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Sport, Coaching and Physical Education

BSc (Hons) - single BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons) - combined

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

The Sport, Coaching and Physical Education degree at Oxford Brookes provides an exciting, challenging and supportive environment for people who aspire to be outstanding coaches, teachers and people. We invite you to join our close-knit and supportive learning community, whose participants share a passion for problem solving, leadership and personal development. As a community, we have an excellent record of developing outstanding people who go on to a wide variety of employment and further studies.

The success of our community is dependent on one essential ingredient: its members.

We are passionate about understanding the lived experience of teaching and coaching, in order to facilitate the development of theoretically informed, contextually aware, and pragmatic practitioners. Our degree will use problem-based learning to help you to identify and apply complex theoretical ideas into practical settings. Our positive learning environment, full of challenge, provides you with a delicate balance between stretch and support.

The degree is philosophically and theoretically grounded in an emphasis on exploring the constraints which impact upon learners, educators and practitioners. This constraints-led approach, in its simplest sense, encourages staff and students to understand and explore how various individual, group and environmental factors impact upon learning and shape the development of human behaviour. This approach requires a deep understanding of the context (the sport or activity), human movement (the biomechanics, anatomy, physiology and skill learning of movement), the individual (the psychological and socio-cultural being) and the environment (the learning space and the broader social and political landscape). Developing this holistic understanding allows coaches, teachers, and sports practitioners to appreciate and negotiate these interacting elements in their future careers. Developing graduates who can effectively shape the landscape they provide for their learners and colleagues.

Developing employability throughout the student's three years at Oxford Brookes is also key to our success. We take pride in providing an extensive placement provision, an in-industry mentoring scheme and professional qualifications (REPs Level 3 Personal Training) into our degree programme.

Join us and embark upon an exciting journey towards the development of expertise, whether that be in the classroom, on the pitch, or in the wider sports industry. Joining our community is your first step on your journey to becoming a high performing sports professional. We are excited to welcome you to join us in helping us shape the future of coaching and teaching.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Harcourt Hill Campus / Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: up to 6 years

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • A key feature of the course is its integration of applied professional practice with theory. You will examine academic subjects and develop your critical skills in a variety of practical settings. This may include working alongside professional coaches in elite settings or examining issues linked to sport and physical education provision in schools. 
  • Sport, Coaching and Physical Education is available as a single honours degree or can be combined with other subjects. It can be studied on a part-time or full-time basis. 
  • The course has achieved a 95% overall student satisfaction score in the 2014 National Student Survey.
  • Our staff have been professional coaches, officials and team managers at Commonwealth Games, European Championships and World University Games. Many are involved in exciting research projects, developing knowledge and professional links that students can access.
  • Our links with local sports partnerships, governing bodies and Sports Coach UK provide exciting work placement and career opportunities.
  • Our sports facilities across both our Headington and Harcourt Hill campuses have recently been refurbished and boast a wide range of facilities including a swimming pool, sports hall, fitness suite, tennis and squash courts, football and rugby pitches, golf course and physiotherapy clinic.
  • Oxford Brookes is one of the UK's leading sport universities, with 40 sports clubs.

You will study a range of modules which focus on the key aspects of sport, coaching and physical education.

  • In Year 1  students will start the development of the critical skills required to become an expert academic practitioner. It provides the initial learning focus that requires you to demonstrate your written, verbal, practical and presentation skills in all modules as preparation for year 1 and 2.
  • In Year 2 you will have greater opportunities for choice and specialisation, directly reflected in the variety of modules and relevance of assessment types offered. The abilities to compare, contrast, reflect and relate concepts are evaluated. These are assessed through more challenging tasks and greater connectivity between academic, vocational and professional insights.
  • In your final year you will need to demonstrate your ability to work independently with a focus on more research oriented work. You will be given all-important opportunities to cope with working under supervised conditions.

Study modules

Throughout the course you are guided by your academic adviser to ensure that your module choices give you the best opportunities for future employment in your chosen field. Students wishing to progress into a teaching or coaching career are encouraged to take the more practical modules. Students hoping for a career in other aspects of sport are encouraged to choose from a range of theoretically and practically informed specialisms.

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Year 1 (level 4)

First-year modules include introductions to the main themes within the degree programme, allowing you to gain insight into sports development, coaching and management.

Typical modules include:

  • Sport Pedagogy
  • Coaching: Practice to Theory 1
  • Skill in Sport: Learning and Mechanics
  • An Introduction to the Sociology of Sport
  • Academic and Research Literacy
  • Exercise Physiology and Anatomy
  • The Sports and Exercise Practitioner
  • Effective Coaching Practice

Years 2 and 3 (levels 5 and 6)

Second-year modules offer breadth of choice with topics such as sociology, psychology, physiology and pedagogy further developed. In the final year the focus is on advanced research and applied modules. You will be expected to develop links with local sports clubs, coaches and schools in order to collaborate on innovative projects. Honours modules give you the opportunity for in-depth research in areas of your choice.

Typical modules include:

  • Research Methods for Sport and Health Sciences
  • Coaching: Practice to Theory 2 (double)
  • Work Experience
  • Global and Cultural Studies in Sport
  • Professional Practice in Sport Coaching
  • Principles of Training for Sport and Exercise
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sports Development
  • Sport and Exercise Biomechanics
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Applied Sports Psychology (double honours component)
  • Advanced Social Theory in Sports Coaching (double honours component)
  • Independent Study in Sport and Health Sciences (honours component)
  • Project/Dissertation (double honours component)
  • Advanced Coaching Practice (double honours component)
  • Integrated Approaches to Training and Performance (double honours component)

Work placements

Our degree has a compulsory, work experience oriented, teaching and learning strand across all three years. This combines lectures and workshops where students look at the range of careers within the sports sector, practise applying for jobs and shadow locally identified professionals. They will be immersed in work-based observation, placement opportunities and work-based analysis as part of this process.

