BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching

Study BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence to reflect on and develop your practical experience, gain an in-depth knowledge of the sector and skills to boost your career opportunities.

Sport Development and Coaching

Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study full time, part time
  • Delivery on campus
  • UCAS Code C601
  • Study abroad opportunities


Sport plays an important role in society – contributing to health and wellbeing, community, education, social inclusion, and national prestige from success in global events. Its success depends upon skilled and enthusiastic individuals working to support athletes and clubs at all levels.

Our BA (Hons) course will teach you about:

  • sport in society
  • the science of sports performance
  • the nature of sports organisations
  • theory and practice of sport coaching and sport development
  • research underpinning sport coaching and sport development

Within those broader contextual themes, you will learn both the theory and research within the context of sports development and coaching, informing your personal development, skills and experiences, and laying the foundation for your future career.

Stirling is one the best places to study sport in the UK. We're Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence and were awarded UK Sports University of the Year 2020 (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide). We're also 1st in Scotland for sports research with 80% of our research in Sport and Exercise Sciences classed as world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021). These accolades reflect the high-quality teaching and research at the University, as well as the success of our world-class athletes – which include Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallists. We have strong partnerships with many national governing bodies of sport and other sporting organisations, some of which are based on campus. We also work alongside community sport and active lifestyle organisations.

Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

SQA Highers
AABB - by the end of S5
AAAB - by the end of S6

GCE A-levels

IB Diploma
30 points

BTEC (Level 3)

Widening access students
Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

SQA Advanced Higher

GCE A-level

IB Diploma
35 points

Essential subjects
Physical Education

Other Scottish qualifications

Scottish HNC/HND
Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

Access courses
University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

SWAP access course - for mature students only.

Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

Foundation Apprenticeships
Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Other qualifications

English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
Merits and Distinctions

English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

Essential subjects
Physical Education

International entry requirements

Advanced entry

Year 2 entry
Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

Other qualifications
Advanced entry may be possible depending on your qualifications. For more information, contact our Admissions Team at


Other routes of entry

If you don't currently meet our academic requirements, INTO University of Stirling offers a variety of preparation programmes that can earn you the qualifications and skills you need to progress onto some of our courses. Explore INTO University of Stirling to see the Foundation and International Year 2 routes available.

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 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill.
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 56 overall with a minimum of 51 in each sub-skill.
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing.

See our information on English language requirements for more details on the language tests we accept and options to waive these requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Course details

The BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching is a four-year course that is delivered across eight semesters. The overarching aim is to give you a multi-disciplinary social science-oriented appreciation of sport and the sport sector. This includes critically reflecting on the health, social, cultural, political, educational, and economic contribution of sport, sport development, and sport coaching.

In addition to providing an introduction to sport development and coaching, modules in the first two years provide an introduction to the importance of sport to individuals and communities, with particular focus on physical activity and health, sports psychology, sociology, and management. You will also take modules from other faculties, enhancing your knowledge and understanding in a broad range of topics, as well as developing your academic skills and abilities in preparation for a more in-depth and specialised exploration of sport development and coaching.

In the final two years, you will deepen your understanding of sport development and coaching in the sport sector. You will engage in learning that develops the knowledge, skills and abilities required to undertake academic inquiry into sport. You'll take Research Methods and the Advanced Studies in Sport modules to prepare you to undertake an independent major project on a topic that reflects your interests and career aspirations. You will also complete a Professional Practice in Sport module, where you will engage in a period of work-related learning and receive lectures from guest speakers from the sport industry on working in sport development and coaching.

Students are encouraged to develop their knowledge, skills and experiences in sport development and coaching by engaging in voluntary and/or paid sport development and coaching opportunities beyond the course.

On completion of the course, you will be an independent learner capable of critical analysis and competent in communicating through a range of mediums, to a range of audiences. Furthermore, you will have laid the foundations for being an independent researcher preparing you for the opportunity of further study at MSc or PhD/Professional Doctorate level.


The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the academic year that starts in September 2024. Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course details


The Sport Development and Coaching course will be delivered using a blended learning approach of face-to-face and online learning. Modules will be delivered through lectures, small group seminars, and guest lectures. Materials posted online through our virtual learning environment, Canvas, will support this contact time. Additional learning materials will take the form of podcasts, video lectures, and additional reading material.


The course uses a wide range of assessment approaches, including formative and summative assessment. The assessments are designed to improve and assess your attainment of the learning outcomes, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and group working skills.

Assessments make use of coursework and exams. Coursework assessments can take the form of online tests, essays , digi-essays, reports, podcasts, and presentations. These include individual and group submissions. Exams include multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, essay-based questions or a combination of question types. The assessments and marking criteria are aligned to the appropriate level on the SCQF Framework.

Throughout the course you will be provided with learning and teaching sessions and resources designed to help prepare you to undertake different types of assessment.

Work placement opportunities

The Professional Practice module is designed to improve students’ awareness of the skills and attributes needed to be successful in the sport sector. It aims to develop these skills and attributes through practical engagement in a work-related placement experience in the sport sector and engaging in a programme of work-related development activities.

Specifically, the work-related experience opportunity can be:

  1. A role you are currently in (e.g. as a sports coach) which you can reflect upon, demonstrate key learning, and utilise for the purpose of the course.
  2. A placement opportunity from within the University (e.g. University sports teams).
  3. Running an event within the University with fellow students. In this option, you may be tasked with, for instance, running a sport and exercise science event series, putting on a school sport event, running a webinar series around sports topics of interest, running a sports tournament for charity, or running an academic conference.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study abroad through our well-established connections with several universities in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Find out more about our study abroad opportunities.


Fees and funding

Fees and costs

Academic year: 2023/24 2024/25
Scottish students £1,820 £1,820
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
International students (including EU) £16,400 £17,200

Scottish students

This fee is set by the Scottish Government and is subject to change.

Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, if you are domiciled in Scotland you can apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government on your behalf.

You will be charged the annual tuition fee each year when you enrol.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

You can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. Students from the Republic of Ireland are eligible for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. See our funding opportunities section below for more information.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

International students (including EU)

Eligible students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. See our range of generous scholarships for international undergraduate students.

You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Additional costs

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.


Sports Scholarships

See details of our International Sports Scholarship Programme.

See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

Students from Scotland

Find funding opportunities for Scottish students.

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Eligible students will automatically receive our Undergraduate Welcome Scholarship, Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, and our Honours Year Scholarship, which are worth between £1,000 and £9,250.

International students

Eligible international students will automatically receive a scholarship worth between £8,000-£30,000 over the duration of your course. Find funding opportunities for international students.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

International (including EU) students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

Payment options

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

What jobs can you get with a Sport Development and Coaching degree?

This course will prepare you for working in various sports organisations. Sport Development Officer jobs are available throughout the UK in local authorities and sports clubs employ coaches and co-ordinators. Private sector businesses in the health and fitness sector are also potential employers.

Students with related degrees have successfully pursued jobs in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the spectrum of active lifestyles and exercise, community sports clubs and elite sports development.

Students from the BA (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching may also wish to further their education in sport. The course provides a suitable background for entry into our sport Masters courses including MSc Sport Management, MSc Sport Performance Coaching and MSc Psychology of Sport. Furthermore, students wishing to undertake research into sport development or coaching, or pursue an academic career, may wish to pursue studies at PhD level. The course may also provide a foundation for students wishing to become physical education teachers, through completing a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Physical Education) at other institutions.

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Flexible study

This course is not available as a combined degree.