SFA and Napier team up for football coaching degree
Shelley Kerr: it will be incredibly valuable (pic: SNS Group)
Those looking for a career in the coaching side of football can now train for a degree.
In a first for Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University and the Scottish FA have teamed-up to launch a degree combining practical experience and qualifications to develop coaching professionals.
The BSc (Hons) Football Coaching, Performance & Development, a collaboration is a four-year undergraduate programme, based at Edinburgh Napier’s Sighthill campus.
It is designed for those with an interest and some background in football coaching who want to develop a career in the field at all levels, from grassroots to top professional clubs. It aims to increase the professionalism of coaching as a career by encouraging a more holistic approach, rather than focusing on just on-pitch activities.
Students on the country’s only bespoke football-specific coaching degree will have the chance to gain Scottish FA and UEFA coach qualifications which are embedded directly into the programme.
The launch of the full-time degree builds on Edinburgh Napier’s growing reputation in coach development, adding to the programmes it already runs with Scottish Rugby and Scottish Gymnastics.
The new programme has been designed with the modern-day football coach in mind, reacting to all the coaching competencies required in a reality-based learning environment for male and female students who would like to pursue a full-time coaching career.
It is hoped it will encourage the development of more female coaches, building on the FIFA Strategy for Women in Football. The strategy has the stated goal of having 60 million female players by 2026 and sees an increase in the number of female qualified coaches as key.
Expected employment opportunities after completing the course include head coach, recruitment and scouting analyst, youth development sport scientist, football analyst and football and sports development coach.
Aimed at the current and future football coaching workforce, the programme will use evidence-based knowledge and learning to support UEFA awards embedded into each year of the degree.
Students will access the university’s Centre for Developing Athletes, including its dual career policy to support their academic studies. The dual career policy ensures students who are athletes or coaches are supported within the university through a designated academic or professional development adviser.
We’re confident that graduates of the course will immediately be highly employable– Susan Brown, Napier
Dr Susan Brown, Napier University lead for partnerships and enterprise in sport, said: “Football is woven into the fabric of Scottish society and the Scottish FA has a global reputation for its excellence in coaching awards, so we are thrilled to announce our partnership to launch Scotland’s first Football Coaching, Performance & Development degree.
“Working closely with the Scottish FA we have developed an academic pathway that will advance the current and future football workforce in Scotland. We’re confident that graduates of the course will immediately be highly employable, bringing fresh talent, skills and knowledge to Scottish football.
“This new course will add to our growing reputation in coach development. In compiling the programme, we considered the current national and international landscape and the outlook for coach development and coaching practice. We will develop evidence-based coaches capable of understanding their athletes, their athletes’ stages of physical and psychological development and able to nurture talent.”