Bachelor of Sport Coaching

sport coaching coordinator Jenny Clark in gym

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. There are two intakes per year, in Semesters One and Two.

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 qualification is a unique blend of practical application and theory immersing the student in the sociology, science and pedagogy of sport and 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. 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 and involves working in a professional sporting organisation learning about management structures, organising events and participating in other activities.

  • In addition to enrolling online all intending students must complete a police check using the form in the Useful links section of this page. Please return this to Student Services, Level 1, Matariki Building, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, either by post or in person.

Endorsements in the BSpC

The Leadership specialisation is aimed at students who particularly want to develop skills in teamwork, leadership and communication. Students completing this specialisation have taken on key leadership places in sporting organisations such as Sport Canterbury, Gymnastics New Zealand and Netball New Zealand, as well as establishing their own businesses in New Zealand and overseas. Many have worked in roles outside sport where teamwork, organisation and management skills are valued.

This is also a popular endorsement for students seeking to move into education – followed by either a one-year Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning or Masters in Teaching and Learning to qualify as either a primary or secondary school teacher. Note, however, that students may enter teaching qualifications through any BSpC endorsement.

Performance Analysis is about collating real data to provide accurate information about performance and forecasting of future results. As well as collating statistics such as those you see between sets during Wimbledon or at halftime in Super 15 matches, you will learn to analyse video of the opposition to find weaknesses to exploit as well as understand the strengths of your own athletes. The key within the structure of the Sport Coaching degree is that not only do we take statistically and technologically-minded students and teach them to analyse data but we teach them the methods and skills they need to pick out the most important information. Additionally, we teach the ability to communicate that information in the form of written and verbal reports to managers, athletes and other coaches. There are lots of people who can count, or who can identify patterns in performance data but those skills need to be coupled with the ability to communicate that information.

The Strength and Conditioning specialisation is particularly targeted at people who want to train and motivate individuals and teams and help them to meet performance and body composition goals. This specialisation has a strong strand around nutrition and offers optional courses in psychological skills training. Students will work with individuals and teams to set and meet training goals, rehabilitate and recondition injured and under-performing athletes, and analyse and prescribe programmes for strength and conditioning training. The practicums and internship will be carried out in this context, with students in their third year working closely with a professional strength and conditioning coach in a senior sports team.

While the core courses in the Bachelor of Sport Coaching programme look at promoting healthy physical activity and the benefits this provides, as well as providing an understanding of the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in our multicultural society, the He Oranga Tangata - Māori Health and Wellbeing specialisation looks more deeply at the general importance of sport for Māori and in Māori culture. This is particularly relevant as Māori tend to be over-represented in statistics for non-communicable disease within New Zealand. This specialisation also gives a greater understanding of the health benefits of involvement in sport.

  • The Bachelor of Sport Coaching, when combined with a further teaching qualification, offers a pathway to becoming a Physical Education teacher. See Physical Education teacher pathways for more information.

For all enquiries about studying Sport Coaching contact:

Jenny Clarke

Senior Lecturer
Sport Coaching Programme Coordinator
Recreation Centre 137
Internal Phone: 93448

Student Advisors

College of Education, Health and Human Development
Internal Phone: 93333