Launched in September 2021 in conjunction with Learning Works, a further and higher education institution in Malta, the MSc International Sport Coaching programme brings world-leading sport science teaching to Maltese students while creating opportunities for knowledge sharing across the country’s professional sport network.
Module leader in Psychology of Sport Coaching, Dr Amy Whitehead, was one of three teaching staff to travel to Malta to deliver in-person sessions to six students enrolled on the first course of its kind.
“The students have been amazing. It’s been so good to speak with them face-to-face and observe them in their own coaching environments,” Dr Whitehead commented during her time in Malta. “It’s also been great to understand the cultural similarities and differences between both countries. This visit also gives the students a chance to ask lots of questions and for us to provide support for them with their assignments.”
The programme is designed to allow students to explore a range of topics, including athlete learning, talent development processes, physical and psychological training, performance analysis and social relationships in coaching. The course content is informed by the latest research and best practice in sport coaching from LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
From water polo coaching sessions to reflective practice, the jam-packed three-day teaching visit combined both psychology and talent development and performance analysis modules. This was the second in-country visit for the master’s programme teaching staff who delivered a similar three-day programme last semester.
“There’s always a benefit to visiting a beautiful country with a sunny climate, but it’s also great to be able to run practical teaching sessions with other staff members where we can combine our disciplines and work together,” Dr Whitehead added.
During their stay in Malta, LJMU lecturers also met various stakeholders in the local sport sector including the Malta Football Association, expanding connections further globally.
Programme Leader, Dr Colum Cronin, said: “With our partners in Malta, we have been able to build a unique and high-quality course that through weekly online lessons, and twice yearly in-person teaching, connects the Maltese students with our students in the UK and our world-class lecturers. This flexibility enables them to apply the latest research from LJMU in their own coaching and work-based placements.
“Malta is an ambitious sporting country and through this blend of online, work based, and in-person learning, it is great that we can help the coaches provide better experiences for athletes in Malta.”