Course details

Study options

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

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 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 and exercise to the wider community, this course will put you ahead of the game.

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

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Sport Coaching and Development at Derby

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

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, performance analysis, how to use sport as a catalyst for change within communities, and how to manage projects aimed at increasing physical activity and sport participation.

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.

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.

They also have strong links with professional bodies at regional and national levels, such as the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences, the Institute for Sports, Parks and Leisure and key sports governing bodies like British Cycling and The Football Association.

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. 

Sport Coaching

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

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.

Real-world experience

Throughout your course, there will be plenty of opportunities to apply your knowledge. You’ll gain insights into a range of applied settings from group coaching to individual performance development. There will also be opportunities to get involved in projects aimed at increasing sport participation and physical activity within different communities.

Some of our students secure voluntary and paid coaching positions with sports clubs during their studies. Others have arranged summer work placements coaching in the USA.

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.

A video featuring out students experiences on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

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Human Sciences Research Centre

The Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.

Find out more about our researchFind out more about our research

What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 4BY501

Coaching and Skill Acquisition

This module will focus on the application of skill acquisition theories in the coaching practice. Students will develop an understanding of how principles such as feedback, attentional focus and the environment can inform session design and delivery; with the view to enhancing both athlete learning and performance.

Student’s practical skill development will centre upon their ability to enhance performance through the application of skill acquisition principles. Students will be taught via a variety of lectures and seminars as well practical coaching sessions.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO500

Academic and Research Skills for Sport and Exercise

This module is taught in two parts: Academic skills and research skills. The academic skills component provides students with grounding in the key skills needed to be successful at undergraduate study; including, literature searching, literature review, academic writing, referencing, and presentation skills. The research skills component gives students an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, including descriptive statistics.

Students will learn how to collect and interpret data using a range of approaches including questionnaires, interviews and experimental methods. The emphasis on the module is to develop student’s confidence in engaging with academic literature including the associated terminology.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) will be embedded into the program with a series of “step-to-success” workshops which will support students in their professional development . Students will be required to engage with the PDP programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Most of the delivery will be based on seminar sessions wherein students will be given structured tasks which will be completed individually or in groups. Delivery and assessment will provide students with the opportunity to engage and explore their own area of interest with respect to the associated academic literature.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO501

Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology

The role of psychology is an increasingly important and recognised aspect of participation and performance in sport and exercise contexts. This module examines various personality and social-psychological factors that impact upon participation and performance.

The module offers a range of sport and exercise psychology topics focusing on three main areas: 1) Individual participants in sport and exercise, 2) Strategies for performance enhancement, and 3) Groups, group processes, and intergroup relations. For each topic, theories and research evidence are applied to practical examples.

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20 Credits

Code: 4SO508

Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology

Knowledge of how the different parts of the body function during physical activity is necessary to understand how humans can take part in sport and exercise.

This module examines the basic physiology of the relevant body systems. What these systems consist of, how they function and how they respond to an acute bout of physical activity will be considered. In addition to building core knowledge of sport and exercise physiology, students will acquire a set of core skills in the laboratory. This module underpins the subsequent study of sport, exercise and health, and is therefore important preparation for modules at Levels 5 and 6.

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20 Credits

Code: 4SO512

Sport Development Planning

This module introduces students to the process of sports development planning and investigates the links that this has with local and national government policies within the UK.

Students will consider the issues and approaches which are employed in order to develop new and existing sites for sport and recreation purposes. Sport’s evolution is closely associated with patterns of work and leisure, prevailing religious beliefs and class divisions. By understanding the development and formulation of sport policy and its articulation through sport development students will appreciate sport’s position in the 21st century as a driver for social change.

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20 Credits

Code: 4TL524

Sports Coaching and Leadership

The aim of this module is to introduce and review principles of coaching and leadership. A large component of this module is devoted to work based learning, delivered in the form of practical sessions. Students will therefore be required to demonstrate knowledge and understandings related to underpinning principles and apply them to the coaching context.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO502

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise

This module builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in the level 4 Research and Academic Skills module. The module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation at level 6. Students will conduct a systematic literature review in a topic area related to their degree, in order to develop a coherent research question.

