Sport Coaching and Physical Education - College of Education, Health and Human Development - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

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Sport Coaching & Physical Education

We offer the following options for people who are interested in a career in Sport Coaching or teacher education specialising in physical education:

  • Bachelor of Sport Coaching, BSpC
  • Certificate in Sport Coaching, CertSpC
  • Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching, GradCertSpC
  • Physical Education teacher pathways
Physical Education Teaching

We also deliver courses in Physical Education and Health Education in primary and secondary teacher education programmes and the Master of Education Programme.

A range of Sport Coaching courses are available to students with an interest in Sport Coaching and Sport Management to supplement other programmes of study at UC. BSpC courses may be studied on campus or by distance, making them ideal to combine with other degrees such as law, commerce and management.

Sport Coaching

Bachelor of Sport Coaching

The Bachelor of Sport Coaching (BSpC) is a nationally and internationally recognised three-year full-time or up to six years part-time qualification. BSpC courses may be studied on campus or by distance, making them ideal to combine with other degrees such as law, commerce and management.

The BSpC equips students with the key skills employers are looking for, not just in sport and related fields but in everything from business to corporate management. Sport coaching graduates are motivated and passionate leaders who inspire others and are committed to success. The BSpC offers endorsements (specialisations) in Leadership, Performance Analysis, Strength and Conditioning, He Oranga Tangata (Māori health and well-being).

The qualification is a unique blend of practical application and theory immersing the student in the sociology, science and pedagogy of sport and sport coaching. Using an athlete-centred approach, students are trained to provide opportunities for learning in the sport context. The programme provides a link between theory and practice, whereby students have supervised coaching practice in the community. In their final year students complete a 120 hour Internship (work placement). This internship is organised by the students according to their area of specialisation.

For more information about the skills you will learn and the jobs and activities our graduates do visit the UC Careers Hub What can I do with a degree in Sports Coaching?

Certificate in Sport Coaching

If you're involved in sport coaching or team management at any level and wish to enhance your development and skills, the Certificate in Sport Coaching (CertSpC) is the ideal programme for you. Study full time or part-time, on-campus or at home; the CertSpC offers you flexibility. Tailor-make the programme to best suit your requirements by choosing the courses that fit your interests and needs. Learn from leading experts and academics and have access to world leading technologies in the Sports Lab and personalised online support for distance students.

The CertSpC may be completed part-time over a period of up to 4 years or as a 6-month full-time qualification.

The certificate consists of 60 points (4 courses). SPCO101  Introduction to Sport Coaching  and SPCO201 Athlete-Centred Coaching for Team Sports are compulsory courses. Two further courses are to be selected from the Sport Coaching degree programme, with options including Nutrition, Psychology, Strength & Conditioning

Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching

The Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching provides practicing coaches and those employed in the sports industry the opportunity to develop their professional coaching skills. It is also available to students who are not currently employed in the industry, but wish to develop skills and competencies to gain employment in Performance Sports Coaching contexts.

The GradCertSpC will develop knowledge and expertise in contemporary sport coaching pedagogy and also provides the opportunity to develop skills in: leadership and planning, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, rehabilitation and reconditioning and nutrition. The practicum enables students to apply their learning and knowledge in their own work or sport coaching settings or areas of sporting interest.

The GradCertSpC may be completed part-time over a period of up to 4 years or as a 6-month full-time qualification. The GradCertSpC is offered as an on-line, flexible learning option where courses are supported through online resources, discussion forums, recorded lectures, PowerPoints, video tutorials and other electronic media.

The GradCertSpC is a 60-point course comprising of four 15-point papers. SPCO370 Performance Sport Coaching Practicum and SPCO371 Contemporary Issues and Pedagogies for Performance Sport Coaching are compulsory courses plus students choose two additional 15-point courses from SPCO372, SPCO331, SPCO341, SPCO342, SPCO343 or SPCO223.

STAR at UC Sport Coaching

A range of first year Sports Coaching courses are offered to Year 12 and 13 students through the STAR programme. These courses are designed to provide a challenging and stimulating opportunity for secondary school students and a chance to experience the varied programmes offered at the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

Physical Education

Becoming a Physical Education Teacher

UC offers three pathways for students who wish to train as secondary school teachers.

Bachelor of Education (Physical Education)*

This qualification is not offered in 2017.

The Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) is a four-year teaching qualification for those wishing to specialise in teaching Physical Education in Secondary schools. This programme allows students to combine teacher training with the study of Physical Education, Outdoor Education and Health. Students study Education to 200 or 300 level and at least one other teaching subject (OTS) in addition to Physical Education, to 200 or 300 level.

* The BEd(PE) degree is not open to new enrolments in 2017. For those interested in a career as a secondary school Physical Education teacher, UC offers pathways via the three-year Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree and the three-year Bachelor of Health Sciences degree followed by a one-year postgraduate teaching qualification, the Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary).

Recommended Background

You must have University Entrance or be 20 years of age or over.  Good academic and people skills are more important than an extensive sporting background.  PE, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, English, Maths and Statistics to Year 13 are recommended. English or a good communication background such as public speaking or debating is also very useful, as well as evidence of leadership, coaching experience and/or positions of responsibility (for example, prefects, sports councils, peer support, etc).

Applicants must have good English language skills. Students for whom English is an additional language must provide evidence of their English language ability:

  • Bachelor of Education (Physical Education), BEd(PE) - with IELTS (Academic) scores of 7.0, with no individual score below 7.0.
  • Bachelor of Sport Coaching and Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching either:
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 overall with no score lower than 6.0; or
    • TOEFL internet-based test score of 80 with minimum band scores for Reading 19, Listening 19 and Writing 19; or
    • A satisfactory result in another approved English language test or English language course.

Applicants are also expected to have good academic grades and computer skills. Applications are enhanced if experience in working with children or young people is demonstrated.

Current and past students' experiences

  • Zoe Cargill, Bachelor of Sport Coaching

  • Blake West, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Jules Schwalger-Smith, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Reuben Koorey, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Joe Hall, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Amy Eckersley, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Andrew Gibson, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Reuben Koorey, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Rachel Smart, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Mele Tatu, Bachelor of Sport Coaching
  • Mark Hamer, Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) specialising in Physical Education

  • Dayna Napa, Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) specialising in Physical Education
  • Rose Telea, Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) specialising in Physical Education
  • Melissa Waite, Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) specialising in Physical Education

Research Students in Sport and PE

More Information

UC Liaison
Sport Coaching Programme Coordinator
Student Advisor