BA (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching (top-up)

Want to champion sport and physical activity? If you’ve already completed a related Foundation Degree or HND, our BSc (Hons) Sport Development and Coaching (Top-up) course offers you Honours-level skills and knowledge ready to boost your prospects for a career encouraging and enabling people to get active.

BA (Hons) Sports Development and Coaching (top-up)

Course details

Sport isn’t just for elite athletes – it’s for everyone. Passionate, effective and inspiring sport and physical activity development professionals and community coaches are needed to get people moving, help them gain skills and confidence in their physical abilities, and build their enjoyment of sport and fitness. Our BSc (Hons) in Sport Development and Coaching (Top-up) course seeks to enhance your existing Foundation Degree or HND-level knowledge and skills, and expand your opportunities in this varied and rewarding sector.

Expertly combining theory and practice, our dedicated team will guide you as you explore the principles, theories and methods of sport and physical activity development and coaching, as well as social, economic, and political factors affecting the industry. You’ll learn about the ways in which organisations work together to provide opportunities for sport, and different approaches used to engage and sustain physical activity among different inactive groups of the population.

You’ll have opportunities to support and deliver practical coaching sessions and sports projects with community groups, gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to organise your own coaching projects and sports events. Our ambition is to help you become a skilled ambassador for sport and active well-being, ready for a career helping disadvantaged groups enjoy physical activity benefits.

  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: C606
  • Duration: 1 year

Course highlights:

  • Our Sports courses are ranked 13th in the UK, and first in the North West, by the Guardian University Guide 2018. We’re also ranked in the top 10 in the UK for both Student Satisfaction and Graduate Prospects by The Complete University Guide 2018.
  • One module is taught at the world-class sport and leisure venue Bolton Arena, so you can gain experience in a large and active real-world sports environment.
  • We offer a highly qualified and experienced team of multi-sports practitioners and academic staff with links to top-flight athletes and sports teams, national and regional sports facilities, and a wide variety of community sport and activity clubs.
  • You’ll be encouraged to attend our world-class guest lectures from renowned sports professionals and practitioners. These enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry and contribute to your professional development.
  • 100% of alumni enter work or progress on to further study within six months of graduating (DLHE, 2015-16).

Key features:

  • Our on-campus facilities are based in the £31 million Bolton One building, including a multi-use gym, climbing wall, swimming pool, fully-equipped sports science laboratories, strength and conditioning suite, rehabilitation suite, and specialist classrooms.
  • We prefer to keep lecture and practical classes relatively small, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask our friendly, supportive staff for help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • You’ll have the chance to gain applied experience within the University’s vibrant sports culture, volunteering programme and links with community sports programmes.
  • We’ll support you to develop valuable transferable skills such as communication, independent and group working, research and critical evaluation, and project management that are highly sought after by employers.

Entry requirements

  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BA (Hons)
  • UCAS code: C606
  • Duration: 1 year

For direct entry to Level HE6 (Top-up), you need to have successfully completed either a Foundation Degree (FdSc) or an HND in Sport Development and Coaching, or a similar sport-related course.

You'll be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.

This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable adults and all students must gain an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure certificate for a Child Workforce including Child Barred List checks, before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service. Find out more

It will be mandatory for you attend and complete an accredited First Aid and Safeguarding course within your first year, as these subsidised minimum standards for deployment are a University requirement of Fitness to Practice.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

Sport development and coaching is one of the largest sectors of the sport and leisure industry. Sports development and coaching careers involve making sure that people have the chance to take part in sport and ensure that all sections of the community are aware of available activities and where they can go to get involved.

This degree will give you the skills, knowledge and ability to run your own coaching sessions, programmes and sports events. You’ll have the opportunity to develop a range of key employability skills, such as making decisions under pressure, written and oral communication skills, the ability to work with individuals and groups, self-motivation and the ability to motivate others, leadership, teamwork and planning.

Completing your Honours-level studies should prove valuable in helping you achieve your career goals.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduates find employment in local authority sport development units, schools, FE colleges, universities, hotels, fitness centres, county sport partnerships and private sector organisations. You may choose to work with athletes on an individual basis or analyse team performance. Some of the more typical roles include teacher, sports development officer, sports coach, sports activity coordinator, sport events manager and fitness centre manager. Some graduates also go into self-employment by establishing their own coaching business.

If you are interested in teaching, this course allows you to move into primary or secondary education-based courses. Many students also undertake a PGCE and Master’s qualification in sport management disciplines, developing specialist skills and experience.

Alternative career options

  • Sports centre management
  • Active leisure amenities management
  • Teaching and education
  • Youth work
  • Research and analysis
  • Community engagement
  • Public health promotion
  • Public relations/consultancy
  • Sports promotion and sponsorship
  • Parks and recreation

Professional recognition

The University of Bolton is currently working with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) towards a new HE endorsement for degree programmes for sport and physical activity development. We anticipate that this programme will achieve the requisite endorsement criteria once the accreditation has been re-launched nationally by CIMSPA.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


Course application details are unavailable at present


Course application details are unavailable at present

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Policy and Strategic Planning in Sport
  • Contemporary Issues in Sport
  • Coaching Applications and Analysis
  • Dissertation
  • Management of Sport Operations

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a combination of face-to-face teaching, and directed and independent study. Knowledge, skills and understanding are developed through a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, live projects, coaching practicals and tutorials. You’ll also have access to our virtual learning environment, with online learning resources.

Presentations and masterclasses by guest speakers are used throughout the programme to enhance employability and to make the link between theory and practice.

In terms of assessment, you can expect coursework (usually essays and reports), written examinations, practical assessments (particularly for coaching modules), skills portfolios, oral or poster presentations, a final year dissertation, and others. Some of these will contribute to your final marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes for the course. Other assessments will help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these will not count towards your final marks.

You’ll also receive feedback on assessment drafts. These will help to identify any areas which would benefit from extra attention on your part, or where you need extra support from your tutor.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (64%), Practical exams (16%), Written exams (20%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (74%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (26%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
  • Course type:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BA (Hons)
  • Duration:
    1 year

Contact us

Craig Hobbs
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903878

Anika Leslie-Walker
Admissions Tutor
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903117

Thomas Dickson
Marketing Co-ordinator
Telephone: (0)1204 903876

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903