology labs, two dedicated sports therapy training labs, and an on-campus sports therapy clinic.
Our BSc Sports Performance and Coaching course includes a range of modules where both team, individual, and coaching performance is evaluated to identify strengths and weaknesses for feedback and talent identification purposes.
Crucial to this is our Sport Arena, allowing real-time analysis of training and competition with our specialist IP 4K cameras, with footage streamed onto our 6x4 metre electronic display screen. This not only provides an indispensable feedback tool for both university and external sports teams, but allows opportunities for our students to gain hands-on experience of performance analysis processes.
We also have a range of portable equipment to analyse performance away from the Sport Arena, including team and individual-level filming as well as quantifying workload via GPS technology. This proves invaluable for sports undertaken on our grass pitches as well as tennis courts situated around our campus. We also give you access to other technology, such as GoPro cameras, iPads and microphones, in order to develop your coaching communication and delivery, and to aid with feedback and assessment.
As a BSc Sports Performance and Coaching student at Essex, you will also:
work in our open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
gain valuable experience working with elite athletes in our Human Performance Unit
use state-of-the-art research facilities, from cutting-edge treadmills, to 7-camera biomechanics systems, to gas and blood analysis systems
benefit from our Colchester Campus’s beautiful green parkland, acres of sports fields and a specialist tennis facility
Human Performance Unit
The Human Performance Unit (HPU) has been used by professional athletes and sports persons from a range of disciplines, including Team GB athletes participating in the London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and players from our local Colchester United Football Club.
The HPU supports student teaching and research across all degree types. Our undergraduates in sports therapy, sports performance and coaching, and sports and exercise science use the HPU for some of their modules, with both beginners and professional sports persons recruited to take part. This gives students experience in managing the practical physiological tests, as well helping them develop soft skills such as communication and teamwork.
Additionally the HPU supports a range of placement activities. Our Masters students can take a 12-week placement, while undergraduates have the option to use the HPU during our optional Placement Year. Along with continuing the work with individual athletes, students who have a placement year as part of their course also assist with sports science workshops held at the HPU for local schools. These workshops are tailored to the National Curriculum for PE, and give our students experience of working with teachers and young people.
If you want to follow a career in coaching children, adolescents or adults across all levels of abilities, or if you are a mid-career professional looking for a change of focus, then this course is for you. Gain the knowledge and skills needed to work in a wide variety of roles within performance sport.
By the time you graduate, you’ll possess the knowledge and skills required to work in a wide variety of roles within performance sport.
Our graduates now work in the fields of sports performance, sports management and sports development, health care, teaching, and the health and fitness industry. Many also undertake further postgraduate study.
We also work with our University's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
"I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to do, but my degree has allowed me to specialise with the modules I’ve chosen. Whilst studying at Essex, I have had the opportunity to gain practical experience. I have been an Assistant Sports Scientist for the Human Performance Unit and an Assistant Coach and Performance Analyst for the Essex Rebels."
Callum Stevens, Sports Performance and Coaching student
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics C/4
A-levels: ABB, including B in one science subject or Mathematics (PE and Psychology count as science A-levels)
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655, including Higher Level Science or Mathematics grade 5, or (if not taking HL Maths) Standard Level Mathematics grade 4. We will accept either IB Maths syllabus at Standard Level or Higher Level.
Standard Level Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject and units studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
BTEC HNC and HND qualifications can be considered for direct entry into the 2nd and final year of this course. Contact the Admissions Team for more information.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background? Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
International & EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select
your country page
where you'll find this information.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
The aim of this module is to develop your academic, scientific and professional abilities relevant to the study of and professions related to sport, rehabilitation and exercise sciences. There are four key focuses of this module: professional skills; research design and ethics; data analysis, presentation and interpretation; and employability.
This module will help you to understand the physical and mechanical principles that determine how we, and the objects with which we interact during exercise and in sporting events, move. You will learn the meaning of concepts such as force, mass, speed, velocity, acceleration, momentum and we will explore how they enable us to describe and understand movement in sport and exercise.
Students will gain a basic knowledge of nutrition and metabolism underpinning Sports Science. On completion of the module, students will be able to describe the flow of nutrient intake and energy production supporting not only training and performance but optimal health. This module will give students a firm foundation from which to study exercise physiology and the specific nutritional requirements of athletes including legal and illegal substances, in later modules.
