The Flipped University: Exploring Student Progression in Football Coaching and Development

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Purpose: To evaluate the impact of a foundation degree programme, delivered via a flipped university approach, on student learning, development and employability in the sector of football coaching and development.

Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-method design was adopted, whereby current (n = 106) and graduate (n = 41) students from the programme completed an online course evaluation questionnaire and then follow-up interviews were conducted with 12 of the initial sample to explore the impact of the programme in more detail.

Findings: Participants reported significant benefits of the flipped university approach on their career development, improvement in their inter- and intra-personal skills (e.g., communication, confidence) and the acquisition of industry relevant knowledge. Recommendations include a greater provision of tailored study support for individuals and broadening the coaching portfolio of students to help address the diversification in football Community Trust remits.

Research limitations/implications: This study has indicated that new approaches to student learning and development are better suited to preparing young people for the industry in which they seek to gain employment post-education. Sampling a wider range of student perspectives qualitatively would have provided a more thorough insight into their experiences. However, this provides an avenue for future research that seeks to explore the mechanisms through which such approaches to learning facilitate development.

Originality/value: The novel flipped university concept is one that should be considered as a way of better educating and preparing students for employment in the sports industry. It is an approach that could be explored by a wide range of sectors as an alternative to both campus-based higher education and degree apprenticeships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
JournalEducation and Training
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018


  • Flipped University
  • Football
  • Coach Education
  • employability


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