Hartpury College

Professional Development (Coaching Science) - (PGCert, PGDip, MSc)

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Course Overview

The Professional Development (Coaching Science) programme is designed to allow coaches from all sporting environments to develop their practice and professional network by completing a range of portfolio projects negotiated in partnership with personal tutors from Hartpury College’s HE Sport department. Portfolio projects can be completed by individuals or may form a component of a group effort with coaches working together to investigate an aspect of personal practice before creating an output, such as a report or presentation, that can be published to the wider coaching community. These portfolios can therefore focus on part of the learner’s current workplace responsibilities or be used to plan future ventures directly linked to the coach’s environment and career progression plans.

This innovative approach to postgraduate study allows coaches to focus their research on a number of possible coaching contexts including teaching, coach education and supporting high performance athletes, and therefore to design their own powerful professional development experiences. Core coaching modules are studied alongside students completing the MSc Coaching Science programme, allowing valuable sharing of perspectives and resources across and amongst two related courses that each have individual development needs and group collaboration as their key concern.

All students complete three core modules that focus on the craft of coaching practice, and related areas of concern such as coach philosophy, language, behaviour and planning. Whilst involved in these key debates coaches will also be developing a personal learning plan via an appreciation of reflective practice.  These experiences are collated in a Professional Development Portfolio with discussions amongst learning peers and with personal tutors central to this course component. Upon completion of the programme’s core modules students qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate and may choose to continue their studies via focused research into a single coaching context (perhaps due to it mirroring their current workplace or career aspirations) or through study of a broader range of topics, each negotiated by themselves and their tutor. Completion of this phase of the programme sees students eligible for a Postgraduate Diploma and able to carry out an extended final project that once successfully completed results in the award of a Master’s degree.

Module delivery will be supported by a range of student-centred approaches (e.g. distance learning and practice-based activities) and will include peer learning sets which could be face-to-face and/or supported electronically. The programme design team is committed to adult learning approaches that include the development of learning contracts and critical and independent enquiry for the coaching practice-based elements. Assessment methods reflect adult learning principles also, allowing students to shape and develop academic work that focuses on current coaching practice and personal development. Students will benefit from an enhanced learning experience by engaging in a variety of creative teaching mediums such as mentorship, peer modelling, reflective discussion, video observation feedback and experiments in practice.

Our students have gone on to some fantastic careers in a wide range of industries and enjoyed some exceptional work placements all over the world, helping them open doors to their dream careers. You can read our students’ stories here

The programme can be completed full time in one year; part time routes are available and should be planned with your Programme Manager.

For further information on the programme, please contact the Programme Manager Dean Clark – dean.clark@hartpury.ac.uk 01452 702 441


This course has variable a duration

PG Certificate – 1 year

PG Diploma – 1 year full time / 2+ years part-time

MSc - 1 year full time / 2+ years part-time



Entry Requirements


All applications will be reviewed on an individual basis but a guide would be a 2:2 classification or better in an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree relating to Sports Coaching / Sports Science / Social Science or significant and current experience of sport coaching,  coach education, sport development or teaching.

For the most up to date information on your programme, you can find your course information sheet here

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Next Open Day

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21 Jan 2017 Postgraduate Open Day - 21st January 2017

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In Brief


1 Year

Tuition fees

  • Masters UK/EU                                         £6000.00
  • Masters International                                £10800.00
  • PG Dip UK/EU                                           £3500.00
  • PG Dip International                                  £7200.00
  • PG Cert UK/EU                                          £1750.00
  • PG Cert International                                 £3600.00

When should I apply

Applications for postgraduate study can be submitted at any point through the year; however as places are limited on some courses, we recommend that you apply early. You can apply for September 2016 entry now.

How to apply

Please complete the on-line application form

Click to see more course information


  • Core modules (PG Certificate)

    • Professional Development Portfolio
    • Coaching Craft
    • Reflective Practice
  • Context modules (PG Diploma and MSc)

    • High Performing Environments*
    • Pedagogy in Practice*
    • Coach Education in Context*
    • Work-Based Learning Portfolio
    • Coaching Work-Based Extended Project**

    * Students study at least one of these context modules and complete a number of work-based portfolios via a personalised negotiated learning plan that defines portfolio topics and aims.

    ** The compulsory ‘dissertation’ component that students complete in order to achieve the award of MSc IPD (Coaching Science).

course blog post

02 Dec 2016

Sports Round-up 02.12.16

There were some mixed fortunes this week, with a shock result for Hartpury’s top rugby players, as well as some commendable performances including a massive victory for the women’s rugby stars and good efforts from two non-academy sporting teams on their first major outing of the season.

Read On