Sports Performance and Coaching Level 3

Overview (NV)

Sport Performance and Excellence BTEC Level 3 Diploma

Course length
2 years full-time

For more information on this course, attend our open day on Monday 13 March, 4-7pm. Get your backstage pass here.


Our Sports Performance and Coaching course leads to a range of rewarding careers in the sports sector and will equip you with the essential skills required for roles including sports coach, performance analyst and professional sportsman/woman.

In Year 1, you will complete either the Extended Certificate in Sport or the Foundation Diploma in Sport. In Year 2, you will study course specific modules for Sports Performance and Coaching. You can also join UCB’s successful Boxing Academy.

In addition to the main qualification, there are opportunities to gain further sports qualifications in sports coaching, Level 2 gym instruction, emergency first aid and safeguarding. You will also experience a variety of sports, activities and visits to enhance your industry knowledge. 

Why should I choose this course?

  • You live and breathe sport
  • You are interested in the ideas, strategies and theories of sport
  • You like practical training and work-related tasks
  • You might be thinking of a degree in a sports-related subject 
  • You want to keep your options open in this dynamic industry

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 4 (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

The practical nature of the course means assessment takes place in realistic working environments including the fitness gym, outdoor fitness and studio-based fitness. There is also a requirement for 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

Please note the entry requirements below reflect the new GCSE grading structure for 2017 entry.

Normally, you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including maths and English, or a BTEC Level 2 in Sport with a minimum of a Merit, or at least 2 years’ relevant work experience. School applicants will need to have a good school report and references.

If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and/or maths, please refer to the Maths and English tab on the left.

The course requires a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). Information about the DSB check and how to apply for it will be given at your interview.

What will I study? (NV)

What will I study?

Year 1 – EITHER

Extended Certificate in Sport

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
  • Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Sports Leadership


Foundation Diploma in Sport

In addition to the modules for the Extended Certificate (above), you will also study:

  • Practical Sports Performance
  • Coaching for Performance
  • Application of Fitness Testing

Year 2

  • Sport Psychology
  • Coaching for Performance (Extended Certificate students only)
  • Sports Performance Analysis
  • Practical Sports Performance
  • Sports Injury Management
  • The Athlete Lifestyle
  • Technical and Tactical Demands of Sport 

Your study programme

Having successfully completed either the Extended Certificate or Foundation Diploma in Year 1, you will move onto our Sports Performance and Coaching course in Year 2. Having successfully completed Level 3 Sports Performance and Coaching you can progress to study a degree in Sport and Fitness, Sports Management or Sports Therapy at UCB. Alternatively, you can apply for other degrees at UCB or elsewhere.

Students on Level 3 Sports Performance and Coaching can join UCN’s Boxing Academy. Successful applicants also need to study an NVQ Diploma in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance. The Academy, run in partnership with England Boxing, is the only one of its type in the West Midlands. Its goal is to train young men and women capable of representing Team GB at the highest levels of Olympic competition.

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

You will have the opportunity to complete a seven-week work placement in partnership with a primary school, assisting and teaching a variety of PE lessons to pupils.

UCB has established strong partnerships which provide you with the opportunity to participate in coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions to enhance your employability skills. In addition, you will be involved in assisting the numerous competitions for the Birmingham School Games and running a Sports Inclusion Festival.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for a three-week work placement overseas in Year 2.

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.

Careers (NV)


This course is designed to give you a broad range of career options including:

  • Sports coach
  • Performance analyst
  • Professional sportsman/woman

There are also great opportunities to progress to higher education courses, studying for a foundation degree or full degree at UCB such as Sports ManagementSports Therapy or Sport and Fitness Studies.


The team at hired@UCB – our student placement and careers service – can help you with advice, information and guidance in finding a job. They 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. 

Tamei Stephens

Tamei Stephens

Sport Performance and Excellence

Read more

George Vernon

George Vernon

Sport Performance and Excellence

Read more

Bradley Savage

Bradley Savage

Sport Performance and Excellence

Read more