2020 applicants
Undergraduate Course

BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

Now In Clearing
BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

Overview

The details
Sports Performance and Coaching
C607
October 2020
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

Work with athletes. Refine their performance. Boost their training. On our BSc Sports Performance and Coaching, you learn how science underpins performance sport, and how you can use that science to help to advance and improve it. Having a comprehensive knowledge of science is ideal for those who want to coach people of a variety of levels and ages.

Our excellent links with national governing bodies, such as, Volleyball England, Basketball England, Rugby Football Union and Lawn Tennis Association, give you real practical experience to enhance your learning. Our links also open up opportunities to gain experience working as a sports coach, and coaching education courses and workshops. You also have the option to work towards the National Governing Body of Sport coaching awards.

As well as gaining practical experience, you expand your knowledge and skills through studying topics including:

  • Strength and conditioning
  • Performance analysis
  • Training and coaching techniques and methods
  • Exercise programming
  • methods of assessing the fitness and training loads of sports teams and athletes

You can also work with our Human Performance Unit based on campus, supporting our sports scholarship students and national league teams.

By the time you graduate, you’ll possess the knowledge and skills required to work in a wide variety of roles within performance sport.

In August 2017, this course moved into our new School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences. This will not change the content of the course but provides an exciting opportunity to join a community specifically focused on sports and exercise science, sports therapy and physiotherapy. This will allow us to bring together our internationally recognised research, share knowledge, and enhance placement and vocational opportunities for our students and graduates.

Why we're great.
  • We are ranked top 10 in the UK for sports science (Guardian University Guide 2020).
  • 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.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Study abroad

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.

For students who commence their course in 2020, if you spend a full year abroad you’ll pay no tuition fees to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university either.

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation. This is usually focused around your course, and enables you to learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

We offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. Two-thirds of our research is rated "world-leading" or "internationally excellent" (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Key academic staff for this course include:

  • Dr Ben Jones, who played rugby at professional and international levels with England. Ben is an accredited rugby and strength and conditioning coach, with over 10 years of coaching experience in both the UK and the US
  • Chris McManus, who was a sport scientist providing nutrition support for Lucozade and is now a BASES accredited Sports Scientist managing our Human Performance Unit

    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 alongside an academic member of staff.

    The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Our specialist facilities include our brand new £12 million Sports Centre, physiotherapy labs, six specialist sport & physiology labs, two dedicated sports therapy training labs, and an on-campus sports therapy clinic.

  • Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
  • Gain valuable experience working with elite athletes in our Human Performance Unit
  • State-of-the-art research facilities, from state of the art treadmills, to 7-camera biomechanics systems, to gas and blood analysis systems
  • Teaching facilities including new undergraduate laboratories

Your future

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.

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.

Entry requirements

Clearing entry requirements

Specific entry requirements for this course in Clearing are not published here but for most of our degree courses you will need to hold a Level 3 qualification. If you are interested in applying and have already received your results, use our Clearing application form to apply for 2020 entry and find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide details of your qualifications and grades.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

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 Tier 4 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.

Structure

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Professional Skills and Development 1

Ask difficult questions, and develop the skills needed to answer them. This module provides key initial preparation for academic study of and later careers in science-based sport, exercise and health professions. This module aims to develop profession-oriented and academic skills across four focuses. (i) Learning practical skills such as exercise testing, blood sampling, and professional communication (some of the professional competencies expected of sport and exercise scientists, sports coaches and sports therapists); (ii) Learning how to read, write and critically analyse research literature to find gaps in scientific understanding and create new knowledge; (iii) Research aspects of design, data collection, the statistical analysis of data, and the interpretation and presentation of research findings; (iv) Creating an employability portfolio of documents.

View Professional Skills and Development 1 on our Module Directory

Biomechanics

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.

View Biomechanics on our Module Directory

Principles of Nutrition and Metabolism

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.

View Principles of Nutrition and Metabolism on our Module Directory

Sport and Exercise Psychology

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? The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamental principles underpinning the psychology of sport and exercise. The content of the lectures traces the historical development of the discipline culminating in its establishment as an independent field of academic study.

View Sport and Exercise Psychology on our Module Directory

Introduction to Coaching

Discover the basis, theory and practice of high-quality sports coaching. Learn how to develop your own coaching philosophy and style, how to plan, deliver and evaluate your coaching practice. You also explore how coaching combines knowledge from psychology, sociology and education to improve the performance of athletes and teams and how coaches manage behaviour, instruct sports-specific skills and administer physical training effectively. As part of this module you will also complete an accredited coaching qualification.

View Introduction to Coaching on our Module Directory

Anatomy and Physiology for Coaches

This module provides basic anatomy and physiology knowledge on the fundamental concepts of human anatomy and physiology which underpins the biological sciences. You will gain knowledge of the mechanisms associated with the control and regulation of the major systems of the body. The content gives students the foundation for more advanced study of Exercise Physiology or Applied Biomedicine.

View Anatomy and Physiology for Coaches on our Module Directory

Professional Skills and Development 2

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.

