FdSc Football Coaching and Practice

Qualification FdSc Football Coaching and Practice
Subject Area Higher Education
Attendance Full Time, £5,450 per year (Fee to UWL £6,165 with college bursary of £715 returned to you)
Age Group(s) Adults
Duration 2 years

Course outline

If you are looking for a practical, career orientated footballing degree, then this two year course is for you. The course is validated and run in partnership with the University of West London, and you will be registered as a student with the College and the University.   

Building on your previous experience of football coaching and practice, this course will encourage you to explore a wide range of contemporary issues linked to coaching and football, such as, pedagogical approaches to football practice, physiological issues linked to football and coaching practice, leadership in football, the value of football to society and how footballing initiatives can enhance engagement within communities, as well as the individual benefits linked to physical and mental health.

Learning about the recognised principles of inclusivity and anti-discriminatory practice within football, you will be encouraged to explore the underpinning theory, policy and legislation that supports this. 

With access to some of the most modern football facilities in London, you will be able to apply your learning, across a range of different sites linked to the College and University. Generic skills and behaviours identified by the football sector have been embedded into the course content, delivery and assessment processes, providing you with employability skills that are fit for purpose and reflect the requirements of employers within the sector.

With opportunities to complete the FA Introduction to Coaching Football course in the first year and the UEFA C Licence in the second year, this course provides an exciting, innovative degree that will give you a broad range of highly sought-after skills that can be applied in the football and coaching sector, the wider sports industry and the graduate jobs market as a whole.

Course details

Studying one day a week at Stanmore College, you will also access blended learning via the College Virtual Learning Environment (Study Space) and the online library at the University of West London.

The course is made up of a series of modules, which have credit points attached. You will cover 120 credits at level 4 in year 1 and 120 credits at level 5 in year 2. There is a longitudinal 40 credit module in each year which will promote and assess a range of practice skills linked to the theoretical learning.

The teaching and learning strategies for this course will reflect a range of approaches in response to different learning styles and your experience. It is recognised that although you will have already attained a Level 3 qualification before starting the course, your previous experience of academic study and the professional context of your practice is personal to you.

You will be expected to carry out independent study preparing for seminars and assignments by doing background reading from recommended texts and personal Internet research.

Teaching strategies include the following:

Tutor-led learning (taught sessions, workshops, directed e-learning), group learning (group work, seminars), work based learning (mentors/practice teachers), self-directed learning (action learning sets, learning contracts), E-learning (online resources and access to electronic resources) and working on an individual basis to help you develop your reflective skills. You will also do practical sessions and workshops to develop your coaching and footballing skills.

Entry requirements

A full level 3 qualification in a sports related programme of study i.e. sports coaching, physical activity pathway qualifications

48-72 UCAS points

English at GCSE grades C or 4 and above

Maths at GCSE grades C or 4 and above


Equivalent level 2 qualifications in English and Maths i.e. functional skills, key skills

A reference from their previous educational setting to demonstrate sufficient practical skills at level 3 have been gained.

What can it lead to?

Opportunities to complete a one year, level 6 ‘top up’ Bachelor’s Degree course at a range of differing Higher Education Institutions followed by post graduate opportunities.

BSc (Hons) Sports Management (University of West London)

Employment opportunities:

Practice football related job roles and pathways dependent on skills, ability and opportunity, such as coach developer, mentoring, quality assurance or assessment roles. 

Coaching in various parts of the football or wider sports industry

What are the course outcomes?

The course aims to develop capability in football coaching, football performance, football development or related occupations in the football, sport and active leisure sector. The modules have been structured to enable you to develop, over the course of the two year programme, a core foundation of knowledge, understanding and practical skills. You will build technical and professional skills, including two progressive awards, that are highly sought after in the football industry.

You will develop an appreciation of the role of the professional coach and an understanding of the qualities needed to coach effectively with different demographic groups (e.g. young children, primary aged children, young people, men and women, the elderly, people with long term illnesses or disabilities) as well as working with participants at differing levels of performance, from beginners to elite athletes.

You will be encouraged to engage in coaching opportunities in the College, local authorities, clubs and schools, allowing you to put into practice the skills and knowledge that have been developed throughout the course of study.

The course aims to do the following as appropriate to the level of study:

  • Widen perspectives through breadth, depth and relevance of subject coverage.
  • Develop intellectual skills of analysis, evaluation and interpretation, of problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Develop subject practical skills and evolve skilled, reflective practitioners with employment capability.
  • Develop transferable skills including effective communication, teamwork, independent learning and management of learning.
  • Encourage the integration of academic study with employment skills.
  • Meet the future challenges of working within the industry.
  • Encourage social responsibility and positive attitudes to life- long learning

The learning outcomes for each level include: -

Level 4:

The FdSc in Football Coaching and Practice seeks to develop a range of cognitive, intellectual, practical, and transferable skills. These are introduced across the programme and are developed between and across levels. Students are introduced to these skills at level 4, which are further developed at level 5.

At level 4, the modules form a good understanding of the principles and practice of sport in general but football specifically. Time will be spent learning the skills needed for writing at this academic level, including preparation for finding and using academic literature for your assignments The modules at level 4 also provide an understanding of the theoretical perspectives that can be applied in practice, which are built on in level 5.

The Anatomy and Physiology module focuses on relevant issues related to football practice, such as injury prevention and rehabilitation, which is fundamental to promoting safe and effective practice when working with peers and the general public. Students will also complete the FA Introduction to Coaching Football, alongside the Football Pedagogy module as part of the level 4 programme.  Inclusivity and anti-discriminatory practice is a central theme that runs throughout the course, linked to practice within familiar and unfamiliar contexts. This is explored in detail at level 4, including consideration of safeguarding principles for safe and effective practice.

