Undergraduate Academy Manchester

At UCFB, a world first in football and sport education, our elite undergraduate football academy based at our inspiring campus in Manchester is tailored for released footballers from all of the 92 Premier League and Football League clubs in England as well as professional clubs in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Andy Burgess and Duncan Fearnhead from Accrington Stanley speaking to UCFB Undergraduate Academy students

With partnerships with The Football Association, The National League, League Managers Association, Kick It Out and over 350 employment partners from the world of sport, our undergraduate academy is a natural next step in our vision to drive forward the sports industry together.

UCFB Undergraduate Academy player in action

Our academy provides unparalleled opportunities for aspiring professionals to study university degrees in football business, coaching and/or related industries alongside their football training programme, giving them the best chance at a successful career in the beautiful game, whether on or off the pitch.

At UCFB’s Manchester Undergraduate Academy, elite level players are able to train full-time with the schedule and attention to detail of a professional footballer, led by highly experienced coaches from the English Premier League and Academy system.

UCFB Undergraduate Academy player in action

Our coaching staff include the following industry-leading coaches:

  • Mike Walsh – former youth academy coach at Manchester United, Manchester City, Preston North End and Blackpool
  • Kevin Braybrook – UEFA Pro License coach, formerly at Southampton and Burnley
  • Kevin Hodgson – licensed FA coach educator and mentor, and former coach at Tranmere Rovers

Players on the programme will play in the British University and Colleges (BUCS) League on a Wednesday and the North West Under 21s Development Premier Division for FC United of Manchester’s Under 21 team. In addition, games are arranged against professional and semi-professional teams in order to challenge and develop players further. UCFB has the benefit of using its strong relationships and links to National League clubs, Evostick clubs and North West Counties teams to allow the players pathways into the game.

Trials are held to determine the successful applicants. If you are interested or would like to learn more about UA Manchester, please complete our enquiry form.

Mike Phelan with UCFB students at Belle Vue

Entry Requirements

To be eligible to for the Undergraduate Academy Manchester, candidates must be eligible to compete as part of a U21 football squad in the Northwest U21s Development League.

Alongside footballing talents, applicants must meet the minimum academic and/or professional requirements to be accepted to study at UCFB.

A UCFB Undergraduate Academy player in action at Regional Arena in Manchester

Students on the Undergraduate Academy Manchester have the option of choosing an undergraduate degree, many of which also offer a foundation year for those who do not meet the requirements for the 3-year programme. For a full list of undergraduate degrees, please click here. Alternatively, academy players can complete a one-year Certificate of Higher Education in Football Coaching & Management at UCFB, which consists of the first year modules from the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management degree. The Certificate of Higher Education requires 78 UCAS points.

Applicants for whom English is a second language will need a valid IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.0 and no individual score lower than 5.5.

Applicants to UCFB Etihad Campus must hold a British/EU passport or have the right to work and study in the UK.

For more information, please complete our enquiry form.

The UA92 Club Scholarship Programme

As a partner of The Football Association, UCFB is proud to be able to provide a limited number of scholarships to players who have previously been released from any of the 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League, including their academies. UCFB works closely with these clubs to provide future career paths in the football industry for these talented players, whilst ensuring that their development as a player is not hindered.

UCFB Undergraduate Academy players representing FC United U21 team

Further information on the value of the UA92 Club Scholarship for 2019 entry will be announced in due course. Accommodation, sustenance, flights, visa costs and personal expenses will not be included in the scholarship.

Chris Badlan from Coventry City Football Club speaking to UCFB Undergraduate Academy students

UCFB utilises its wide network to ensure that UA92 Club Scholars are able to continue to play at a competitive level and get coached by current and past Premier League and English Football League Managers, ensuring that they have the best chance of succeeding in their careers whether in a playing or professional capacity.

For further information on the UA92 Club Scholarship programme, please complete our enquiry form.

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