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Not sure? No problem

Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

This 2 year programme is the equivalent to 3x A-levels, and is for those hands-on learners looking to progress into the world of Sports Coaching, PE teaching, and Higher Education/University. The modules are designed to provide students with a high level of practical skills relevant to the wide range of demands within the sports industry such as, Developing Coaching Skills, Health Wellbeing in Sports, Functional Sports Massage, Fitness Training, Anatomy and Physiology and many more. Students from this course regularly progress into specific areas of coaching such as Football, Rugby, Netball, Swimming, Personal training or into the wider coaching industries with our local partners such as Premier Sport. Many others progress onto university, studying areas such as Sports Coaching, Physical Education, or Performance Analysis.

Entry requirements

Candidates will need a minimum of four GCSE passes at '4' or above in academic subjects. One of these '4 or above' grades must be in Mathematics or English Language. Applicants will need to be motivated and able to manage their own time effectively. Students will need to have a mature and responsible outlook, as they will be required to work with a high degree of independence for much of the course.


On successful completion of the two year programme students will achieve an Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development (equivalent in size to 3 A-Levels). All students will complete an BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport Coaching and Development after successful completion of the first academic year. We will work with all learners in their first six weeks at College to place them on the appropriate Diploma programme that best meets their individual needs and best ensures their success.

What you'll learn (core modules)

All learners will be expected to attend College three/four days a week. They will be taught by a highly qualified and professional team, and will be given the opportunity to practically demonstrate skills learned. Subject areas include: Anatomy and Physiology, Fitness Training, Research Project In Sport, Sports Development,  Developing Coaching Skills, Applied Coaching Sport and Exercise Massage, Nutrition for Physical Performance, Sports Psychology. You will be assessed through a variety of methods and be given an assignment schedule. Learners will study 12 units in total, six in each academic year.

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C (9 to 4 on the new grading structure) or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

Students will be given the opportunity to investigate a wide range or areas within the sports industry. They will develop their current skill set and attain new vocation skills that are applicable to employment within the industry. Character strengths will be a key part to the programme throughout the sports course, these will be highlighted and their relevant importance discussed along the way.

How will I be assessed?

All assessments are completed via practical and academic assessments and there are no exams. These assessments will be carried out using a variety of methods such as written reports, logbooks, presentations and practical recorded assessments. All learners will be issued with an assignment schedule at the start of each academic year. This allows learners to be fully aware of their workload and dates for each assignment submission.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

The course will be delivered on the main college campus in Bury St Edmunds. The majority of the lessons are conducted in a classroom but the use of the Leisure Centre, Gym, Athletics Track and Sports Lab will also be used throughout the programme.

Where will the course take me?

The course offers the opportunity for learners to progress onto higher education and to a number of possible vocational areas within the sports industry. As well as studying at University, students who have completed the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development have also gone on to work in Sports Development, Sports Therapy, Personal Instructing, Fitness Instructing, Leisure Management, Events Management, Sports Coaching and careers in Teaching. Of the students who completed the Level 3 National Extended Diploma last year 70% entered Higher Education, 5% joined other courses or went into full time training and 25% secured employment.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Sports students will be required to have appropriate sport and exercise kit. There are opportunities to take part in residential trips and enrichment, correct training kit will be essential. The course text book can help to support learners. There will be mandatory sports kit to be order at the start of the programme.

How much will it cost?

The mandatory sports kit costs £50 and also £100 is required for trips and enrichment attended over the two year course period. The opportunity to achieve specific sport coaching qualifications such as the FA. Football level 1 course will also require a cost if attended.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

Complete an application form and attend an interview for the course.

Days & times

Starting September 2021

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