England Senior Academies

Senior Academy Programme for talented athletes at university

Volleyball England’s Senior Academy Programme supports the progression of talented volleyball players who are also looking for academic development.

It is hosted by a network of universities across the country and is a key part of the national talent pathway.

Athletes looking to join one of the university programmes – of which details are listed below – need to complete the UCAS application process.

For any queries related to the Senior Academy Programme, please contact Bertrand Olie, Project Lead (DiSE & Education): b.olie@volleyballengland.org or 01509 974 697.

Bournemouth University - Silver



Building on its strong partnership with Wessex Volleyball Club, this programme provides opportunities to train alongside athletes from this local side as well as the University Team. In total, students can expect 8+ training hours per week as well as matches on Wednesdays and weekends.

To enhance their training, students can also access regular strength and conditioning sessions.

Making the most of the coastal town’s 7-mile stretch of golden sands, there is also the opportunity for beach volleyball training during and outside of the indoor volleyball season.

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can contact Martin Wells, Volleyball Programme Lead: mwells@bournemouth.ac.uk

Northumbria University - Silver


The Northumbria University Volleyball programme is one of the best student volleyball programmes in the UK and attracts some of the very best athletes from the UK and abroad. 

Both teams compete within the BUCS Premier North league, which is the highest level within university volleyball. In 2018 our men’s and women’s team won nine out of 10 titles in both BUCS and National League. In 2019 the women made it to the final of the BUCS Championship and NVL Cup.

Volleyball is one of Northumbria’s 6 focus sports so all players selected to be part of the men and women’s 1st team will be awarded a scholarship package including: 

  • 2-3 strength and conditioning sessions a week 
  • Access to physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation support 
  • Sports massage 
  • Sport psychology, nutrition, and clean sport support
  • Performance analysis 
  • Scholarship athlete clothing package 
  • Fitness membership 

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can get in touch via email thomas.robinson@northumbria.ac.uk

Sheffield Hallam University - Silver


Athletes enrolling into Sheffield Hallam’s academy can expect a thorough weekly programme covering tactical court movements, strength and conditioning training and competitive matches.

A typical week would look as follows: Monday: strength and conditioning, court-based movements; Tuesday: strength and conditioning, 2 hour court session; Wednesday: BUCS fixtures; Thursday: strength and conditioning, 2 hour court session; Friday: 2 hour court session; Saturday or Sunday: National Volleyball League fixtures.

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can get in touch via email: performancesport@shu.ac.uk.

University of East London - Silver


Some of the country’s hottest prospects have chosen the University of East London’s (UEL) volleyball centre – and several of these have gone on to earn professional contracts around the world.

An elite programme of coaching and support awaits athletes at UEL, which also offers players: the opportunity to play with top National Volleyball League side Malory Eagles UEL; unlimited physiotherapy and osteopathy; UKSCA-accredited strength and conditioning training; and access to a range of sports science support.

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can email Head Coach Ian Legrand: i.legrand@uel.ac.uk.

University of Essex - Silver


Since the University of Essex (UoE) launched its Senior Volleyball Academy Programme in 2013, 10 athletes have won their 1st Senior National Team caps during their studies and 11 have gone on to play professionally.

Benefits of UoE’s programme include: physio screening on arrival; training and match statistics; weekly fatigue and hydration monitoring; and the use of a state-of-the-art, 1,655-seater arena with an onsite sports therapy clinic and a showcase court dedicated to volleyball and basketball.

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can email Head Coach Alex Porter: aporter@essex.ac.uk.

University of Nottingham - Silver


This volleyball programme has an ambitious set up, with excellent coaching and world-class facilities at the £40 million David Ross Sports Village. It is also under the guidance of an experienced volleyball coach in Freddie Fairbain.

A specialist sports injury clinic, bespoke high-performance zone, 4 beach volleyball courts and 7 international-standard competition courts are all included in the University of Nottingham’s performance facilities.

For more information, click here.

Alternatively, you can contact Freddie Fairbairn: Freddie.Fairbairn@nottingham.ac.uk.



Volleyball England is proud to work in partnership with Sport England TASS, which provides athletes with a tailored package of Core Services including strength & conditioning, education & lifestyle support, physiotherapy, psychology and sports medicine.

The athletes also receive a sport specific personal award to be used towards training, coaching and competition expenses.