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.