Undergraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Whether you’d like to coach elite/amateur athletes or promote the benefits of sport to the wider community, this course will put you ahead of the game.

With its emphasis on practical learning, this course will ensure you graduate as a work-ready, forward-thinking and confident professional.

100%of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things **BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development - National Student Survey 2023
100%of students agreed that they could contact academics when needed**BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development - National Student Survey 2023
90%of students agreed they were satisfied with the academic support**BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development - National Student Survey 2023

Sport and Exercise Science - your questions answered

In the below video, Head of Discipline for Sport and Exercise Science, Andy Hooton, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Derby. 

Andy Hooton, Head of Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science.

View Sport and Exercise Science - your questions answered! video transcript

Sport Coaching and Development at Derby

Whether you'd like to coach athletes or promote the benefits of sport and coaching to the wider community, this practical course will help you to develop an understanding of the technical, physical and psychological elements that affect participation and development in sport.

You'll gain in-depth knowledge of the profession, ranging from promoting entry-level sport to coaching elite performers. We cover the principles and practices for training, the relationship of coaching and performance analysis, how to use sport as a catalyst for change within communities, as well as gaining an understanding of working with key populations and environments.

The course includes practical experience in real-world settings, from group coaching to individual performance development, ensuring you graduate as a confident and independent professional.

A male academic teaching sport coaching techniques to a small group of students

Expert teaching

Our teaching team has a wealth of professional experience in sports coaching and development together with extensive contacts across the industry. Alongside teaching, our lecturers work as applied practitioners with a range of sports professionals and organisations, including coaching, coach developers and consultants.

They also have strong links with professional bodies at regional and national levels, such as key sports governing bodies such as the Football Association, the Lawn Tennis Association and British Cycling, as well as local professional, amateur and grassroots clubs across all sports in the county and region.

Such partnerships add an extra dimension to your studies, including inspirational guest lectures from professional coaches, elite athletes, sports development specialists and many more leaders in the field.

Mark Faghy conducting research in the background, with a man wearing an oxygen mask.

Managing Excellence

When Mark Faghy first arrived in Derby as a teenage undergraduate, he stated proudly that his goal was to become manager of the England football team. Now he is a respected research academic leading an international collaboration in the fight against Covid. And his students are helping.

Read Mark's storyRead Mark's story

Specialist facilities

Our Derby campus is the perfect setting for a stimulating learning experience in sport. Our sports centre includes a main hall, fitness gym with strength and conditioning area, studios, squash and badminton courts, an internal climbing wall, sprint track and sports therapy treatment rooms. You will also have access to specialist equipment such as our 3D motion analysis equipment, sports performance analysis software, and physiological testing equipment.

Take a look at our sports facilities

Our purpose-built Sports Centre provides facilities for playing and studying sport, including a gym, sports hall, climbing wall and 3G pitches.

Take a virtual tourTake a virtual tour

Our Performance Suite

Our Performance Suite allows Sport and Exercise Science students to learn about performance analysis, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, and injury prevention. As well as elite athletes outside of the University, you'll also be working with our Team Derby athletes to help them improve their performance and successfully compete. Take a look at the Performance Suite and Vicon cameras in action:

Radzi in the Performance Suite at our Sports Centre.

View Open Day Live - Performance Suite video transcript

An impressive portfolio of skills

We help you develop important transferable skills and intellectual abilities that will take you far. Our Steps to Success programme runs alongside the course to support your personal and academic development, and help you chart your future career direction.

You could take part in specialist training to add further professional qualifications to your CV, including coaching badges and other awards given by the national governing bodies for specific sports. 

To help you prepare for study at postgraduate level, you will also gain experience of academic research, conduct an independent investigation into a topic of your choice, and take part in university conferences.

A foot with a football boot resting on top of a football.

Zenon becomes an Academy Football Analyst for Arsenal FC

Zenon Backhouse has made it into the Premier League as a Performance Analyst by securing a role with Arsenal Football Club.

Find out more about Zenon's storyFind out more about Zenon's story

Real-world experience

Throughout your course, there will be plenty of opportunities to apply your knowledge in practically based environments. You will gain key and contemporary insights into a range of applied settings from group coaching to individual performance development. There will also be opportunities to get involved in projects including working with local and regional clubs through coaching and athlete testing and support, as well as wider programmes aimed at increasing sport participation and physical activity within different communities.
As part of the programme, there are expectations and requirements to undertake work based learning experiences in the coaching and teaching sector, and this can lead to our students securing longer term voluntary and paid coaching positions with sports clubs during their studies. 

The programme is further supported by guest speakers from within the sport industry, sharing their experiences by bringing theory and concepts to life in the real world, alongside development key contacts as students develop their pathway in the industry.

A coach analysing a football match on a clip board.

Placements prepare James for sporting life after graduation

BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development student, James Stainton’s determination to learn has led him to completing numerous work placements, building confidence and preparing him for life after graduation.

