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About the course

If you’re passionate about football, Solent University’s industry-leading football studies degree can help provide you with the skills you’ll need to thrive in a variety of football roles. Past graduates are now employed in a range of clubs and organisations at all levels of the game.

Solent University has been at the forefront of football education for nearly two decades and our football studies degree has emerged as the leading supplier of graduates to the football industry. Graduates have gone on to careers at Premier League clubs including Southampton, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

This degree provides students with comprehensive knowledge and real-world experience of the football industry. Students have the opportunity to study a range of contemporary themes, as well as tailor their study to areas of specific interest within football.

Endorsed by the League Managers Association, the Professional Football Coaches Association and Kick It Out, the course offers excellent work placement opportunities with professional clubs and organisations.

Students are able to benefit from the opportunity to tap into the University’s extensive network of contacts in the game. Regular lectures from guest speakers - including former Premier League and international players, managers, academy directors, leading club chairmen, media professionals, match officials and England national team staff - enable students to learn from and interact with professionals who have first-hand, high-level experience within the game.

This course offers additional qualifications for you to obtain with your degree.
Additional qualification
You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree.
Professional memberships
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

Solent University is recommended as a ‘leader in football-related academic study’ by The Times Good University Guide.

What does this course lead to?

In recent years, students have secured work-based learning opportunities, internships and full-time employment with a number of clubs and associations, including:

  • The Football Association
  • The Premier League
  • Manchester United FC
  • Arsenal FC
  • Chelsea FC
  • Manchester City FC
  • Tottenham Hotspur FC
  • Birmingham City FC
  • Watford FC
  • Newcastle United FC
  • West Ham United FC
  • Charlton Athletic FC
  • Millwall FC
  • Crystal Palace FC
  • Portsmouth FC
  • Reading FC
  • Southampton FC
  • Major League Soccer (USA).

View our infographic

Who is this course for?

This football studies programme is open to students from a wide range of academic backgrounds – football foundation year graduates will receive direct entry.

Candidates should be passionate about football and aspiring to a career within a professional club or sporting organisation.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2021/22 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2020/21 fees were:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,260 per year

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs:

  • Students must purchase compulsory kit/clothing. This is at a cost of approximately £105.
  • Students are required to undertake a DBS criminal records check as part of their enrolment. This is compulsory and is payable by the student at a cost of £10. The DBS check is organised by the University

Optional costs:

  • Optional discounted professional body endorsement (NGB): Prices vary, please click here to view our courses.
  • Nacsport Licence for performance analysis software.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Football Foundation Year.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply

Football Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years  Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
Studying Football
This module is designed to ensure students have the confidence to draw on a wide range of information sources and to use a variety of academic skills effectively in the study of football. Focusing on the fundamental study skills needed to acknowledge the purpose of information, assess the quality of information, locate, and evaluate sources of information relevant to the study of football.
Football Principles and Practice 
This module will examine the development of football tactics and the evolution of various systems of play. It will introduce students to areas such as skill testing, notational analysis, and will also explore the art and science of football management.
Football and Society
This module introduces students to the sociological study of football. It does so by introducing students to a number of key sociological concepts as they relate to the game. The module examines how the contemporary game has developed out of a series of long-term processes before exploring how a range of social issues influence certain groups access to and experience of football. 
Principles of Coaching Football 
The ability to enhance performance is the key to working effectively and successfully as a coach, and this module will develop the skills required to plan, deliver and evaluate football coaching sessions that are enjoyable, safe and effective with a variety of groups. 
Football Principles and Practice
This module will examine the development of football tactics and the evolution of various systems of play. It will introduce students to areas such as skill testing, notational analysis, and will also explore the art and science of football management.
Fundamentals of Skill Acquisition in Football
This module explores the interconnection between learning, information processing and performance within the football domain. The purpose of the Module is to develop students understanding of information processing theory, motor learning and skill acquisition.

