Football and Basketball Studies at Abbey College Manchester

Train while you study

Receive high quality Sixth Form education alongside professional Football / Basketball coaching in the heart of Manchester city centre.

Abbey College Manchester in conjunction with with IHM Football Academy and the renowned Manchester Giants, offer students with a passion for sport the invaluable opportunity to receive best-in-class daily coaching and development with a chance for progression to play at a professional level, while obtaining a high quality sixth form education and route to university.  Students study for their sixth form qualifications in the morning and receive professional sports coaching in the afternoon.

Abbey College Manchester is holding trials for UK players aged 16-18 years old interested in combining their academic work with professional sports coaching.  There are scholarships available for up to 50% of tuition fees for both football and basketball courses.

The next full-time course commences on 13th September 2021.

Due to the rising Covid cases in the Manchester areas, we are asking students to register their interest and we will be in touch to arrange for you to visit and attend a training session.  The planned trial days for the 24th and 30th June have been postponed.

Register your interest/ email us your query below

*Please read and accept our Privacy Policy before submitting your details to us.

Please register your interest in these programmes by completing the form below.

You will then be invited to visit the Abbey College Manchester building on Cheapside, followed by a training session with the football or Basketball coaches.

If you have any questions about progression to US universities and scholarship routes, we can discuss these with our representatives at Soccer Assist.

Register your interest now

Why Join Abbey College Manchester?

  • A small, friendly, welcoming community. Small class sizes and small tutorial groups enable highly individualised learning. More than a third of our students are local, and there is full integration with our international students who are represented in 40 different nationalities.
  • Supported independence, offering great stepping stone to university.  Our students are given more freedom than in some traditional schools, but still receive a high level of guidance and support via our house and tutor system.
  • Innovative, flexible and inclusive courses. Study on our One Year GCSE Programme or Two Year A level Programme. Our Combined Studies Programme offers different pathways and is accepted by universities as an alternative to A level. Students on the Sports programmes are able to study a range of academic subjects and are not expected to study the sports pathways, although this is an option.
  • A pathway to world-class northern universities. 45% Russell Group destinations for A level and the Foundation Programme students, including Universities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and many more.
  • Specialist UCAS support is given and success in gaining entry to top-class universities – 87% students progress to their first-choice destination for highly competitive degrees including medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy, engineering, law, economics & art.
  • Offers a unique programme of academic study with Football or Basketball training. Study GCSEs, A levels or Combined Studies in the morning and have football or basketball training with professional coaches in the afternoon.

“Abbey College is highly successful in achieving its aims to guide students to achieve academic success, to fulfil their aspirations and to learn to respect and value one another”

“The students’ personal development is excellent. They are confident, articulate and sensitive to the needs of others”

– Independent Schools Inspection Report 2018

What can I study while on the academic studies with sport programme?


A wide range of A-Level courses covering science, mathematics, arts, humanities and business are available. Normally students will take three A-Level subjects across the 2 year programme, although in exceptional cases it is possible for four subjects to be studied.  Students receive 5.5 hours contact time per subject a week.

If you have studied the first year of A-Levels at a different school and wish to join us for the second year, we will give our best advice about how to go about this. Sometimes you might need to transfer examination boards. This is usually a straightforward task and we can advise you further on this matter. The college has experience in successfully enabling students’ transition into the upper sixth year.

Students on the sports programme will be able to choose from the following subject routes:
Biology, Chemistry Mathematics and Physics (three can be chosen from these four)
Business Studies, Economics and Mathematics

Combined Studies

Our Combined Studies Programme provides an alternative for students to the traditional A-Level route. It leads directly into a university degree or a degree with foundation year at selected universities.

It can be undertaken over one or two years, and comprises two optional subject strands, each worth 37.5% of the overall score, and a compulsory key skills strand worth 25%. Alongside subject content, the breadth and structure of the course develops language, knowledge, ICT and learning skills, which are essential skills for degree level study.  The programme is modular and examinations are taken in December, March and June with one re-sit opportunity in the June series. This allows students to build up their score and have a good idea of the level they are achieving as the course progresses.

  • Business Pathway
  • Science Pathway
  • Sport Pathway

Register your interest now

What are your entry requirements and fees?

Combined Studies Programme

To access the two year programme, students must have 5 GCSE passes at Grade 4 or above and this may include include Mathematics and English.

A Levels

To be eligible for A-Levels, students must have a minimum of five GCSE passes at Grade 5 or above and this would normally include Maths and English.

To study a subject at A-Level a minimum of a Grade 6 is required at GCSE. To study Mathematics a minimum of a Grade 7 is required at GCSE. For subjects that have not been taken at GCSE Grade 6 in related subjects is required.

UK Tuition Fees

A Level or Combined Studies Programme combined with Football / Basketball coaching
September 2021 – June 2022 – £15,710 for the year.  there will be a slight rise for the second year of study.  Fees are paid in monthly instalments throughout the academic year.

The fees include; all academic lessons, study aids, UCAS support, sports coaching, transport to and from sports venues, sports kit and competitive matches

There are also boarding options available at an additional cost.

Register your interest now

Information about football and basketball scholarships

To be considered for one of our scholarships, students must visit and attend a training session.

Scholarships will be awarded for demonstrating sporting and/or academic ability.

Sporting ability will be assessed during the trial day, but we will also require references from current sporting coaches and will based on attitude and dedication to training as well as ability.

Academic Ability will be assessed via current school reports and reference.

There is one award for 50% available for both Football and Basketball.

Awards of 10% & 20% are also available.

Scholarship recipients are expected to be good role models and ambassadors for their sport in question and the award is dependent upon good attendance and attitude to both academic lessons and sports training.

