Arsenal in the Community has been developing education programmes for a range of age groups starting from primary school through the award winning Double Club to the 16+ BTEC programme and three years ago developed the Arsenal Football and Community Sports Coaching Foundation Degree. 

Launched in 2010 by Arsenal legend Alan Smith, the two year Foundation Degree course accredited by London Metropolitan University has various modules delivered by the University, City and Islington College and Arsenal in the Community. Once graduated, students have the opportunity to complete a full Honours degree in Sports Science and Coaching.

The course has been designed to prepare students for work in the area of football in the community; teaching, PE and sports development. Modules delivered include sports science, psychology and multi-sports & skills although specifically Arsenal delivers two practical and theoretical modules. Items covered include coaching skills and also the wider picture regarding tournament organisation, soccer schools operations, monitoring and evaluation, football in schools and legal requirements when working with young people.

I did not expect to enjoy it so much and have been inspired to continue my learning, perhaps with a Masters next year.

Key elements of the foundation degree include practical work experience; firstly in primary schools running curriculum football and the second year is spent in secondary schools leading after school clubs. There are also many volunteering opportunities within the programme to work on other Arsenal in the Community initiatives such as football clubs, Premier League 4 Sport and Double Clubs programmes.

Gavin, a third year student said “I was looking for a sports science degree with a football emphasis and a high practical content. This degree delivered this and much more. I feel confident coaching a wide age range of players, understanding what the different challenge is for each age group. I did not expect to enjoy it so much and have been inspired to continue my learning, perhaps with a Masters next year. The involvement of Arsenal in the Community was a huge plus, not least of all the networking opportunities and access to work experience.” 

All the assignments I took were around football which made them more interesting and easier to study.

Another year three student, Rebecca commented “I applied because the course seemed interesting and seemed a good way to continue what I was currently doing. After graduating from the Foundation Degree, I stayed at London Met to complete the full BSc degree. All the assignments I took were around football which made them more interesting and easier to study. I certainly want to use this to find a full time coaching job.

For more information please see http://www.candi.ac.uk/higher-education/all-courses/football-and-sports-with-arsenal-fdsc/

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Oct 2010