We provide world-first higher education programmes within the football club environment with a programme of study based around a complete and comprehensive wrap-around support programme that will run through the Football Excellence Programme.

The aim of the Football Excellence Programme is to provide lifelong learning and education to aspiring young football coaches and managers, as well as being the hub for football industry qualifications. Students on our Football Excellence Programme will receive high quality teaching, learning and coaching provision from professionals with backgrounds in academia, professional football and sport business. We will ensure that everyone on our Football Excellence Programme will gain the qualifications, skills and expertise needed for the maximum chance of success within the football industry or the wider sport business industry.

The Programme provides both football coaches and players with the opportunity to continue to develop their footballing skills whilst studying the degree programme.

This Football Coaching & Management degree qualification is ideal for those looking for experience and a detailed understanding of the world of football coaching and management across different levels of the game from grass roots to the elite level. It provides a unique learning experience and the opportunity to live, learn and develop within the live operations of a professional football environment, providing students with access to the club coaching and playing pyramid. This allows students to engage with, and gain an understanding across, areas such as community coaching, coaching in the academy and coaching oversees.

In 2015, UCFB formed a significant partnership with the League Managers Association (LMA), the organisation representing all football managers from the English Premier League and the Football League. This partnership provides UCFB with unprecedented access to LMA members in order to enhance this curriculum.

The practical application of knowledge will be fulfilled by completing additional coaching badges such as FA Level 2, Youth Award Modules 1 and 2 and support with completing the FA UEFA B qualifications via interaction with professional coaches within the game and the use of the state-of-the-art training facilities at the Etihad Campus.

As part of the unique Complementary CurriculumTM, students will experience guest lectures and master classes from key industry professionals. Previous UCFB guest speakers have included Mike Phelan, former Manchester United Assistant Coach under Alex Ferguson, Ian Dowie, Sean Dyche, Jamie Carragher, Steve McManaman, Joey Barton, Danny Mills and Trevor Sinclair to name just a few.

Graduates of the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management degree will be awarded degrees by our esteemed academic partner institution, Bucks New University.

UCFB degrees fall under three subject benchmark statements – General business and management (2007); Hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism (2008); and Psychology (2010). Visit the QAA website to access each of these benchmark statements.

Download the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management Programme Specification.

Football Coaching & Management BA (Hons) Modules


Semester 1

Introduction to Football Management

The module introduces you to the necessary understanding and skills for effective leadership and management within association football by considering it at different levels of the national game. You will be able to identify the skills and qualities required by individuals to succeed in management from grass roots by examining management in the elite game. Students will be exposed to case study examples of successful and unsuccessful managers at different levels of the game and will compare and contrast different styles. Students will explore the key qualities, characteristics and roles of an effective manager in association football across all levels of the game.

Fundamentals of Coaching

This module will enable you to develop awareness and understanding of the key fundamentals and principles of sports coaching, integrating theory with practice and sharing knowledge and understanding through discussion and debate. The practical element of coaching will allow you to gain experience in and an understanding of the cognitive process of coaching. You will learn what a coach needs to function effectively and safely in a variety of situations, developing reflective skills and identifying which theories are most applicable when working in a specific coaching context. You will learn how to reflect on and evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to improve both your technical and behavioural skills relevant to a career in the coaching industry.

Semester 2

Football Principles & Practice

This module is designed to provide you with an essential ‘coaching toolkit’ with which to develop the technical performance of young players.

Firstly, you will examine key technical components used in football. Secondly, you will explore the principles of play (both attacking and defending), how you can develop individuals understanding of the game and how to manage mistakes within practice situations. Taking a player-centred approach which allows the player to be actively involved in their own learning and development through decision-making and problem-solving rather than being coach-led, you will design practices which will develop players game craft and game understanding and learn what constrains lead coaching principles.

Coaching in the Community

This module will develop your core understanding of sport in community projects. You will particularly explore the role of community-based youth sport initiatives and how these are conducted. Coaching theory will be applied to age- and ability-related practical sessions and you will learn how to support and engage community groups via sport. You will also develop a clear understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to working with diverse demographic groups.


Semester 1

Managing Teams & Individuals

This module explores key principles of leadership and management and examines leadership styles in football. You will study and evaluate leadership and management skills and consequent behaviours. Moreover, you will be able to develop management knowledge and understanding to help to advance your career within the football industry in a management role. You will analyse which behaviours are considered to be successful in the management of players, teams and backroom staff in Association Football. Change management strategies and consideration of psychological factors, such as stress management, confidence building, motivation and ways of working with different personalities will be examined.

Talent Development

You will critique the literature and evidence behind the different types of talent and the predictors of talent across a range of sports. You will evaluate a variety of different performance pathways that exist across sports and within other countries. This will allow you to evaluate key predictors of talent within a chosen sporting field and moreover have the appreciation to apply key theories of talent development and critically analyse talent development pathways. Furthermore you will examine the support mechanisms which aid the development of sporting ability and skills that help to fulfil young people`s potential.

