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FdA Football Development & Coaching

Develop your coaching knowledge and skills to prepare for a career in the football industry.
October 2021
2 years full-time
3 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
Course leader
Neil Bangs

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, 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.

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.

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 - Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

12 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

34 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

4 hours

Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

4 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

34 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

4 hours

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week, per level:

8 hours

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


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 mainly be delivered online 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 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  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.

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