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FdA Football Development & Coaching

Develop your coaching knowledge and skills to prepare for a career in the football industry.
October 2022
2 years full-time
3 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
Course leader
Laura Figg

Develop football coaching knowledge

Football is now a multibillion-pound global industry and more professional clubs are creating Trusts and Foundations with football-specific jobs. These organisations require a unique, flexible workforce who can utilise the passion of football as a vehicle to drive other positive outcomes such as health, education and employment. Our degree in Football Development and Coaching is an ideal route into the football industry.

You will be able to develop football coaching knowledge and skills for a range of abilities and environments, from grass roots to more elite level players. You will learn the politics of football development, and how to engage under-represented community groups using football-based projects. Additionally, you will learn the science of football performance including psychology, performance analysis, biomechanics and nutrition.

Why study FdA Football Development & Coaching at Middlesex?

Our Football and Development course is ideal if you want to work in the football industry and make a positive difference to people’s lives. If you have a passion for sport, in particular football, and want to work in the sports industry, either as a sport or football development officer, coach or even a PE teacher, this course is for you. You should ideally have A-Level PE or a BTEC in Sport, as well as experience in coaching, although this is not essential.

Industry experience is an integral part of this Foundation Degree, and you will have the opportunity to gain experience within Watford FC CSE Trust or other relevant organisations. While studying Football Performance, in our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club, you’ll have access to the fantastic resources at StoneX Stadium, including the brand new £23 million redevelopment project of the West Stand which offers state-of-the-art facilities as a top educational and high performance centre for teaching and research excellence. With some of the most advanced equipment in the UK, you will be able to utilise the new specialist spaces, simulation suites, specialist labs, plus much more. You will also have the chance to complete your FA Level 2 alongside your studies.

This is a joint Foundation Degree with Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust meaning that you'll split your time between our Hendon campus and the Cedars Youth & Community Centre in Harrow. However, you'll still be enrolled as a Middlesex University student and have access to all the associated benefits along with the addition of industry knowledge and expertise from Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust.

Course highlights

  • Benefit from cutting edge industry experience
  • Work with world class academic facilities, both on campus at Middlesex University and at Watford FC
  • Learn from leading academics in their field

Find out more

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What will you study on FdA Football Development & Coaching?

You will study the full spectrum of football coaching theories and concepts. This includes scientific principles, theories and practices that influence the performance of football.

Throughout the course, you will cover local and national policy, laws and regulation in addition to learning about ethical diversity, inclusion and cultural considerations within the sector. You will also learn about Football Governing Bodies and other professional organisations.

You will graduate with professional skills relevant to football development and coaching. This includes strong communication, interpersonal skills and proficient IT capabilities to support football development and coaching practice.

As a Football Development and Coaching graduate, you will be equipped with the strategic skills to plan, design, implement and evaluate a football development project. This comprises the knowledge to undertake safe, effective and inclusive football coaching sessions for a variety of levels and abilities.

You will develop your analytical skills by conducting research and investigating current data to support the justification for a funded community football project. Furthermore, you will obtain an in-depth understanding of scientific methods to conduct and analyse scientific tests to enhance football performance.


We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s info on these updates below.

  • Year 1

    • Fundamentals of Football Development (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will cover the role of football as an engagement tool to support local and national policy and strategies. It will provide you with knowledge of roles within the football development sector and in delivering football associated projects achieving wider outcomes related to health, education, social inclusion and community development.

    • Professional Skills & Work Based Learning (30 credits) – Compulsory

      You will learn the key academic skills required to successfully complete your undergraduate degree. You will study the underlying theoretical frameworks for research methods and academic writing by demonstrating your understanding of literature, sourcing literature, the components of research and the fundamental skills to gain professional industry experience.

    • Fundamentals of Football Coaching (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides a broad understanding of learning theories and coaching styles in a variety of football-related environments. You will learn the underlying theoretical concepts of how to plan, deliver, evaluate and modify football coaching sessions, whilst demonstrating the importance of safeguarding and risk assessments.

    • Fundamentals of Football Performance (30 credits) – Compulsory

      To introduce and apply key scientific concepts and principles across the sports science disciplines of Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics, Performance Analysis and Nutrition. You will gain a broad understanding of your effect on football performance and how you underpin the sporting performance of players.

