Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Performance Coaching and Development (Online Learning) MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgCert, PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study

Online learning

Funding opportunities

This unique online MSc in Performance Coaching and Development has been designed for practicing coaches, coach developers and associated professionals who want to extend their knowledge and understanding of coaching and coach development in the workplace.

Our innovative programme offers the opportunity for coaches with;

  • academic and non-academic backgrounds

    and

  • experience in various coaching settings such as team, individual, action and adventure sports, working with tactical athletes, professional development, fellow associated support professionals and coach development

to work in a stimulating environment with a uniquely skilled team that combines real-world coaching expertise with development and sector-leading research.

Our MSc in Performance Coaching and Development has been developed to complement the work of and develop active coaches, coach developers and associated professionals to provide evidence informed support in their workplace.

All students will require reliable broadband access for the duration of the programme.

We will use blended online learning methods; discussions, short, pre-recorded lectures, small group seminars, live tutorials, guided supervision and 1:1’s to create a dynamic, collaborative environment to share experiences, expertise and professional development.

Our expert team will support you through every stage of the programme as you develop in a positive, supportive, and constructive online learning community.

The flexible learning environment means you learn at times and locations that best suit you, making this programme suitable for high-calibre busy professionals who want to update and extend their knowledge.

The programme is developed and delivered at the University of Edinburgh, a World Top 20 University (QS Rankings 2023) by coaching specialists from:

  • The Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences (ISPEHS)

  • The Olympic Research Centre - the IOC accredited Olympic Research Centre for the UK (in partnership with Bath University), driving major projects including a longitudinal study of injury, health, and wellbeing in Olympians.

  • The Scottish Centre for Olympic Research (SCORE) - providing education and research in sociocultural aspects of Olympism.

  • The Applied Coaching Research Group - this thriving group generates over 20 peer review papers and invited book chapters a year in the applied science of coaching.

The course has an applied focus on the future career needs of students and uses a broad range of assessments that include:

  • presentations
  • essays
  • critical reviews of literature and coaching practice
  • independent and supervised research
  • reports
  • a final research project that enables students to focus on innovation, creativity and flexibility in their coaching domain that can be written as a dissertation or journal article

You will become part of an online community of coaches and tutors from various coaching domains that allows you to enhance your interpersonal, self-management, IT, team working, and research skills.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The Masters in Performance Coaching and Development is delivered part-time and fully online and you can take the course over a 24 to 72-month period. The programme combines academic study with practical application based on your coaching practice.

The possible outcomes and, therefore, the level of commitment is extremely flexible. The MSc programme comprises 6 taught courses, each worth 20 credits and a final dissertation worth 60 credits.

You can graduate with a full MSc Performance Coaching and Development by completing 180 credits or exit earlier with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits).

For example, to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Performance Coaching and Development, you will complete courses in:

  • Managing the Coaching Process (20 credits)
  • Diagnostic Analysis of Coaching Practice (20 credits)
  • Performance Development and Expertise (20 credits)

Or to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma, you will complete a further three courses:

  • Coach Development (20 credits)
  • Developing Professional Expertise (20 credits)
  • Real World Research in Performance (20 credits)

To graduate with a full MSc in Performance Coaching and Development, you will also complete a final research project:

  • Coaching Dissertation (60 credits)

Course Adaptability and Flexibility

Once you have completed the Managing the Coaching Process course, you take the four core courses concluding with the Real World Research in Performance course in which you will plan your final Coaching Dissertation. This flexibility enables you to fit your studies around your coaching commitments.

For those wishing to delve even further into the design and deployment of innovation in coaching, you have the option to apply for our PhD programme:

Achieving a doctorate at a world-class University is a marker of your ability and a tremendous cachet for your future career.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgCertPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24
PgDipPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2023/24

The programme aims to develop:

  • Coaches as professional, lifelong learners who are capable of designing career-long learning opportunities for themselves and others.
  • Coaches who are critical thinkers, able to assess and evaluate the quality of knowledge, theories, and policy that informs their coaching practice.
  • Coaches who are able to identify the challenges that inform coaching research.
  • Coaches with specialist research skills; able to analyse, critique and evaluate coaching programmes, practices and processes.
  • Coaches, capable of designing impactful interventions that develop performance.
  • Coaches as learners with transferable skills that are able to conceive, construct and implement socially responsible contributions to the coaching field.

Career paths are diverse given the global nature of coaching and the programme. These include:

  • national and international sporting and coaching organisations
  • coaching and coaching development
  • performance planning
  • performance management
  • coaching consultancy
  • teaching in further and higher education

Our University staff have a unique record of achievement in this field, having worked with:

  • over 90 world or Olympic medallists
  • international sports teams
  • world-class sports performers
  • senior leadership roles in business and National Sports Organisations across several continents.

From a research perspective, our Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences includes two research centres accredited by the International Olympic Committee:

  • The Olympic Research Centre for the UK (in partnership with Bath University).
  • The Scottish Centre for Olympic Research (SCORE) provides education and research in sociocultural aspects of Olympism.

In addition, our staff are active coaches and have:

  • high level qualifications and experience as coaches and coach developers in their fields
  • extensive experience researching coaching
  • leading editorial roles in high-level journals
  • regularly delivered at conferences worldwide
  • contributed to key texts and book chapters in the coaching field

Find out more about the MSc in Performance Coaching and Development team.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

You must be a currently active coach and either:

Hold relevant professional qualifications, or be operating at a level equivalent to, United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC) Level 3, AND have evidence of at least five years' coaching experience. If you want to check the suitability of your qualifications, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team before you apply.

Or

Hold a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject, such as sport science or sports coaching, AND have evidence of at least five years' coaching experience.

All applications will need to include evidence of your ability to:

  • plan, deliver and evaluate cycles of coaching work
  • manage and lead coaching teams to support a developmental programme

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 23 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 176 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 62 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDipPerformance Coaching and DevelopmentUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups which are underrepresented in our School.

Online Learning Scholarships

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 30 August 2024

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