Particular emphasis will be given to developing a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on a review of existing literature. Furthermore, students will propose a research methodology based on the rationale developed. The overall focus of the module is on the process of “doing research”, and this will reflect in the delivery methods used. As such, students will be encouraged to explore the suitability different methodologies with respect to the research question asked. There will be the opportunity within sessions for students to attempt to critically review literature, and peer review research proposals. In addition to developing a research rationale and design for a proposed research project, students will undertake a range of in-class assessed qualitative and quantitative data analysis tasks using appropriate software, including descriptive and inferential statistics.

The Steps-to-Success programme will be implemented in this module, in conjunction with the employability and careers office. The focus will be placed on graduate schemes, teacher training, networking, job applications and masters programmes. Students will be required to engage with the Professional Development Planning (PDP) for Sport and Exercise programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Develop a coherent research question based on a review of the associated academic literature
  2. Provide a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on academic literature
  3. Develop a suitable research methodology for the proposed research question
  4. Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of research methods used in sport and exercise
  5. Demonstrate evidence of Professional Development through engagement with PDP and Sport and Exercise placement

Module content

The module will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Research proposal writing
  • Literature review
  • Research question rational
  • Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Reliability and validity
  • Thematic analysis
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Probability and significance
  • Reporting/summarising data
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20 Credits

Code: 5SO526

Sport Business Development and Entrepreneurship

This module combines two skills in great demand in the sport sector. The first ability is being able to plan ahead, taking an organised and prepared approach to business development. The module will aim to break down barriers to creativity with the use of models, and an examination of entrepreneurial behaviours. This module will also link the other business modules as the skills and theories developed in them will assist here. The module aims to provide students with the ability to develop products and services through careful planning, implementation and management.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO531

Applied Movement Analysis

This module introduces technique analysis and the focuses on the scientific principles which underpin this process. The module will develop student’s understanding of the collection and evaluation of technique analysis data and explore dissemination methods that are representative of real world practice.

To enhance student understanding of the appropriate use of contemporary technologies in sports analysis the module will also focus on the use of field-based methods of time-motion analysis (TMA) and mobile applications.. The module will also examine measurement issues associated with these technologies and the applied nature of this module will provide an opportunity for students to enhance their practical skills.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5TL524

Sport Development in Practice

This module will focus on the practical application of sport development interventions to improve and enhance community development around aspects such as increasing participation, improving social inclusion, disability participation and health. Students will gain an understanding of how sport can be used as vehicle to address wider issues within the community.

Attention will be paid to how current government agenda affects the delivery of sport at a local, community level and how this affects the design and implementation of a sport development intervention. Students will gain an understanding of how to write and submit a funding bid to gain financial resources for the delivery of a proposed project. As part of the PDP provision, students will also have the opportunity to engage in professional development through applied projects with local sporting organisations and clubs.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5TL525

Community Sport and Physical Activity Development

This module will focus on developing the student’s understanding of concepts and issues related to models of athlete development with particular attention paid to the notions of ‘long-term athlete development’ and ‘physical literacy’.

Students will gain insight into the social, psychological and physical development of young children and adolescents and how sport development interventions are tailored towards the individual participant in both a participation environment. In addition to the theory covered, students will gain experience in applying the related theory into practical sport development sessions throughout the semester that are designed to meet the needs of young children and adolescents to promote lifelong participation. Focus will be given to the delivery of physical education and sport in youth sport settings in a participation in environment.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5TL528

Principles and Practices of Training

The module is designed to give students an understanding of the concepts and practice of training and fitness. It will develop their awareness of training principles, the need for analysis of fitness requirements for specific sports, and the evaluation of sports performance. As part of the PDP provision, students will have the option to work with individual athletes in a “real-world” context.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO528

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits

Code: 5SO529

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.

