The BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Player Recruitment degree qualification is designed for those who wish to further their ambitions of working in football coaching settings with an interest in player recruitment.

In addition to providing the opportunity to develop coaching practice, the programme provides opportunities to engage in all aspects of player recruitment including areas such as talent identification, player analysis and scouting practices in professional football. Students will be encouraged and taught how to develop their communication and problem solving skills to enable success in a competitive and demanding professional environment.

UCFB coaching pathway students during a lecture at Manchester Sports Village, Belle Vue, part of the UCFB Etihad Campus facilities.

UCFB’s facilities will enable students to learn from experienced industry professionals in sporting environments, furthering their educational experience and knowledge ahead of a rewarding career in the multi-billion-pound football industry.

The majority of classes for this programme will be taught in the state-of-the-art facilities at Belle Vue Sports Village in order to allow a combination of practical and theoretical learning. All UCFB Etihad Campus students have access to the array of first-class UCFB facilities in the Etihad Stadium and surrounding Etihad Campus.

To find out about the Programme Leader for this course, please click here.

UCFB Etihad Campus coaching pathway students receiving a masterclass session by Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan at Belle Vue

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


To find out about the Programme Leader for this course, please click here.

Read more about Employability at UCFB

UCFB degrees fall under three subject benchmark statements – Business and Management (2015); Events, Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism (2016); and Psychology (2016). Visit the QAA website to access each of these benchmark statements.

Download the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Player Recruitment programme specification.

*Degree subject to validation


Semester 1

Fundamentals of Coaching+

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.

Introduction to Player Recruitment and Scouting+

Introduction to Player Recruitment and Scouting

This module will explain the role and responsibilities of a football scout. Students will identify the key factors used in talent identification and player recruitment, while engaging in the completion of basic reporting.

Furthermore, students will learn ethical practices and the importance of adhering to rules and codes of conduct.

Semester 2

Player Recruitment in the Foundation Phase+

Player Recruitment in the Foundation Phase

This module will explain how knowledge of player recruitment can be used and applied within the Foundation Phase. Differing viewpoints held on the assessment of young players will be explored.

Responsible and ethical behaviour in how to interact with young players will be considered.

Football Principles and Practice+

Football Principles and 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.

Semester 1

Talent Development+

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.

Player Recruitment in the Youth Development Phase+

Player Recruitment in the Youth Development Phase

This module uses and applies information from player recruitment techniques that would be used within the Youth Development Phase. Consideration will be given as to how information can be reported to different audiences and against different models and frameworks.

Semester 2

Research Methods+

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 and Strategies+

Football Tactics and 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

Elite Performance Coaching+

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.

Player Recruitment in the Professional Development Phase+

Player Recruitment in the Professional Development Phase

This module will enable students to develop awareness and understanding of the key stages in the recruitment process in the Professional Development Phase from under 17’s to under 21’s and alongside the under 23 level and first team.

This module will explore the role and responsibilities of the key significant others involved within the recruitment process and how this can change from club to club. Students will learn how to apply asset management alongside how to manage players on loan at this phase. Student learning will take place through integrating theory with practice as well as sharing knowledge and understanding through discussion and debate.

Semester 2

Research Project+

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+

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.

* Degree subject to validation


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 112 UCAS points and an FA Level 1 Coaching Award.

Other minimum requirements

  • A minimum of 2 A Levels including two C grades
  • A BTEC Extended diploma grade DDM
  • 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 32 points)
  • An Advanced GNVQ in an appropriate subject at Distinction level
  • An Access Course achieving 112 UCAS points
  • An equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Applicants should hold FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching (or equivalent see below) as a minimum and have coaching experience in a team environment that they can evidence. Applicants presenting these additional qualifications and considerable coaching experience may be accepted without them meeting formal entry requirements. (for more information or to complete your FA Level 1 coaching, please contact your local County FA)
  • Applicants should have a strong GCSE profile, including English at Grade 4 or Grade C, or equivalent and Maths at Grade 4 or Grade C (specifically for Football Business & Finance, Sports Business & Sports Law and Sports Psychology)

We accept the following qualifications as an alternative to the English FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football:

  • Scotland – SFA Level 1 Coaching Licence
  • Wales – FAW C Certificate
  • Northern Ireland – IFA ‘C’ Certificate in Football Coaching
  • Europe – UEFA C Licence in Coaching Football

Other equivalent qualifications, including those from your own country, will be considered for entry.

Applicants for whom English is a second language will need a valid Academic IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.0 with no lower than 5.5 in each component for entry on to a degree programme (Level 4).

All qualifications are subject to approval by the UCFB Admissions team, based on UKVI requirements.

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.


UK/ EU Tuition fees for 2019 entry are:
UCFB Etihad Campus – £9,250 per year

International Tuition fees for 2019 entry are:
UCFB Etihad Campus – £14,250 per year

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Scholarships & Bursaries

A limited number of scholarships and bursaries are available for 2019. Visit the undergraduate scholarships and bursaries page for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding entry requirements, please contact us at

* Degree subject to validation


Career prospects for graduates of the BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Player Recruitment degree programme include football coaching and scouting roles within professional football academies, allowing students to work across The Foundation Phase, The Youth Development and Professional Development Phase, including the ability to rise to academy leadership roles. Graduates may wish to also consider more traditional business, sport management or leadership roles using transferable skills gained throughout the programme.

UCFB’s unique personal development programme monitors each student throughout the three-year course, enabling us to know each student’s needs and expectations. This ties in with students’ career development, ultimately leading to them finding the right place within the football and sports business. For those who wish to extend their studies at the end of their degree, opportunities to study at Masters level will be encouraged.

Read more about Employability at UCFB

Employer Endorsements+

Ben Beer, Senior Recruitment Manager at Challenger Sports USA

“We have worked with UCFB and its students since 2012, taking them to the US and Canada on work placements throughout the summer. The student’s fantastic approach to coaching and their ability to enjoy new and different cultures has made them stand out. Their delivery on the field and their enthusiasm and personalities have made them a great fit with Challenger Sports.”

Chris Lewis, Chairman at Biggleswade United

“The non-league game typically struggles to bring in talent to drive clubs forward due to the lack of resources, but UCFB has been essential in helping us bridge that problem. It’s been fantastic working with UCFB as it has provided us with access to the brightest young talent who are keen to make a career in the football industry.”

Click here to find out more about what UCFB’s employment partners say about our students.

* Degree subject to validation


Tuition fees
UK/EU tuition fees for 2019 entry are £9,250 per year.
International tuition fees for 2019 entry are £14,250 per year.

Additional costs

The provision of a facility or service including accommodation may be subject to an additional charge (i.e. separate from tuition fees). Where this is the case, we will make this clear in advance and payment for such service shall be made in accordance with any additional contract made between you and UCFB.

In some instances, optional Employability & Enrichment activities provided by UCFB may carry an additional cost for participants (e.g. qualifications with external certification such as FA Coaching Badges). Any additional costs will be provided to students in advance of any such sessions running.

Students will be required to purchase UCFB branded kit for their studies, which costs £120-150. UCFB students may also be asked for an additional contribution fee of £10-20 for trips.

For information on UCFB Scholarships and Bursaries please click here.

* Degree subject to validation