2020 applicants
Undergraduate Course

BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

(Including Foundation Year)

BSc Sports Performance and Coaching

Overview

The details
Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Foundation Year)
C614
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Essex Pathways

Our BSc Sports Performance and Coaching (including foundation year) will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course, and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge, as well as improves your skills to support your academic performance.

This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.

After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences.

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.

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 focussed 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.

Organisations our students have recently been placed with include West Ham United Football Club, Colchester United Football Club, Colchester Rugby Club and Royal Hospital School.

If you cannot see this video, you can watch it on our Vimeo channel within your browser.

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

By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:

  • We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
  • Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
  • Our social space is stocked with magazines and newspaper, and provides an informal setting to meet your lecturers, tutors and friends

The School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences 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

UK entry requirements

UK and EU applicants:

All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you

  • think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
  • have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
  • are returning to university after some time away from education; or
  • are looking for more support during the transition into university study.

Standard offer:

Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP (in a science subject)

For this course we require evidence of previous level 3 (i.e. A-level, BTEC, etc.) scientific study. Science subjects include Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Geography, Sports Science and Applied Science.

All applicants must also hold GCSE Maths and Science at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent). We may be able to consider a pass in Level 2 Functional Skills Maths where you cannot meet the requirements for Maths at GCSE level. However, you are advised to try to retake GCSE Mathematics if possible as this will better prepare you for university study and future employment.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:

We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.

We might not need evidence of level 3 scientific study where you have relevant work experience in a scientific field, or where you can otherwise evidence the ability to study at a higher level.

You will still need to meet our GCSE requirements.

International applicants:

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

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

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

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

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

Training Techniques and Assessment of Athletes (optional)

Students will learn about the theoretical and practical values and limitations inherent in assessing fitness, and of the methods and outcomes of training to enhance components of fitness. Student will learn how to perform reliable fitness tests, how to interpret their results and develop an understanding of the limitations of test methods. We will also review the rationale for, and the design and management of, training programmes to develop different components of fitness that are tailored to produce sport- and health-specific outcomes.

View Training Techniques and Assessment of Athletes (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

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

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

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

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£16,050

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

Applying

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.

Please note that this course is not open to international applicants.

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.

Colchester Campus

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.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.


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 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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