Esports Coaching and Performance (Distance Learning) BSc (Hons)

Esports gamer playing in an esports tournament
Mode of Study
Full-time by distance learning, Sandwich with work placement by distance learning
3 years full-time by distance learning, 4 years sandwich with work placement by distance learning
Start Date
September 2021, September 2022


Do you love the thrill and challenge of video gaming? Are you keen to turn your gaming skills into a rewarding career in the rapidly emerging esports industry?

This first-of-its-kind BSc (Hons) in Esports Coaching and Performance distance learning course is for you. Designed and delivered in partnership with IFoEC Ltd – the education partner of the International Federation of Esports Coaches – it's an essential next step if you want to set yourself apart as an esports coach.


  • Use theory, research and practical experience to understand how esports coaching helps players achieve peak gaming performance, across different games, platforms and levels of play
  • Be taught by lecturers with esports coaching experience and links to the industry
  • Learn how to work with individual gamers, shotcallers, stacks and multi-player teams, and run an esports coaching organisation of your own
  • Receive student membership to the International Federation of Esports Coaches with access to events, mentoring and its online community, helping you build a professional network and get involved in esports research
  • Get experience on a work-based learning placement in the esports sector

You'll also have the chance to do a sandwich year working in an established esports organisation, setting up your own esports business, or studying esports performance overseas.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to make an impact in the pro gaming world as a professional esports coach, within competitive organisations, with league developers, as a freelance coach or consultant, or by running your own teams.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
International Federation of Esports Coaches logo

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels ‐ ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points).
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25–26

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • A levels ‐ ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points).
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25–26

(We'll publish full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept here in late spring 2021)

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

(We'll publish alternative English language qualifications here in early spring 2022)

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Gain in-depth knowledge and understanding of coaching and performance in esports that will set you apart in the industry
  • Build learning and development experiences across genres, including MOBA, FPS and strategy games
  • Develop your communication and leadership skills, essential for an esports coach
  • Put what you learn into practice using our ties to competitive and non-competitive esports organisations
  • Become a student member of the International Federation of Esports Coaches, with the opportunity to build an esports industry network and take part in esports research projects
  • Support coaches and others responsible for creating esports performance environments, contributing to the growth of the industry, allowing for more diversity and inclusion, and raising the bar for performance
  • Be able to pursue specialist qualifications that match your career aspirations in areas such as safeguarding children, learning disability awareness and autism awareness
  • Be eligible to earn coaching qualifications from the International Federation of Esports Coaches once you graduate

Careers and opportunities

Just like traditional sports coaches, esports coaches help players refine and improve their gaming skills and performance for esports tournaments, leagues and events, many of which command major global audiences.

Multi-player teams or individual gamers compete either online or in local-area-network competitions across an array of amateur and professional levels and esports game titles. Esport coaches enable them to play to their best.

Esports is a rapidly expanding sector – the British Esports Association reports that the global market will be worth nearly $2billion by 2022.

Esports coaching careers

While it's growing quickly, the esports industry is also new, which gives qualified esport coaches a rare opportunity to get ahead in an emerging field and help shape the understanding of this new profession.

When you complete the course, you'll be ready to take on roles such as:

  • Esports coach, head of performance, or performance support staff member
  • Esports development/engagement lead, head of esports
  • Founder or CEO of an esports organisation
  • Team manager or community manager
  • Esports educator, lecturer or academic researcher
  • Sport psychologist specialising in esports (after further professional qualification)

Placement year

You'll have the option to take a year-long work placement after your second year to gain valuable longer-term work experience in the esports industry.

You'll work in an established esports organisation or take the time to set up your own esports business. Your own venture could include providing coaching services, creating and running a competitive esports team or esports performance organisation, or organising a competition for a particular esports title.

Placements are likely to be found at institutions and organisations such as:

  • The International Federation of Esports Coaches
  • The International Federation of Esports Players
  • Akolyte Esports and other esports coaching platforms
  • Competitive esports organisations
  • Placement schemes at technology companies
  • Esports media companies
  • Esports league and event operators
  • Academic research institutions

Your placement role is likely to be one of the following:

  • Esports head coach, assistant coach, analyst, performance coach, or team manager
  • Sports psychology intern
  • Student research assistant
  • Esports/Sports management and development intern
  • Player development intern
  • Coaching and performance analysis intern
  • Community marketing and relations intern
  • Communications intern

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

This course includes a core work-based learning module. You'll complete 20 hours of work experience across a range of industry sectors related to esports performance, with direct mentorship from academic members of staff.

Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you find the coaching roles, placements, internships and voluntary roles that will help you to kick-start your ideal career and complement what you’ll be learning on the course.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core modules

  • Introduction to Esports
  • Foundations of Esports Coaching
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules

  • Esports Performance 
  • Principles of Skill Acquisition
  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • Applied Esports Coaching
  • Preparing Research, Innovation or Enterprise Projects 
  • Work-Based Learning

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules

  • Project 
  • Applied Skill Acquisition 
  • Professional Practice in Sports Psychology 
  • Strategic Esports Development
  • Professional Development

There are no optional modules in this year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching and associated resources will be delivered via live video conferencing tools, video hosting platforms and e-learning platforms.

Our teaching staff have academic and professional experience in esports, research and higher education. Many course lecturers have worked directly with esports teams in coaching and support staff roles. Examples of professional memberships include:

  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Science
  • British Psychological Society
  • The Health and Care Professions Council
  • Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
  • The International Federation of Esports Coaches

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • Practical assessments
  • Client reports
  • Video submissions
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Essays
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree.

In your first year, you'll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, data collection, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3 but this depends which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go online University events and attend work placement hours (depending on the provider) in the evenings and at weekends.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – early October to January
  • Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
  • Teaching block 2 – February to May
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

Learning support tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2021 start) 

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man/EU/International students: £6,165

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

There may be some travel and subsistence costs associated with the work-based learning module in year 2, dependent on the location of your placement.

For the placement year, you may need to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs will vary but they can range from £4,500–£6,000. 

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

To apply to study this course by distance learning in 2021, use our online application form.

To apply to study this course by distance learning in 2022, use our online application form.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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