Year two

Core modules
Researching Football
Students will gain relevant knowledge of the research skills required to effectively produce a project in the final year of their degree. The module will place particular emphasis on the various stages of the research process and/or working with industry – such as identifying weaknesses in literature, therefore designing new areas of investigation.
Strategic Football Development
This module provides the opportunity for students to develop a strategic understanding of football development in order to apply the concepts and theories learnt within the principles of the football development module in real world football development environments. Students will take part in a local football development project as part of the Solent Football Leadership Programme. 
Sociology of Football
This module examines a number of sociological perspectives and offers students the opportunity to critically explore various football related issues from differing theoretical viewpoints. Each theoretical perspective will be analysed using a range of specific football related literature. 
Elite Youth Development in Football
In this module students will cover core elements of the Elite Player Performance Plan and will come away with an in depth understanding of the day to day workings of a category 1-4 professional football club’s Academy as well as research and literature that supports and challenges current practice within elite youth development.
Integrated Sport Psychology for Football
This module explores core psychological constructs concerned with an individual’s sport psychology, including theories such as personality, motivation, confidence, stress and anxiety. The Module then explores further contextual theories examining social and team influences such as motivational climate, group dynamics, team cohesion, and leadership and audience effects.

Year three

Core modules
Football Project (double unit)
This module allows students the opportunity to work independently to produce a written assignment relevant to an area of their interest. Students may either work on a self-generated research question to produce a journal article style written assignment; alternatively, they can produce a portfolio of evidence based on their experiences of working in the football industry. 
Globalisation of Football
Frequently referred to as ‘the global game’, football is a sport enjoyed by billions across the world. This module examines the relationship between the social, political, economic and cultural processes of globalisation and the various ways in which football is played, followed, financed, and consumed across a range of global contexts. 
Football Management
To improve the performance of teams and players in modern top-level football the coach must apply different forms of knowledge to solve problems and ultimately make decisions. The purpose of this module is to enable students to consider, evaluate, analyse and apply a set of principles, values and approaches to Football coaching and management that facilitate high performance. 
Professional Practice in Football Development
This module is designed to allow students to develop and apply their theoretical knowledge, whilst also developing their understanding of the influence that theoretical concepts have on the practical application, delivery and evaluation of football development project work.
Performance Psychology in Football
This module seeks to explore theoretical models concerned with sports development and participation. Topics such as behavioural theories, social change, social interactions and relationships within sport will be explored. 
Applied Coaching in Football
Utilising scientific evidence, this module will explore the central role of coaching pedagogy in developing football players.
Business Start Up in Sport
This module will provide students with the opportunity to explore the most suitable planning, development and management techniques for different entrepreneurial ventures. 
Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Students' work

Meet the course team

Tracey Bourne academic profile Tracey Bourne Course Leader View profile
Clwyd Jones academic profile Clwyd Jones Senior Lecturer View profile
Kim Wilcox academic profile Kim Wilcox Lecturer View profile
Rhea Preston academic profile Rhea Preston Lecturer View profile
Graham Mills academic profile Graham Mills Lecturer View profile
Richard Elliott academic profile Richard Elliott Associate Professor View profile
Rory Magrath academic profile Rory Magrath Associate Professor View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Practical sessions are delivered at Solent’s multi-million-pound Test Park football centre, which boasts a full-size all-weather 3G pitch, an FA Step 5 football arena and built-in teaching space.

Students also have access to AnalysisPro/Nacsport video and performance analysis equipment and software.

We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.

Solent University is home to the Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research – a world-class research and consultancy centre and the course is endorsed by the League Managers Association, the Professional Football Coaches Association and Kick It Out.

Your future

You’ll be well placed for a wide range of roles in football, whether you’re interested in development, coaching, scouting, performance analysis or research/education.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Football development officer 
  • Academy Coach
  • Club scout
  • Performance analyst
  • Research/education roles.
  • My time at Solent gave me various opportunities to gain internships in the professional game and these experiences have helped me to secure my new role at St George’s Park. Every experience I had at Solent was valuable.

