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MSc High Performance Sport Coaching

Study in your own coaching set up and at our world class sporting facilities as you learn from high performance coaches and critically explore the methods and behaviours that create high performing environments.

Professional development for graduates working in sport coaching

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree related to sport coaching and/or relevant professional experience

Experience of sports coaching

Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis

International students will have achieved IELTS 6.5



UCAS code Apply direct to Marjon

Duration One year part-time or two years full-time

Course Summary

MSc High-Performance Sport Coaching is designed for those who are passionate about creating high-performance sport coaching environments and who want to enhance the development of the performers and athletes they work with. It can be studied full-time or part-time. It will enhance your existing knowledge as a sport coaching practitioner by extensively broadening your understanding of the theories and concepts that underpin high-performance settings.

Behind every athlete, team or club lies a coach or group of coaches whose primary aim is to optimise performance. The processes and principles behind this operation are essential ingredients individuals must acquire in order to master their craft as coach. Therefore, before the success of the individuals or team can be acknowledged, a coach must learn more about the art of reflection, identity, leadership, and how their actions and behaviours help to shape the creation of high-performing environments for the athletes they work with.

The course is primarily designed for graduates who are already in sport coaching roles. On the MSc High-Performance Sport Coaching you'll examine your practices and processes critically, enabling you to further develop your identity as a coach, to enhance leadership skills and the creation of high-performing environments. The flexible nature of the course means that you can maintain your existing coaching practice, study face-to-face and online, as well as access world-class facilities on campus at the Marjon Sport and Health centre.

The course will combine contemporary approaches of learning and research and apply these methods to coaching practice in a flexible, stimulating and comprehensive way. It will act as an essential point of progression for those working in the sport coaching or performance sector, deemed senior in their area, who may not have studied for some time, as well as existing undergraduate students who aspire to progress into the senior levels of the sport coaching and high-performance sector in the future.

Why this course at Marjon?

Customised assessments dedicated to your own coaching practice

Learn from guest speakers working in High Performance Sport at national and international levels

Blended learning approach combines digital learning platforms with face-to-face and online support from highly experienced lecturers

Modules for this course


1st Year

The landscape of research in high performance sport
Explore the critical principles of research methods and how research helps to create high-performing sport coaching environments. Develop a comprehensive knowledge and critical understanding on which methods are best suited to your coaching practice helping you to create your unique research project.
Through the eyes of the coach - Reflective examinations of coaching practice
Extensively observe your current practice as a sport coach practitioner by critically reflecting on the impact your session design, delivery style and behaviours has on the athletes you work with.
Fine tuning the athlete - Profiling, monitoring and analysis for optimal performance
Critically examine the theories for optimising sports performance through analysis. Develop advanced skills in technical, tactical, physiological, and biomechanical analysis to optimise performance.

2nd Year

Cultural creators of high performance
Examine models of organisational and leadership effectiveness in creating high-performance environments. Learn from National and International Performance Directors and Head Coaches from multiple sport coaching organisations and apply their strategies and processes to help shape your own high-performing environment.
Master’s thesis/project - The end game
Undertake a research project affiliated to your sport coaching environment and demonstrate the skills necessary to produce a scholarly, in-depth, empirical research project or thesis.

There are few formal qualifications which specifically focus on nurturing and developing those who wish to work in high performance sport. The MSc (Hons) High Performance Sport Coaching course provides this 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. To this opportunity at the start of my career would have allowed me to hit the ground running much more readily.
Jon Rudd - Olympic Gold Medal Coach & Performance Director for Ireland Swimming & Diving

What might you become?


How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Teaching is by blended learning consisting of online delivery of live and pre-recorded sessions, face-to-face lectures, and in-situ recording and analysis. 

How will you be assessed?

Assessments  utilise skills expected in a sport coaching environment. These will include written assignments (reports and essays), reflective practice, online and live presentations, case studies and project/thesis work.

Course leader

Aaron Cusack

Aaron is as a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching & Physical Education. He is also a senior coaching practitioner and educator for external sport coaching organisations.He has a wealth of experience and knowledge of coach education and understands the wide-ranging impact this profession can have on coaches and performers alike. Aaron holds the UEFA A Licence in Coaching Football (Senior Level 4 Award), the FA Advanced Youth Award (12-16 age Youth Level 4 Award) and has extensive knowledge and experience of working within professional football academies. He has supported many players who now play football professionally and has guided and supported several coaches working within both the professional and non-league game.

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Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6,500

Fees for International students: £12,000

Funding available for this course


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