This stimulating and challenging vocational course is for students who intend to study for a degree in Sport or pursue a career in the Sports Industry.  

It covers a wide variety of topics, including both the theory and practical aspects of Sport. 

The Diploma is a two year course, equivalent to two A Levels.

It is recommended to combine the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport with either one A Level or one BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate course (the latter being the equivalent to one A Level).  These could include A Level Biology, Business or Psychology or BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Human Biology, Business or Public Services.

Studying Sport could lead to: 

  • A degree in Sports Studies, Sports and Exercise Science, Sports Management, Sports Injury or Rehabilitation 
  • A career as a PE teacher or Sports Coach
  • Careers working within the Fitness Training Industry, Leisure Centres, Sports Development or Coaching are also popular, as are careers in Sports Therapy
  • Apprenticeships within the Sports Industry for example within Fitness Training or Sports Marketing

 Even if students don’t intend to pursue a career in sport, the course fosters: 

  • Transferable skills such as team work, leadership experience and confidence and communication skills that will help students excel in all manner of careers 
  • A life-long passion for sport and a healthy lifestyle that will complement any future career choices

This is a vocational course designed to develop both knowledge and practical skills in the area of Sport.  Over two years, students will study units relating to:   

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
  • Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Sports Leadership
  • Investigating Business in Sport and the Active Leisure Industry
  • Skill Acquisition in Sport 
  • Application of Fitness Testing
  • Sports Injury Management
  • Sports Psychology
  • Sports Injury Management

Study is through a mixture of theory and practical activities in which all students must participate. 

Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences

Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:

  • An opportunity to participate in wheelchair basketball
  • Guest speakers from various careers

In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.

All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas. Work experience within the Sports Industry can be used to develop the skills and knowledge needed when studying the compulsory Professional Development in the Sports Industry unit.

This course is assessed through external assessment (45%) and internal assessment (55%).  Assessments include:

  • An external written exam in Anatomy and Physiology
  • An external task, written under exam conditions, relating to Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
  • Internally assessed coursework consisting of written assignments, presentations and practical assessments 
  • An external task, written under exam conditions, relating to Business and Sport

The exam board for this BTEC Level 3 Diploma is Pearson BTEC.

All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. 

In addition, students will need the following minimum combination of GCSE grades:

  • Grade 4 in a Science subject (4,4 in Combined Science) or Grade 4 in PE,and
  • Grade 4 in a literate subject such as English Language, English Literature or History

A Merit or above in BTEC Level 2 Sport will also be considered. 

Students should have a genuine interest in sport as much of the course will involve linking the theory learnt to sporting examples. Students will not be directly assessed on their sporting ability. However, there are practical elements of the course that require students to be enthusiastic and willing to take part.  Students should be highly motivated and able to consistently meet coursework deadlines.

What is the difference between BTEC and A Level PE?

BTEC Sport qualifications are more vocational courses that include a larger coursework component.  Students are not assessed on their sporting performance.

Do universities regard BTEC sport as highly as A Level PE?

BTECs and A Levels are worth the same amount of UCAS points. Some universities may require A Level PE, depending on the course.

What does a typical BTEC lesson look like?

BTEC theory lessons are held in computer rooms, allowing students to use electronic work packs for note taking in preparation for assessments. Lessons are taught practically where possible, for example, when learning about fitness training methods.

How many practical sessions do students participate in?

Students are not assessed on their practical ability.

The number of practical lessons depends on the unit and the subject matter being taught. The College offers additional competitive sport opportunities and activities for those keen on increasing their participation.

What is the difference between the Diploma and Extended Certificate?

The Diploma is the equivalent of two A Levels. It includes nine units of study and involves eight lessons per week.

The Extended Certificate is the equivalent of one A Level. It comprises four units and has four lessons a week. Both courses must be studied over two years.

What will I learn in each unit?

Anatomy & Physiology: Skeletal System / Muscular System / Respiratory System / Cardiovascular System / Energy Systems

Fitness Training & Programming: examines lifestyle factors and their effect on health and well-being; Screening processes for training programming; Programme-related nutritional needs; Training methods for different components of fitness; and Training programme design.

Professional Development: examines career and job opportunities in the sports industry; explores personal skills to inform a career development action plan, recruitment activity on the processes that can lead to a successful job offer; Reflection on the recruitment and selection process and your individual performance.

Sports Leadership: explores different leadership styles and how they can be applied effectively; it studies the skills, qualities and characteristics of sports leaders and learners get the opportunity to lead sports activity sessions and get practically assessed.

Fitness Testing: Principles of fitness testing; Fitness tests for different components of fitness; Evaluation and feedback of fitness test results.

Sports Psychology: develops an understanding of the different psychological factors that can affect sports participation and performance, as well as how to develop these qualities.

Sports Injury Management: identifies signs and symptoms of sports injuries; application of basic treatment and rehabilitation methods; injury risk factors and injury prevention.

Investigating Business in Sport and the Active Leisure Industry: explores how business operates in the sport and active leisure industry and how it responds to trends and other influences to meet the needs of clients and commercial needs.

Skill Acquisition in Sport: looks at key factors contributing to a skilled performance in sport and examines how sports performers learn and develop their skills.

What sport-related university courses are available?

Explore the UCAS website for Sport related courses.

The following are some examples of degree courses BTEC Sport students went on to study in 2020:

  • Sports Journalism – Liverpool John Moores University
  • Sports Management and Development – University of Portsmouth, Bournemouth University
  • Sports Therapy – Bournemouth University, University College Birmingham
  • Sport & Exercise Science  – University of Surrey, Kingston University, Nottingham Trent University, Swansea University
  • Sport Coaching & Sport Development – Solent University
  • Football Business Management – Solent University
  • Football Coaching & Management – UCFB
  • Sport Science and Coaching – Nottingham Trent University
  • Physical Education and School Sport – Sheffield Hallam University

How to Apply

Applications for entry September 2022

Please apply (from 28 September 2021) via the link on this page:

Please see the Admissions timetable for information about the College’s enrolment process.

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