Recent work placements have included working alongside the coaching team at Oxford United FC, supporting athletes funded by TASS (the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme), and placements in local school PE departments.

“The Inside Track” is a new initiative to match experienced industry-based mentors (within and outside of sport, coaching and teaching in both the private and public sectors) with final-year students to be encouragers, supporters and guidance providers as they prepare for immersion in the world of graduate-level work.

Study abroad

The University offers the opportunity to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most students opt to go on exchange in the second year and are responsible for the organisation of such opportunities in conjunction with the relevant University department.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Attendance pattern

Students are required to attend for two 12-week semesters. This normally means their studies are concluded by mid-May, freeing them to undertake experiential learning in sport and coaching worldwide. 

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Our degree aims to combine theoretical study across a range of disciplines with the development of practical skills, including the use of innovative technology in sport, coaching and physical education. You will be supported to develop a level of critical self development and independence. The skills you develop will be transferable into a number of career pathways.

We have a good range of well-equipped and modern facilities. In this environment, under the careful supervision of academic staff, you will be taught safe and effective ways to carry out investigations.

Teaching is dynamic, interactive and directly related to employability and key skills. Large group lectures are balanced with smaller, more personalised seminars, workshops and tutorial sessions.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 21%79%0%
2 18%71%10%
3 16%73%10%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 18%82%0%
2 17%83%0%
3 20%80%0%

Approach to assessment

Modules are assessed by coursework only, utilising a mixture of assessment methods including portfolios, group and individual presentations and practical assessments of coaching and teaching ability.

Initial guidance is provided in course handbooks, module handbooks, virtual learning environments and classroom-based activities designed to provide formative feedback for students new to the demands of university work.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 6%10%84%
2 0%15%85%
3 0%15%85%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 14%16%70%
2 13%10%78%
3 0%13%88%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

*Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112

A-Level: BBC or equivalent

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points

BTEC: DMM in a relevant field of study

Other typical offers include:

  • BB at A-level plus CC at AS-level
  • BC at A-level plus BB at AS-level
  • BB at 12-unit vocational A-level plus 1 A-level or 2 AS levels at C
  • BC at 12-unit vocational A-level plus 1 A-level or 2 AS levels at B.

Other A-level equivalent qualifications will be considered.

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: grades BBC or equivalent

GCSE: 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C) to include Mathematics, English Language and Science

Ability to demonstrate an interest and commitment to sport. 

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

Pathways courses for international and EU students

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, or if you would like more preparation before you start, you can take an  international foundation course. Once you enrol, you will have a guaranteed pathway to this degree if you pass your foundation course with the required grades.

If you only need to meet the language requirements, you can take our  pre-sessional English course. You will develop key language and study skills for academic success and you will not need to take an external language test to progress to your degree.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

If you are an international applicant, you will need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visa if you are offered a place. 

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

As a student in Oxford you'll be at the heart of a superb network of local sports partnerships, primary and secondary schools and further education colleges. Through our strong links with these organisations, there is a host of exciting work placement and career opportunities open to you.  

Because Oxford is one of the world's great academic cities, it is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects.

In addition to our own excellent libraries and resource centres, our students have access to the world-renowned Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Science Library.

Support for students studying Sport, Coaching and Physical Education

You will be provided with an academic adviser who will guide your academic progression through the subject. They will steer you through modular choices for intended pathway outcomes, such as coaching and teaching, exercise physiology, sports sociology or sport and exercise psychology.

This will be supplemented with subdiscipline-specific guidance and assistance by the module leader and teaching teams throughout your course. All tutors allow time at the end of lectures for students to discuss assignment-related issues. Further reading sources are provided for all lectures with associated learning tasks.

Tutors are also available weekly for student meetings without appointment. They aim to respond to student enquiry emails within 48 hours.

Student support co-ordinators provide a further layer of guidance, advice and help. They are based at Headington and at Harcourt Hill Campus, and are available during normal working hours.

Specialist facilities

Oxford Brookes boasts a wide range of sporting facilities to support its 40 sports clubs. In addition to the Centre for Sport situated on the Headington Campus, which is equipped with a health suite, climbing wall and astroturf pitch, we have recently refurbished our sports centre at Harcourt Hill. Its facilities include a swimming pool, sports hall, fitness suite, tennis and squash courts, football and rugby pitches, golf course and physiotherapy clinic.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

This course will give you the skills and knowledge required to enter a variety of professions. These include sports coaching, physical education and sports development within local authorities, national governing bodies, sports clubs and private organisations.

Students are encouraged to attend sport-related careers fairs in London and the Midlands.

Popular choices for our graduates include becoming sports coaches, teachers and professionals in the sports sector. Many of our students apply to become fully qualified teachers by gaining a place on a PGCE and our placement opportunities help students build towards readiness for further study.

Other careers also include sports development, management, and marketing. Some students secure coaching and sports science related posts in elite and professional sport. Furthermore, our students are increasingly successful in securing non-sports specific graduate jobs due to the nature of the transferable skills gained whilst studying at Brookes.

Further study

Many of our graduates continue their studies with a PGCE or another course at master’s level. The course is designed to have a clear pathway into Sports Coaching and Physical Education. The leadership, problem-solving and communication skills developed throughout are an ideal grounding for this and many other professions.

Similarly a number of students choose to go on to postgraduate study in coaching science, sports journalism, research, medicine, sport science, sports management, physiotherapy and health promotion.