Professional Golf BA (Hons)

Course code C690

What is special about this course?

This degree, unique in Scotland, is part of a partnership between the university and the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). Based in Dornoch, close to the world-renowned Royal Dornoch Golf Club, the BA (Hons) Professional Golf is aimed at those aspiring to a career in the golf industry and offers the opportunity to work in various roles, with a particular focus on coaching and performance.

This degree is recognised by the PGA and graduates may gain membership of the PGA (subject to application).

This degree will incorporate themes relevant to the varied demands of the industry, in particular those met by professional coaches. These themes will develop from year one, through to the honours year and encompass coaching, equipment technology, sports science and business.

You will work alongside our BA (Hons) Golf Management students.

Special features

  • The course is unique due to its proximity and close working relationship with Royal Dornoch Golf Club, rated top 5 in the world. The club is also supportive of our students' development, offering coaching opportunities, hosting golf events and providing placement opportunities.
  • Graduates can gain PGA membership (subject to application)
  • You will study in a unique location – playing opportunities include Royal Dornoch Golf Club
  • You will access newly developed, dedicated, on-site specialist teaching facilities and equipment, including Trackman and SAM Puttlab
  • Benefit from PGA-qualified and golf business teaching staff
  • Get the opportunity to improve and develop personal golf-related skills and performance
  • Participate in professional industry-based placements on an annual basis
  • You will become a member of the University of the Highlands and Islands Golf Club (UHIGC) currently hosted by Royal Dornoch Golf Club
  • Be involved in events throughout the academic year with the university golf team in British Universities and College Sports (BUCS) and Scottish Student Sport (SSS)
  • Have institutional support for applications for individual R&A bursaries which financially support elite golfers in tertiary education
  • Volunteer coaching in the Highland region is also well-established and there is an excellent and supportive working relationship with Scottish Golf as well as with local schools and clubs


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • There is also a current golf handicap requirement of 6.4 or lower for men, and 8.4 or lower for women
  • You may be able to enter year two of the degree if you have an appropriate Higher Education qualification in a relevant subject
  • Applicants with other qualifications or relevant experience are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage


For International students requiring Student Route sponsorship
Please note that international students with a Student Route visa can only take part in sports activities or as part of a work placement, as an amateur and not as a professional or semi-professional. You will not be allowed to become a member of a professional sports association while a student. This is due to ‘professional sportsperson’ restrictions imposed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as outlined in their Student Route Policy Guidance.

Year 1 - CertHE

In the first year you will be introduced to general concepts in the golf industry and professional sport.

Core modules are:

  • Activity performance and skills acquisition
  • Introduction to business
  • Introduction to equipment technology for golf
  • Introduction to sport and exercise science
  • Introduction to sport coaching and leadership
  • Professional practice and personal development for the golf industry

Year 2 - DipHE

You will continue to build on and develop the concepts from year one and begin to evaluate their application in practice. New topics will also be introduced.

Core modules are:

  • Applied coaching and leadership 
  • Golf equipment and analysis 
  • Work placement: team-working and communication
  • Event planning and organisation
  • Retailing
  • Principles of sport and exercise psychology
  • Event planning and organisation

Year 3 - BA

In the third year, academic skills will be further developed alongside practical and industry-specific skill sets.

Core modules are:

  • Research skills
  • Work placement: industry-specific skills
  • Sports and exercise science: a critical analysis
  • Developing entrepreneurial effectiveness
  • Small business planning
  • Design, manage and evaluate human fitness and physical performance

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

The honours year is used to deepen your understanding and consolidate the themes carried throughout the programme. 

Core modules are:

  • Niche professional: a business analysis
  • Sports and exercise psychology
  • Work placement: professional practice

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Advanced applications of coaching and instruction
  • Legal issues in sport and fitness

You will also complete a dissertation (double-credits), or research and present a plan for a new business venture.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (unstructured)           

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face tutorials and lectures, enhanced by field trips, practical tuition, video conferencing and online study via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE).

This is enhanced by guest lectures from leading industry figures, regular practical sessions utilising state-of-the-art coaching and analysis equipment, on-site tuition, and assisting in coaching at various schools and golf clubs.

Alternatively the new DipHE Professional Golf PGA programme is a distance learning, 3 year part-time programme that can be studied while working at a golf facility in Scotland.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 8 years @ 10 to 20 hours per week

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Dornoch campus

Start date

  • September 


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

There is an additional cost of £349 for the NGB Coaching level 2 award.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in the golf industry and beyond. Opportunities may include:

  • PGA professional
  • Golf coaching and development
  • Golf facility operations and management
  • Golf education
  • Sports science
  • Sports retail
  • Events management and operations

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress to the PgCert Management in Golf with an honours classification of 2:2 or above.

Is there more information available online?

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I'm originally from Glasgow but I’d been based in New York working in the golf industry. I’d considered other courses but as soon as I heard about this degree my mind was made up to return and study here in Dornoch. The lecturers bring their own individual experiences and knowledge, and their combined networking capabilities within the golfing industry mean that if you're interested in a specific area then they have experts they can put you in touch with.

My work placement in Oman led to my internship with the European Tour Performance Institute during 2018. My mentor/ boss was the chief medical officer for the tour and an ambassador for the World Golf Foundation, which gave me the opportunity to work in the promotion of both the physical and mental health benefits of golf. I have now accepted a job with the European Tour in High Performance. 

Marsha Hull studied on the BA (Hons) Professional Golf at our UHI North Highland, Dornoch campus

Thanks to the Professional Golf degree I will be able to develop my industry knowledge while playing for the university’s golf team. My favourite thing is having the time to play golf while enhancing the practical skills required to work as a golf professional.

Riccardo Cellerino, from Italy, moved to Dornoch to study on the BA (Hons) Professional Golf

As the General Manager at Royal Dornoch, I am excited to see the university expand the courses on offer which will give many more young people interested in golf the opportunity to make the game their career whether playing, coaching, retailing or administering. We want Royal Dornoch to be a big part of this and encouraging them to enjoy playing golf at Royal Dornoch while studying, will help send the best educated and equipped graduates into the market place.

Neil Hampton, General Manager, Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Questions about this course?

Questions about this course?

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Questions about this course?


Thank you for your interest in studying Professional Golf BA (Hons) with us.

If you are ready to apply, please start your application below by selecting when you would like to start your course. This will take you to the UCAS website or our online application system.

If you're not quite ready, please message us or call 01463 279190 if there is anything we can do to help you with your decision. We will handle your query in line with our Privacy Notice.

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  • Applications to this course are now closed for September 2023 entry. Applications for September 2024 will open in September 2023. Please revisit this page then to apply.

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