Professional Golf BA (Hons)

UCAS code C690
Information line 01463 279190

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 gain membership of the PGA (subject to application).

Scotland's golf industry is worth £1 billion and annually directly contributes £496 million to its gross domestic product (GDP). Estimates suggest that one in every 125 jobs in Scotland are dependent on golf. 

This degree will incorporate themes relevant to the varied demands of the industry and, 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 Number 5 in the world in 2016 by Golf Digest. 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 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 Clubgolf 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 HNC in a relevant subject, or year three if you have an HND in a relevant subject
  • Applicants with other qualifications or relevant experience are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course

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 Coaching and Leadership
  • Introduction to Sport and Exercise Science
  • Preparing for Work-based and Placement Learning

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 
  • Event Planning and Organisation
  • Golf Equipment and Analysis 
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Retailing
  • Work Placement: Team-working and Communication

Year 3 - BA

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

Core modules are:

  • Design, Manage and Evaluate Human Fitness and Physical Performance
  • Developing Entrepreneurial Effectiveness
  • Research Skills
  • Small Business Planning
  • Sports and Exercise Science: A Critical Analysis
  • Work Placement: Industry-specific skills

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

Option modules 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 progamme 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 College UHI - Dornoch campus

Start date



For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

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

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free** free**

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500 (2018-19 and 2019-20).

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

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

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:

  2018-19 2019-20
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,100 £11,650
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,550 £5,820
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,850 £1,940

**There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

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
  • Golf education
  • Sports science
  • Sports retail
  • Events management and operations

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress to postgraduate business and management courses within the UHI Management School. These courses are designed for working professionals who want to take their career to the next step so you must be in employment. 

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

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.

Apply for Professional Golf BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.