Postgraduate Course

MSc Coaching Science

MSc Coaching Science


The details
Coaching Science
October 2024
1 year
Colchester Campus

Our MSc Coaching Science is a dynamic course that fuses passion with expertise and prepares you for a career as a leader within the sport coaching and education industries. We will delve into the heart of advanced coaching science theory and practice techniques to help you achieve coaching excellence. Whether you are a recent graduate or a seasoned coach looking to refine your strategies, our course combines cutting-edge theoretical ideas and hands-on experience to take you on a life-long and transformative learning journey.

You will learn about and apply advanced sociological, pedagogical, psychological and physiological research-informed ideas within sport coaching. Some of the exciting topics that are taught on the programme include:

  • Social processes within sport coaching
  • Strategic interaction and collaboration
  • Coach education and development
  • Youth athlete development
  • Skill acquisition and expertise
  • Practical coaching placement

You will also have the flexibility to study additional modules from other disciplines in order to deepen your understanding of all aspects of coaching science.

This course sits within our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences. This provides an exciting opportunity to join a community specifically focused on sport and exercise, allowing us to bring together our internationally recognised research, share knowledge and enhance opportunities for our students.

Sport scholarships

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 and football), 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 may also 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.
  • Our state-of-the-art Essex Sport Arena houses the latest technology and facilities which you will have access to.
  • Work with elite athletes and gain experience in our renowned Human Performance Unit at our Colchester Campus.
  • Spend 8-10 weeks in professional placement, honing your coaching skills.

Our expert staff

You will learn from leading researchers and practitioners within the field of sport coaching, and have opportunities to collaborate on exciting “real-world” project with staff:

  • Dr Ben Jones is a qualified Rugby Football Union and Strength and Conditioning Specialist with over 20 years coaching experience in both the UK and the US. Ben's research areas are in competitive engineering for coaching practice and sport related concussion.
  • Dr Jason Moran is a qualified Strength and Conditioning coach with over 15 years' experience in training athletes across a range of sports. Jason's research areas are youth athletic development, resistance training, and exercise in older adults.
  • Dr Simon Quick is a qualified level 4 tennis coach and former secondary physical education teacher, Director of Sport and Deputy Headteacher. Simon is currently working with England Hockey to develop their coach education programme. His research explores the complex ethical realities of sport coaching employment.
  • Dr Alice Harkness-Armstrong has extensive experience in applied performance analysis, having previously worked for Huddersfield Town AFC, Sunderland AFC Ladies Centre of Excellence and Northern Ireland Volleyball senior women's team. Alice's research interests are within sports performance, particularly female football.
  • Dr Benedict Low is an AFC B qualified football coach with experience in different sport contexts and organisations. Benedict's research is in the analysis of tactical behaviours in football using player-tracking data.
  • Dr Callum T. M. Morgan is a level three qualified football coach and mentor with over 10 years of experience in youth grassroots, development and performance contexts. Callum's research critically examines the social processes within everyday coaching and coach education work, with an emphasis on interaction, collaboration and emotions.

Specialist facilities

Our specialist facilities include our Sport Arena, a dedicated coaching seminar and practical workspace, six specialist sport and physiology labs, two dedicated sports therapy training labs, physiotherapy labs, and an on-campus sports therapy clinic.

  • Gain valuable experience working with elite athletes in our Human Performance Unit
  • Dedicated research facilities, from state of the art treadmills, to 12-camera biomechanics systems, to gas and blood analysis systems
  • World class ESA equipment with AnalysisPro Capture
  • Four 4K IP cameras capturing 360° footage
  • Specialist analytical software Nacsport
  • Go-Pros for coaching sessions
  • Portable HD Cameras with 6m tripod
  • STATSports Apex GPS units
  • Up to 50 metrics, in real-time + post event

Your future

We will support you in your professional growth and our course opens up the pathway to postgraduate research opportunities (such as a PhD) and a host of specialised roles within sport coaching, coach education, and physical education. Some of these potential career paths include:

  • Head Coach or Director of Coaching
  • Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Specialist Early Years PE Teacher
  • Head Performance Analyst
  • Sport Administration and Management
  • Coach Educator or Coach Developer

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree in one of the following subjects:

  • Physical Education
  • Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Sports Coaching
  • Sports Development

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 degree in a similar relevant discipline.

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.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 in all components.

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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

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 and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, 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.

Status 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:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms


Research Project

The research project module is an opportunity for you to carry out an individual scientific investigation on a topic relating to your degree specialisation. It will help develop your skills in reviewing synthesising and critically appraising academic literature. You will also be expected to design, analyse and interpret data and present findings in a scientific paper format.

View Research Project on our Module Directory


Further Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health

This module will focus on the fundamental assumptions underlying quantitative research, including; research design methods, sampling, and the validity and reliability of measurements in exercise science. Students will master the techniques needed to critically appraise published research and carry out a piece of original research.

View Further Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health on our Module Directory








Coaching Practice Placement

This module offers hands-on experience working as a coach, tutor or support practitioner to develop your underpinning knowledge of key applied practice in coaching. This module centres around a coaching placement where you are supported by a placement supervisor and University of Essex staff. You are encouraged to adopt a reflective approach to develop your expertise and practice. You will develop your core skills / competencies (communication, problem solving, management and professional behaviour) and critically appraise practitioner perspectives within sport coaching.

View Coaching Practice Placement on our Module Directory






You will have seminars, lectures, practical work and placements throughout this course. These sessions will comprise a blend of lecturer-led delivery, student-led presentations, discussions of research articles and case-studies, and role-play/problem-based learning scenarios. To reflect the applied nature of the discipline, practicals and applied ‘real-world delivery' sessions will provide you with skills and techniques relevant to research and applied practice. Postgraduate Taught students in the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences typically attend two-hour workshops, or a one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar for each module each week.


  • Written assessments such as literature reviews
  • Research proposals and reports
  • Final research project

These will be completed by oral presentations, practical assessments, personal development portfolios and workshops.


You will have a research project which will be at the end of this course.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 15 June 2024 - June Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

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.

Find out more

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.

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