Coaching for Performance in Football BSc (Hons)

Distance learning, part-time undergraduate (3 years)

Distance learning

January 2019, September 2018


Want to up your game? Join our unique and innovative coaching degree programme to improve performance and success in football (soccer). Specifically designed to be delivered around the unconventional working patterns of sports professionals.

Full description
The best coaches are the ones that continue to update their skills
Les Reed
Southampton FC


If you're a player: this course provides you with an exceptional opportunity to learn a wide range of transferable and highly practical skills while you train on the pitch, preparing you for a career in coaching in the future.

If you're a coach: this qualification builds on your existing badges and coaching experience by reinforcing the theories and concepts behind the practices you have developed so far, giving breadth to your knowledge and coaching techniques and further enhancing your personal coaching style and career success.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Application of Football Data
    This module will develop your academic research skills, showing you how to assimilate information from various sources and interpret it. We’ll explore the concept of research technique and focus on information gathering methods such as experimental and questionnaire design, sampling processes and data handling. We’ll study equations, graphical interpretation and manipulation, focusing on how and when to apply appropriate graphical techniques to data. We’ll also discuss reporting skills and how to construct oral and written reports using appropriate formatting, language and citations. You’ll be challenged to consider your current beliefs and assumptions, to consider how they were formed and whether current research supports them. We’ll assess your learning through coursework and a short presentation.
  • Technical Principles of Coaching
    Develop an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of coaching in terms of the ethical, pedagogical, managerial and behavioural components which enable good practice. You’ll address key areas such as coaching roles, techniques, planning skills, quality and code of conduct as well as health and safety issues and coaching session should progression. You’ll focus on different styles of athlete’s learning then show how the ability to learn is dependent on not just the personality of the athlete, but also the coach-athlete relationship and the approaches adopted by the coach. You’ll consider coaching skills and style techniques by evaluating the use of communication and organisational skills, such as time management and problem solving. You’ll examine how all of the components link together to achieve success in coaching.
  • Fundamentals of Sports Science in Coaching
    You’ll be introduced to the role of the sports scientist within football. You’ll study three key areas of scientific support: physiological, biomechanical and nutritional. Within each of these fields, you’ll discover the nature of their role within football. This will allow you to recognise that within an athlete centred approach, sports science support is integral to achieving optimal performance. Physiology: You’ll start to engage with the basic principles of exercise testing that are applicable to the football player and coach. In the context of the game and the components of fitness, there'll be an exploration of field based, noninvasive tests of: endurance (Multi Stage Fitness Test, Cooper run, Non-Exercise Model, Step tests); strength tests (one repetition maximum, grip strength), explosive power tests (vertical jump); speed tests (sprint speed, tapping tests); flexibility (Sit and Reach and modified versions); and agility. Each of these tests are explored in terms of the underlying physiology and their application to football. Additionally, you’ll start to appreciate the rationale of test selection in relation to validity and reliability and why the test needs to be fit for purpose. Nutrition: You’ll identify and explore the role of macronutrients for energy provision and the role of fluid balance for hydration within exercise. Following on from this you’ll explore the different ways a sports scientists can measure energy (food) intake. Biomechanics: You’ll explore how the Biomechanist can inform the coaching of football skills and training methods. The basic concepts of linear kinematics and kinetics will be studied within the context of the main movement patterns used in football including: running, jumping, landing, kicking and the throw-in. This module covers the Biomechanical fundamentals of: linear motion; forces and their actions and Newton’s laws, in order to understand how movement is produced and how the movement pattern can be improved to give a more effective outcome. The methodology that underpins the Biomechanical analysis of a movement pattern, its phases and its outcome will also be developed to include the use of the knowledge and understanding gained from this section. You’ll study and explore the content with the help of a set of self-study aids and exercises. These will enable you to develop your scientific skills and the transferable skills such as IT, numeracy and communication. You’ll be assessed by two coursework elements: a patchwork text (60%) and a report (40%).
  • Applied Sports Psychology for the Football Coach
    The role of psychology in sports performance is becoming increasingly recognised with many sports performers now employing the services of sport psychologists and using mental skills as part of their preparation for competition. Athlete performance is influenced by the ability of athletes to recognise specific emotions and thoughts and to apply mental skills to help control these emotions and thoughts. In this module we'll discuss how psychological factors will influence performance and how interventions can be applied.
  • Conditioning for Football (residential)
    This module will give you the competence to condition and prepare football players of all standards and all ages in a safe and enjoyable manner. You’ll develop your coaching skills, methods and understanding of conditioning; an important area of team preparation. We’ll address the principles of training, considering how the body ‘adapts’ to physical exertion. This response will be considered in relation to the physiological components of football (endurance, speed, strength, power, flexibility and agility). These components of football fitness will be studied both in the context of training methods but also in relation to how progression is attained. You’ll be introduced to the principles of training programme design, considering how appropriate planning can optimise athletic performance. The module will include practical, hands-on activity where you’ll study and practice the many drills and exercises that are appropriate for conditioning Football players.

