Master of Coaching

Pandas Hockey

The University of Alberta's Master of Coaching (MCoach) degree allows students to advance their knowledge and understanding of coaching through a curriculum tailored to their specific learning needs and objectives.

As an MCoach student you will:

  • Take courses with professors who are leaders in their field
  • Gain hands-on coaching experience working directly with your mentor coach
  • Conduct an independent research project with support from your academic supervisor
  • Develop a strong professional network of peers and colleagues

Degree Requirements:

30 credits of coursework including:

  • KSR 580 - Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Research or KSR 581 - Scientific Inquiry and Qualitative Research (3 credits each)
  • KSR 572 - Coaching Practicum (6 credits)
  • KSR 900 - Capping Project (6 credits)
  • Ethics and Academic Citizenship Requirement
  • Professional Development Requirement (students will carry out 8 hours of professional development activities and complete an Individual Development Plan)

This leaves students with 15 remaining credits to complete. You may complete these credits by taking courses within the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation or any other department on the U of A campus. Six credits may be completed as a directed study.

Students can complete this course-based degree as either a full or part-time student. Full-time students are required to register in and successfully complete nine credits per fall and winter terms. Part-time students must register in and successfully complete a minimum of three credits of coursework for at least one term in each September to August period to keep their program active. Students are not required to meet the faculty's residency requirement and have six years to complete the degree. The time to completion varies owing to the part-time status of many students.

Master of Coaching FAQ's

Can I continue my own coaching while completing the MCoach?

Yes. However, to complete the Coaching Practicum (KIN 572), you must engage in a new coaching experience.

Can I obtain NCCP credit for completing the MCoach?

At present there is no formal equivalency in place with the Coaching Association of Canada and the MCoach. However, a strong relationship does exist between the faculty and the CAC.

Steps are also being taken to have MCoach graduates granted status as a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC) and be eligible for national team selection.

Do I have to live in Edmonton to complete the MCoach?

Students in the MCoach can be part time or full time, however, there is no option to take classes online. Therefore, students must be able to attend classes on campus. Most courses meet once a week for three hours over a 13 week semester (fall and winter). Courses are also available over the spring term (four weeks) and the summer term (six weeks).

Do I need to know before I apply who I would like as my academic supervisor?

Acceptance into the MCoach is contingent upon having an academic supervisor. It is highly recommended that applicants attempt to identify a potential supervisor prior to applying. The Research section of our website can help you determine which professor's research area may match your own area of interest.

Applications without a potential supervisor named can still be submitted and if accepted into the program an academic supervisor will be assigned at that time.

Do I need to know before I apply who my mentor coach will be?

Acceptance into the MCoach is contingent upon having a mentor coach. It is highly recommended that applicants identify a potential mentor coach prior to applying.

To identify a mentor coach applicants can contact a coach from the list of Bears and Pandas coaches. In some cases a student may be allowed to work with a mentor coach who is not a coach at the University of Alberta or who lives and works outside of the Edmonton area. In such circumstances applicants should contact Dr. Jim Denison ( for further information.

How much does the degree cost and is there financial support available?

The following link provides details concerning the tuition and fees to complete the MCoach. In terms of financial support from the faculty, a number of possibilities exist, including funding as a teaching or research assistant or a principal instructor.

Learn more about the fee and Cost of Living Estimates 

Learn more about funding opportunities 

What can I do with a MCoach degree?

Our graduates have gone on to coach in a number of different contexts in Canada and abroad. These include secondary, post-secondary, regional, provincial and national levels.

What is involved in completing the Capping Project?

The Capping Project is a small-scale independent research project you will develop and complete with the support of your academic supervisor. This project is graded as either a pass or fail.

What is involved in completing the Coaching Practicum?

Your Coaching Practicum is based on successfully completing 250 hours of coaching under the supervision of your mentor coach. This is a Pass-Fail course that requires you to give a presentation, submit a paper and participate in four seminars.

Who can apply for the MCoach?

The MCoach accepts Canadian and international students. You should have some previous experience as a coach and a strong interest in making coaching your career. You must have a four-year degree, preferably in a sport-related subject, and be proficient in English. Apply here.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

For administrative questions, contact Graduate Programs at For academic or program-related questions contact Dr. Jim Denison at 780-492-6824 or by email at

Featured MCoach Graduate

Natasha Spaling

Current Position: Assistant Coach Women's Volleyball, Queen's University, Canada.

Why did you choose to do the MCoach?

I originally heard about the MCoach program when I was still an athlete. I was lucky enough to be living in Calgary the summer before applying to the program and I made the trip to Edmonton to see the University and meet Laurie Eisler (Women's Volleyball Head Coach). After meeting Laurie, seeing the campus and learning more about what the program was really like, I knew that it was the exact balance of practice and theory that I was looking for to help me become a better coach.

What were you doing before?

Before I applied to the program I was finishing my Kinesiology degree at the University of Waterloo, where I played on the varsity volleyball team for five years.

What were some of the features of the MCoach that helped advance your coaching?

The highlight of the program for me was the quality of the peers and mentors that I interacted with on a daily basis. My mentor coach, Laurie Eisler, and my academic supervisor, Dr. Amber Mosewich, were both incredible supports to me. They challenged me to be a better coach and researcher, and allowed me unique opportunities to grow and learn. I am very grateful for their mentorship, which has continued far beyond the Master's program.

Other than my formal mentors my coaching was heavily influenced by the many interactions with my peers and professors in the classroom. The discussions that professors provoked challenged our thinking as coaches and gave us the skills to critically think about how and why we teach and train. These conversations provided unique insights from coaches with different levels and types of experience and it was so powerful to learn about sport from so many perspectives. The knowledge and skills we acquired in the classroom have made me a more purposeful and well-informed coach.

Apply Now Master's Graduate Program Requirements Checklist (Course-Based)