Colleges Student Development



To become either a qualified coach or referee has never been easier. Whether you wish to become an active match official, a volunteer coach or are considering taking up refereeing/ coaching for the first time there are suitable qualifications, courses and support services to help you fulfil your potential. These are great ways to stay involved in the game, help existing players enjoy the game and encourage new players to get involved.


Designed to be an introduction to leadership within rugby union, the Rugby Activator course develops key transferable skills such as time management, organisation and communication. Students who become Rugby Activators will also be introduced to basic coaching and refereeing skills. For those who are interested in further developing their Leadership skills, we offer the Level 2 Leadership through Rugby Union qualification. Developed in partnership with the RFU, the 1st4sport Level 2 Award in Leadership through Rugby Union (QCF) is an exciting qualification which enables young people to develop leadership skills and engage with grassroots rugby union. To discuss putting on a course at your college please contact your local Area Training Manager.

On the Pitch – PLAY


Many colleges already have rugby teams for male and female students to play regular, competitive matches against other colleges. To find out more please visit the AoC Sport website or contact your AoC Sport Regional Coordinator.


There are over 3000 rugby clubs in England that offer the opportunity to play rugby in a very special social atmosphere. The huge network of rugby clubs means that wherever you are studying there is always an opportunity to play rugby at a club. To find your nearest one, please enter your postcode in the Club Finder.


Touch rugby is a fun, inclusive sport for everyone to play no matter what their age or ability. It is easy to play and completely non-contact. Touch rugby can be played anywhere, at any time and by anyone who wants to get fit or just to have fun and make new friends. For more information please visit the O2 Touch pages on the website.


For young talented rugby players there are a number of pathways available, such as the Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence (AASE) Programme and the opportunity to represent England Students.

England Students is the representative level available to university students within England. To find out more about eligibility, nomination and selection download the following PDF (72kB). A nomination form is also available here (PDF 40kB).


Without volunteers, rugby in England would not exist. You don’t have to be a rugby expert to get involved and volunteering goes well beyond just coaching and refereeing:

To learn more about the Young Ambassador Programme, find out why Head Coach of Barking and Dagenham College Rugby Academy, Dean Cutting, supports the programme by clicking here. 

For more information on any of the above please contact your local Rugby Development Officer or email us at