View Professional Skills and Development 2 on our Module Directory

Exercise Physiology (optional)

How do our bodies respond and adapt to an exercise bout and prolonged training? You will review the structure and function of the muscular, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, assessing how they respond to physical strain, and how they contribute to the limitations of human performance. You also consider how the nervous and endocrine systems adapt and help to control the responses to acute exercise and training.

View Exercise Physiology (optional) on our Module Directory

Health and Active Lifestyle (optional)

Physical activity is very important to wellbeing and health. We will discuss why not everyone is meeting the minimum recommendations for physical activity and then critically examine why interventions or initiatives to increase physical activity are successful. Behaviour change theories and techniques will be explored which may increase physical activity in the individual and  community. The module will culminate in  you producing an intervention to increase physical activity in the community and present in a Dragon Den style.  Classes will include debates, open tutorials and some standard lectures.

View Health and Active Lifestyle (optional) on our Module Directory

Applied Movement Science (optional)

Optimal performance in sports and health requires two things: the ability to optimize performance without compromising injury risk. This module will provide you with a very practical toolbox towards designing the appropriate exercise programs for your clients. This module will cover topics ranging from the biomechanical basis of optimizing core stability for health and performance, neuromuscular adaptations to pain and injuries, neuromuscular basis for exercise selection, overuse and acute injury mechanisms, to understanding the mechanical limits of athletic behaviours. In a practical, you will collect your own data and perform scientific experiments to understand and characterise the effect of footwear in the context of injury prevention. Lessons will be a mixture of lectures and hands-on session, where students get taught on how to instruct the optimal performance of different exercises to ensure maximum benefit to health and function.

View Applied Movement Science (optional) on our Module Directory

Psychology of Coaching (optional)

The module aims to examine the personal, interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of sports coaching through the discipline of Sport Psychology. Sport Psychology can assist understanding and practice allocated with the core aspects of sport coaching such as; managing relationships, establishing effective communication, cultivating effective leadership, developing motivation, creating positive achievement climates and assisting participants in the development of important personal qualities and mental skills which support both participant well-being and performance achievement objectives.

View Psychology of Coaching (optional) on our Module Directory

Strength and Conditioning: Application and Theory (optional)

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.

View Strength and Conditioning: Application and Theory (optional) on our Module Directory

Performance Analysis (optional)

Although relatively new, performance analysis is an increasingly important discipline within sport and exercise science. As an integral part of the coaching process, it provides athletes with objective information to help them better understand performance. This is particularly crucial, as research shows how athletes and coaches are typically only able to recall ~30% of performance correctly (English Institute of Sport). Performance analysis can therefore help with the remaining ~70%, providing an indispensable feedback tool for performance enhancement. This process is underpinned by systematic observation, incorporating both statistical and video analysis. The module is designed to introduce students to various performance analysis techniques, as well as industry-relevant software and equipment to gain applied experience in the field.

View Performance Analysis (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching and Learning Through Sport

This module is an essential component of the MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology and examines key topics in Social Psychological relating to the context of sport and exercise. In addition to providing a theoretical underpinning to the psycho-social processes relevant to sport and exercise, the module places a focus on developing critical thinking and discussion skills. Assessments are based on typical tasks you would be expected to undertake in either research or practice environments, with support provided to help bring you up to speed.

View Teaching and Learning Through Sport on our Module Directory

Applied Sports Psychology

This module will develop your skills to perform a thorough needs analysis of sports, individuals, and/or teams, investigate psychological strategies that are used to enhance performance, and examine how to develop interventions based on the current research literature. You will also explore the role of technology to enhance the delivery of sport psychology services. The module builds on Year 1 and 2 Sport and Performance Psychology modules and will focus on the application of scientific principles to enhance athletic performance.

View Applied Sports Psychology on our Module Directory

Strength and Conditioning

The role of a strength and conditioning coach is to use exercise prescription specifically to improve performance in athletic competition. They also help athletes with injury prevention and proper mechanics within their sports performances. Strength and Conditioning encompasses the entire physical development of the athlete in terms of what is needed to improve performance. This includes plyometrics, speed and agility, endurance and core stability with strength training being just one piece of the jigsaw. You will learn to design and deliver strength and conditioning programming in conjunction with sports medicine support. You will also learn the fundamental practical techniques that will aid you in the attainment of the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association Qualification (UKSCA).

View Strength and Conditioning on our Module Directory

Research Project

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.

View Research Project on our Module Directory

Placement

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.

Year abroad

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.

Teaching

  • 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

Assessment

  • 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

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£16,860

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have 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

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2020 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 19, 2020
  • Saturday, October 24, 2020

How to apply during Clearing

Once you’ve checked that we have the right course for you, applying couldn’t be simpler. Fill in our quick and easy Clearing application form with as much detail as you can. We’ll then take a look and get back to you with a decision. There’s no need to call us to apply; just do it all online.

Find out more about Clearing

Interviews

We don’t interview all applicants during Clearing, however, we will only make offers for the following course after a successful interview:

  • BA Multimedia Journalism
  • BSc Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
  • BA Social Work

The interview allows our academics to find out more about you, and in turn you’ll be able to ask us any questions you might have. Further details will be emailed to you if you are shortlisted for interview.


Apply now
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