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New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching

Have you been thinking about a qualification in sport coaching? Whether you’re currently working in the industry, or if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, this programme will give you the skills and competencies required to take that next big step.  

60 (0.5 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February or July
Part-time over 1.5 years

Programme overview

Please note: This programme is part-time only. For a full-time option, check out our Diploma option

In the New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching, you’ll learn about best practice coaching techniques and strategies. From here, you’ll put them into practice by coaching individuals and teams, and use this experience to reflect and improve upon your own coaching style within your chosen sports code. 

You’ll learn about sports training session design and key facilitation skills that will contribute towards the development and management of athletes and sports teams. You’ll also learn about injury prevention and risk management techniques to ensure the safety of participants during sports coaching sessions. 

You’ll develop an understanding of how psychological methods and skills can be used to enhance the performance of athletes and teams, and how to proactively manage conflict to foster a positive sporting environment. 

What you'll learn

  • Hauora (health and wellbeing)
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Sport psychology
  • Physical activity
  • Sport leadership
  • Skills coaching
  • School sport


  • You’ll learn really practical skills so that you can get going immediately once you graduate  
  • You’ll be taught by knowledgeable and passionate staff who are highly connected to the industry
  • You'll graduate with high Māori and Pasifika cultural competencies
  • Throughout the programme, you'll have the opportunity to experience 50+ hours of work-based learning across multiple sport, exercise and recreation organisations
  • You’ll have access to a range of sports facilities while you study. 

Where to next?

Once you successfully complete your certificate, you can either go straight out into the industry, or complete an additional 4 courses to achieve the New Zealand Diploma in Sport, Recreation and Exercise - Coaching Pathway

Want more information?

Feel free to contact the team with any further questions!

Contact us

Admission requirements

Academic requirements

You will need to provide the following, at different points of your application process.

  1. Have at least 48 credits at NCEA Level 2 (or equivalent) in your 4 best subjects, and;
  2. Consent to a Safety Check which meets the requirements of the Children Act 2014 (formerly known as the Vulnerable Children's Act) including:
    • Provide two forms of verified ID and evidence of any name changes;
    • Consent to a police vet check;
    • Complete a self-declaration of criminal convictions and medical conditions form  

If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we have a range of Foundation and Bridging Education programmes which will help you prepare for further academic study.

English requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance; 
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency; 
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years. 

If you don’t meet the English criteria above, we have a range of English Language programmes available, depending on your current level of ability.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you may still apply under special or discretionary entrance.

For more information download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Coaching in Action (SPOR5101) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) The course will introduce students to the principles and concepts of coaching and allow opportunities to apply these in a practical learning environment.
Concepts of Sport and Exercise Science (SPOR5104) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course will introduce underlying principles of sport and exercise science as and allow students to apply them in a variety of contexts related to health, well-being, physical activity, and performance.
Developing Athletes (SPOR5108) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course will introduce students to the principles and concepts of athlete development. It will enable students to develop a contemporary understanding of athlete development and provide opportunities for students to apply learning to authentic contexts.
Professional Practice (SPOR5109) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) The purpose of this course is to explore contemporary practice in a range of sport, recreation and exercise contexts to develop the learners’ professional capabilities for this sector.

Moving to Te Pūkenga

Vocational education in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is changing to better meet the needs of learners like you.

As part of this transformational change, in 2023 Unitec will become fully part of Te Pūkenga, a national network delivering skills training in a wide range of locations throughout Aotearoa.

This means that while you are enrolling with Unitec now, from Semester 1, 2023 you will become a Te Pūkenga learner.

Te Pūkenga has the success and wellbeing of learners at its heart, and a review of all programmes is currently underway to help support this, including this programme. The aim is to make qualifications more portable, consistent and closely aligned with the needs of industry, and more in tune with where the world is headed.

The information contained here is correct at the time of publishing, but as the programme review is ongoing, the courses outlined may be liable to change over time.

Rest assured that we will notify you of any material changes to delivery that might impact what you study, where you study or the ways you learn.