International Programme

The International programme at Manchester Cycling Academy provides a unique experience combining expertly delivered English language classes, British ‘A’ levels and the International Foundation Programme with first class cycling coaching.

From our base at the world class National Cycling Centre, Manchester Cycling Academy hosts young people from across the globe, honing their academic, riding and racing skills. 

The international cycling academy is a collaboration between leading international schools, British Council accredited language school, International House and Abbey College, Manchester and in what is the first partnership of its kind in the UK and believed to be the first in Europe. 

Course Overview

It is the only international cycling academy in the United Kingdom and is a fantastic opportunity to combine your academic studies and live the life of a professional cyclist.

This is a unique opportunity for students to gain qualifications for entry to a British University alongside intensive, structured cycling coaching which could lead to a career in professional cycling, not just in the UK, but also Europe and around the world. 

We have a road, track and cyclocross focus but you will have the opportunity to ride the berms and jumps at the indoor BMX centre or on the MTB trails, all at our base at the newly refurbished National Cycling Centre, the home of British Cycling.

Off the track, you will spend your time on the hills of the peak district or rolling through the lanes of Cheshire as well as cycling specific developmental sessions including strength and conditioning, video analysis and nutrition.  

Join our international cycling academy, study english A levels and meet new friends from around the world.

The International Cycling Academy has two routes:


This programme is aimed at the student who has a love for cycling and who wants to improve but who also wants to concentrate on their academic studies. 

You will take part in up to three group sessions per week and two extra training rides or sessions that can be done at a time that suits you. These will be delivered to you via the online training platform, Training Peaks. 

You will receive a kit bundle including off and on the bike clothing, gym membership and access to the coaching team for feedback sessions. 


This programme is suited for a student who is able to train for around fifteen hours per week and who wishes to progress onto a cycling related career.

The elite programme will see you take part in five group training or race sessions per week and two extra training rides or sessions which can be done at a time to suit you. These will be tailored to your needs and will be delivered to you via the online training platform, Training Peaks. 

You will receive a full kit bundle including off and on the bike clothing, gym membership, a strength and conditioning assessment, diet and nutritional plans and one to one feedback sessions with your coach.  

Course Content

Depending on the length of your course, riders can expect to cover most riding disciplines including track and road, Cyclocross, MTB and BMX and the lesser known discipline of Cycle Speedway.

Up to 3 Hours per day are dedicated to practical riding sessions. At the beginning of each course, riders will plan their sessions with their coach and tailor their training accordingly.

You will attend your academic classes each weekday morning and then travel to the National Cycling Centre for your cycling specific training sessions. There will be a variety of different sessions each week depending on your level of performance.

In most sessions you will train with other riders from the international and domestic programme. A typical velodrome training session could be:

Through and Off: Riding in groups, you will ride on the red line around the velodrome and in turns, peel away up the boards, allow the group to pass below you and then drop onto the back of the line.

Held Starts: An important part of the sprinter’s armoury, the held start is a key skill to learn.

Pyramid Sessions: You will ride in a group around the velodrome, gradually raising the pace of the group at a set time as the coach whistles to achieve a set speed and then the group will gradually slow down at set intervals back to recovery pace.

Joint Sessions: From time to time you will join riders from our domestic programme and train together. This may be for a road ride, BMX, MTB or Cyclocross training session.

Course Details

  • Up to 15 hours of training per week 
  • Monthly performance reviews 
  • Off the bike seminars including:
    • Sports Science
    • Sports Psychology
    • Anti-doping 
    • Lifestyle 
    • Career planning 
  • Compete in regional and national races
  • Coached sessions at the National Cycling Centre
  • Road rides in the Peak District and Cheshire Countryside accompanied by Manchester Cycling Academy support vehicle
  • Strength and conditioning sessions
  • Manchester Cycling Academy branded kit bundle including indoor and outdoor clothing
  • 15 hours per week of classroom based English language lessons at our British Council accredited partner school
  • Supervised creation of rider profile/ career CV
  • Introduction to British semi-professional and professional cycling teams

When does the course start?

When does the course start?
  • Start dates every 8 weeks commencing in April 2023
  • Sample the British cycling way of life
  • Join regional track leagues
  • 2-3 hours of cycling training each day
  • 3-7 sessions per week
  • Courses range from 8 weeks to 9 months
What experience will I need?
  • Cycling is a physically demanding sport and you will need a good level of fitness before starting the course.
  • We can help you with this in the months before the course starts.

Course Progression

Whether you want to be a professional cyclist, move onto be a performance coach or study sports science at University, this course aims to challenge and support your development to be the best you can be. Some examples of routes you can take once you have graduated from Manchester Cycling Academy are below.

  • Professional Cycling
  • Bike Mechanic
  • Sports Coach
  • University
  • Sports Science
  • Physiotherapy
  • PE Teaching
  • Sports Marketing
  • Sports Coaching
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Development

Why Manchester?

Manchester is ranked within the top 30 cities in the world in the 2022 Globe Liveability Index, and deservedly so. The city boasts a rich and varied cultural and social history, a vibrant city centre full of bars, cafes and restaurants, countless live music venues and of course, a world class sporting heritage.

The city itself is easy to navigate on foot or by the extensive bus and tram system with excellent access to a national network of transport links to all the other major cities of the UK.

There are an abundance of cycling facilities close to our base including the newly opened trails which will be used on the 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can also attend the local Track, BMX or MTB leagues where you will be able to meet and compete against the best riders in the region. 

Manchester is home to more than 100,000 students from all backgrounds and cultures and if you are successful in your application to join Manchester Cycling Academy you will have arts, culture, history, music and theatre and a world of sports at all levels on your doorstep.