Sports Coaching and Physical Education BSc (Hons)

Part-time undergraduate (6 years)

University Centre Peterborough

September 2017


Learn the science of sports coaching and how to apply it in different situations, and to people of different ages and abilities.

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Full description


Our graduates go on to careers coaching all age groups and athletic abilities, as well as non-sports fields where developing talent and maximizing its potential are important skills.

Modules & assessment

Level 4 modules

  • Coaching and Behaviour
    In this module we’ll cover concepts that underpin contemporary coaching theory and practice. By the end of the module you’ll have developed an appreciation of the coaching process including the ethical, pedagogical, managerial and behavioural components that enable good practice. We’ll investigate the roles, techniques, and planning skills of a good coach, the impact of their adherence to the professional code of conduct, their awareness of health and safety issues and their understanding of how a coaching session should progress. A crucial aspect of coaching is the ability to understand how individuals learn and acquire the knowledge and skills to perform. You’ll learn to identify different approaches to learning and what these mean for coaching practice and athletes’ development.
  • Exercise Physiology
    You’ll be introduced to the fundamental aspects of human physiology in order to understand how the body performs and responds to physical activity. You’ll explore the structure and function of the main organ systems of the body; the musculoskeletal, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and urinary systems. You’ll examine how these systems work together and how they respond to exercise. Energy is essential for the functioning of the body and is in strong demand during exercise. Therefore you’ll explore the biochemical processes involved in energy transfer (metabolism). You’ll examine the different energy production pathways under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Also, the role and contribution of the various macro-nutrients as fuel for the metabolism will be discussed. Then, energy expenditure during rest and physical activity will be investigated. You’ll examine how oxygen consumption can give us an insight into our energy expenditure and the different fuel and energy systems used. In your module you’ll study and explore the content through lectures, seminars and laboratory based practicals where the physiological and metabolic principles are applied and examined under both resting and exercise conditions. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module will enable you to develop a number of transferable skills, including practical (laboratory) techniques and general skills relevant to employment including report writing, data collection, data handling and data presentation. You’ll be assessed by coursework (60%) and exam (40%). Standard texts are available via the library and the more specialist literature is online.
  • Research Methods for Sport and Exercise
    Gain an introduction to the core skills required for research and study in sport science and sports coaching in a higher education environment. You’ll develop skills and attributes to initiate an understanding of the research process and stages associated with it and also an appreciation of different types of research. You'll develop an understanding of the different types of data that can be collected within your course area and you’ll develop a good awareness of the data analysis process, utilising different IT skills and IT programs. You’ll develop key employability skills throughout the module, for example, how to construct oral and written reports using appropriate formatting, language and citations.
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology
    Understanding psychological aspects of sport and exercise is vital in enhancing, or inhibiting, sports performance and exercise participation. This could include pre-competition nerves, attention control, self-confidence and motivation. You’ll reflect upon your own experiences in relation to psychological factors and to consider psychological demands of different sports and levels of participation. You’ll use your classroom time to take part in discussion and analysis of specific key topic areas of sport and exercise psychology and take part in group and individual tasks.