Year two, core modules

  • Talent Development Pathways in Football
    Talent Development Pathways can be seen in the context of Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD), a structure for the delivery of coaching sessions based upon the developmental rather than the age of the athlete. 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 the complexity of the content. Investigate talent development pathways in football, through an understanding of the underlying principles of the LTAD model, and consider paediatric physiology, the development of sport in relation to LTAD and the implementation of LTAD across sports. You’ll also consider the physiological,emotional, cognitive and psychological development of children and adolescents. You’ll be assessed through a patchwork text that will follow the stages an athlete goes through in order to excel, which will mean you’ll be able to use this patchwork text as a guide when coaching in the future. You’ll consider various elements in the development of an athlete including talent identification, talent development models, LTAD stages and skill acquisition in relation to child and adolescent athletes. You’ll develop the pedagogical, physiological and psychological understanding as well as their presentation and writing skills. LTAD is a relatively new concept in the UK that has been adopted by almost every sport, our module will give you a head start when working with their athletes and school children.
  • Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
    This module will introduce you to football injuries, how they need to be managed, and a range of sports injury treatments and rehabilitation techniques. There will be an emphasis on the strategies used to prevent injuries and the importance of this focus, and attention will be given to common football injuries, how injured players cope with injuries, and the tools employed by the coach in order to facilitate a positive, injury-free playing environment. You'll look at commonly used training methodologies and how to adapt these to include injured players, and the detrimental physiological effect of injuries to training capacities. You'll draw on psychological elements and apply these to injured players in order to give you a greater understanding of how to work with these players. You'll explore a number of common treatment regimes such as cryotherapy, heat therapy, electrical stimulation, range of motion and strengthening exercises, and soft tissue manipulation. You'll learn the signs, symptoms and management strategies for a range of sports injuries and gain understanding of the role of the lay person in their treatment, including the ethical and legal boundaries of the treatment strategies that can be applied.
  • Interpretation of Sports Science Data for Coaching
    Following on from our Level 4 modules, Fundamentals of Sports Science in Coaching and Applied Sport Psychology for the Football Coach, this module aims to introduce you to more advanced and sophisticated techniques that can be used in the scientific support of a footballer. You'll delve into the physiological, nutritional, biomechanical and psychological approaches that can be adopted and utilised by both the coach and player. Emphasis will be placed on the specificity, reliability and validity of the various approaches and you'll start to appreciate how the information generated can be interpreted in relation to performance enhancement and training responses.
  • Contemporary Issues in Football
    This module will provide you with a critical awareness of a range of applied contemporary issues in football. You’ll examine a number of topics related to football thereby enhancing your depth and breadth of knowledge in the area. Topics are drawn from the issues related to football that currently cause debate and controversy. You’ll be encouraged to make constructive, evidence-based, practical recommendations following structured debate. Examples of the topics covered may include; The media. This has a significant influence on modern football. Issues such as the rise of satellite television coverage, associated incomes, changes in games times, major global televised leagues, sponsorship, and the vast amount of space given to football in newspapers and television. Social media issues. Technology. Technology has changed the way in which football is viewed, and the experience of the fans. Goal-line technology is a topic of considerable debate. Sophisticated drugs testing equipment is assisting in the battle against the use of drugs in sport. Commercialisation of football. Football as a business. Role of Agents. Merchandising. Racism. Specific cases of alleged racism within the game. Violence. Behaviour of players, their responsibility as role models. You’ll study and explore the content with the help of a set of self-study aids and exercises. These will enable you to develop both the scientific skills and the transferable skills – particularly verbal communication.
  • Football Finance
    The leaders of football are its temporary guardians, charged with protecting the game’s integrity against both internal and external pressures and overseeing the development of football as a sport. The overwhelming commercialisation within the game of football has never been as dramatic as it is now. The influences of media companies along with the Bosman ruling have changed the face of professional football. Its important that leadership within football is nurtured and developed. You’ll be introduced to a grounding in club administration and practice. You’ll explore in some detail the opportunities club administration offers in the future and addresses potential challenges. This is an experience-based module that requires you to engage with, and subsequently reflect upon and assess, your own learning and development in an on-going manner as demonstration of your commitment to continuing professional development as a leader within football. You’ll investigate and evaluate classical and contemporary approaches to leadership theory, focusing on leadership at supervisory and middle management level. There'll be a strong emphasis on applying the theory to your own personal leadership with a view to enhancing leadership performance or potential for promotion to more senior management roles within the organisation. You’ll also discuss and explore developing leadership in others through coaching and mentoring. The assessment requires you to critically reflect on your own effectiveness as a leader or potential leader, and to produce recommendations for your own personal leadership development.
  • Coaching in Football 2
    In association with 1st4sport, this module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to attain a nationally recognised football coaching award at Level 2. Building on the initial skills you learnt in the module ‘Coaching Football I’, the Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Football will provide you with a deeper understanding of coaching, introducing new themes such as looking at different coaching styles, preparing for accidents and emergencies and understanding players’ nutritional needs. It'll qualify you to lead football coaching sessions and be employed as a football coach in local amateur junior/senior clubs, FA Charter Standard clubs and schools, local authority community football schemes and Football in the Community Schemes. You’ll study and explore the content with the help of a set of self-study aids and exercises, enabling you to develop your scientific and transferable skills such as IT, numeracy and communication.
  • Performance Analysis in Football (residential)
    Whilst sports biomechanics is concerned with understanding the fine detail of movement during an individual's performance of a particular technique, notation analysis is more concerned with gross movements, or movement patterns in matches, particularly in team sports. Notational analysts are also more concerned with strategic and tactical issues in sport, rather than with technique analysis. The two disciplines have not shared a common historical background. However, the British Olympic Association has recently set up the Performance Analysis Steering Group to bring together biomechanists and notational analysts. This module examines different methods of biomechanical and notational analysis and how such analyses can be applied to a variety of coaching environments in order for you to monitor, analyse, diagnose and prescribe feedback and actions to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of sport. You'll learn to understand the dynamics of a football match in terms of technical and tactical play; how to use and analyse set play, how to identify game changing plays, how should players react to conceding in the 85th minute? These questions and many more will be considered. You'll also consider the profiling of football players, both your own players and the opposition in order to identify strengths and weakness. You'll develop key transferable skills including communication, analytical and the ability to present information in a variety of formats. Teaching is delivered using "Blended Learning", you'll initially be taught the module by distance learning, and you'll also be taught face-to-face during a residential.

