It’s a whole new ball game! In partnership with the English Football League Trust, University of South Wales (USW) has created a unique educational pathway to prepare graduates to work in football coaching and development.
Led by Course Leader, Jay Probert, the phenomenal success of the pathway has been made possible through extensive collaboration.
Impact of work
Academic staff design and deliver the teaching and learning content; media experts, convert this into engaging and interactive resources; club mentors, located within each club provide work-based learning opportunities for the students; and students co-create and run peer-mentoring schemes. The blended curriculum brings together students, student mentors, academic staff and club mentors in virtual and face-to-face environments that ensure students, drawn from football clubs across the UK, feel fully supported to achieve their best vocationally and academically, while also explicitly supporting the development of each collaborative partner.
The production of immersive digital content in a purpose built recording studio using a full sized indoor pitch with integrated cameras is crucial to providing students with relevant, interactive and engaging content. The delivery model, combining extensive mentorship with high quality blended learning delivered by a team of experts in their own subject areas (be it media, football, teaching and learning, delivery of vocational awards) is the feature that makes the programme so successful.
Plans for the future
This flexible approach to learning, enabling students to access HE through local networks, also means that their local communities benefit from the delivery of multi-sport programmes (in 2016/17 students provided in excess of 30,000 voluntary hours). The course has more than 300 students enrolled across 32 professional clubs with over 80% of graduates gaining employment as a direct result of the course. The reach of the work has gone well beyond football with the ‘flipped university’ approach now being considered as a model for the delivery of courses in nursing, chiropractic, policing and cyber security. Furthermore, the video capture component has been adopted across all campus based sport courses to ensure that students are fully supported for assessment and never miss a lecture!
University of South Wales