Find out more about James' storyFind out more about James' story

Sports Scholarships

The University of Derby is a sporting hub for talented athletes and coaches. We have a track record of improving the performance of our University sports clubs and we have created an infrastructure to provide support for talented athletes. We offer a Sports Scholarship programme that aims to help talented student-athletes realise their sporting potential while supporting them through their academic studies. We offer scholarships of up to £6,000 and provide tailored athlete-support packages delivered by an experienced multi-disciplinary Performance Sport team. Two of the Universities most recent successful sports scholars are Charlie Tanfield (World Champion and Commonwealth Cycling gold medallist) and Jack Burnell (European Open Water silver medallist 2016 and Olympian 2016).

Join Team Derby

If you enjoy a challenge and would like to make the most of your own sporting passion and prowess, you could become involved with Team Derby which is the focal point for the University’s sporting community. It encompasses all aspects of sport, including courses, numerous sports clubs, the Athletics Union and sport development activities. You can also take part in the national BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) competitions.

We have also recently appointed Double Olympic Medallist, Bryan Steel, as the Head Coach for Team Derby Performance Sport Cycling. Bryan is a celebrated figure in the world of cycling, bringing a wealth of experience to his role. The decorated Olympian, who represented Team GB at four Olympic Games from 1992 to 2004, boasts an impressive medal collection. His crowning achievements include a bronze medal in the team pursuit event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games in the same discipline. Brian's journey also includes 14 World Championship appearances, where he secured five medals, along with three medals at the Commonwealth Games. With the arrival of Bryan, Performance Sport at the university will work in partnership with HUUB-BCC Race Team to give track and road riders access to an elite pathway during and post higher education. This collaboration opens doors for Team Derby Performance Cycling's athletes, offering a unique opportunity to bridge their academic pursuits with professional cycling aspirations.

students on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

Hear from our teaching team

Senior Lecturer, Dr Luke Gibson, gives an insight into his industry experience, his research in professional sport, and some of the modules he teaches on:

Dr Luke Gibson

View BA (Hons) Sport Coaching and Development at Derby video transcript

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

You'll learn through a combination of lectures, interactive tutorials, seminars, and workshops. There will be a significant amount of practical teaching and learning experiences throughout the course, enabling students to develop their practical skills and application of theory to practice. Students will be encouraged to work individually and as part of a group to gain skills relevant to the world of coaching and sport development employment.

The teaching of our courses is informed by the STEPS system (Skilled, Technical, Expert, Professional, Standout) to ensure that our students graduate with a wide range of transferable skills such as:


Assessments will include a combination of theoretical and practical assignments, such as individual written reports, individual and group presentations, and individual and group practical coaching assessments. This variety will enable learning and assess necessary skills required for future employment. Although there are some exams, a large proportion of the assessment includes of presentations and written assignment. This form of assessment will prepare you for the world of work, where you will be required to write reports and present your findings in both a coaching and sports development career.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Jon Woodward mid conversation

Jon Woodward
Programme leader

As a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching across the Sport and Exercise Science programmes, Jon supports students from a range of programmes with their learning, teaching and assessment activities, as well as supporting students with accessing work placements and internship opportunities as part of their degree and wider development.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112-120
T LevelMerit
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

If you're an international student and want to improve your English language skills before you start your course, the Derby English Language Centre's pre-sessional English course can help you. 

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


This course gives you an advantage in an exciting and developing industry across the sports sector. On graduating, you’ll be ideally placed to embark on careers in areas such as sports coaching in different environments and contexts, talent identification and development, development of athletes of all ages, sport development and management, and health promotion. At a time when sport participation has become part of wider government and health initiatives such as GP exercise referral programmes, the career scope is broadening further still. 

Our course even includes a module on small business planning – including advice on writing funding bids, marketing and strategic planning – if you’re interested in setting up a sport-related venture of your own.

If you would like to take your knowledge of sport to the next level, this degree also acts as a gateway to postgraduate education, with opportunities for you to progress to masters level courses such as our innovative MSc Clinical Exercise Science and MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science - which has a Sport and Exercise Psychology pathway.

Alternatively, if you’d like to embark on a career in teaching, you’ll discover multiple progression routes for trainee teachers at the University of Derby, including our PGCE PrimaryPGCE Secondary (School Direct) with Qualified Teacher Status or PGCE Post-14 (Education and Training) programmes. Entry to these courses is subject to you meeting initial teacher training entry requirements.

Through our Professional Development Package, you'll gain valuable transferable skills, including:

Careers and Employment Service

To boost your employment skills, you can access the University's Careers and Employment Service. The team can connect you with employers to help find opportunities for work placements, part-time jobs, and volunteering. Our careers consultants are also on hand to guide you through the career options for your degree, CV writing, or starting your own business - and we commit to helping you for three years after you graduate to find a job. 

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
For September 2024
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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