Steven McGinnis

MSc Sport Performance Coaching

Northern Ireland

Steven McGinnis holding a rugby ball and scroll

I chose to study at the University of Stirling as I was considering progressing to a Level 4 coaching qualification but wanted something that aligned with this yet offered me a broader qualification outside my specific sport. When I was looking at remote study options, Stirling’s course offered me the course content and flexibility I needed. The course modules also attracted me and aligned with my coaching interest and the role I work in. The course content was excellent, along with access to quality staff, speakers and fellow students in similar roles. Value for money was also a factor of the course compared with other institutions.

What I liked most about the course was the remote access and the flexibility which allowed me to work around my full-time job and family. It was challenging, but the support of the staff was excellent. The Canvas app was informative and easy to follow, it allowed room to explore and study along with the core content needed for each assignment.

For anyone considering studying MSc Sport Performance Coaching, the course is flexible but does require discipline. Like any Masters there is an obvious expectation of independent research and study but with planning and communication, the support is there. Make use of your contacts with staff and fellow students as many are working within the industry.

After graduating, I now work as a Talent iD Rugby Coach. The modules not only challenged my own coaching and management but also reinforced a lot of good practice. I’m happy to admit I’m not the most academically minded but a very practical coach and a lot of the theory studied allowed me to align what and why I do what I do as a coach. The final project also allowed me to explore areas in my role to help improve my job in identifying potential players. In my role as a Talent Coach, I identify and provide opportunities for Irish Qualified players to play for Ireland. I travel across the UK for work along with global contacts of IQ athletes.

This course was excellent for personal and professional development. Not only did it broaden my coaching, but it helped me realign the ‘what’ and ‘why’ I coach the way I do. It reinforced my values and principles along with coaching practice and studies.
Whether you're an aspiring coach or someone well-experienced in your role, this course has something to offer you.