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BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching with Foundation Year

TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Studying our BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching programme will open up exciting career opportunities for you. From organising sports events to changing important sport policy and promoting national participation campaigns, the impact you’ll go on to have in your local and national community is limitless.
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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 

Why study this subject?

Careers in sport development and coaching can be hugely rewarding. You could find yourself working on important sport policy and anti-social behaviour campaigns one minute, and the next promoting participation opportunities within a number of national organisations.

During this course you’ll practice delivering sport to the community through a number of projects, work-related learning and volunteering opportunities whilst learning about the history, development and structure of the sports industry in the UK.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

By studying this course with us, you’ll have the opportunity to look at athlete development and analysis when spending time in our state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory.

As well as the degree qualification, you’ll also have the opportunity to take UKCC coaching certifications and Sports Coach UK awards.

Here at BNU, we always encourage our students to get as much industry experience as possible. Our strong links with industry partners will enable you to seek volunteering and paid work opportunities. This, along with our practical approach to the course, will give you a deeper understanding of the professional environment and type of career that awaits you beyond graduation.

We also pride ourselves on the amazing opportunities we offer our students to start forming their own networks within industry. This means not only will you have access to first-hand accounts from those on the ‘front-line’ while you study, but you’ll also make priceless connections for when the time comes to jump into your first job.

We work with some incredible partners like the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey which is home to several governing bodies in sport, Leap (County Sports Partnership), Stoke Mandeville Hospital (the famous birthplace of the Paralympics), Reading Ladies Football Club and the National League basketball team, London United, to name just a few.

What facilities can I use?

You’ll have the opportunity to blend academic study with a professional sports environment. At our Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre, the Human Performance Laboratory features an indoor three-lane running track which incorporates 3D motion-capture technology.

Our incredible facilities help to enhance athletes’ performance through improved technique and assists with injury prevention and rehabilitation. The Human Performance Laboratory is equipped for assessing a range of physiological, biomechanical and psychological parameters.

What will I study?

Through our BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching programme, you’ll begin to look at the social and cultural issues that surround sport, as well as those for marketing and funding for sports policies, events and initiatives.

You’ll explore both traditional and advanced technologies in your approach and become well versed in the various tools available in this field. You’ll also spend time studying sports nutrition and performance analysis, as well as the philosophies and various learning styles of coaching.

In your first year, you’ll study modules like Sport Psychology, Sport and Society and an Introduction to Coaching Theory and Practice. In your second and final years, your study will become more focused and you’ll have the opportunity to pick modules that you’re particularly interested in.

Perhaps you’ll choose Sports Operations Management or sport in the context of Diversity and Wellbeing. You could explore Performance Psychology, Strategies in Youth Sports or Funding for Sport.

The options available to you will help you develop your expertise in particular areas and from there you can go on to pick a topic you’re truly passionate about to work on for your final dissertation project - all with the support and guidance of your personal tutor.

How will I be taught and assessed?

This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

This is such an exciting course, having been developed with input from current industry professionals. We consider ourselves to be pioneers in sport-related studies, keeping our finger on the pulse of ongoing changes taking place in the national industry. In combination with our academic expertise, our dedicated teaching staff deliver this outstanding programme in a forward thinking and innovative way.

Through classroom learning you’ll be taught current theory, concepts and research delivered through a blend of lectures, interactive seminars and workshops as well as small group activities and debates.

You’re encouraged to form relationships with external partners on a local, regional, national and international scale. This will allow you to build your network in the longer term and assist with developing your vocational knowledge and understanding of the subject in the shorter term.

We encourage all our students to become independent in their learning as the course progresses. As well as your classroom learning, you’ll have the opportunity to complete coaching qualifications and participate in practical coaching activities.

As the course continues, the depth of learning becomes more complex as you start to form your own journey with your future career in mind. You’ll focus on applied research and community-based learning to put theory into practice.

In your final year, you’ll complete a research-based dissertation, providing you with further opportunity to develop your individual working practice. You’re challenged to plan, design and execute a significant piece of work to reflect your learning across the three-year course.

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Some of the modules in this course require work experience placements and will require you to reflect on your experience as part of your Continued Professional Development (CPD).

Our teaching team is constantly working hard to develop new partnerships and industry links meaning you’ll be able to take advantage of those relationships when looking for a placement.

Useful Information

BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity

Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility

Inquiry and Research Skills

Introduction to Sport Development and Performance

Year 2 Modules

Sport and Society

Games in Sport and Education

Professional and Academic Skills for Sport

Understanding Sports Development

Introduction to Coaching Theory and Practice

Sport Psychology: Individual Differences and Group Dynamics

Human Sciences for Physical Education

Foundations of Sports Research

Year 3 Modules

Sports Operations Management (optional)

Sport, Diversity and Well-being

Coaching and Athlete Development

Research in Sport and Exercise

Understanding People in Sports Business (optional)

Sport Development Application and Approaches

Working in Sport Development and Coaching

Cognition & Emotion in Sport & Exercise Psychology (optional)

Sports Nutrition (optional)

Performance Analysis

Applied Sport & Performance Psychology (optional)

Outdoor Education (optional)

Year 4 Modules

Strategies in Youth Sport

Research Dissertation

Working and Learning in Exercise Health and Fitness

Contemporary Coaching Issues

Funding for Sport

Applied Performance Analysis (optional)

Professional Development and Employability (optional)

Club Business: Football (optional)

Small Business and Entrepreneurship (optional)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Our BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:

  • Sport Development Manager/Officer
  • Sport-specific Development Officer (e.g. Football, Rugby)
  • Community Sports Coach
  • School Sport Coordinator
  • Physical Activity Coordinator.

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course such as our MSc Sports Performance programme. 


Course leader

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Dr Ben Clayton
  • Associate Professor
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Jade Hewitt
  • Graduate Teaching Associate
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Dr Fiona McCormack
  • Associate Professor
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