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.
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, you will have access to a range of high-spec laboratory equipment at our High Performance Centre based at StoneX Stadium, home of Saracens Rugby Club (access to all sites will be dependent on social distancing requirements due to Covid-19.). 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are back on campus for the majority of teaching in Autumn 2021, as long as restrictions allow. 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.
In case of any changes to government guidance, we‘ll be ready to move to teaching with more restrictions in place and continue to give you an excellent learning experience. In this scenario, on campus teaching should continue although more of your course will take place online.
We are finalising our teaching arrangements for your course ahead of the start of term. You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.
Delivery may differ in light of block teaching requirements, with theory sections covered online and practical sessions delivered in specialist spaces on campus.
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.
Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.
Future plans for teaching
We’re developing our plans for in-person on campus teaching following government advice to keep you safe. If more restrictions are put in place in the future, or there is another lockdown, we’ll deliver your learning and support fully online for a temporary period. We’ll make alternative arrangements for any required placements if they can’t go ahead as planned. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.
You’ll 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’ll 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’ll 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.
More on teaching for your subject in 2021/22
Read our guide to what you can look forward to when you study your subject with us including more information about your teaching experience this autumn.
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:
We anticipate students graduating from this degree will go on to work in the following career destinations:
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 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.
Start: October 2022
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Start: October 2022
Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time