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

Want to champion sport and physical activity? If you’ve already completed a related foundation degree or HND, our BA (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.

Sport Development and Coaching (top-up)

Key information


BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:



1 year


University of Bolton

UCAS code:


Start date:

To be confirmed

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, develop their sporting potential and adopt active lifestyle habits. Our BA (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 sport and physical activity projects with community groups, gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to organise your own coaching projects, sports and activity events. Our ambition is to help you become a skilled sport and physical activity professional, ready for a career helping disadvantaged groups enjoy physical activity and wellbeing benefits.

  • Our Sports Science courses are ranked seventh in the UK and first in the North West of England by the Guardian University Guide 2022.
  • Also, The Times and the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 ranks our Sports Science courses as first in the UK for teaching quality.
  • We offer a highly qualified and experienced team of sport, physical activity and coaching practitioners and academic staff with links to global sport and physical activity employers in the public, private and commercial, and voluntary community sectors.
  • You’ll be encouraged to attend our insightful guest lectures from renowned sports professionals and field trip visits. These will enhance your learning, help you make contacts in the industry and contribute to your professional development.
  • You’ll have the chance to gain further applied experience within the university’s vibrant sports culture, volunteering opportunities and links with community sport and physical activity programmes.
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.
  • 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.
Professional recognition

The University of Bolton is a leading HE Partner and seeking endorsement of this course with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

Sport development and coaching is one of the largest sectors of the sport and active 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 offers you the skills, knowledge, and ability to run your own coaching sessions, activity 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 seek employment in local authority sport and physical activity development units, schools, FE colleges, universities, 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 graduates also undertake a PGCE and master’s qualification in sport management disciplines, developing specialist skills and experience.

Alternative career options

Many sport development and coaching graduates pursue opportunities outside the sport sector in industries such as business, finance, marketing, education and sales. Some roles require further study and work experience. Possible alternative roles include:

  • Sports centre management
  • Active leisure amenities management
  • Teaching and education
  • Youth work
  • Research and analysis
  • Community engagement
  • Public health promotion
  • Behaviour change and active lifestyle
  • Public relations/consultancy
  • Sports promotion and sponsorship
  • Elite and high-performance sport
  • Parks and recreation

Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/23
International Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/23

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on for 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.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

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

  • Sport and Physical Activity Dissertation
  • International Sport for Development
  • Enhancing Physical Health and Wellbeing in Local Populations
  • Physical Education and School Sport
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 70%, Practical exams 20%, Written exams 10%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 78%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 22%


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. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. 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.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Craig Hobbs
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903878

Anika Leslie-Walker
Admissions Tutor

+44 (0)1204 903117

Mark Moran
Senior Lecturer

+44 (0)1204 903114

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Postgraduate Options

MBA Master of Business Administration

Mode of study
1 Years

University of Bolton

MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Mode of study
1 Years

University of Bolton

MA Community Development and Youth Studies

Mode of study
1 Years

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant