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Sports Coaching and Physical Education - BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: 1052
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (3 years)
  • Location: City South

The course content is designed to ensure graduates develop the pedagogical practice required to coach athletes across a range of ages and abilities, as well as the delivery of all areas of the Physical Education curriculum at both Primary and Secondary school level. Following graduation, you will be in a position to gain employment within a sports coaching or school sport setting, or embark on postgraduate studies, such as a PGCE in Physical Education.

What's covered in the course?

We will help you develop a keen understanding of your own coaching and teaching philosophy, along with providing you with industry and cultural factors that influence the wider context of sport. You will gain practical application of the theoretical underpinnings of coaching and PE teaching and have access to hands-on experiences.

Physical education continues to be an important part of Government agendas, so with this in mind, you will also learn relevant and up-to-date information that is linked and mapped to the National Curriculum for Physical Education (NCPE). You will be taught the contemporary information that educators within this sector require. It won’t just be about sport either; you'll be looking at different aspects of health and people at opposite ends of the health spectrum. It's a chance for you to gain the knowledge and skills needed to negotiate different challenges in your future profession.

To help build these skills, you'll go on placements, working face-to-face and gaining first-hand experience in a coaching and/or school environment, something which will enhance your future employability.

By studying this course, you’ll be studying at our recently extended £71 million campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham, which contains a state-of-the-art sport and exercise laboratory, sports therapy rooms, cutting-edge resources and a designated sports area.

Why Choose Us?

  • Placement experience you'll gain vital, first-hand experience of coaching and physical education by undertaking placements, where you can build up your knowledge and enhance your attributes
  • Job opportunities - benefit from our staff expertise and networks to help support you to find work experience and opportunities. We have students who have gained employment within organisations such as the Football Association and in schools since starting their course with us
  • Inspiring children - there will be a host of practical-based teamwork and activities, ensuring you learn by doing. We regularly hold sports festivals for students from all year groups to host with local school children, to provide you with hands-on experience right from the start of the course 
  • £71 million campus - we have recently invested an additional £41 million into our £30 million City South campus complete with new, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge resources and equipment – including a Sports Hall and fitness suite
  • Get work experience abroad - you can apply for a travel scholarship as part of our Go Abroad scheme to carry out exciting work placements overseas
  • Partnerships - The Department of Sport and Exercise have developed excellent partnerships with sports organisations such as Warwickshire County Cricket (BCU sponsor of Birmingham Bears T20 team), Kidderminster Harriers FC, Worcester Warriors RFU, City of Birmingham Swimming Club and UK athletics. We are continuing to develop valuable partnerships to offer unique opportunities and experiences for our students that will be invaluable for building a CV and securing the ultimate career

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Meet or Beat scholarship for undergraduate students

Meet or beat our entry requirements and you could be eligible for an achievement scholarship worth £1,000.

*Terms and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme. The £1,000 scholarship is made up of an £850 scholarship and £150 free credit to spend in an online shop.

Find out more 

This course is open to International students


Birmingham 2022 Games

The Commonwealth Games is coming to our City in 2022, which will bring a wealth of opportunities for students studying in Birmingham!

Find out more

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements
Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved prior to enrolment:

GCSEs - A minimum of 5 GCSEs, including Double Science, Mathematics and English Language at Grade 4 (formerly a C) or above. No equivalents will be accepted. 

Irish Leaving Certificate - A minimum of five Ordinary levels at Grade B3 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.

Scottish qualifications - A minimum of five Intermediate Standard 2 or above, must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject.

Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards:
112 UCAS points including an A Level or BTEC as detailed below:

A Level: To include one subject in Biology / Human Biology / Chemistry / Physics / Mathematics / Physical Education / Psychology with minimum Grade C. 

Access to HE: You must have a Diploma to Science (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at level 3. A minimum of 30 Level 3 credits must be at distinction, and must include Biology or Chemistry at Level 3 or Health Subject.

BTEC/OCR/WJEC: Diploma or Extended Diploma in Biology / Sport / Applied Science / Health subject

Irish Leaving Certificate: 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 5 Highers with at least 4 subjects at Grade B2 or higher and 1 subject at B3 or higher. Must include sport, health or science related subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Maximum of 5 Scottish Highers and 3 Advanced Highers at Grade C or above to achieve 112 UCAS tariff points.

Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.

International qualifications:

International Baccalaureate: Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4. 

Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 6 with no element below 5.5.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

In addition, successful candidates will be required to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance via the Faculty prior to enrolling onto this course. 
International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:

Home student International student

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £12,800 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

The Coaching Process
20 credits

The aim of this module is to introduce the theories and methods of coaching. This will include topics such as athlete development, coaching models, coach education, interpersonal relationships, and contextual influences on coaching. The module will focus on delivering a blend of lectures, seminars, and practicals. This will provide you with the knowledge and understanding of relevant concepts integrated within the coaching process to underpin the planning, delivery, and reflection of applied practice. Therefore, the key purpose of this module is to encourage you to reflect upon how they may apply the module content into real-life situations. As a developing coach and member of the sport community, this module will encourage you to reflect in their own life experiences which will be a valuable tool to facilitate knowledge translation.

Principles of Performance Analysis
20 credits

This module aims to provide an insight into the strategies that can be used to analyse and quantify sports performance in a valid and consistent manner to help inform training and match-play decisions. Objective analysis of performance is achieved through the collection of real-time data, which will be analysed and reported to coaches in a useable manner. The means by which performance analysis data can be used to enhance training interventions, augment learning and improve decision-making in competitive situations will be the focus of discussion in sessions.

Introduction to Physical Education and School Sport
20 credits

This module will provide you with a core foundation of knowledge in Physical Education (PE) and School Sport. It is intended that you will be aware of how PE differs to School Sport, but also how they can be interlinked.

Children’s Development: Physical, Emotional, Health, and Wellbeing
20 credits

This module will provide an understanding of how children develop through a physical, emotional, health and well-being perspective. Students will learn about how skill and ability levels can differ between children, and factors which influence development of these. Further studies will focus on how children process information in order to make decisions, and this can be compared and contrasted as children grow through different maturational stages.

Professional Skills and Evidence Based Practice
20 credits

This module covers the process of research and enquiry in the discipline of sports and exercise science, nutrition, sports therapy, and PE and School Sport. It provides guidance on how to interpret scientific literature, so that you can find relevant sources of information for a study or an assessment, gain an understanding of different sources of information and consider how knowledge is generated. This module is important for underpinning your developing knowledge in other modules, including physiology and planning and conducting research for example.

Sport and Exercise Physiology and Principles of Training
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the underpinning knowledge of various physiological systems in the human body, and key training principles, which relate to sport and exercise. You will be introduced to the concept of the body working as multiple interrelated physiological ‘systems’. Whilst each system has its own independent function, the function of one will have a direct impact on the function of another and will subsequently impact upon sports performance or health.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Sports Coaching and Physical Education: Professional Practice 1
40 credits

This module aims to develop and utilise pedagogical skills in a real-world setting, whilst providing an opportunity to critically develop learning and experience, and work on a live piece of investigation with the placement provider. Application of subject knowledge and the National Curriculum for PE/ National Governing Body syllabus will be key to the successful completion of this work. This module will also provide an opportunity to develop essential employability attributes (e.g. interpersonal skills) which will also offer ideal preparation for the Level 6 Sports Coaching and PE work placement module.

Contemporary Issues in Sports Coaching and Physical Education
20 credits

Within this module you will learn about a range of issues surrounding PE and sports coaching. You will identify the key principles of what helps students engage in PE and sport, and what local, national and international initiatives are available to help promote a physical active and healthy lifestyle.

Sport, Physical Activity, and Health in Practice
20 credits

Within this module students will learn about the reasons for physical activity promotion and the barriers to physical activity participation. Students will identify the recommended daily guidelines for physical activity, whilst exploring health and social strategies to improve lifestyle through facilitating physical activity behaviours.

Applied Pedagogy in Sports Coaching and Physical Education
20 credits

Within this module you will learn about a range of pedagogical practices which bring about high quality PE lessons where school children are physically active for sustainable periods of time. You will identify the key principles of high quality teaching practice and relate these to practical experiences of teaching PE and sport.

Planning and Conducting Research
20 credits

The module aims to assist you in gaining a more critical understanding of the research of others and to act as a complement to other second year modules you will be studying. It will also directly prepare you for undertaking your own research at Level 6.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Sports Coaching and Physical Education: Professional Practice 2
40 credits

This aims to be a problem-based module where you will develop, utilise, and further apply pedagogical skills in a real world setting. The module will provide an opportunity to critically develop learning and experience, and work on a live piece of investigation by agreement with the placement provider. Application of subject knowledge and the national curriculum for PE/ National Governing Body syllabus will be key to the successful completion of this work. This module will also provide an opportunity to develop essential employability attributes (e.g., interpersonal skills) which you will develop further from the Sports Coaching and Physical Education – Professional Practice 1.

