Performance Coaching is an innovative distance learning degree; the first of its kind in Scotland. It is for experienced performance coaches who wish to extend their expertise adjacent to their sport- specific qualifications. The course has been developed to articulate with the emerging UKCC Level 4 certification process. It will develop skills of critical analysis and reflective practice, enhance problem-solving capacity and promote innovative solutions to performance coaching problems.
Your work will be grounded in performance coaching practice, considering case studies and experiential learning from peers and leading coaching practitioners.
This distance learning programme is for experienced performance coaches who wish to extend their expertise alongside their sport-specific qualifications. We have developed the programme to link with the emerging UK Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 4 certification process. It will develop skills of critical analysis and reflective practice, enhance problem-solving capacity and promote innovative solutions to performance coaching problems.
In addition to the sports-specific coaching skills you will have developed in your practice, we aim to develop coaches who:
- reflect continuously and challenge personal assumptions and beliefs to improve future performance
- critically reflect on decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
- recognise and resolve problematic coaching issues through the generation of innovative strategies and solutions
- design and implement an optimal learning environment to impact on athletes’ performance needs
- design and implement a planned and strategic approach to performance improvement
- develop and manage appropriate support structures to facilitate improved performance
Appropriate performance coaching experience and qualifications are essential. The normal academic entrance requirements are a 2:2 Honours degree or better. However, applicants who do not hold the requisite academic qualifications may be accepted, subject to discussion with the School.
In all instances, it is recommended that potential applicants discuss these matters with the Course Director prior to making their formal application.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23.
information on possible sources of funding
Modes of study
Certificate: 12 months
Diploma: 24 months
MSc: 24 months
Course start date
Structure and content
You must successfully complete six taught modules (120 credits) and an applied research project (60 credits) for the award of the MSc. For the award of the Postgraduate Diploma students must successfully complete all the taught modules. For the Postgraduate Certificate students must successfully complete 60 credits worth of taught modules.
Students will study a number of modules, including:
- The Coaching Process: Providing an opportunity to examine conceptual models of the coaching process, and examining the cognitive expertise required to affect the process
- Coaching as Learning: Coaches discover how to apply integrated approaches to learning in generating, managing, and directing coaching practice. While encouraging coaches to become self-reflective practitioners
- Planning the Coaching Process: It equips coaches with a greater understanding of the principles involved in effective planning and practice within the complexity of the coaching process
- Coaching Ethics: Considers the moral and ethical frameworks used by coaches and others in sport
- Independent Study: Allowing coaches to identify an area of personalised, context-specific study, they develop an agreed learning programme accordingly
- Performance Analysis: Coaches are provided with an opportunity to develop their capacity to use and critically appraise the application of technology in analysing sports performance
- Applied Coaching Project: This module will enhance coaches’ capacity for autonomous, professional judgement and practice. It should contribute to the development of the student as a coach who is capable of sustaining enquiry into aspects of his/her professional context
In addition to the sports-specific coaching skills, you will have developed in your practice, we develop coaches who:
- reflect continuously and challenge personal assumptions and beliefs to improve future performance.
- critically reflect on decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.
- recognise and resolve problematic coaching issues through the generation of innovative strategies and solutions.
- design and implement an optimal learning environment to impact on athletes’ performance needs.
- design and implement a planned and strategic approach to performance improvement.
- develop and manage appropriate support structures to facilitate improved performance.
Delivery and assessment
A flexible approach to learning and assessment will characterise this degree. Knowledge and understanding are acquired and enhanced through lectures, seminars, group work, presentations, staff/student tutorials, guided independent study, professional practice experiences and through the University’s virtual learning environment – Succeed. Individual staff/student tutorials are available for providing feedback and for supervision of the Research Project. Students receive a School handbook describing the course outline, module details, procedures and assessment criteria. In addition, module handbooks include details of timetable, content, and assessments. The assessment procedures are in line with institutional policies and will be conducted in such a way as to adhere to adult learning principles. This means that content and learning demonstrate relevance, problem solving, learning by doing and a strong element of self-direction and ownership. Assessment involves a mixture of coursework, presentations and written examinations, and will vary according to the context of each module.
- Pedagogy and Practice (SPSP26)
- Performance Analysis (SPSP32)
- Coaching Ethics (SPSP33)
- Independent Study (SPSP35)
- Planning the Coaching Process (SPSP36)
- Applied Coaching Project (SPSP37)
- Coaching Concepts (SPSP50)
- The Coaching Process (SPSP52)
- Coaching as Learning (SPSP54)
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), sports research at Stirling was ranked 1st in Scotland and in the top five in the UK with 85 percent of publications classed as ‘International Level’ and 15 percent as ‘World-leading’.
As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence we are closely aligned with many sports organisations and have formal links with a growing number of organisations with regard to facilitating student research projects, work experience and guest lectures.
This course is delivered by a team of highly qualified academics with experience and research interests that complement and support teaching activities. The quality of research and publications produced by the School of Sport is clearly evident in the most recent RAE ranking which placed the University of Stirling in the top five in the UK, with 85 percent of publications classed as ‘International level’ and 15 percent as ‘World-leading’.
It is anticipated that coaches who apply for this course will already be in employment in performance sport. The establishment of the UKCC across four levels and different coaching contexts has provided an opportunity to modernise existing coach qualification and learning courses. This course has been designed to fully incorporate with the UKCC at Level 4.
It will create a shaped learning platform between performance sport and the University in the delivery of a practice-based performance coaching course.
Graduates are anticipated to fulfil roles in the ‘top tier’ of employment opportunities for coaches in their sport.