Sports Coaching and Development HNC

Course code 06XC

What is special about this course?

The HNC Sports Coaching and Development course allows you to develop an understanding of both the theoretical and practical issues relating to a career in sports coaching for indoor or outdoor sports.

If you're already working in the sports industry, or if you want to kick off your career in sport, this course is ideal for you.


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 2 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade D or above
  • These should preferably include English plus a science subject or Mathematics
  • Alternatively, a relevant sports-related NC or NQ at SCQF level 6 or above
  • Prospective students without the standard entry requirements are encouraged to apply and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Candidates require a good performance background in a variety of sporting activities. Experience in coaching, while desirable, is not essential, although the potential to develop this competence must be evident. A keen interest in sport is a requirement for this award
  • This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Access routes

  • Sports and Fitness NQ
  • Outdoor Adventure NQ
  • Certificate in Physical Activity and Adventure Leadership

Year 1 - HNC

You will study the following mandatory units:

  • Human anatomy, physiology and biomechanics in sport
  • Sports coaching and development: developing professional practice
  • Sports coaching and development: graded unit 1
  • Sports coaching practitioner: knowing coaching
  • Sports coaching practitioner: knowing others
  • Sports coaching practitioner: knowing yourself
  • Sports development 1

You can also choose to study optional modules which may include:

  • First aid for sport and fitness
  • Inclusive sport and physical activity for participants with disabilities
  • Prevention and rehabilitation of sports injuries
  • Psychology of sport and exercise 
  • Strength and conditioning: an introduction

Option units available may vary depending on study location, for more information contact your chosen campus.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn by way of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions in college and in the community

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness
  • Moray
  • Perth

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £1,285 £1,285
Part-time (per HN credit) £86 £86

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,110 £7,110
Part-time (per HN credit) £474 £474

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK, including EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Higher National Awards (HNC, HND) 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time per year £7,980 £8,775
Part-time (per HN credit) £532 £585

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs for industry qualifications and sports clothing.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Further to successful completion of the HNC Sports Coaching and Development, you may wish to pursue employment opportunities in a range of posts in sports centres, coaching or outdoor adventure.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the HND Sports Coaching and Development, BSc (Hons) Sport and Fitness or BA (Hons) Sports Management.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Studying allows me to gain more knowledge and has helped me to put out stepping stones that will guide me to what I want to do with the support of my tutor and lecturers. 

Enrolling here has helped me gain a lot more confidence in meeting new people and its given me a helping hand with the career path I want to take. It looks like a girl’s football team is going to start up which I’m hoping to join! 

Hannah studied Sports coaching and development at UHI Perth. 

Apply for Sports Coaching and Development HNC

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.