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Story added: 16th June 2020

Stevie Bramble, CSF’s Head of Curriculum, explains what students can expect from the programme

This September, for the first time, the Community Sports Foundation (CSF) will be providing a higher education option for students.

The course, designed in conjunction with the English Football League Trust, will give students the opportunity to study for both Foundation and BSc (Hons) degrees at CSF’s new community hub, The Nest.

It’s an attractive offering for those looking to develop the skills and qualities that are required to work within professional football clubs, their community departments or the sport industry as a whole.

The Foundation has run a range of full-time education courses for 16-18 year olds since 2014 (currently run in partnership with CSF’s official education provider The Wensum Trust), so the creation of a higher education step has long been the goal.

Stevie Bramble, CSF’s Head of Curriculum, explains more about how it came about, and what students can expect.

“We have 60-100 college programme students leaving us every year, and the question is always: ‘What’s next? How do I continue my journey with CSF?’

“The natural step, we felt, was to develop our own degree programme, to sit alongside our existing apprenticeship offer (which is run in partnership with Sports Structures). This means we’ll have both a vocational and an academic pathway past the age of eighteen.

“The degree programme is for anyone that is interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry, particularly in areas of growth such as social inclusion, community coaching and football development.”

On the course, students will study a two-year Foundation Degree in Community Football Coaching, with the opportunity to complete a further “top up” year, allowing them to leave with a full BSc (Hons) degree in Football Coaching, Development and Administration.

Back when plans were being made for the degree, Stevie and his team at the Foundation were keen to design a course that would be compatible with most people’s needs.

“Delivery style is a blend of online lectures from our partners at the University of South Wales (USW) to tutor-led sessions delivered by us. There’ll be presentations, small group work and coaching demonstrations. There’s a whole mix of assessment styles, and many ways to put what you’ve learned into practice.”

The flexible nature of the course means it’s perfect for mature students or for those who wish to work a part-time job whilst studying.

“This is not a normal degree, where you’re in five days a week for a couple of hours,” Stevie continues. “The delivery is condensed into two longer days, that’ll run from 9am to 4pm. This allows students to balance work with studies.”

Undoubtedly, the link to Norwich City Football Club is a big draw.

“The fact we’re able to bring the tangible aspects of a professional football club to life, puts this course way ahead of any competitors. Students can benefit from guest speakers from the Club, unique experiences at Carrow Road and placements with the Foundation in the community to develop coaching experience. It’s all very closely aligned to CSF and the Football Club.”

Physical learning opportunities won’t just be limited to Norwich and Norfolk though.

Once a year, students will stay at the University of South Wales’s state-of-the-art High Performance Centre in Pontypridd for a week of on-site learning.

Every good degree needs a good ‘campus’, and the opportunity to study at the Community Sport Foundation’s brand new multi-million pound community hub, The Nest, is a big draw, reckons Bramble.

“Students will have access to brand new facilities on site: classrooms, I.T. suite and both 3G and grass pitches for practical coaching workshops,” he says.

“For those that haven’t experienced the site yet, it’s a really special space. Peaceful, lots of green space and some superb buildings and pitches. It’ll be really a unique place to study at, once its completed.”

Beyond the learning element, there is also the opportunity for year one students who are still eligible for U19 football, to access a full football training programme. Coaching is led by ex-Norwich City stars Adam Drury, Simon Lappin, and Ryan Jarvis.

Those that impress could be part of the Foundation’s U19 development squad, who represent the Canaries against other equivalent sides nationally.

So, with a number of students already enrolled on the course and the clock counting down to the start of the first ever ‘semester’, how is Stevie Bramble feeling?

“For me personally, it’s really exciting, There has been a massive amount of work put into it by the whole team, and we’re really proud of how it’s shaped up.”

“We can’t wait to welcome our first intake.”

For those that have yet to make a decision about their plans this September, it isn’t too late to enrol.

To find out more about the degree or to view a prospectus, click here.

"Students will have access to brand new facilities on site: classrooms, I.T. suite and both 3G and grass pitches for practical coaching workshops."

Stevie Bramble

Head of Curriculum, CSF

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