Level 5 modules

  • Exercise Testing
    There are a range of different tests available to assess physiological performance, the key is choosing the most appropriate. You’ll study the process of profiling performance and health from a physiological and analytical perspective. Your main focus will be the validity and reliability of the tests available to assess aerobic performance, anaerobic performance, strength, power and flexibility. Aerobic assessment will focus on the protocols used for the assessment of maximal aerobic power (VO2max). Analysis will be made of the protocols to assess aerobic capacity, such as maximum lactate steady state, lactate minimum, individual anaerobic threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation and 4mM turn-point. The role of performance economy will be examined, and projected to show how this simple concept has been used to develop the principle of velocity at VO2max (vVO2max). The concept of critical power and speed will be assessed and justified. The application of these measures to exercise testing and screening will be observed through the study of sub-maximal cardio-pulmonary assessments and the interpretation of Wasserman's 9-plot. You’ll also address the assessment of respiratory function through spirometry and myocardial function through heart variability and electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring. Anaerobic assessment will examine the tests used to assess both power and capacity such as the Wingate cycle test and the Maximally Accumulated Oxygen Deficit (MAOD). Strength and power testing will examine the use of strain gauges, isokinetic dynamometry and gym based protocols. Flexibility assessment will determine the appropriate use of flexometers, goniometers and reach boxes. All of these methodologies will be examined both theoretically and in a laboratory setting. The concepts of validity and reliability will be explored by further examination of statistical methods. As well as providing you with subject specific knowledge, our module helps develop a number of transferable skills including practical (laboratory) techniques and skills relevant to general employment including report writing, data collection, handling and presentation and will be of particular interest to individuals wishing to apply their exercise physiology knowledge and work within a Sports Science Support environment. Standard texts are available via the library and more specialist literature is online. You’ll be assessed by coursework (50%) and exam (50%).
  • Applied Coaching
    This module will put theory into practice, giving you practical experience of planning, delivering and evaluating real life coaching or teaching sessions with the help of a mentor (level 6 student). By the end of the module you’ll have direct coaching/teaching experience and will have generated a portfolio of practical hours of coaching. You’ll develop an appreciation of mentoring, coaching/teaching and reflection, whilst also developing valuable employability skills such as working in a team, communication and professionalism. This module will be particularly beneficial to you if you want to enhance your practical coaching/teaching experience and generate a greater volume of coaching/teaching hours.
  • Perceptual Motor Skills
    Athletes rely on a constant stream of information from the senses (e.g. vision, audio and proprioception) to execute the skills needed for successful sport performance. This module will initially focus on the processing and the perception of this sensory information. In addition we'll examine how athletes make decisions from this sensory information and how we execute and programme movement. You'll explore topics such as the visual system and get experience with using eye trackers to assess where people look in the environment when playing sport. Also, we'll discuss the influence of factors such as anxiety, expertise and expectancies on the perception of sensory information, anticipation and decision making. The second part of the module will focus on programming human movement, movement coordination and how we can measure performance in the execution of motor skills.

