Hudl’s Link with the University of Derby Prepares the New Wave of Performance Analysts

Hudl’s Link with the University of Derby Prepares the New Wave of Performance Analysts

Here at Hudl, we believe the University of Derby has one of the lead­ing per­for­mance analy­sis cours­es in the United Kingdom, con­sis­tent­ly pro­vid­ing grad­u­ates into elite-lev­el clubs and organ­i­sa­tions. Learn how its rela­tion­ship with Hudl is pow­er­ing the devel­op­ment of the next gen­er­a­tion of analysts.


Dr. Andrew Butterworth is senior lec­tur­er in per­for­mance analy­sis at the University of Derby and has seen numer­ous stu­dents pass through his tute­lage. For exam­ple, as we speak, eight under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and two post­grad­u­ate stu­dents are work­ing with EFL Championship side Derby County FC while the University also has strong links with Leicester City FC, The FA (based at the prox­i­mal St. George’s Park), as well a range of local sides includ­ing rug­by and cricket.

Our course gives the stu­dents the abil­i­ty to see things from both ways around,” said Dr. Butterworth. At the University we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to teach some of the the­o­ry behind per­for­mance analy­sis and coach­ing with­in the mod­ules that we do, which is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty for stu­dents to learn what the­o­ry sits behind the prac­tice. Then we have a huge num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to apply their stud­ies prac­ti­cal­ly in real life pro­fes­sion­al environments.”

Derby County head of per­for­mance analy­sis Ben Warner echoed the thoughts of Dr. Butterworth say­ing, The rela­tion­ship between the club and the University is imper­a­tive for us as a depart­ment to main­tain the high stan­dards of ana­lyt­i­cal pro­vi­sion we deliv­er to both the first team and the acad­e­my. The interns play a key role in sup­port­ing the full time ana­lysts day to day process­es, while being chal­lenged to adhere to the high lev­els of detail expect­ed by the department.”

University of Derby performance analysis students have the opportunity to work internships at high level clubs such as Derby County FC.

Current sec­ond year stu­dent Chloe Dhillon feels the same way about the career oppor­tu­ni­ties on offer through this course. 

The rela­tion­ship between the University and pro­fes­sion­al clubs helps a lot as it shows what’s to come when we fin­ish our degree,” said Dhillon. If you already have the expe­ri­ence before­hand, then you’re kind of a step ahead in our dis­ci­pline. If you can show you can already work effi­cient­ly in a pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment, then you’re part of the way there already.”

There’s a two-pronged offer­ing from Hudl that ties in with this lead­ing course of study — first­ly, soft­ware, and sec­ond­ly, learn­ing resources. 

Hudl Academy is the online learn­ing resource that allows a user to mas­ter a range of analy­sis tools at their own pace. There are pro­gres­sive­ly more advanced mod­ules for mas­ter­ing soft­ware such as Hudl, Wyscout and Hudl Sportscode

Every per­for­mance analy­sis stu­dent at Derby will end the course as a lev­el 3 cer­ti­fied user via Hudl Academy. For Dhillon, the Hudl Academy con­tent com­pli­ments her course work effectively. 

Hudl Academy cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are real­ly use­ful to have on top of our degree work because it’s like a top up and it’s also real­ly ben­e­fi­cial to learn out­side of the box as well,” said Dhillon. It’s also dif­fer­ent to what we do at uni­ver­si­ty, so you learn by using Hudl prac­ti­cal­ly as well as what we do in the class­room. The plat­form is real­ly eas­i­ly laid out, and it’s easy to pick up where you left off and also there’s lots of sup­port on the Hudl Support page. As I’m at the start of my per­for­mance analy­sis jour­ney, hav­ing that con­fi­dence from the Hudl Academy cours­es helps a lot.”

Fellow sec­ond year Stephanie Moran felt the same way, say­ing: Having a lev­el 3 Hudl Academy cer­ti­fi­ca­tion means we are more like­ly to be employed after uni­ver­si­ty. Coming out of uni­ver­si­ty with that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is some­thing that most peo­ple don’t have, and it’s some­thing that we are get­ting through our degree. It’s some­thing dif­fer­ent and also extra qual­i­fi­ca­tion that can be placed on our CV and LinkedIn pages.”

Master our tools at your own pace with Hudl Academy's online courses.

Each stu­dent on the per­for­mance analy­sis course is pro­vid­ed with their own indi­vid­ual Hudl Sportscode license to use on their per­son­al com­put­ers, to pair with the licens­es that are avail­able in the University itself. This is espe­cial­ly use­ful dur­ing pan­dem­ic cir­cum­stances where study is often remote.

Pre Covid, the fact that every stu­dent could have their own license on their own per­son­al machine, proved an incred­i­ble tool for us,” said Dr. Butterworth. It means the stu­dents are able to work from home more effec­tive­ly on their assess­ments, and on upskilling them­selves on the soft­ware plat­forms avail­able to them. Ultimately it means the stu­dents are more com­pe­tent in using the soft­ware, and that serves them real­ly well mov­ing for­wards into applied roles that can be secured upon com­plet­ing their studies. 

During the pan­dem­ic, some of our learn­ing is being com­plet­ed remote­ly, so the fact that we were able to con­tin­ue all that teach­ing online, with the knowl­edge that stu­dents can still access Sportscode on their own machines is a major help to us.” 

Performance analysis students at University of Derby use a range of analysis tools, including Hudl Sportscode.

For Dhillon, the abil­i­ty to use her own per­son­al license has been valu­able to her devel­op­ment as an ana­lyst. Beforehand I was only using the licens­es at University, so I found it quite hard not hav­ing my own one before,” said Dhillon. But now I have my own license, it’s so much eas­i­er to explore Hudl and Hudl Sportscode in my own time, so it’s not just about using the soft­ware for what we need it for, it’s about being able to explore oth­er options as well.”

Dr Butterworth stat­ed the impor­tance of know­ing that this course isn’t just about per­for­mance analy­sis, but analy­sis com­bined with coach­ing appli­ca­tion as well. 

It’s real­ly impor­tant that we teach the stu­dents the con­text of where per­for­mance analy­sis takes place with­in coach­ing and the coach­ing process and the abil­i­ty for us to give them this con­text is impor­tant,” said Dr Butterworth. When the stu­dents go out and apply this ide­ol­o­gy in the indus­try or on an intern­ship, they know how to com­mu­ni­cate with coach­es and ath­letes, they know how to deliv­er their per­for­mance analy­sis in ways that are applic­a­ble to them. 

We encour­age our stu­dents to be cre­ative in how they deliv­er their analy­sis, to inno­vate, and not be afraid to try things to ulti­mate­ly improve overall.”

A real suc­cess sto­ry of this course is Michael Cooper — now a full time per­for­mance ana­lyst at Derby County.

Simply put, if it wasn’t for the rela­tion­ship between the club and the University, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Cooper. The intern­ship pro­vid­ed me with invalu­able expe­ri­ence of putting into prac­tice the the­o­ry that I was learn­ing at the time, into an applied set­ting. Not only that, but also being test­ed to work under strict time con­straints and in a high pres­sure envi­ron­ment that an elite set­ting requires, helped me devel­op skills that I could use in uni­ver­si­ty when faced with mul­ti­ple deadlines.

All in all the expe­ri­ences I gained dur­ing the intern­ship, paired with the knowl­edge I was taught on the course, built the foun­da­tions for me to obtain a full time role with­in the industry.”

Learn more about Hudl’s uni­ver­si­ty solu­tions.

Find out more about the University of Derby’s per­for­mance analy­sis course.