Boxing Academy: Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE)

Overview (NV)
To join the Boxing Academy you will need to be studying the VTCT Level 3 Sports Studies course alongside an NVQ Diploma in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance. Please read the the full details about the VTCT Level 3 Sports Studies course.


The University College Birmingham Boxing Academy, run in partnership with England Boxing, is open to talented young sportsmen and sportswomen. The only one of its type in the West Midlands, the academy allows elite fighters to combine further education studies with the tuition and training required to reach the top of the sport.

The academy’s goal is to identify, nurture and train young men and women capable of representing Team GB at the highest levels of Olympic competition.

Why should I choose this course?

  • You are a talented young boxer, aged 16 to 18, with an unwavering commitment to the sport
  • You have sound experience of boxing, either through your school or club
  • You have what it takes to be identified by the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) as having elite potential
  • You have the drive and determination to succeed in boxing
  • You are prepared to work hard
  • You want to balance your sporting ambitions with the need to obtain a respected academic qualification 

"I am working hard to juggle my education with an elite sport, but I am extremely proud that I just won the Elite England Boxing Championships, beating two boxers who will be at the Rio Olympics."

Carl Fail

Why maths and English are so important to your career

Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and securing the career you’ve always wanted. Alongside your full-time course, students will continue to develop their English and maths skills.   If you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade C in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.


  • When designing fitness programmes, a sound understanding of basic numbers is needed for working our appropriate repetitions and determining increments in weight-training
  • Fractions are needed in calculating BMI
  • Measurements are also key in determining and monitoring client heights and weights
  • Mathematics is central to an understanding of nutrition and sports formulae


  • Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of sports services and products
  • Good quality Speaking and Listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues/sponsors
  • Customer services skills require good English skills in speaking and written communication
  • Accurate reading is a vital skill when following instructions
  • Secure English is important when preparing a CV or a business proposal or when advertising/marketing your business or when designing a training plan for a client


Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching and assessment

Assessment takes place in realistic working environments including the fitness gym, outdoor fitness and studio-based fitness; as well as class-based portfolio work. Students need to be prepared to work both independently and as part of a team.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements

  • Ideally you will require English and maths at grade 4 (grade C) or above.
  • You must be identified by England Boxing as having elite potential.
  • You will need to attend a screening event.
  • If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and/or maths and you are under 19, you will be required to complete an assessment so we can ensure you receive appropriate support. Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English. School applicants will need to have a good school report and references.
  • The Boxing Academy expects excellent levels of attendance and behaviour. Students require a strong work ethic.   


Students are required to buy a uniform and a basic set of equipment. To help keep costs to a minimum, these items are available to buy through UCB. If you have any concerns about the cost of the uniform, please discuss this at your interview as we may be able to help.

What will I study? (NV)

What will I study?

You will join the University College Birmingham Boxing Academy, based at our Richmond House site, as part of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme.

You will study the VTCT Level 3 Sports Studies course alongside an NVQ Diploma in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance. 

In addition to your academic studies, you will train four times a week and receive specialist instruction in fitness, boxing technique, strength and conditioning, sparring, sports therapy and rehabilitation.

The course is run by national boxing coach Ivan Cobb, the academy’s head coach and assessor. Through the AASE programme, you will be on the England Boxing talent pathway.

Your study programme

In addition to your full-time course every student has an individual study programme which ensures that you develop the right skills and experience to progress onto either higher education or gain employment. What’s included in your individual study programme will vary depending on what you have already achieved and your career aspirations.

For example; if you haven’t yet achieved GCSE grade C in English and maths at 16 you will continue to study these by resits or by taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level. Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and securing the career you’ve always wanted.

Work placement

Work placement will form an essential part of your individual study programme and all students will be expected to complete an appropriate work placement related to their full-time course.

To find out more about the work placement opportunities for this course, click on the ‘Work Placement’ tab above.

Work Placement (NV)

Work placement

Many of our courses incorporate a period of work placement or work experience which are designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter their chosen career in the future.

A work placement not only gives you valuable experience, it also:

  • Helps you to apply what you’re learning into practice
  • It gives you a better understanding of how a company or organisation works
  • Helps you to develop essential skills such as time management, social and communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Enriches your CV
  • Enhances a UCAS application and personal statement should you wish to progress to higher education
  • Helps you to consider wider future employment opportunities

At UCB we have a specialised team of Employability Tutors based in hired@UCB (located on the 7th floor at Summer Row) who will provide you with the necessary skills in order to source a work placement.

If students are passionate about their career choice, work placements are vital

A set of achievements, skills, understanding and personal attributes make a student more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupation, which benefits themselves and the work force.


Students studying the VTCT Sports Studies qualification are offered the opportunity to complete a 7-week work placement in partnership with Uplands Manor Primary School - assisting and teaching a variety of physical education lessons to primary aged pupils. 

The department also have established strong links with the Kingsbury School Sports Partnership, Birmingham School Games and the Birmingham Sports partnership providing learners with the opportunity to participate in coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions to enhance their employability skills, throughout the year. 

Students are actively involved in assisting with numerous competitions for the Birmingham School Games and also running a Sports Inclusion Festival for 100 primary school children.

Careers (NV)


On completion of the course, students could progress to higher levels of competitive boxing.

There are also a number of sports-related career paths including coaching, fitness work and sports development. Alternatively, there is the possibility of higher level study by taking a foundation degree or degree. So there are plenty of options.


The team at hired@UCB – our student placement and careers service – can help you with advice, information and guidance in finding a job. It can help you develop your work-related skills.

Based in new facilities on the 7th floor of our Summer Row campus, the hired@UCB team comprises specialist staff to help with:

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Placements, work experience and volunteering
  • Unitemps – UCB's recruitment agency
  • Employer engagement
  • Part-time and seasonal work
  • Internships, apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Alumni support

Find out more about hired@UCB services.

Profiles (NV)

Student profiles

Read what our current students and alumni love about UCB and how we helped them begin their career in industry.

Carl Fail

Carl Fail

Boxing Academy

Read more

Molly Perkins

Molly Perkins

Boxing Academy

Read more