Bachelor of Sport Coaching

Bachelor of Sport Coaching session


‌The Bachelor of Sport Coaching (BSpC) is the only specialist sport coaching degree in New Zealand. With options for flexible learning and internships, this qualification can cater for a wide variety of students.

Using sport coaching as the context, UC students gain key skills employers are looking for, not just in sport and related fields but in everything from communications to corporate management. BSpC students learn skills such as leadership, accountability, communication, teamwork, and motivation and psychology.

This degree also provides a recognised pathway to teaching, in particular physical education and health teaching, with the option to include an additional teaching subject such as maths or science, when combined with a graduate teaching qualification.

Features of the Bachelor of Sport Coaching at UC

  • Flexible structure and learning delivery
  • Internationally recognised sport coaching qualification
  • Strong practical element, including coaching in schools, of teams and in sport-related organisations
  • 120-hour internship in your final year
  • Leads to a range of careers.

Entry requirements

Admission to UC with University Entrance, or equivalent, is required to enrol for a Bachelor's degree. Domestic applicants over 20 who do not hold University Entrance, or equivalent, may gain admission by providing evidence of their ability to complete tertiary study successfully. For information on gaining admission to UC please see how to apply for undergraduate qualifications.

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Specific entry requirements

The BSpC has an intake in February and July. Entry is subject to an interview and satisfactory police vetting as some courses involve students working with school-aged children. 

Qualification structure and duration

The BSpC requires courses to a total of 360 points. These include 135 points of compulsory courses (including a final year internship course).

Students have the option of completing a major (120 points, with 45 points at 200-level or above and 60 points at 300-level); and a minor (75 points, with 30 points at 200-level or above and 15 points at 300-level); a major only, or a double major.*

Students that started their BSpC before 2018 will have a different structure - see the 2017 Regulations to the Bachelor of Sport Coaching.

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Flexible learning option

Most BSpC courses are available to study on campus or as a flexible, online learning option.

Flexible learning options support STAR students, students from other UC degree programmes as well as people who are employed or lead busy lives. 

If you are enrolled in an online distance course you will be supported through online resources, discussion forums, recorded lectures, powerpoints, video tutorials and other electronic media.

Certificate option

For those who wish to gain an entry-level qualification in Sport Coaching, there is a certificate option. The Certificate in Sport Coaching is available part-time or over one semester. It can lead onto the full bachelor's degree.


The BSpC can be completed in three years by full-time study or up to six years by part-time study. 

Typical degree structure for Bachelor of Sport Coaching*

Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Core courses
    Courses required for major (1)
    Courses required for minor
    Optional courses
(1) You must ensure that you complete the required courses for one major.
Each small block represents a 15-point course. However, some courses may be 30 points (or more).
Students who began a Bachelor of Sport Coaching before 2018 will follow a different structure - see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Sport Coaching.
* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Subjects and courses

Sport Coaching courses are grouped into three main strands: pedagogy (the theory and application of coaching and learning), sport and exercise sciences, and sociology of sport.

All students complete core Sport Coaching courses throughout the three years of the degree, as well as courses towards a major, a major and minor, or a double major.*

Major and minor subject options* include:

* Subject to Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due December 2017.

Applied learning in context

The degree has strong practical elements, including:

  • two or three practicums coaching teams in the context of your choosing, and
  • a 120-hour internship in a professional sporting workplace as part of your final year.

Further study

Graduate option

The Graduate Certificate in Sport Coaching enables practising coaches, those employed in the sports industry and students wishing to work in performance sports coaching to develop their professional coaching skills. The GradCertSpC may be completed part-time over a period of up to four years or as a six-month full-time qualification. The GradCertSpC is offered as an online, flexible learning option.

Careers in teaching and management - options

With careful course selection, graduates can complete a qualification in one year to become a teacher or manager: 

Career opportunities

By gaining a broad range of professional competencies throughout your Bachelor of Sport Coaching, you can enjoy a varied career in professional and community sporting organisations and management roles both within and beyond sport.

Past students have used the the 120-hour internship to gain experience at the Canterbury Rugby Union, High Performance Sport New Zealand, Swimming New Zealand, and the New Zealand School of Gymnastics.

Recent graduates have become strength and conditioning coaches, community sports coordinators and advisors, performance analysts, sport scientists, as well as teachers, police officers, project planners and managers.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Sport Coaching.

More information

For the full degree requirements see the Regulations for the Bachelor of Sport Coaching. For information on staff, resources and facilities, visit the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora

For more information email info@canterbury.ac.nz or freephone 0800 VARSITY (827 748).

For assistance with planning your programme of study contact the Liaison Office (new students), or a College of Education, Health and Human Development Student Advisor (advancing students).

button for easy access to information about this qualification
Gareth Sutton

Gareth Sutton

'It opened my eyes to how I could become more responsive to the needs of all my students...'

Rachel Panapa

Rachel Panapa

'I was able to study both sport and my culture...'