Year three, core modules

  • Collecting and Evaluating Sports Science Data for Coaching
    This module will provide you with an applied perspective on the collection and evaluation of scientific support to football. You’ll be required to focus on one of four areas; nutrition, physiology, psychology or biomechanics, and undertake the role of sports scientist (of that discipline) within your own club, team or academy. You’ll also develop your critical scientific and transferable skills such as IT, numeracy, communication, organising others in the workplace and working with a client.
  • Coach-Based Placement
    This is your opportunity to develop your practice based learning and experience, to relate theory to practice and to develop skills and experiences that'll make you highly employable. Your placement will be designed to expand on your appreciation of the many diverse roles, skills and challenges associated with coaching and advance your coaching experience. You’ll gather your reflections on the placement and be assessed in the form of a reflective report, as well as a presentation to your class.
  • Sport Development
    Learn about sports development processes from around the world, within a variety of socio-economic and educational contexts, and how these are shaped by government policies. You’ll consider main bodies which influence the development and management of sport and focus on the ways in which sport functions as a business. As you focus on complexities of sports development and compare them to sports structures and funding from around the world, you’ll look at how sport in the UK is constructed and governed. Finally, you’ll research the recruitment, development and funding of athletes across various levels of performance from playground to podium and use case studies from around the world.
  • Youth Coaching in Football (option 2)
    Developed by the Football Association (FA), this FA Youth Award module will help you better understand your players as individuals, and in particular, show you how to create an ideal environment for a child to learn. Our course marks a progressive change in coaching philosophy, creating a player centred approach to the coaching and development of your young players. You’ll consider the child and where they are developmentally in respect to the physical, psychological, technical and social aspects, before creating football coaching tailored sessions. You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of coaching younger players in what is widely recognised as the most important age group (5-11 yrs) in the development of football players. You’ll also develop more specific, advanced coaching skills and the key transferable skills of communication, time management, working within a team, advanced coaching approaches, IT and planning. During our module you’ll critically reflect and evaluate your own coaching practice and the impact this has on the players you coach, as well as exploring self-study aids and exercises.


We'll assess you in a number of ways, including patchwork texts (smaller pieces of work, or 'patches' that are built up into a whole), presentations, portfolios and written assessments.

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?

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our Virtual Learning Environment.

More about distance learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

Distance learning, 2017/18 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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

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

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

The annual fee for this course includes learning materials, teaching, guest lectures, and board and lodging for the residential weeks. Prices subject to increase in September 2017

Please note that personal travel to and from the residential venues is not included, nor any fees relating to learning delivered by external providers, such as FA Badges.

The residentials take place in June of each year, and are between three to four days in duration. Residentials take place on our Cambridge campus.

If you are a UK/EU student, loans are now available to cover the cost of studying this course (subject to eligibility, terms and conditions). Ask us about payment by instalments.

For employers considering this course for a group of employees, please call our Degrees at Work team on (+44) 01245 686707 or email to discuss your specific requirements.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Main - UK applicants
  • 72 UCAS points or equivalent (e.g. 2 A levels or BTEC National Diploma), all other applicants please contact us to check that you meet our entry requirements.
  • A current contract with at least an academy club (UK), collegiate club (US), or equivalent, as either a player or a coach.
Main - US applicants
  • High School Graduation Diploma with a minimum of Grade B/ CGPA* 3.0 plus one of the following: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT 1) with a minimum score of 550 in Maths, Critical Reading and Writing; 2 Advanced Placement Tests (APs) in subjects relevant to the study area with grade 3; ACT (American College Test) with a composite score of 23 or above.
  • Applicants who do not meet all the above entry requirements, but have the UEFA "B" License, or an equivalent award, are also encouraged to apply.
  • The course is taught in English. International applicants whose first language is not English will need to demonstrate that their English is equivalent to IELTS 6.5 or above.

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.

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