MSc Sport Performance Coaching (Online)
Earn a Masters in Sport Performance Coaching by studying online at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and find the winning formula for your career advancement.
- Award Masters / MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
- Start date September 2023, January 2024
- Duration MSc part-time: 24 months; PGDip: 18 months; PGCert: 9 months
- Mode of study part time
- Delivery online
The first course of its kind in Scotland, this innovative online Masters gives experienced coaches the chance to improve their coaching knowledge and skills through cutting-edge best practice and research. The course is also suitable for coach developers who are seeking to enhance their work with coaches.
This MSc Sport Performance Coaching degree will develop your critical analysis skills, improve your problem-solving abilities and teach you innovative solutions to coaching problems. You’ll examine modern best practice in coaching from case studies, peers and leading coaches. Throughout the course, you'll examine and improve your understanding and practice of coaching, developing the skills to critically reflect on decisions, develop smart strategies and boost performance.
Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence
As Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, we’ve developed an international reputation for delivering sport courses that get results. We bring together leading academics to deliver high-quality teaching in a range of areas – with a primary focus on your future career prospects. We’re closely aligned with many sports bodies and have formal links with a growing number of organisations who can help to facilitate your learning. Our campus is also home to the National Tennis Centre, National Swimming Academy and headquarters of a number of Scottish sport governing bodies and regionals offices including the Scottish Institute of Sport.
Top reasons to study with us
Our Sport Performance Coaching MSc is for experienced coaches and coach developers who wish to extend their expertise alongside their sport-specific qualifications. It will develop your critical analysis and reflective practice skills, enhance your problem-solving capacity and promote innovative solutions for coaching problems.
We’ll help you become a coach or coach developer who can:
- reflect 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 athletes’ performance needs
- design and implement a planned and strategic approach to performance improvement
- develop and manage appropriate support structures to facilitate improved performance
Coaches from British Canoeing study for the PGDip Performance Coaching as part of the British Canoeing Coaching Diploma (formerly UKCC Level 4).
To gain the most from the course it is expected that you will be actively coaching or coach developing while you complete your MSc Sport Performance Coaching degree. This will enable you to explore and critically examine your coaching practice and context using the content provided within each module. Tasks frequently require you to gather and critically reflect on insight from your own coaching.
Individual modules can be taken for continuing professional development or grouped for an award such as the Postgraduate Certificate which consists of 60 credits (e.g., three 20 credit modules), and the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits e.g., six 20 credit modules), or the MSc consisting of 180 credits including a 60 credit Applied Coaching Project.
The online delivery ensures you can study when and where it suits you and fit study around your current career.
If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.
The staff delivering this programme are experienced coaches and also researchers. See individual staff pages for more information. Staff regularly work with MSc students to assist them to publish research conducted as part of the Applied Coaching Project. Examples include:
Ritchie, D. & Allen, J. (2015). ‘Let them get on with it’: Coaches’ perceptions of their roles and coaching practices during Olympic and Paralympic Games. International Sport Coaching Journal, 2, 108-124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2014-0092
Ritchie, D., Allen, J., & Kirkland, A. (2018). Where science meets practice: Olympic coaches’ crafting of the tapering process, Journal of Sports Sciences, 36(10), 1145-1154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2017.1362717
Macdonald, S. & Allen, J. (2019). An examination of the coach-created talent development motivational climate in Canoe Slalom in the United Kingdom. International Sport Coaching Journal, 6(1), 74-87 https://doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2017-0091
Cooper, D. & Allen, J. (2020). “I don’t want to give them my brain for the day… and then take it back”: An examination of the coach-created motivational climate in adult adventure sports. International Sport Coaching Journal, 7(2), 175-188 http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/iscj.2019-0026
Carroll, M. & Allen, J. (2021). 'Zooming in' on the antecedents of youth sport coaches' autonomy-supportive and controlling interpersonal behaviours: A multimethod study. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 16(2), 236-248 https://doi.org/10.1177/1747954120958621
Mason L, Kirkland A, Steele J & Wright J. (2021). The relationship between Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull variables and athletic performance measures: empirical study of English professional soccer players and meta-analysis of extant literature. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 61 (5), pp. 645-655. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11205-2
A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these qualifications but with significant professional experience are encouraged to apply. You should be an active practicing coach with an appropriate sport-specific qualification.
International entry requirements
English language requirements
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
- IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill
- Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 176 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
- Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
- Pearson Test of English (Academic) 62 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
- IBT TOEFL 80 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
- IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 80 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
- Trinity ISE II Pass overall and Merit in all sub-skills, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
- Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
- LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass with a minimum of 152/200 overall and 25 in each sub-skill
Last updated: 25 August 2022
For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.
Boost your skills, grow your network and develop your career in coaching with this specialist online course.
You must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and an applied coaching project for the award of the MSc. For the award of the Postgraduate Diploma you must successfully complete 120 credits worth of taught modules. For the Postgraduate Certificate you must successfully complete 60 credits worth of taught modules. If you are interested in CPD only you can take individual taught modules.
This online Masters degree is designed to be flexible and fit with your professional and personal commitments.
You’ll learn through a guided programme of study that includes:
- listening to short recorded presentations
- reading and reflecting on cutting edge research and literature related to coaching
- sharing views and ideas with classmates and staff through asynchronous discussions
- examining your own coaching practice, context and thinking through learning and assessment tasks that prompt you to gather insight and reflect on what you do and why
- learning from expert coaches, researchers and professionals through podcasts and short presentations.
How you'll learn online
All teaching is delivered through the University’s virtual learning platform.
Staff are responsive to requests for assistance and will assist you with your learning journey, including supervision of the Applied Coaching Project. Individual tutorials via online platforms (such as Teams) or phone are available.
Module outlines include details of specific content and assessments. All 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.
Fees and funding
Fees and costs
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|Total MSc course fee||
|UK and Republic of Ireland students||Overseas students|
|Total MSc course fee||
This course is only offered on a part-time basis. The total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate it was set in your year of entry.
If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.
For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fees policy.
Postgraduate tuition fee loans
This course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the Scholarships and funding section, below, for more details.
There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.
Scholarships and funding
Scottish students may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £11,500 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.
English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.
Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.
Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.
We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay
After you graduate
Typically, coaches who apply for our MSc Sport Performance Coaching degree will already be employed in sport or coaching related roles. We anticipate graduates from the course will better understand themselves, their coaching practice and wider coaching context which prepares them to fulfil high performing coaching or coach development roles in their sport.
We've helped coaches everywhere boost their skills and advance their careers.
- Grow your network of professional connections as you study
- 94.3% of our graduates were in employment or further study 15 months after graduation (Graduate Outcomes 2019/20, HESA)
What our students said
MSc Performance Coaching (Online)
Read Gerard's storyThe MSc Performance Coaching is a fantastic course! I love how you can study whilst coaching through 'distance-learning' and the online modules which makes it easier to study and apply what you're learning into your everyday practice.
MSc Performance Coaching
Read Patricia's storyOverall, you get the opportunity to learn a lot about theoretical approaches and apply them in your coaching at the same time.
MSc Performance Coaching
Read Lesley's storyI never considered I would have so much in common with a football or a triathlon coach and we can bounce ideas off one another and compare methods.