FdSc Sportsturf Management

About the course

This course is eligible for applications from 8 September 2018 with a start date of September 2019.

The course is delivered at University Centre Myerscough and awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.

If you are seeking a career working outdoors with the opportunity to work at world class sporting venues around the world then this is the course for you. Would you like to be the next Manager at Wimbledon Tennis Club, Wembley Stadium or St Andrews Golf Course? Why not gain a qualification that will enable you to learn about surfaces for all outdoor sports and develop practical and technical skills to gain employment in an international industry constantly looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic people with the desire to succeed at the highest levels in sport and recreation provision.

All students will gain the relevant practical and technical skills needed for positions of responsibility. Subjects studied include plant and soil science, cultivation practices in sportsturf, pests, diseases and weeds, construction and drainage of sports surfaces, business management, and sportsturf technology. You also have the opportunity to gain relevant industry experience and to plan and undertake your own work-related project as well as the chance to plan the design of sports facilities.

The acquisition of practical skills and experience is an integral part of the Foundation Degree Sportsturf course. Full-time students can undertake periods of industry experience at a range of prestigious golf clubs, cricket and football grounds. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree provides access to the final year of the Honours Degree programme.

Course modules

Year 1

Academic and Vocational Skills

Working in industry will require sportsturf professionals 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.

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.

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 plants 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.

Sportsturf Mechanisation

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Assessment:

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.

Learning Environment:

Learning activities on the course are diverse, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and workshops.

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.

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.

The course utilises the College sports facilities: 9 hole golf course, winter games pitches warm up areas and full size third generation artificial football pitch for teaching, practical activities and scenario based exercises.

What work experience can I get?

There is also the option to intercalate and take a gap year to work in the industry anywhere in the world. This enables students to gain experience in a real working environment as well as increasing employment prospects. Students can undertake periods of industry experience at a range of prestigious golf clubs and sports grounds, e.g. St Andrews, Wimbledon AELTC, Queenwood Golf Course, The Belfry.

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.

Progression

On successful completion of the course, students may apply for BSc (Hons) Sportsturf Science and Management in one further year of study.

Careers

Examples of possible careers included:

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

Extra Costs:

Additional costs for items that are essential for the course:

· Laboratory coat - £10

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

· Waterproofs and safety boots - £80

Sportsturf studies

There are fantastic opportunities both in the UK and overseas for people who are trained and qualified in sportsturf. Careers exist at all levels, from assistant groundspersons and greenkeepers to managers of international sports facilities such as Premier League Football Clubs and the major elite Golf Courses. Our courses will equip you with the skills that are necessary to build, maintain and manage quality turf surfaces to a high standard.

Students learn the science behind how grasses grow, as well as soils, drainage and a wide range of maintenance practices. You will gain an understanding of the demands of sport and what players need or expect from turf surfaces. You will be taught how to provide these conditions all year round and in all weather conditions.

Our Partnership with UCLan

All our Higher Education programmes are awarded by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Myerscough College is an Associate School of the University of Central Lancashire, a dynamic, vibrant and contemporary university located in Preston city centre. UCLan is one of the largest universities in the UK with world-leading and internationally excellent research areas. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.