International sport coaching students in Malta celebrate graduation

International students studying on the MSc Sport Coaching programme were celebrated at a graduation event in Malta earlier this month.  

The international collaboration was launched in September 2021 in conjunction with Learning Works, a further and higher education institution in Malta. The programme brings world-leading sport science teaching at LJMU to Maltese students while creating opportunities for knowledge sharing across the country’s professional sport network.

LJMU academic staff travelled to Malta to recognise and celebrate the achievements of a group of graduating students from the class of 2022 and class of 2023, with the new graduates specialising in a range of coaching disciplines across swimming, golf, triathlon and football.  

While in Malta the specialist staff from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences also delivered teaching sessions on performance analysis and sport psychology to current students.

Successful alumna

The graduates are following in the footsteps of successful programme alumna Lara Buttigieg, who graduated last year and has since gone on to develop her own business, work for the Malta National Sport School and has received funding from LJMU to undertake a part-time PhD examining care in coach-athlete relationships.

Students making an impact on Maltese sport

This group of most recent graduates have made a significant impact on Maltese sport through their impressive student placements, projects and research, which they can now take forwards into their careers.

As part of their studies, the students developed training plans for Maltese athletes, planned sport psychology interventions, analysed the performance pathways and performances of Maltese athletes and explored social cultures in Maltese sport coaching settings.

Research highlights and further knowledge exchange opportunities

Students also undertook applied work through placements with organisations such as The Royal Malta Golf Club, Sport Malta, the Malta FA, The Malta National School for Sport, and Malta Swimming clubs.

Research was conducted on a variety of topics including examinations of:

  • Player relationships in the top division of Maltese football
  • Career transitions of Maltese swimmers
  • Comparison of swimming performance pathways across European countries
  • Planning practices of triathlon coaches
  • Skills and qualifications of the Maltese workforce
  • Young people’s perceptions of the Royal Malta Golf Club

Research highlights include Melvin Farrugia’s thesis examining the training practices of young Maltese footballers has been published in the official Malta FA magazine and has guided practices at the National Talent Development Hubs at the MFA. More work is underway for further publications.

Meanwhile Maxine Bristow has recently started PhD study with LJMU examining psychological safety in exercise settings. Thanks to support from the Maltese government, LJMU will continue to work with Maxine to help ensure that sport and exercise settings are inclusive and supportive environments.

UK student opportunities in Malta

During the past year, three Liverpool-based students also visited Malta to work with the Malta FA and Malta Tennis to support coaching on the island, further cementing a relationship between LJMU and Maltese sport.

Study with the School of Sport and Exercise Science

Discover the range of courses available to study with the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at LJMU.

Our international offering to students and partners  

We are currently engaged with partners in over 30 countries to support our ethos of global citizenship. Find out more about our global network.


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