Level 6 modules

  • Effective and Ethical Coaching
    Our module examines the multi-disciplinary nature of sport. You’ll focus on three areas: learning to mentor, appraising theoretical concepts with peers and finally the appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of sports coaching and exercise science. Our module permits you the opportunity to work as a mentor to a coach (and/or level 5 student) applying the knowledge you have gained to a practical setting. It also promotes skills important for employment such as communication, application, listening and the expression of ones views supported with literature. You’ll examine the interdisciplinary nature of sport to allow the amalgamation of all areas studied that can then be applied to specific real-life sporting situations. Activities will provide you with the opportunity to analyse particular problems and express solutions with a multi-disciplinary approach. You’ll examine specific ideas, analyse them and then present back the resolution which is an important skill that you'll need in the working world. Our module explores underlying areas of current dispute in the coaching domain and will aid you in your growth and future development.
  • Applied Sports Psychology
    In this module we’ll specifically examine the psychological factors of successful performance and will address issues such as coach-athlete relationships, sport and exercise psychology interventions, coaching behaviour and burnout. You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to successfully prescribe and deliver sport and exercise psychology interventions as a coach or sport scientist. We’ll examine and critique the latest research, and discuss the current knowledge in specific topic areas.
  • Long-term Athlete Development
    Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) is a structure for athlete development based upon the developmental rather than the chronological age of the athlete; it considers the development of the athlete over a period of years rather than short episodes. Almost all National Governing Bodies (NGBs) have written their own LTAD plan that is sports specific in nature; the information in these plans is often relayed to coaches in short seminars which often do not fully justify complexity of the content. You'll investigate the underlying principles of the LTAD model, considering paediatric physiology, the development of sport in relation to LTAD and the implementation of LTAD across sports. You'll need to consider the physiological, emotional, cognitive and psychological development of children and adolescents. LTAD is a relatively new concept in the UK that has been adopted by almost every sport, studying this module will give you a head start when working with both athletes and school children.
  • Scientific Basis of Training
    This module is essentially split into three blocks, all of which are inter-related. The first block deals with the principles of performance components. Within this you'll consider the history of training, where we have come from and where the science is now leading us. You'll also consider what is meant by the term ‘performance’. You'll address the physical demands of athletic events, the event analysis. Here we'll consider the variety of methods that can be adopted to evaluate an athlete in the field and that are regularly used in the literature to inform us as to the physiological and metabolic demands of sport. The second block forms the foundation on which all your understanding will be based, the principles of training design. Within this you'll address and critically evaluate the variables and components of training discussing the use of intensity, frequency, duration and how these help us to establish the key components of training load and volume. This block is very much about you developing a critical appreciation for training programme design. We'll evaluate the models of training considering a number of different proposed theories. Further evaluation will be made of how to structure training programmes. Can we for example use the same approach with elite and novice athletes, team sports and individual sports? You'll consider the differences between peaking and tapering for performance and why some athletes quite simply just miss their window of athletic opportunity. The final block is essentially the backbone to this module, which focuses on the principles of training for speed, strength, flexibility and endurance. Of these it will be endurance training that will be studied the most. The concept of VO2max as a criterion measure of endurance performance will be studied, along with the concept of the lactate turn-point. The lactate turn-point as a performance/training tool will offer up a controversial debate, firstly what does it represent and secondly can it be used to monitor and judge performance. Endurance training will also be extended to consider the often over looked area of anaerobic endurance and the development of the anaerobic capacity. Strength and power will be sub-divided to assess how they each have a role in the make-up of an athlete. These are terms which are interchanged yet require considerably different means of training and as a result produce quite different physiological responses. Speed training is considered in conjunction with these two modes of training. All sporting disciplines require speed to some degree, the key is deciding how best to train this component and as with all of the other modes when to programme it into the annual plan.
  • Strength and Conditioning
    This role of the applied strength and conditioning coach is continuing to grow in importance. You’ll begin within an in-depth exploration of the body’s anatomy and address the principles of muscle, joint, connective tissue interactions and how locate these through the process of palpation and recognition. With this knowledge you’ll then be able to address the mechanistic principles of strength and performance development. You’ll learn how to work in a safe and effective manner executing appropriate movement patterns in relation to the gross anatomical structures that need to be engaged. Supporting these principles, you’ll develop a scientifically applied rationale for the role of strength and conditioning work in different population groups and also consider how technology can enhance the practice of the professional. You’ll be introduced to the techniques and principles of athlete assessment, evaluation and consultation. You’ll constantly consider endurance, speed, flexibility, agility and power, as well as gaining an in-depth appreciation for the training principles and methodologies and exploring the physiological rationale for these approaches in relation to programme design. You’ll be jointly taught between our staff at Anglia Ruskin and an external strength and conditioning professionals.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    You’ll create in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic of your choice. You could chose your topic from a variety of sources including research groups, previous/current work experience, your current employer, a suggestion from your tutor or a topic you’re specifically interested in. You’ll identify problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor will ensure your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.


We’ll assess your progress using exams, written assignments and your performance in group sessions, practical work, lab work, presentations and your major project.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

University Centre Peterborough
University Centre Peterborough

University Centre Peterborough (or UCP) is our modern campus in the heart of an historic city.

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Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


International students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year, part time)


International students, 2017/18 (per year, part time)


Important fee notes

The course fee assumes that you’re studying at half the rate of a full time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

Additional costs

Please note, the estimated additional costs for this course are £100-£200 (for trainers, shorts and t-shirts for lab work over lifetime of degree).

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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180 UCAS tariff points. Required subject(s): 2 A levels one of which needs to be a science subject. BTEC/Access required: a BTEC National or a full Access Certificate in a related subject. GCSEs required: 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English, Mathematics and Science.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2017 entry

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UK, EU & international applicants

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Email University Centre Peterborough