  • Year 2

    • Applied Football Development (30 credits) – Compulsory

      You will investigate how football can be used to engage hard to reach groups within the community through research and evaluation. You will research and apply the latest government policies and NGB strategies to support the rationale for a funded football project. You will demonstrate how to monitor and evaluate projects. You will also analyse the latest research and statistical data for hard to reach groups in the local community.

      This module will enhance your practical skills and knowledge in the football development sector including the implications of PE and School Sport delivery.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) – Compulsory

      You will learn the skills to analyse a range of academic information, comparing alternative methods and techniques. This will involve collecting and synthesising information to inform a subject-specific research question. You will gain knowledge of well-established research methods and concepts evidenced by the awareness of inconsistencies, gaps and limitations within the literature.

    • Applied Football Coaching & Work Based Learning (30 credits) – Compulsory

      You will explore a range of coaching theories and concepts and professional codes of conduct specifically safeguarding and risk management. You will create a portfolio of football sessions and coaching materials that encourages progression and development. You will also gain an understanding of sports on the national curriculum.

    • Applied Football Performance (30 credits) – Compulsory

      To identify and analyse the key scientific concepts and principles across the sports science disciplines of Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics and Performance Analysis. You will generate specialised skills and be able to undertake complex tests on football players and suggest improvements.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

How is the FdA Football Development & Coaching taught?

You will attend lectures, seminars, laboratory sessions and practical sessions where possible, and take part in group discussions, group work and presentations. Even in eventualities where we are unable to be in the laboratory or classroom together, we aim to use virtual tools to help you develop key practical skills. You will supplement all this with your own guided and independent reading and will put together a reflective portfolio of your work.


Placements and work experience will give you excellent opportunities to gain hands-on and real-life experience.

You will complete 150 hours of industry experience throughout your degree (75 hours per year). You will receive help and support in identifying a suitable placement as well as with applications if required. Placement opportunities exist within Watford FC CSE Trust as well as at other Football Clubs, University Sports Clubs, local football development projects, charities, fitness centres and schools.

The availability of placements is subject to the co-operating organisations, and we are working closely with our partners to make as many as possible available even during the pandemic. We also have provisions in place to help you acquire the employment skills you need. Due to Covid-19 the total number of placement hours required to pass the module may be altered under the guidance of the Accredited Professional Bodies or the University where applicable.


Assessment is varied, with a range of coursework, reflective portfolios, projects, presentations and practical assessments. You will have one exam in your second year for Research Methods. In eventualities where we are unable to complete practical assessments in the laboratory or classroom together, we will apply alternative virtual assessment methods that will evaluate your practical skills.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

Year 1: 8 hours
Year 2: 8 hours
Year 3: 4 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

Year 1: 4 hours
Year 2: 4 hours
Year 3: 8 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

Year 1: 4 hours
Year 2: 4 hours
Year 3: 8 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

  1. UK
  2. How to apply
  1. UK

How can the FdA Football Development & Coaching support your career?

While this is the ideal degree for those wanting to pursue a career in the football industry, the full spectrum of sports careers will be open to you, including:

  • Health and fitness club management.
  • Fitness consultancy.
  • Weight management.
  • Health promotion and personal fitness training.
  • Corporate health advice.
  • Sports or physical activity development.
  • Medical sales.
  • The armed forces.
  • There are also career opportunities in teaching and research.

We anticipate students graduating from this degree will go on to work in the following career destinations:

  • Football Development Officer.
  • Disability Support Officer.
  • Women and Girls Development Officer.
  • Community Manager.
  • Community Football Coach.
  • Sports Development Officer within a professional club.
  • Player Development Centres.
  • Academy level coaching.

Employment in sport, leisure, tourism, management, education, research and health are also potential graduate pathways.

Graduates may wish to continue their academic studies by completing a 3rd year top-up degree and then further progress to gain a place on our highly competitive PGCE programmes or Masters programmes.

Graduates may also wish to continue their professional studies by completing the UEFA B licence or other FA accredited courses.

Laura Figg
Link tutor, Watford FC

Laura works for Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust and has experience working as a Sports Rehabilitator with GB athletes and in the USA working with College athletes at Philadelphia University. Her previous roles include Head of Higher Education at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Clinical Director at Active Rehab.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Sport and Exercise Science (Physical Education and Coaching) BSc Honours

Start: October 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Code: C60F

Sport and Exercise Science BSc Honours

Start: October 2022

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

Code: C615

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