Is it all in the mind? The margin between victory and defeat is thin, but can an athlete’s psychology really give them an edge? Why do some people find exercise difficult and other find exercise essential? Understanding how involvement in sport, exercise and physical activity affects a person's health and wellbeing is important in creating better interventions. The aim of this module is to introduce you to the fundamental principles underpinning the psychology of sport and exercise.
This module provides you with an introduction to the underpinning concepts and principles of sport coaching practice. Within the module, you will explore a variety of areas including coaching behaviours and communication skills, practice designs and coaching approaches, developing a coaching philosophy, in addition to ethics and inclusivity in coaching. Specifically, this module provides you with the opportunity to plan, deliver, and reflect upon coaching practice, while also having access to several guest lectures and further CPD workshops to enhance student-coach learning and future employability.
The aim of this module is to provide you with knowledge on the fundamental concepts of human anatomy and physiology which underpin the biological sciences. The module will provide you with a sound knowledge of the mechanisms associated with the control and regulation of the major systems of the body. This module will enable you to complete an accredited Certificate in Fitness Instruction (GYM) and is at level 2 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework.
The aim of this module is to gain an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of performance analysis.
You will be introduced to a range of concepts and learn how to apply these to sport in order to provide effective performance analysis support.
Practical workshops are embedded throughout the module, to provide hands-on experience of software, processes and techniques employed in the field.
You will also gain an appreciation of the multi-disciplinary use of performance analysis, and develop the necessary skills to communicate effectively with athletes, coaches, and the wider sports science team.
Your biggest competition to date: the graduate job market. This module gives you a crucial head-start, ensuring you can both practically apply and effectively communicate your skills to the real-world and future employers.<br><br>During the Sports Science summer school you will identify and consequently investigate a chosen research question, working as part of a team to process, evaluate and analyse data. You will also have chance to prepare for life beyond graduation, developing a written strategy for optimising your employability, updating your skills e-portfolio and CV, and examining the job application process in detail.
This module will build upon your knowledge and skills to understand, appraise and plan research in sport and exercise. You will develop your understanding of different methodologies, research designs, and data analytical techniques, including their strengths, limitations and applications.
You will develop your skills in using library and online resources for scientific research, and your ability to critically appraise published work and how it can be used to inform applied practice in sport and exercise. You will also gain practical experience in participating in research, planning your own study, and analysing and interpreting data. Overall, the module will equip you with knowledge and skills required for your final year research project.
This module adopts an applied focus to examine how performance analysis and skill acquisition concepts can be integrated into and support the coaching process.
Employing a hybrid approach, you will be introduced to a range of performance analysis and skill acquisition principles, before applying these in practice to effectively quantify and analyse performance, and inform and reflect on coaching practice.
You are tasked with quantifying physical, technical, and tactical aspects of performance in order to facilitate athlete and team development.
You will also develop your skills to capture real-time data during performance and enhance your knowledge and understanding of how one might adjust the coaching practice accordingly depending on the desired output/aims for that session.
You will develop the necessary skills to feedback and communicate effectively with key stakeholders in the coaching process, from athletes and coaches to the wider sports science team.
This module aims to assist you in developing a theoretically informed understanding of sports coaching pedagogy. It will draw upon learning theories from pedagogy, psychology, and educational studies, while outlining contemporary research from the sports coaching literature. You will explore content areas related to learning theories and their implications for coaching practice, socio-cultural influences on coaching behaviours, in addition to conceptualising the coach as a pedagogical performer.
A good strength and conditioning (S&C) coach can take someone from where they are to where they want to be. This module aims to develop your understanding and application of how strength and conditioning can be used in the development process. You will explore different approaches to planning training over a season, look at how to vary and monitor training volume, as well as the indicators of and consequences of overtraining. In addition, you will explore the concept of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), administer and take part in a variety of hands on practical sessions.
In this module you will conduct an individual scientific investigation on a topic relating to your degree specialisation. You will either use the skills you have developed to identify a suitable research question and design an experimental approach to obtain data addressing this question, or use your research skills to better understand an existing project/ dataset. This module evaluates your analysis, presentation, understanding and interpretation of these data in a suitable scientific paper format report along with your critical writing skills. Your oral presentation skills and response to questions, the planning and management of your project work and your employability skills will also be part of the assessment.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
Practical work in your first two years
Learn through a combination of lectures, laboratory sessions and coursework
Gain experience collating and interpreting data, and reporting findings clearly and concisely
Degrees are awarded on the results of your written examinations together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework
Contribute towards real-world research projects in your final year of study
Fees and funding
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.
You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.
If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Applicant Days if you are able to, so if you’d like to book a place, please contact our Applicant Day Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and
Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.