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BSc (Hons) High Performance Coaching

BSc (Hons) High Performance Coaching

Use performance science to take your coaching to the next level.

Study and learn within your own coaching environment


Duration Three years part-time

Course Summary

BSc (Hons) High Performance Coaching is designed for those who are passionate about sport coaching and want to have an impact on the development of performers and athletes in performance sport settings. The course will enhance your existing knowledge as a coach by broadening your understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin your practice. You'll critically examine your own coaching, enabling you to further develop your identity and career as a coach. 

Why this course at Marjon?

This course is perfect if you're curious about

There are few qualifications which specifically focus on nurturing and developing those of us who wish to work in high performance sport. This course provides such an opportunity to those who aspire to be at the cutting edge of world sport and will very much help to bridge the gap which currently exists in terms high performance education. Having this opportunity at the start of my career, would have allowed me to hit the ground running much more readily. I fully endorse this exciting course.
Dr Jon Rudd - Olympic Coach & National Performance Director for Ireland Swimming & Diving

What might you become?

You could work as a performance coach, high performance coach, performance analyst or coach educator in professional sport, elite sport or National Governing Body. The nature of this course will enable you to acquire several transferable skills, valued by employers, to enhance your future employability. Additionally, you would be in a strong position should you wish to progress into post-graduate study.

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

In the first year you will learn about the process of sports coaching and how that operates in your environment. You will also learn about performance analysis and how this influences your practice design. During the second year you will learn about coaching theory and methods, talent pathways, the underpinning influences of sport science in coaching, and be introduced to business management from a coaching perspective. The third year will target your development as a coach in performance coaching. From here you be able to select and explore subjects that are most useful to you and your practice. These include; advanced analysis in coaching, leadership and management, advances in strength and conditioning, applied exercise physiology, performance biomechanics and applied sport psychology.
Aaron Cusack - Course Leader


1st Year

Engaging with Learning: High Performance Coaching
This module will give you the academic skills to succeed in your degree and ensure you continue to develop your career plans in coaching, preparing you for various opportunities through the three years of your degree. It will be delivered in a range of contexts from online discussion forums, face-to-face sessions to interactive tasks.
Coaching and Teaching: Process & Practice
You will develop understanding of the coaching fundamentals of planning, conducting and evaluating; developing your theoretical knowledge of the coaching process and building your skills and confidence through practical coaching sessions.
An Introduction to Analysis in Sport Coaching
The module applies scientific principles to the observation and analysis of fundamental movement skills understanding how they are acquired and built into complex movement patterns. You will apply this understanding of skill acquisition in a variety of coaching contexts and use ICT systems to analyse sports performance.
Introduction to Sport, Exercise and Health Psychology
Explore the psychological behaviours that relate to high level sports performance, emotional health and wellbeing and coping with injury.
Strength and Conditioning Principles for Sport and Exercise
You'll explore new approaches to strength and conditioning including the use of Gym Aware to implement velocity based training, weight lifting techniques and periodisation and the monitoring of fitness and fatigue.
Sport Science Principles of Training for Performance (Summer Residential)
You'll enjoy the opportunity to experience and lead practicals in a range of sport and exercise settings including our BASES accredited lab. You'll be introduced to key sport and exercise science tutors and you'll gain the core academic skills which will get you through your degree!

2nd Year

Research Methods
This module is focused on structured inquiry-based learning. You will learn how to generate appropriate research and when, how, and why, to use different research methods for sport-based research.
Practical Aspects of Performance Analysis in Sport
You will further enhance your understanding of the varying concepts of sports analysis, and their importance to the coaching process. You will engage in both theory and practice to investigate the importance of observation, video analysis and feedback in enhancing sports performance.
Applied Strength and Conditioning for Sport and Exercise 1 (Summer Residential)
Develop competency in strength & conditioning techniques and understand the skills needed to become a UKSCA accredited coach.
Coaching Theory and Methods
You'll further develop your understanding of the coaching process and the role of the coach by studying coaching models, principles, philosophy, coaching behaviour and coaching styles. You'll apply this knowledge by planning a number of practical coaching activities.
Applied Sport Science for Sport and Physical Education
You will consider fundamental concepts and principles of biomechanics, physiology, and psychology. Each discipline is applied to coaching. Students use the sport science laboratory equipment and testing protocols applied to coaching.
Talent Pathways in Sport Coaching
You'll explore the challenges faced by coaches and support teams in identifying talented performers as well as develop your knowledge and understanding of performance pathways and related models used by practitioners as a guide for supporting athletes along their learning journeys.

