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FdA Football Development & Coaching

Develop your coaching knowledge and skills to prepare for a career in the football industry.
September 2023
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

Study at our world-class facilities: The London Sports Institute

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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 - Compulsory

    • Fundamentals of Research Methods in Sport & Exercise Science (15 credits)

      This module will provide a broad understanding and the fundamental knowledge of the key academic skills required for you to successfully complete your undergraduate degree. You will know the underlying core and theoretical frameworks for research methods and academic writing by demonstrating your understanding of data collection and analysis, literature, sourcing literature, the components of research and by identifying strengths and weaknesses.

    • Fundamentals of Football Development (30 credits)

      This module will aim to provide a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the role of football as an engagement tool to support local and national policy and strategies.

      It will provide students with knowledge of roles within the football development sector and the FA in delivering football associated projects and achieving wider outcomes related to health, education, social inclusion and community development.

      Students will identify how to apply for funding and implement, deliver and evaluate community football projects.

    • Fundamentals of Football Coaching (30 credits)

      This module provides a broad understanding of learning theories and coaching styles in a variety of football related environments.

      Students 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.

      Students will work effectively on complex coaching sessions and understand the health and safety considerations, whilst working individually and as a group to enhance their interpersonal and communications skills.

    • Fundamentals of Football Performance (30 credits)

      To introduce and apply key scientific concepts and principles across the sports science disciplines of Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics, Performance Analysis and Nutrition.

      Students will gain a broad understanding of their effect on football performance and how they underpin the sporting performance of players.

      Students will learn how to work effectively in a team by carrying out practical investigations in all five sport and exercise disciplines and apply these to coaching sessions.

    • Made in Middlesex Expansion Module (Cognitive Me) (15 credits)

      This module is aimed at transforming the personal and professional outcomes of undergraduate students at Middlesex University. By working in partnership within and beyond sporting disciplines, learners will be challenged to transfer skills and harness free-thinking knowledge from a range of inter-related sectors. Utilising multi-department collaboration, students will harness expansive information from experts within Support and Wellbeing, Employability, Learning Enhancement and the Students Union through a practice-oriented educational environment. Through applying broader educational principles, students will have new opportunities to develop innovative skills that inspire a life-long aptitude for individually and co-operatively solving problems within inclusive socio-economic development, the sustainability of communities and the underlying concepts of equity, health and wellbeing.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Research Methods (15 Credits)

      This module will provide the students with the skills to analyse a range of academic information, comparing alternative methods and techniques. This will involve them collecting and synthesising this information to inform a subject specific research question. The student will have knowledge of well-established research methods and concepts evidenced by the awareness of inconsistencies, gaps, and limitations within literature.

    • Applied Football Development (30 credits)

      This module will elaborate and expand upon knowledge gained from SES1944, including opportunity where students will:

      • Investigate how football can be used to engage underrepresented groups within the community through research and evaluation.
      • Research and apply the latest government policies and NGB strategies to support the rationale for a funded football project.
      • Demonstrate how to monitor and evaluate projects.
      • Analyse the latest research and statistical data for hard-to-reach groups in the local community.

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

    • Applied Football Coaching and Work Based Learning (30 credits)

      The aim of this module is:

      • To practically explore and investigate a range of coaching theories and concepts.
      • Through practical activities you will analyse the performance of others and adapt your communication to different situations.
      • To demonstrate detailed knowledge of professional codes of conduct specifically safeguarding and risk management.
      • To create an extensive provision of football sessions and coaching materials that examines and encourages progression and development of teaching and coaching skills.
      • You will also gain an advanced understanding of sports on the national curriculum.

      Through the work based learning programme, students will complete 75 hours of relevant industry experience.

    • Applied Football Performance (30 credits)

      To identify and analyse the key scientific concepts and principles across the sports science disciplines of Physiology, Psychology, Biomechanics and Performance Analysis.

      Students will generate specialised skills and be able to undertake complex tests on football players and suggest improvements.

      Students will acquire skills to identify, analyse and communicate principles and concepts through the five sport and exercise disciplines and apply these to coaching sessions.

    • Made in Middlesex Expansion Module (Associative Me) (15 Credits)

      This module builds on the personal and professional outcomes of undergraduate students that were secured at level 4. By continuing to work beyond sporting disciplines, learners will be challenged to provide opinions and back this up with reasoning and evidence throughout a range of inter-related sectors. Utilising multi-department collaboration, students will appraise, assess and critique the information from subject experts within Support and Wellbeing, Employability, Learning Enhancement and the Students Union.

      Through comparing broader educational principles, students will further develop innovative skills that inspire a life-long aptitude for individually and co-operatively solving problems within inclusive socio-economic development, the sustainability of communities and the underlying concepts of equity, health and wellbeing.

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. 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 100 hours of industry experience throughout your degree (50 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.


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.

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  2. How to apply
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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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