Dr Matthew Fiander

PhD, FHEA, MSc by Research, BSc

Senior Lecturer in Sport, Coaching and PE

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work

Matthew Fiander


Matt teaches across a range of modules on the Sport, Coaching and Physical Education (BSc), Sport and Exercise Science (BSc) and Applied Coaching Science (MSc) degrees. He also supervises a number of undergraduate and postgraduate students and leads or is involved in several research projects.

Matt also coaches at a community rugby union club and works with several coaches to improve their coaching practice and behaviours.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Coaching: Practice to Theory 1
  • Effective Coaching Practice
  • Coaching: Practice to Theory 2
  • Advanced Coaching Practice
  • Talent Identification and Development
  • Sport Pedagogy
  • Pedagogic Practice in Coaching and Physical Education


Matt supervises a number of undergraduate and postgradute students and welcomes enquiries from prospective postgraduate research students with interests within the field of coaching, coach education and development, coaches' decision making, and talent identification and development for consideration for the Faculty of Health and Life Science's MA/MSc by Research and MPhil/PhD research degree programmes. For more information, see Oxford Brookes University Research Degrees.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Josh Eales Changing the rules of the game: A longitudinal investigation on the implementation of ecological dynamics within a Premier League football club Active


Matt's PhD aimed to examine a key decision regularly made by coaches by investigating what information (cues) rugby union coaches use when making team selection decisions. He highlighted the large number of cues rugby union coaches claim to use when making selection decisions, the disparity among coaches working within the same team, and systematic errors in coaches’ team selection decisions.

Research grants and awards

£5,000 Brookes Teaching Innovation Project (BTIP) scheme funded through the OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University.

Research projects

Matt is currently leading or developing several research projects, including:

  • designing, developing, and implementing a novel coach education programme that aims to develop coaches' critical thinking skills
  • assessing coaches' decisions on selecting or deselecting players within a professional rugby union academy
  • exploring how language is used to control decision making within a coaching team.



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Professional information


  • Fiander, M. F., Stebbings, J., & Coulson, M. C. (2019). “The Best or the Rest”: A Case Study of a Rugby Union Coaching Team’s Team Selection Decisions. Oral presented at the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) Conference. Solihull, UK, December 2019.
  • Fiander, M. F., Stebbings, J., & Coulson, M. C. (2015). Coaches’ perceptions of cues utilised in team selection decisions. Oral presented at the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP) Conference. Leeds, UK, December 2015.
  • Fiander, M. F., Jones, M. I., & Parker, J. K. (2012). Coaches’ perceptions of the use of chronological and biological age in the identification and development of talented athletes: An exploration of the long-term athlete development model. Oral presented at the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Student Conference. London, UK, June, 2012.


Matt delivers workshops to national governing bodies, sport clubs, and schools in the areas of decision making and coach education, development, and support.