Register your interest now

Further information about the Football Academy

This is an exciting course aimed at male and female students who have a passion for football.
The successful programme, now in its third year, offers the chance to study A Levels, GCSEs or our Combined Studies Programme on weekday mornings whilst having professional standard football training on weekday afternoons. It provides a unique opportunity for students to gain qualifications for entry to university alongside intensive football training which could lead to playing semi-professional, or a similar standard of football in the future.

Football training is added to students’ timetables without impacting on the core study requirements to gain their qualification.

All football coaching is delivered by IHM Football Academy.

What is the Daily Routine?
Students will have academic classes each weekday morning at the Abbey College Manchester campus on their chosen academic programme.
Two hour football training sessions will be delivered each afternoon by professional and experienced coaches.
Programmes will attend the football training on 2-4 afternoons each week depending on the students academic timetable.
Students will have the option to undertake fitness programmes during the late afternoon or alternatively will be able to attend twilight stud


Football training takes place at our modern, state of the art training facilities located a short drive from the college at Ten Acres Lane Sports Complex
Transport to and from the venue is provided at no extra cost.

All training is on 4G Astro. Players receive their training from professional qualified coaches.

Matches are filmed to allow for detailed and individual post match analysis and all players receive an individual player development plan.
Competitive matches are played against other colleges, academies and pro teams.
Technical and tactical sessions are also given as part of the training, as well as guest coaches from other clubs attending training sessions. We hold showcase events to allow the players to be watched by invited club representatives and football talent scouts.
We find that the routine and discipline of regular sport training also aids positive academic development in the form of the 5 Rs. Routine, Rigour, Responsibility,
Resilience and Reflection.
• Help stretches Routine
• Develops an understanding of Rigour
• Enhances Responsibility
• Develops Resilience
• Enhances Reflection

Register your interest now

Further information about the Basketball Academy

This is an exciting course launched in January 2021 for male and female students who have a passion for Basketball. It offers the opportunity to study our academic courses in the mornings and have Basketball training sessions led by professional coaches in the afternoon.

This is a unique opportunity for students to gain qualifications for entry to university alongside an intensive, structured Basketball training which could lead to students pursuing careers in professional Basketball, not just in the UK, but also Europe and other basketball playing countries.

The Basketball Training takes place at the home of the British Basketball League club, Manchester Giants, and is led by Jamie Edwards, former Basketball International.  All transport to and from Belle Vue Leisure Centre is included in the fees.

Jamie is one of Europe’s leading mental performance coaches, an identity he has established through his ability to help organisations and peak-performing athletes create the results they aspire to. His name is linked to some of the world’s top sports professionals; Lee Westwood, Lewis Moody, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Joe Hart to name a few.

A combined philosophy that has developed from bringing the benefits of elite sports training to both sports performance and academic studies. We call it the 5 Rs; Routine, Rigour, Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection and they are skills which benefit the students for the rest of their lives, in sport and work.

Students will have academic classes each weekday from 9.00am until 12.40pm at the Abbey College Manchester campus on their chosen academic programme.
Our basketball training sessions will be delivered each afternoon programme by professional and experienced coaches at the Manchester Giants practice facilities. Our student athletes will develop beyond the game with focus on integrating the development of basketball skills “on court” with the development of life skills “off court”.

Students will have the option to undertake fitness programmes during the late afternoon or alternatively will be able to attend study/booster classes in the college.

Register your interest now

Information about the US University Scholarship Pathway

We recognise that a number of UK students wish to progress to top USA Univeristies.  This is possible via a sports scholarship route and IHM Football Academy work with the renowned Soccer Assist to help students gain football scholarships and entry into US Univeristies.

Soccer Assist provide personalised support to help and advise on the application process and how to prepare for any tests / interviews.

A representative from Soccer Assist will be available to talk to students and parents at the Football Academy Trial day on 24th June to answer questions about the support they can offer UK students to fulfil their dreams of playing and studying in the USA.

Register your interest now

Does Abbey College Manchester have boarding for UK students?

For students who do not live in the Manchester area, high quality accommodation will be arranged. A student’s age will determine how the accommodation is organised but the overall aim is to ensure all new students who require accommodation have secured a place before they arrive at the college to study.

Students aged 16 or above at the start of the academic year have the choice to either stay with a host family or in the Student Residence – Clydesdale House.

Clydesdale House is our brand new boarding house located in central Manchester, offering high-quality, safe accommodation within a 10 minute walk of Abbey College Manchester.

Clydesdale House has 24 hour on site Security, along with secure door entry system and CCTV cameras. There is also secure cycle storage, laundry facilities, onsite maintenance team, and cleaning of kitchens completed weekly.

Abbey College Manchester have exclusive accommodation on the top three floors of the building, with access restricted to our own students and staff.  Rooms are in separate clusters for girls and boys.  All rooms contain:

  • A 4ft wide size bed (wider than a standard single bed)
  • Desk and Chair
  • Wardrobe and drawers
  • Shelves/storage space
  • En-suite bathroom comprising toilet, wash-hand basin and shower
  • Curtains and blinds

All rooms are en-suite with newly fitted modern bathrooms, each cluster (approx 10 rooms) has a large kitchen equipped with hobs and ovens and plenty of fridge and freezer space. There is a large communal lounge in each cluster with a 50 inch television, a corner sofa and a table for socialising, study and activities.

For a tour of a standard room please click here.

Register your interest now


To register your interest in attending a trial day or to receive more information complete the form below, OR
call us directly on +44 (0) 161 817 2700

*Please read and accept our Privacy Policy before submitting your details to us.