We develop athletes

At the Centre for Developing Athletes we go beyond the game. We believe that everybody can be an athlete, and everybody is worth developing. We support young sporting talent, coaches and elite athletes, but we also develop people, and the same rules apply no matter who we are working with. We want to engage you in physical activity and see your potential grow. 


Our ethos is that everybody can. If you're active, you're an athlete. It doesn’t matter if you walk, run, cycle or dance. Athletes aren’t just the ones on the podium, they’re anyone who uses their body to stay active, in whatever form that takes.

Below you’ll see how we develop young talent, coaches and elite athletes. But the core belief that guides our work and research is that everybody can be an athlete.

We partner with Scottish Rugby to develop new talent 

We are home to the Edinburgh-based Fosroc Rugby Academy in partnership with Scottish Rugby. The academy is one of four in Scotland, and gives talented female and male rugby players access to personalised training and development from the ages of 14-19. 

Being on our campus means the developing players get access to the same facilities as our students and can base themselves in the student environment, giving them the insight to see if they want to develop their knowledge off the field as well as on it in the future.

Our sport and exercise science students have collaborated with the players on their projects, where our commitment to developing athletes benefits our students and Scottish Rugby’s most promising talent alike. 

Developing athletes off the field as well as on it

Train and gain on the BA Business and Enterprise in Sport 

Are you an elite athlete? Have you thought about developing your skills beyond the arena? If you're looking for a dual career our BA Business and Enterprise in Sport degree was created specifically for elite athletes or coaching staff working within the elite sport environment. It's part time, flexible, and distance learning, so no matter where in the world your training or competing takes you, you can keep up. Examples of modules you will take include:

  • Introduction to Sport and Business Psychology
  • Creativity, Innovation and Enterprise
  • Leadership and Funding in Sport
  • Stress Performance and Behaviour
  • Direct and Digital Marketing
Your experience and skills will vary depending on your sport, so we encourage you to personalise your learning so you can graduate with a qualification that is valuable to your specific interests and future. We include work-based learning modules, so you are applying your learning directly to your training and competition.

Katy Winton on her consultancy work with Professor Geraint Florida-James

It really, really helps, it reaffirms how important expert guidance is. It just means that you know that the effort that you’re doing is being put into the right area.

We develop coaches with the UKCC Level 4 coaching qualification

We partner with Scottish Gymnastics and the Scottish Rugby Union to provide bespoke coaching qualifications to develop their coaches. Our first cohort of rugby coaches graduated in 2017 with a UKCC Level 4 qualification as well as a PG Diploma in Sports Performance Enhancement which is accredited by Sports Coach UK. 

They study one module per trimester for two years including work-based learning, leadership and organisational management and performance development and expertise. In their last trimester, they pick an independent study module based on a real-life problem they are facing as a coach, to personalise their learning to the specific areas they need to target.

Our Scottish Gymnastics coaches have focused on gaining PG Diplomas, following a similar route to the SRU coaches, experiencing sport-specific teaching and following a personalised learning pathway specific to their development needs. 

Anyone can be a coach but not everyone can take really good athletes and make them that little bit better.

Dr Tony Westbury 

Programme leader, UKCC Level 4 and MSc Sport Performance Enhancement

We offer sports science consultancy to tailor your development 

Our consultants work with a variety of athletes from long-distance runners and mountain bikers to Ironman competitors. We will give you tailored advice and use our knowledge and equipment to help improve your performance.