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FdA Sport Development and Coaching

Inspire and motivate young people and communities to achieve through sport.

Two year foundation degree

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades DDE-DDD or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MPP-MMP or above.

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

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 required.

UCAS points 64-72

UCAS code CP20

Duration Two years full-time

How to apply for this course

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.

This degree is part of a pilot scheme with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) which ensures it meets professional standards required by employers in the sport and physical activity sector.

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 such as the UK Sport Development Network (UKSDN) and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

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. Together we can help you get to where you want to be in the future.

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 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

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.


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.

Gary Hellyer

"I work with children from all over the world. It's amazing to think that potentially in the future there will be people all over the world that I've had the privilege to teach. University enabled me to build a number of transferable skills that I use in the work place. They helped me aspire to achieve great things but also enabled me a platform to work from that made sure I was giving the opportunity to grow both as a professional and as an individual."

Gary is a Primary School Teacher (PE Specialist) at a British school in Oman.

In Partnership with

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


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*

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Teaching and assessment

Course leader

Dr Phil Brown

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.

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Dr Aaron Beacom

Senior Lecturer

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Aaron's research interests in the areas of sport and international development, sport policy and disability sports.

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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