3rd Year

Honours Project
You will select a topic you are interested. You are expected to source and synthesize relevant academic literature; apply relevant theoretical concepts; you may collect primary data, and you will interpret and analyse key finding. You will share your honours project via a written report and present at a student conference.
Performance Coaching
You will learn about the characteristics of expert performers; both athletes and coaches; the environment and climate required to develop expertise in oneself and in others; the aims, methods and objectives of coaching sessions and programmes for developing expertise; and career planning and development for coaches.
Advanced Analysis for Coaching
You will learn to critically identify the key performance indicators (KPI’s) associated to sport performance by appraising and evaluating the role of the biomechanical and physiological components applicable in optimising sports performance through coaching
Advances in Strength and Conditioning (Summer Residential)*
You will learn to critically identify the requirements needed by athletes to enhance their atheltic performance by creating bespoke strength and conditioning programmes.
Leadership and Management*
Analyse effective leadership in Sport and develop your own leadership practice. You will learn and apply a variety of perspectives on leadership theory, understanding of what makes a good leader across a number of contexts which makes your learning on this module highly transferable. You will develop a critical understanding of the links between individual characteristics, leadership styles, and organisational performance. You can apply the ideas developed in the module to leadership in a variety of sports contexts.
Performance Biomechanics*
Run biomechanics lab practicals with athletes and look at factors affecting their performance.
Applied Sport Psychology*
Explore psychological concepts in more depth and develop an understanding of life as an applied psychologist.
Performance Physiology*
Learn how to conduct and interpret physiological testing and how athletes adapt to training.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management*
What does it take to be a great leader? How does an entrepreneurial leader differ from any other type of leader? In this module you will examine leadership theory and use case studies to evaluate leadership in practice.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Blended learning consisting of online delivery, intensive delivery days, residential delivery, and dependent on suitability there may be in-situ coaching visits and assessments.

How will you be assessed?

Includes written assignments (report and essays), coaching practicals, video uploads, virtual, online and live presentations and project work.

Course leader

Aaron Cusack

Aaron is an FA Coach Educator and a UEFA A Licence Coach. He has 12 years of professional football academy experience.

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Ben Anniss

Associate Lecturer

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Ben, currently undertaking a PhD specializing in vertical jump force-time analysis; monitoring and enhancing performance. He is also a Sport Science Officer lecturing in applied biomechanics and strength & conditioning.

Lee Ballard

Lecturer in Sport Development & Coaching

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Lee is an experienced sports coaching lecturer. He was formerly an academy coach for Bristol City FC and also worked for the Football Association on girls' football and grassroots football initiatives. He holds the UEFA B coaching licence.

Melissa Coyle

Senior Lecturer

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Melissa has research interests that include increasing self-awareness and positive growth and mental health, developing confidence and emotional control, reducing anxiety, and facilitating communication.

Dr Kass Gibson

Senior Lecturer

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Kass is a qualified PE teacher who has taught in schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the UK. He is a member of the University of Toronto’s Suffering, Pain and Ethics Lab Scientific Team. His research examines experiences and practices in physical activity health promotion, sport, and physical education.

Ian Stonebridge


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Ian was an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur, and played professionally for Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers, representing England at Under 18 level. He retired through injury and now coaches at Plymouth Argyle’s Youth Academy. With a UEFA ‘B’ Licence and FA Youth Award coaching qualifications he understands the football-specific knowledge required to coach in a range of different environments, from ‘grassroots’ to the elite game. He teaches coaching process, coaching philosophy and behaviour, and the coach-player relationship.

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