As you can imagine, in a world fuelled by sport, the industry that glues gathering eyes and palpitates the hearts of billions is a fairly popular one among university students. Thousands flock internationally to some of the best sporting universities U.K education has to offer. Providing expertise, ground-breaking facilities and fresh innovative ways of teaching. 

One thing that’s great about this course is that you’re not limited after graduation. It provides necessary fundamentals like philosophy, biology and management skills of sport to set you on your way. 

You’ll apply your trade with very few limits. From children in holiday camps, army personnel in a marshy bootcamp and even the elderly looking to keep active and engage with each other. 

Down below we’ll highlight responsibilities, career pathways and wage benchmarks. Not to mention a rundown ranking of 4 universities with this in their prospectus and facilities they’ve put in place to help and aid international students.  


The bare bones of a sports coach’s duty gravitate around creating and maintaining a fun, safe and inclusive environment, while enhancing group and/or individual development through planned fitness and training sessions. 

You’ll give feedback and criticism whilst holding an aura of professionalism and fairness, using it to inspire progress in the people you teach. This varies on age group and skill level of those you teach. 

For example, you can’t expect a bootcamp like mentality from over 50’s. Likewise your criticism should be lighter toned and more constructive when advising younger age groups and promoting ethical behaviour through being a role model. 


  • Sports coach 
  • Personal trainer 
  • Outdoor activities manager 
  • P.E teacher 
  • Armed forces trainer 
  • Youth activities club worker 


Sport is one of the biggest money pot businesses you could reach into. Grossing 296.5 billion pounds in 2020, You’d be right to think it gets very lucrative towards the top, narrow end. High amounts of competition and newer methods constantly chiselling away at imperfection make this a very tough mountain to climb. 

According to a survey of 3,000 people the national average annual wage for a sports coach is £24,301. This can rise to 28,000 with experience. 

If you’re employed by a professional sports association, you could earn £30,000 rising up to £100,000 depending on level and experience. With sports coaches at the pinnacle earning in excess of £1,000,000 a year. 

In order to coach at the highest level of a sport, the respective governing body of the sport has its own set of qualifications which must be passed. 



First up, situated slap-bang in the centre of the Midlands triangle, made up of Derby, Nottingham and Leicester, is one of the most renown sports universities in the world. It’s a small-town university with a big heart and showcases that by beating in time with its student’s needs. 

Multiple student choice awards and doubling the claim of Times best university all in the last 8 years highlights not only the prestigiousness but also the consistency everyone involved applies. 

Facilities include: 

  • Outdoor stadium 
  • All weather pitches 
  • 50m Olympic grade swimming pool 
  • Two world class gyms 
  • Multiple indoor and outdoor courts (tennis, squash, badminton) 

This astonishing sports town has its name etched amongst some of the finest sporting individuals. Among the likes are 3-time London marathon winner Paula Radcliffe and 440m hurdle silver medallist John Cooper, taking second on the podium at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. 

It’s clear the move away from family can be daunting. Loughborough caters to international students in a variety of ways.  

Including, having a team on hand to answer any worries or queries you have. Reachable online, by phone and on campus. They also have videos, articles and other media on their website, showcasing communal activities that focus on bringing people together and helping them find likeminded people. 

 Student happiness Student success Average score 
Loughborough university 84% 83% 87%  


Historically known for its Roman made, geothermal baths, the Summerset city is presently making waves for the outstanding teaching and research it’s delivering to students and peers yearly. This locality channels its heritage whilst being a true beacon of innovation. 

It’s an institution that wants to evolve and keep in touch with modern demands. Having recently underwent renovations to the gym costing around £3,500,000, shows commitment to growth and the future. 

Facilities include: 

  • Indoor bobsleigh track 
  • 50m Olympic grade pool with performance analysing cameras  
  • Judo dojo 
  • Indoor and outdoor shooting ranges 
  • The UK’s only outdoor push-start track 

Alumnus make up 250 athletes who’ve competed at a number of major sporting competitions including the Olympics. Including Kelly Gallagher MBE who won team GB’s first gold medal on snow at the Sochi games 2014, achieving her first placed finish in the visually impaired alpine super G slalom.  

The university’s website hosts a Mandarin campus tour as well as many others for each individual building. Elected student ambassadors are always available if you’re seeking advice and guidance about life in the city and the UK in general.   

 Student happiness Postgraduate success Average score  
Bath University  81% 88% 84% 


Another university on this list that’s in the midlands, like you wouldn’t believe it with all the sporting personalities and achievements attributed to the area. This time to the giant metropolis and trading hub, Birmingham. 

Birmingham applies something called HEFi (Higher Education Futures institute) into the curriculum. This means students can expect provisions of innovative education through research led teaching. It’s a resource that features prominently on the university’s webpage and branches off into community hubs and student workshops. 

It’s a way of teaching where students are directly influenced by present scholars who’re harbouring new information and methods as opposed to reciting the past. Providing creativity and critical thinking. 

Facilities include: 

  • Climbing wall 
  • Reymond Priestley centre for kayaking 
  • Netball court 
  • Exercise studios 
  • Gym 

Impressive alumni feature but aren’t limited to: Lily Owsley, a two-time podium finish winning silver and gold at the 2014 Commonwealth games and 2016 Rio Olympics respectively. And pushing the boat out we have Lisa Clayton. She’s the first woman to sail round the world on her own. 

There’s always worry when it comes to moving abroad but Birmingham and their International Student Team recognise this. Being away from family, friends and recognised culture can really shock people. 

Through them, help isn’t far away and they’re always available on campus, online and via calling. They provide lots of support from language difficulties to more general issues, like arranging social gatherings to teach you about life in the UK as well as finding friends. 

 Student happiness Postgraduate success Average score 
Birmingham University 78% 83% 75% 


Lastly on this crawl of sports education quartet, we’re in the hills of West Yorkshire and towards the vibrant city of Leeds. Famous for its night life scene and various music venues which have been grafted from old historic buildings.  

They provide what’s known as the leadership academy which is a free time bonus curriculum scene which can run in conjunction with your sports coach degree. 

They also weave work experience into their courses, where you’ll choose to learn one of a selection of specific work-related skills, like sandwich making.  

Facilities include:  

  • Tennis centre  
  • 3G pitch 
  • Athletics centre 
  • Strength and conditioning 
  • Sports treatment centre 

It’s fair to say this University has added to the sporting world. Graduates include Graham Potter, current Premier League manager and a real leading light in the UK’s football coaching scene. Also featured is another great coach of his time, former head coach of the England rugby national team, William Stuart Lancaster. 

On board with Leeds will grant you access to their Student Union hub where you can join a wide selection of student made groups and even create your own if you spot a gap in the social market. These range from groups who are allotment mad to the Indian Student Association.  

 Student happiness Postgraduate success Average score 
Leeds Beckett  82% 67% 46% 

Hopefully this article has provided great insight and eased any worries. The role of education is to be passed down from mentor to student, who then becomes the teacher and the cycle repeats.  

Remember when you’re being taught that someone well respected in the sporting world may have looked up to the same people. Think about the impact you’ll have on young minds and where your words and ideas could take them. Also think about the impact you’ll have on communities as you provide enjoyment, inclusion and development to people of all ages. 

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top