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 in Dornoch ideally suited to students on this course.

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 Highland - Dornoch campus

Start date

  • September 


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £305

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Year 1 CertHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 2 DipHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 3 Degree £9,250 £9,250
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,542.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes.  Students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2022-23 Full-time With scholarship 2023-24 Full-time
With scholarship
Year 1 CertHE £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 2 DipHE £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 3 Degree £13,020  £10,020  £13,980 £10,980
Year 4 Honours £13,020  Free £13,980 Free 

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £13,020 £13,980
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £6,510 £6,990
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £2,170 £2,330

Part-time study is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


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.

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Please note that UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland will be changing their names to become UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023

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