During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.

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20 Credits

Code: 6SO500

Advanced Sports Coaching

This module will investigate the development of coaching. It will critically examine the coaching process and the role of the coach within the process, including talent identification and development. The module will bring together and apply material learnt from other modules studied throughout the course.
20 Credits

Code: 6SO519

Contemporary Issues in Sport Management and Development

This module’s aim is to provide students with a critical understanding of contemporary issues, and address current and topical issues, associated with the sports management and sport development sectors, whilst establishing strong links between theory and practice. Its main purpose is to enable students to reflect and appraise the sports management and development industry, in relation to their principles and practices.
20 Credits

Code: 6SO998

Independent Study for Sport and Exercise

The independent studies module provides students with the opportunity to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by conducting an in-depth investigation; requiring a systematic and significant application of both acquired research skills and understanding.

The investigation may adopt a variety of frameworks, typically dependent upon a combination of both the discipline and topic in question. The rationale being to avoid limiting the students to the traditional empirical research format; instead empowering them to select an investigatory design that is best suited to the conduct, completion and presentation of the study in focus e.g. an industry report or an individually focused / institutionally targeted case study etc. 

Irrespective of the study framework, all work requires students to apply critical scrutiny and analysis to a diversity of appropriate theories, concepts and procedures. Such work will inevitably relate to a field of study deemed appropriate by a specialist in the area. The module offers the opportunity to develop an in-depth critical understanding alongside the refinement of both their subject and research skills.

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40 Credits

Code: 6TL518

Elite Sports Development

The module is designed to give students an understanding of the concepts and practice in elite sports development. It will give students an awareness of what is increasingly becoming a significantly specialist branch of sports development.

It considers the way in which elite sports systems require a specifically focused developmental approach that often required the involvement and alignment of a number of key stakeholders in the development process. The module will investigate whether high performance sport is still a natural extension or culmination of the sports development curriculum, which specialist requirements this aspect of sport commonly has and what the role of the coach is within this development structure.

The module will introduce elite sports development as a concept and look at examples in the United Kingdom. The module will look at the social impact on the development of these development programs and analyse the efficacy of a number of programs International elite sports development will also be analyse and comparisons drawn to development programmes in the UK. The module will also look at the driving factors around the development of elite sports development programs and trends related to government intervention.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6TL519

Adaptive Coaching Theory and Practice

This module will provide students with an opportunity to develop themselves as practitioners progressing their coaching, teaching and communication skills. In particular students will focus upon their ability to apply pedagogical theory to the planning and delivery of practical coaching sessions with disabled performers; whilst also furthering their commitment to and engagement in the process of reflective practice.

Rather than coach their peers, students will work in groups to plan, deliver and evaluate a number of coaching sessions with participants who exhibit a range of learning, sensory and physical disabilities. The planning, delivery and content of the coaching sessions will be informed by a variety of physical, psychological and sociological theories, concepts and evidence. As part of the PDP provision, students will have the opportunity to engage in the practical delivery of coaching sessions to disability learners.

More information
20 Credits

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.

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Campus Tours

Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

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Virtual Open Day

Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.

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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

Dr Andrew Butterworth giving a presentation.

Dr Andrew Butterworth
Programme leader

As a senior lecturer in performance analysis, Dr. Butterworth designs and delivers innovative and engaging content using industry standard contemporary technologies. He has extensive applied international experience as a performance analyst, translating this knowledge to the classroom for a student learning experience that is grounded in practicality and usefulness in the real world. 

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,045 per year


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

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


This course gives you an advantage in an exciting and developing job market. On graduating, you’ll be ideally placed to embark on careers in areas such as talent identification, sport coaching in the UK and abroad, sport development, sport management and health promotion. At a time when sport participation has become part of new 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 Applied Sport and Exercise Science.

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 and DBS clearance.

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.

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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 below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

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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