    Garry Halsey - Elite Delivery Coordinator - The Football Association

  • The football studies degree at Solent prepared me for work within the football industry, ensuring I had a skill set appropriate for dealing with the industry’s demands. The football studies staff go above and beyond to deliver a great student experience.

    James Brayne - Performance Analyst - Manchester City FC

  • The football studies degree not only provided an insight into the unique industry that is football, but also gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working in a competitive environment. Along with consistent feedback and tutor guidance, the core theoretical elements aligned with the practical side of this course prepared me thoroughly for this position.

    Jamie Benson – Performance analyst – West Ham United

  • I know without the experience and knowledge gained from the football studies course I wouldn't have even had a shot at this job.

    Kane Cowburn – International department – Chelsea FC

  • I gained a better knowledge of what was needed to work within a professional football club and a wider understanding of what I wanted to do after I graduated. Every day within the job I use skills and qualities that I gained from Solent University. The football studies degree covers such a wide variety of topics that it prepares you exceptionally well for a career in the world of football.

    Mark Gamble – Football Education Officer – Southampton FC

  • The football studies degree gave me exposure to a range of opportunities. From internship connections to guest lectures, the course helped me to achieve a better understanding of what working within football entailed. It drove me to work hard to develop.

    Sam Hall - U21 analyst - Manchester United FC

Industry links

The academic staff on the Football Studies degree possess a wealth of knowledge and experience at all levels of the game. They have coached at Premier League and Football League clubs, conducted major research reviews that have changed Premier League and Football League rules and regulations, won European acclaim for their football development work from UEFA and helped national teams prepare for World Cup Finals.

The course benefits from extensive industry links which include a longstanding relationship with Southampton FC. The University has provided administrative education for FIFA, the Football Association, the Premier League, the Football League, the Football Conference and more than 60 professional clubs.


Gaining practical work experience is at the heart of the course. Students are required to take part in a football leadership programme, working on projects in the local football community.

Students are also encouraged to seek optional internship and work-based learning opportunities with professional clubs and organisations. Placement schemes have run in the past with a number of Premier League and Football League clubs, recruiting students from within the University, whilst other students arrange their own placements with support from the course team. The University can also help students to use their coaching skills in the United States and elsewhere during holiday periods.

Third-year students studying the Applied Coaching in Football unit are required to be working with a football club – the University can offer students support in getting in touch with local clubs if they are not already working with one.

Graduate stories

Robert's story

Robert Mathews - Head coach at Chelsea FC Foundation International

What made you choose to study at Solent?
I chose to study at Solent because of its great reputation for the Football Studies course. I also attended an open day and spoke to current students on the course. The overall impression of Solent and the city itself made my choice incredibly easy in the end. 

What was the best part about your course?
The best part of the course was the support, guidance and expertise from the tutors, particularly the coaching staff as coaching was the avenue I wanted to pursue.

What do you do and what does it involve?
I currently work for the International Department at the Chelsea FC Foundation. I'm placed in Bangkok, Thailand for 10 out of 12 months in the year delivering a genuine Chelsea FC Soccer School programme in partnership with multiple international schools in the city. As head coach my role is to deliver coaching sessions to multiple participants in different programmes and help develop the business by ensuring CFC standards are met. 

What is your biggest achievement in your work so far? 
My biggest achievement is being offered the opportunity to travel on the Chelsea FC first team tour in Singapore. This involved travelling with the Chelsea FC senior first team, delivering sessions to the surrounding community and supporting the fanzones on match-days.

What advice would you give to someone just starting this course?
Seek opportunities! The degree alone is not enough to secure employment, and the tutors always encouraged me to seek other opportunities to develop myself outside of the degree. For example, coaching courses and part-time coaching/football development roles. 

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day