High Performance Sports Coaching
20 credits

The aim of this module is to provide students with the understanding and key concepts of working in a high performance sporting environment from a coaching perspective. The primary objectives are to ensure students recognise the holistic nature of high performance sport (i.e., how the coach connects with staff in other disciplines such as Sport Science, Strength and Conditioning, Performance Analysis, Psychology, and Nutrition), and are capable of delivering progressive coaching sessions in relation to a sport-specific performance plan. This is an advanced module into high performance sports coaching, which further develops knowledge and practical skills gained through The Coaching Process and Applied Pedagogy in Sports Coaching and Physical Education.

Independent Research Project
40 credits

This module provides you with the opportunity to design and carry out a substantive piece of independent research which is focused on an area of interest related to your programme of study. This in-depth, self-managed study will encourage you to examine a critical issue from your sector or discipline.

Psychological Perspectives of Athletic Development
20 credits

This module aims to further develop your understanding of the psychological aspects of development and progress in sport. The module also explores the various ways this topic is researched. The underlying aim of the module is to contribute to your development as a more thoughtful and effective sport scientist. It will equip you with a range of strategies and tools for investigating the psychological aspects of athletic development.

The Sports Coaching and Physical Education course will include a mix of practical, seminar and lecture sessions. It will also include work-based placements, enabling you to build your knowledge and gain first-hand experience, and assessments. 

Overseas opportunities

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Within the course, there will also be the opportunity for international exchanges, as well as trips to sporting locations across Europe.

Sport at BCU feature image

Sport at BCU

Check out our sport facilities, clubs, athlete support and weekly activity sessions that are offered here at BCU. 

Find out more

Enhancing your employability skills

Physical activity and health continue to be a global concern, so this course ensures you are given the relevant, up-to-date information you require to enter employment in related disciplines. Upon graduating, the ultimate goal is likely to be to either enter the PE and school sport environment or the Sports Coaching environment promoting lifelong physical activity and healthy active lifestyles. You can also progress on to a PGCE or a Master’s degree, furthering your skills.


Placements play a significant role in this course, as it is important you build up your experience and knowledge of working within the sector. You'll work in sports clubs and/or schools on placements, gaining first-hand exposure.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our facilities

Our sports facilities include a fitness suite, sports hall, biomechanics lab, nutrition kitchen, research lab and sports therapy clinic. Over £750,00 has been spent on our sports facilities making them industry-standard to expose students to systems and equipment that they will be expected to use in the work place after graduating.

These facilities mean that our students are able to host and work with professional sports teams, schools and clients which provides students with real-life experience right here on campus. 

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre, which is located close to our City North Campus.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Our staff have incredible industry links and a wealth of experience, and often continue to work in their specialist areas.

Adam Kelly

Dr Adam Kelly

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching and Physical Education

Adam currently works alongside sports clubs including Worcester Warriors RFC, Warwickshire CCC, City of Birmingham SC, England Squash and Aston Villa FC. Adam has an international research collaboration with the PLAYS Lab at Queen's University in Canada and previously worked as the Head of Academy Sport Science at Exeter City Football Club and Academy Coach at West Bromwich Albion.

Read Adam's full profile

Irfan Khawaja

Senior Lecturer/Course Leader for Physical Education and School Sport

Irfan has worked in a range of primary and secondary schools across the region, and was a curriculum coordinator for P.E. at key stage 5. In addition to this, Irfan has also worked within Pupil Referral Units and supported a range of disability workshops including invasion games, and dance festivals. 

Read Irfan's full profile

Rachel Black

Senior Lecturer Physical Education and School Sport

After gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Physical Education, Rachel had a long and rewarding career as a Head of a Secondary School PE Department. Later in her career, Rachel took on a whole-school role as Key Stage 5 Coordinator, which also involved running a Science department. Rachel’s experience has also incorporated teaching and advising Primary Schools. 

Read Rachel's full profile

Craig Newton Staff profile

Craig Newton


Craig has 10 years teaching physical education at both primary and secondary level. Craig has experience as a head of department, educational visit coordinator and led a whole school initiative of mentoring SEN pupils from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Whilst teaching he studied part time to gain a Masters in Teaching and Learning and has since delivered a range of INSET teacher training sessions from his studies.

Read Craig's full profile

Richard Handyside

Richard Handyside

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

Richard has provided Performance Analysis support to The English Institute of Sport, England Netball, Arsenal Football Club and Leeds United Football Club. Richard won a Gold Medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia, and subsequent BBC SPOTY Team of the Year and Moment of the Year award with England Netball.

Read Richard's full profile