A degree in sports coaching could see you working in diverse settings, from professional sports clubs to primary schools and prisons

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Many sports coaching degrees offer placements, but you'll still be expected to find your own additional work experience during your time at university. This could be with sports clubs, local schools, community projects or youth organisations.

If you're a member of a sports club or team as a participant, consider volunteering to coach the younger age group section and completing coaching awards alongside this experience.

Almost every university in the UK will have a range of sports clubs and societies open to students to join. You may want to consider volunteering your services as a coach alongside the qualified staff, as a way to gain more experience while shadowing others.

You could combine an interest in travel with gaining work experience, by undertaking a sports coaching role with an organisation such as:

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

You can find work as a sport coach in a range of settings, including:

  • educational institutions - including schools, colleges and universities
  • amateur and professional sports clubs
  • local authority leisure centres and sport departments
  • health and fitness centres
  • residential camps
  • activity centres
  • the armed forces
  • national sporting governing bodies
  • sports councils
  • prisons.

Find information on employers in leisure, sport and tourism, teacher training and education, law enforcement and security and other job sectors

Skills for your CV

A sports coaching degree gives you a range of coaching specific skills and knowledge. This includes the principles of sports coaching, management, sports policy, sports sociology, sports psychology, anatomy, physiology and movement analysis.

The exact content of your degree in sports coaching will depend on the university and whether the course is a BA or a BSc. You may also be able to tailor the modules you take in years two and three to match up with your career aspirations.

A sports coaching degree also develops a valuable set of transferable skills, including:

  • presentation and public speaking
  • project and time-management skills
  • written and verbal communication
  • decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • research and data analysis
  • information technology
  • leadership
  • mentoring
  • numeracy.

Further study

After your degree, depending on your career plan, you might need to complete a postgraduate or professional qualification. If you're keen to coach a specific sport, the National Governing Body (NGB) for that sport will have a list of recommended coaching badges you'll need to help you progress. Some of these may be available during your degree.

If you want to coach disabled sport, some specialist courses are available, through organisations such as Disability Sports Coach.  

Popular postgraduate courses following a sports coaching degree include:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • MSc Sports Therapy.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in sport coaching.

What do sports coaching graduates do?

Sports coaches, instructors and officials (14%) are the most popular jobs held by graduates in employment in the UK. Moreover, 7% are employed as secondary education teaching professionals, 4% as primary education teaching professionals, 4% as teaching assistants, 3% as educational support assistants, 2% as fitness and wellbeing instructors and 2% as sports and leisure assistants.

Further study8.5
Working and studying13.1
Graduate destinations for sports coaching
Type of workPercentage
Other professionals27.1
Childcare, health and education13.2
Retail, catering and customer service11.3
Types of work entered in the UK

For a detailed breakdown of what accountancy graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?

Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

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