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FdA Sport Development and Coaching

Inspire and motivate young people and communities to achieve through sport. Lots of work based learning, allowing you to put all your newly acquired knowledge into practice in real-world situations.

Boys basketball game

Two year foundation degree


Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades DDE-DDD or above

Three A-levels at grades DDE-DDD or above

Or Access 9-15 D/M with min 3D

Or T level P (D or E)

And GCSE English Language at grade C or above

Applicants with other qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis. A DBS check and ISA registration are also required.

UCAS points 64-72

UCAS code CP20

UCAS institution code P63

Duration Two years full-time

Any questions?

Contact Charley Lumley, our Applicant Support Coordinator, if you have any questions. Email and Charley will get back to you.

Course Summary

The FdA Sport Development and Coaching degree has been designed in partnership with employers from the sports industry via our Professional Advisory Group. The course delivers a blend of theory and practice so that students are equipped with extensive knowledge and skills and are therefore highly employable on completion of the course.

Learn how sport can be used to inspire young people, develop communities and fulfil the potential of all individuals, from grassroots, all the way up to working with elite athletes. You'll explore talent development, elite sport, sport coaching, international sport, education, sports policy and disability sport. Sport Development degrees at Marjon University have a proven track record of more than 10 years, over which this professional and practical programme has delivered an outstanding employability record for our graduates.

Our enthusiastic, experienced lecturing team has an extensive background in the field and, between them, they’ve published a host of research which has all contributed to the structure and content of the course.

The team believes strongly in the value of practical experience, which is why the Sport Studies degree contains such a variety of work-based learning. This includes coaching young people, managing sports events, deliver physical activity programmes and writing sport plans for governing bodies. It’s all key to becoming a well-rounded sport development professional.

Why this course at Marjon?

Our students tell us this course broadens their horizons in terms of the careers available in the sport sector

We have exceptional industry links keeping you up to date with both academic and industry developments

We are well connected through local sports organisations and through national networks

Deepen your understanding of sport and enhance your employability - check out our graduate case studies below

You’ll have a great time on the degree, and at Marjon generally. We have small classes and therefore we’ll get to know you as an individual to help you get to where you want to go in future

We are connected to the UK Sport Development Network (UKSDN) and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

In the first year you will learn about the process of sports coaching and how that operates. There will also be time spent on learning about sport management and how governing bodies lead sporting programmes. During the second year you can choose to learn about sports marketing, event management or inclusion in sport, to name just a few.
Phil Brown - Course Leader

Please note: optional modules are marked with an *

1st Year

Engaging with learning: sport development & coaching
Sport coaching & the coaching process
Foundations in sport development
An introduction to sport management
Organisation in sport and education
Introduction to analysis in sport coaching

2nd Year

Work-based learning*
Sports event management*
Research methods
Sport policy & governance
Sport and education*
Sport marketing*
Coaching theory & practice
Inclusion in sport*

Current students say...

Masai Zebe-Chaka

"As a mature student with a lot of life and sports experience, the course compliments this by developing my academic and critical thinking. On a personal level, as an athlete, it has helped me see competing in a different light. It helped with regards to my choices of events to participate in, focusing on credibility, perceived value and also potential media attention generated. This helps towards potential sponsorship through the heightened recognition prospects."

Ryan Price

"What I most enjoy about my course is the people who are involved in it, not just the people who are on your course but also the lecturers and the others you meet when doing coaching and placements in the local schools and surrounding areas. The people you meet on your course go on to be some of the best friends you make, making the whole experience more enjoyable. The academic relationship between you and the lecturers make the experience all the better."

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

This is a mature, confident and high quality programme with some innovative modules…and clear content and structure that goes beyond the expectations of the industry and academia... Learning outcomes are clearly met, teaching and assessment is of high quality and I am confident that standards are thorough and rigorous. Of 11 programmes I have examined… this is one of the very best. It is a credit to the teaching team and students that co-produce work as peers.
Dr Chris Mackintosh, External Examiner - Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair of the UK Sport Development Network

See where our graduates are now

Kieran Carthew

"My foundation degree had a plethora of modules which gave insight in what it takes to have an impact of people’s lives and ensuring inclusivity which transfers into my current role as a teacher. The best thing about my job is how rewarding it is, seeing children progress and mature through your teaching and guidance at such a critical point in their life makes all the hours and effort you put in worth it."

Kieran is a primary school teacher

Scott Kendall

“While the job is not always straight forward, there is huge satisfaction in activating those who are considered harder to reach. I have witnessed so many life changing stories through this job which is truly inspirational. I was constantly supported by the University lecturers who took an interest in my personal and professional development. My course equipped me with theoretical and practical knowledge and applied modules gave me real life experience which is invaluable.”

Scott is a Sport Development Manager with Active Devon.

Dwain Morgan

"Sport Development, as opposed to the other sport-related subjects, appeared to me as the most transferable and covered a broader range of topics. For me personally, Sport Development taught me many skills that could be applied across most business sectors. It taught skills such as monitoring and evaluation, bid writing and management of projects, in which I felt, led to further employment opportunities than the others".

Dwain is Assistant Community Manager (Inclusion) at Plymouth Argyle Community Trust.

What might you become?

This two year degree is often followed by students joining the third year of another sporting degree, to achieve a full BA Honours degree. You will find many Plymouth Marjon University sport development graduates in a variety of institutions including schools, National Governing Bodies (NGB) County Sports Partnerships (Active Devon), Local Authorities and Sport and Leisure facilities across the country. The quality of graduates is well recognised both locally and nationally and, as such, a very high proportion of graduates gain immediate employment or enrol on Masters programmes to further their studies.

The course is also suitable for those who are interested in a career in PE teaching for which you would follow this course with a one year progression course (top-up) to BA Honours level and then a 1 year Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course or equivalent.

Endorsed by:


Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

CIMSPA certify that this course meets the professional standards set by employers in the physical activity and fitness sector.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

Phil Brown

Dr Phil Brown

Course leader

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Phil has over 20 years’ experience working in the sports industry. He’s led and delivered a number of community and school based sports development projects and events. He ran a national free swimming pilot for Sport England and the NHS based in Plymouth. Sport development is about working in partnership to develop sport and Phil has an excellent network in the sports section working nationally with the UK Sport Development Network (UKSDN) and the Chartered Institution for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). Locally he works with Active Devon, Plymouth YMCA, Plymouth City Council Sports Development Unit, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, Devon FA, and Plymouth Schools Sport Partnership.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Ryan Thomas

Senior Lecturer

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Ryan is personal tutor to many students on this programme. His primary interest is talent identification in youth football and he also enjoys teaching both coaching and event management as he likes seeing academic topics from the classroom being delivered in real-life practice. He is an active Centre of Excellence Coach at Plymouth Argyle Football Club and an FA Licenced Coach Educator, which involves the delivery of the FA Level 1, the FA Youth Award Module 1 and various workshops across the county.

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