Semester 2

Research Methods

The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project. Students will be provided with support in developing their writing style to incorporate citations and make use of referencing.

They will be introduced to Academic Journals and will use these to inform their understanding of the research approaches used in the sector. This will also serve to familiarise the learners with the role of Journals in their wider study. The final aspect of this module will introduce hypothesis testing, with learners making use of a computer package to undertake simple statistical tests commonly used within their subject area.

Football Tactics & Strategies

You will acquire a systematic understanding of the principles of play, appropriate to Association Football and advanced tactical and strategic knowledge relevant to the 11 vs.11 format of the game. You will explore different formations and the roles and responsibilities of players, looking specifically at movement off the ball and key movement triggers to develop patterns of play. Coaches will develop their understanding of progression starting with specific aspects of team play, working with individuals (13-21 years), with units and then whole team triggers in functional practices and phases of play in 11 vs. 11 game situations. You will design practices which will develop players’ positional play and understanding through functional practices and phases of play.


Semester 1

Applied Reflective Practice

Using leadership and management as central themes you will learn how to critically appraise relevant theory and research in order to develop your own actions, behaviours and characteristics pertinent to a career as a sport, business or coaching manager. The module provides an opportunity to reflect on your own approach to leadership and management skills and behaviour and to critically analyse the impact of this in an applied setting benchmarking such approaches against tested relevant academic frameworks. You will learn how to evaluate and apply managerial and leadership theory to practice, and will have the opportunity to produce an evidenced-based personal development plan to improve your own management and leadership behaviours.

Elite Performance Coaching

This module will give you critical insight into how coaches work in the professional game and explore how analysis and reflection inform coaching practice & management within professional football. The module will follow an interdisciplinary approach in both theory and practice to explore the coaching and management behaviours and methods employed when working with professional football teams and players. You will use theory and evidence-based practice to evaluate appropriate training programmes and critically analyse existing approaches to elite performance coaching within football and other sports. You will critically analyse (through observation) current practices to develop skills and improve high performance within professional football, furthermore exploring key support mechanisms when working with elite professional players within the coaching environment.

Semester 2

Research Project

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity for independent learning through the completion of an individual, extended research project. The project requires a high level of individual application and commitment to research and enquiry. It provides students with the opportunity to identify, reflect upon and explore a topic that has implications for their own professional development.

Match Analysis

This module aims to provide you with a framework to support the ongoing cycle of the coaching process. Coaches are required to observe, analyse, evaluate and provide feedback to players after performance. You will explore key performance indicators with particular reference to both technical and tactical analysis. You will establish how to use a range of match analysis methods from notational to applying technological advancements to enhance your efficiency in providing feedback. You will develop techniques to evaluate teams’ overall performance both technical and tactical in order to provide feedback for intervention planning.

* Modules listed above may vary depending on changes to the syllabus.


Applications are welcomed from students with a genuine passion and ambition to work in the football and sports industries.

The minimum academic requirement for this degree course is a 112 UCAS point score under the new UCAS tariff system for 2017 entry.

Other minimum requirements

Applicants will normally have achieved one of the following:

  • A minimum of 2 A Levels including two C grades
  • A BTEC Extended diploma grade DMM
  • A BTEC Diploma grade D*D*
  • A combination of BTEC and A-Level qualifications with at least two C graded A levels or Merit graded BTEC equivalents.
  • International Baccalaureate (minimum of 30 points)
  • An Advanced GNVQ in an appropriate subject at Distinction level
  • An Access Course: minimum of 60 credits, including at least 45 at Level 3
  • An equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Must hold FA Level 1

Applicants should have a strong GCSE profile, including English at Grade C, or equivalent and Maths at Grade C (specifically for Football Business & Finance, Sports Business & Sports Law and Sports Psychology).

Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered. Applicants for whom English is a second language should have achieved IELTS 6 or equivalent for entry into Level 4.

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not possess the above qualifications but may have relevant experience.

Applications need to have a strong background of football coaching experience, holding the FA Level 1 as a requirement. Students will require a good understanding of principles of football and will need to synthesise and translate theory and knowledge in a practical setting. Being able to demonstrate is an important attribute to succeed on the course and experience of playing at a professional football academy or semi-professional football club will be an advantage.

Entry with advanced standing

Students are normally expected to start at Level 4, but can be admitted to any level of the course which is considered suitable, after portfolio review and interview, using the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). Under this arrangement, a student may apply to have previous academic credits or other learning or experience taken into consideration. Such applications are considered by the Faculty CATS committee and must be supported by the Academic Department.

Scholarships & Bursaries

A limited number of scholarships and bursaries are available for 2015. Visit the undergraduate scholarships and bursaries page for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding entry requirements, please contact us at admissions@ucfb.com.


Career prospects for graduates of the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management degree programme at UCFB include football coaching roles, including the ability to rise to senior managerial roles due to the management aspect of the degree.

Read more about Employability at UCFB