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What can I do with a degree in Sports Coaching?

17 August 2023

Whether you want to be a Sports Coach or a Personal Trainer, see what you can do with a degree in Sport Coaching from UC.


Sport Coaching graduates are motivated and passionate leaders who inspire others and are committed to success. They are equipped with key skills employers are looking for, not just in sport, recreation or athlete development, but in everything from people development and motivation in business environments, to events and corporate management.

Sport Coaching students develop a valuable set of transferable skills including motivation and teaching skills, awareness of holistic health principles and well-being, interpretive and analytical skills, leadership and people management skills, and problem solving skills.

Through their Bachelor of Sport Coaching degree, graduates develop a valuable set of skills that are transferable to a range of careers. These skills include:

  • Leadership and people management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Interpretive and analytical thinking
  • Project management
  • Team building
  • Coaching, motivation and teaching skills
  • Knowledge of how the human body functions
  • Patience and perseverance

Hands-on learning

Learning outside the classroom is a large part of this degree. As well as a 120-hour internship in the final year, students undertake up to three coaching practicums, a noho marae experience and a trip to a sporting event. Several field trips are also integrated into classes. These experiences provide hands-on learning, working knowledge and opportunities to develop and demonstrate your  skills with potential future employers

Sport Coaching graduates gain skills that are useful for roles in sports industries, government, community, policing, teaching and not-for-profit bodies. Some work in private enterprise including those who have started their own business. Recent UC Sport Coaching graduates work in:

  • National organisations eg, Swimming New Zealand, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand
  • Regional organisations eg, Canterbury Metro Cricket, Sport Canterbury, Canterbury Hockey, Canterbury Rugby Football Union, Christchurch School of Gymnastics, Primary Sports Canterbury
  • Local organisations eg, Halswell United, Burnside Rugby Club, Mainland Football
  • Educational institutions eg, St Andrew's College, Academy New Zealand
  • Sporting franchises eg, Sydney Swans, Crusaders, Hurricanes, Tactix, Rams
  • Private businesses eg, Ultimate Coaching, City Fitness, Release Sports, Kings Swim Club, Scorpion Supplements

Graduates with this degree are employed in a range of jobs — see some examples below.

Note: Some of the jobs listed may require postgraduate study. See the ‘Further study’ section.

Sports coach

  • Assesses strengths and weaknesses of a person or group and identifies areas for development
  • Provides training advice to optimise physical and psychological performance
  • Inspires confidence, self-belief, discipline, teamwork and trust

Coach educator

  • Plans and provides coach education programmes
  • Fosters wider participation and improves standards within a sport or recreation sector
  • Mentors and develops coaches to progress

Strength and conditioning coach, sport nutritionist

  • Develops goals and fitness strength plans with athletes and coaches
  • Provides lifestyle and diet advice to athletes, teams and coaches at all sporting levels
  • Works with coaches, athletes or clients during training to enhance nutrition and performance

Performance / technology analyst

  • Analyses skill performance in team and individual settings
  • Gathers and assesses data
  • Supports and advises coaches and athletes

School sports director / coordinator

  • Develops and manages school sport and fitness programmes
  • Promotes high participation
  • Recognises progress and achievement

Personal trainer, fitness instructor

  • Helps people to improve their fitness
  • Explains and demonstrates exercises, weight training or class routines
  • Designs programmes to achieve personal goals

Community sports development, regional education manager

  • Grows participation of players, coaches, officials and administrators
  • Designs and delivers skill development programmes and workshops
  • Provides professional development opportunities for coaches and umpires

Whānau Ora coordinator

  • Plans and implements activities in the Whānau Ora context eg, at a kaupapa Māori provider
  • Places whānau at the centre of the programme
  • Integrates sport into a framework of values or customs, and with other services such as education and health

Entrepreneur and CEO

  • Develops an idea to form their own business
  • Offers freelance or consultancy services Entrepreneurship and innovation are an increasing part of the working landscape.

Get started with Entrepreneurship here

As they progress in their studies and into a career, students and graduates often join professional bodies or organisations relevant to their area of interest. These organisations often provide regular communications and offer the opportunity to network with others within the same community.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues to keep upto-date with industry knowledge, networking opportunities, events and job vacancies.

What can I do with a degree in Sports Coaching?

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For more information

see the Sport Coaching subject page

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