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FdSc Sportsturf Management On Line

About the course

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire. The course is designed to enable students to achieve a vocational Higher Education qualification through online, part-time study. For those of you already employed in the sportsturf industry, traditional modes of attendance are not possible and this qualification will help to overcome this barrier and enable you to take the next step in your career. If you are seeking to develop your skills and knowledge in sportsturf provision and management and want to progress to more senior positions at the many prestigious sporting venues around the world, this is the course for you.

Course modules

Year 1

Academic and Vocational Skills

Working in industry will require you to develop a range of practical and professional skills. This module provides you with first-hand work related experience of a range of practical and technical skills as well as developing your ability to present information in a suitable academic and professional style. You will be encouraged to evaluate and reflect on your own personal development throughout the module. The module will provide the foundation for further development of individual skills through independent study in the ‘Industry Project’ module.

Essential Plant and Soil Science

Plants and soils have a very close relationship. This module will look at the biochemistry and physiology of plants and how these are affected by the plant’s environment. You will consider the characteristics of the soil environment and how these impact on plant growth and land use. The mechanisms by which plants can express the genetic information coded in their DNA and pass this on to the next generation will also be explained.

Turfgrass Establishment and Management (Double module)

This module will provide you with the fundamental principles for the establishment and management of natural turf surfaces used for a variety of sporting and recreational purposes. It covers all necessary cultural practices for turf maintenance including establishment together with identification of grasses, pest’s diseases and weeds.

Year 2

Sportsturf Mechanisation

Exploring the relationships between labour and mechanisation in sportsturf management, this module allows you to evaluate machinery and energy sources, and appraise the optimum utilisation of power and equipment.

Business Management

Key areas of management activity such as human resource management, leadership, marketing and finance are covered in this module to allow you to develop further knowledge and skills to improve future employability in land based industries.

Groundsmanship and Greenkeeping (Double module)

In this module, you will study the design and management of a range of sporting surfaces including golf, winter games pitches, cricket, tennis, bowls and horseracing. You will discuss the principles of design and layout for golf courses and sports grounds together with particular sporting requirements for set-up and play. Playing surface standards and performance will be reviewed and analysed using a range of testing procedures and equipment. The management of out of play areas including conservation is also discussed. The module also covers the design and management of non-turf surfaces used for sport.

Year 3

Research Methods

Experimental design and data analysis are core themes in this module. It will introduce concepts of statistical testing and further develop skills in presenting and interpreting results of scientific investigations. The module will give students vital skills in formulating research questions and designing an effective experiment.

Environmental Plant Physiology

This module builds upon the knowledge of plants gained in previous plant science modules. It aims to extend your understanding of how plants interact with their environment and relate this to the management practices employed in industry. It will also consider how plant physiology is influenced by changes in environmental conditions, such as those associated with climate change, and how changes in a plant’s environment lead to changes and adaptations to plant processes that allow them to survive in a range of different environments.

Industry Project

You will use the skills developed in earlier modules to identify a suitable industry related project. Through planning, executing and then reporting on the project outcomes, you will be encouraged to use the industry project to develop your own personal skills as well as professional working relationships with industry contacts. Theories and skills of project management will be developed through supporting lectures.

Sports Surface Construction, Drainage and Irrigation Design

Different construction and drainage systems, their related benefits and disadvantages and the management of sports surface drainage will be discussed here. You will explore the design concepts between the range of sportsturf and golf construction and drainage systems currently available. The design and installation of irrigation systems for a range of sports turf surfaces is also covered.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

5 GCSE passes at Grade C (4) or above (including Maths and English or equivalent)

Plus 48 UCAS Tariff points from one or more of the following:

• 2 A-levels (A2), at least one at C or above

• BTEC/C&G Level 3

• 2 Scottish Highers at C or above

• 3 Irish Highers at C or above

• International Baccalaureate at 24 points

• NVQ Level 3 in a relevant discipline

AS levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and Scottish Intermediate 2s may be used to contribute to entry requirements but they are not sufficient for entry on their own. Alternative equivalent qualifications will also be considered positively.

Applicants who believe they may be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Certificated and/or Experiential Learning (APCL/APEL) for certain modules will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must be able to demonstrate proof of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at level 6.0 (with no component score lower than 5.5) or equivalent.

All offers may be subject to successful interview

Learning and assessment

Learning Environment:

A virtual learning environment provides a platform to distribute a series of documents providing principle subject knowledge. Further reading from a range of sources supplements core information and contributes towards the achievement of all module aims. Self-assessment activities facilitate formative assessment throughout the class and can offer instant feedback on learning. Regular synchronised on-line events using video conferencing software are used to simulate an authentic classroom experience to students in a distributed environment. Student interaction and debate is encouraged through a subject specific discussion board and individual support is available via e-mail and telephone.

Students are expected to undertake extensive independent study and research to support lectures, seminars and assessments. Group work and group presentations form an important part of the course. Students will have access to specialist IT hardware and software, an on-line learning environment and reference facility.


Students will face a variety of assessments including a combination of coursework and unseen examinations. The coursework assessment methods will include technical reports, portfolios, group and individual presentations, laboratory/practical reports and extended project work. The students may be required to produce work in a range of formats, such as the production of leaflets or research posters.

Additional Information:

The Department has a close working relationship with a large number of industry bodies and sports clubs and so teaching is supported with a range of guest speakers, visits to top class sporting venues and trade shows. We are supported by Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd, Bernard Grinders and Co and Kubota UK. The course is accredited by the Institute of Groundsmanship.

There will be the opportunity to apply to become an R&A scholar and receive a bursary and support from the R&A. Currently 30% of our students receive an R&A Scholarship.

What work experience can I get?

There is no formal work placement on this course. The Academic and Vocational Skills and Industry Project modules will utilise both on and off site working environments to provide the opportunity for students to develop real practical and technical skills and help prepare them for employment in their chosen subject area.


On successful completion of the course, students may apply for the BSc (Hons) Sportsturf Science and Management (online) in two further years of part-time study.


Distance learning students have gained promotion into the following positions:

Head Groundsman

Head Greenkeeper

Golf Course Manager

Local Authority Grounds Manager

Industry Sales & Marketing Professional

Professional accreditations

This course is fully endorsed by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and recognised as the qualification of choice for those seeking careers within the sportsturf industry such as Grounds and Stadium Managers.

Myerscough College is a Golf Course Training Committee (GTC) approved centre and has a close working relationship with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA).

Special requirements

Access to a personal computer, internet facilities and a current e-mail account is essential. Recommended PC software requirements are:

Access to a PC

Microsoft Office 2007 or above

Broadband internet connection

Email account.

Recommended browsers:

Internet Explorer 7 or above

Firefox 3.5 or above

Google Chrome


The following software is available as free downloadable software and will also be required:

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Flash Player

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for opportunities and items that are optional for the course include:

Possible subscriptions to journals, periodicals and websites; membership fees to associations including Sports Turf Research Institute, British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, Institute of Groundsmanship and Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America - these memberships are at the discretion of the individual; recommended textbooks.