Bishop Auckland College is launching its second full degree programme this September in partnership with the Open University.

The validation of the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching by the Open University means learners can complete a full degree at the college without having to travel far to study a university-level programme.

From September, students can either study full time for three years or part time for up to six years. Applicants who already hold a Level 5 qualification in sport (such as a Foundation Degree or Higher National Diploma) can apply to join the programme for a one-year ‘top-up’ option to enable them to achieve a full degree.

Other advantages include significant financial savings. The £7,500 annual course fee is well below the average university fee of £9,250. Students will also receive £500 cashback each year to help with the purchase of study materials. They will also benefit from lectures delivered by teaching staff with a wealth of experience in sports coaching who currently work in the industry.

A further £500 per student per year will be paid by the college into a learning fund to resource masterclasses, international trips to key sporting venues as well as visiting speakers and guest lecturers.

The new degree syllabus covers advanced coaching, contemporary issues in sports coaching and health, performance analysis and all undergraduates will undertake a final year research project.

The college has already received a great deal of interest from past students as well as new enquiries and anticipate the course to be very popular, although places will be limited. Recent graduates from the college’s highly successful Higher National Diploma in Sport have already signed up for the final ‘top-up’ year in order to achieve a full honours degree in sport.

Higher Education Development Manager and Sports Coaching Programme Leader, Kevin Hodgson, who led on the development of the course, said: “This degree will appeal to applicants who have studied sport at A-Level, Level 3 or HND, those already working in sporting venues like leisure centres, sports clubs and private gyms, and others employed as sports coaches for local authorities, private coaching companies or as health professionals.

“We are delighted at the number of applications we have already had, which demonstrates the huge demand for this degree course to be available locally. It’s a great addition to prospective students from Bishop Auckland and its surrounding towns and villages, allowing them to study high level qualifications without barriers such as travel or finance preventing them from doing so.”

On track for a great career

Craig Moody, 22, from Bishop Auckland, is one of the college’s recent sports success stories. Playing as a semi-professional footballer with Northern League side Brandon United, he passed his Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Sport with a distinction and has secured employment in the sport department at the college.

Craig said: “I started my journey on the college’s Level 2 Sport programme and progressed through Level 3 up to the Level 5 HND. I can’t thank the college’s sport department enough for the support and guidance they gave me over the years I have been there. I definitely couldn’t have done it without  the help of the staff team, which I am now part of.”

  • Anyone wishing to find out more about, or enrol on, the BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching should contact sport@bacoll.ac.uk or telephone (01388) 443000.