Students will develop their employability through the Developing Football Coaching Practice module, through the compilation of a portfolio of coaching evidence and practical observations whilst coaching. This module will also encourage you to develop skills of reflection to enable you to evaluate your own capabilities and development over time.

Level 5:

At level 5, students will progress to subject matters that extend their applied knowledge of football coaching and practice, to examine the benefits of football to the local community and society as a whole. Opportunities to create a footballing initiative within the local community, are linked to the analysis of ethical and psychological factors applied to leadership principles, using a wide range of techniques and information sources. The importance of integrating a scientific approach to coaching and football practice with the need to build relationships with a wide range of potential participants across the demographic profile, will allow students to synthesise information and ideas, to build confidence in their ability to operate effectively in the football industry.       

Reflective skills established at level 4 will be used for journaling personal progress through the completion of a small scale research project, enabling the development of research skills and a problem solving mindset, preparing students for further study at level 6.

Recognising the importance of achieving internationally accredited qualifications, students will also complete their UEFA C license during level 5, which will be delivered throughout the course of the year.

The curriculum has been designed with reference to research among similar programmes and with benchmarking activities.  In addition, views from students and a wide range of coaching and footballing practitioners have been integrated into the structure and content of the course, to ensure it reflects the need of the sector and provides a foundation for life-long learning.  

During the degree students will be expected to exercise initiative and take responsibility for their learning. A range of transferable skills and competences such as oral and written communication are developed across and between levels. Successful completion of the course is an indication of competence as an academic practitioner and a student’s ability to examine and apply existing theory and knowledge in football coaching and practice.

Who the course is aimed at

This course has been developed as a local programme of study for prospective footballers and coaches who want to enhance their football practice and coaching capacity. The course will enable level 3 practitioners to undertake the additional academic study and practice skills development required to work towards gaining graduate status.

Course content

Level 4 Modules

Searching for and using information (20 credits)

This module is derived from the problem/enquiry-based format of many health science courses and the evidence-based nature of contemporary practice in the sports and coaching professions. This module will provide students with a comprehensive and thorough grounding in information literacy, which then enables students to use the information to inform and influence the nature of practice in football coaching and practice. It also introduces and develops the skills of using models of reflection to analyse critical incidents and scenarios, in order to seek solutions to potential problems, or substantiation for effective practice.

Football pedagogy (20 credits)

This module investigates essential pedagogical principles that underpin football practice. The module promotes the role creatively planning, leading and managing practical activities for skills development and explores how variables such as teaching, instruction and coaching contribute to enhanced football performance.

Anatomy and Physiology (20 credits)

This module promotes an understanding of the human body and the factors that contribute to the optimal functioning of the body for football and sports related practice. It will also explore the causes and management of anatomical and physiological conditions. It gives you the opportunity to identify how your role as a coach aids the recognition, monitoring and support for preventing injury, as well as how to aid rehabilitation when injury occurs.

The inclusive coach (20 credits)

This module contains an overview of how to promote inclusivity and anti-discriminatory practice within the context of football practice and coaching. It will explore the legal, ethical and professional values associated with professionalism, whilst promoting issues linked to the sustainability agenda and the benefits of football related activities for individuals and communities alike.

Developing football coaching practice (40 credits)

This module will enable you to consider your personal skills and attributes and to plan, negotiate and undertake the learning activities you need to develop the specialist skills required.  The module will enable you to develop reflective and self-evaluation skills so that you are able to determine your own personal development plan and specify your exact learning needs to be an effective footballer and coach.

Level 5 Modules

Leadership in football (20 credits)

This module will enable you to explore fundamental leadership theories, that will lead to you investigating the importance of psychological factors and ethical approach, along with analysing group dynamics and team cohesion in relation to leadership in the football environment. This module will also give you the opportunity to study football pioneers, who have helped to shape the modern game. 

The art and science of coaching (20 credits)

This module will enable you to consider coaching behaviours, and methods of training/testing for different components of fitness, specifically training, including fitness, tactics, technical and strategy. This module will enable you to consider the effective application of a season-long plan, incorporating the components of football specific training.

Sociology in football (20 credits)

This module investigates the essential role football participation can play in addressing social issues by investigating the impact society has on sport participation and health. This module will also enable you to consider the influence of fandom, tribalism and accepted social norms linked to football. Beyond this, you will have the opportunity to compare and contrast social, economic, and political issues within football from national and international perspectives.

Footballing initiatives (20 credits)

This module will enable you to explore different types of initiatives within the football industry, analysing contemporary issues and key factors when football initiatives in the community are created. This module also offers you the opportunity to discuss monitoring and evaluating techniques for football initiatives, before planning your own initiative in your locality, including financial considerations and relevant research.

Research methods in football

This module offers you the opportunity to develop the understanding, knowledge, and skills to undertake a of small-scale research project based on your own football and/or coaching experiences.  The research will enable you to identify an area of development of practice or provision and to understand the role of change and how to manage it effectively. The module will give you the opportunity to develop your skills of reflection and analysis through a research diary or journal.  This is an important feature of the learning process and will enable you to develop your capacity to be a reflective practitioner and improve your practice.

How will you be assessed?

Each module undertaken is assessed separately.

Coursework assessment takes a variety of different forms including case studies, reflective reports, essays, oral and poster presentations and group work.

You will be provided with clear assessment criteria for all your assignments and tutorial support to help you understand academic requirements, together with help to develop you academic study skills.

Is there an interview?


Equipment Required?

There are no specific resource requirements for this qualification. General costs: We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs and other digital media.


Course Fee: £6,165 per year payable to the University of West London.

Upon successful completion of the first term on the course, a College bursary of £715 will be available on request.


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