Fitness and Personal Training Level 2 and Level 3

Overview (NV)

Fitness and Personal Training Level 2 and Level 3

Course length
2 years full-time (Year 1 Level 2 Fitness Instructor / Year 2 Level 3 Personal Trainer certificate)


The UK health and fitness industry is continuing to strengthen (according to the 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report) and with over 7,000 gyms in the UK for the first time, total membership approaching 10 million and a market value just under £5 billion, there has never been a better time to pursue a career in the fitness industry.

Our Fitness and Personal Training course opens the door to a rewarding career within this exciting industry and will equip you with the essential skills required for direct entry into a job working within the fitness industry in roles such as:

  • Fitness instructor
  • Personal trainer
  • Self-employed fitness instructor

Following further higher level study, your future career options could also include strength and conditioning coach, fitness/leisure centre manager or specialised fitness instructor (e.g. yoga, pilates, spinning).

In year 1, you will complete:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness (Gym-based)
  • Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Working in Sport and Leisure

In year 2, you will then complete: 

  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Gym-based Exercise)
  • Level 3 Certificate in Working in Sport and Leisure

In addition to the main qualification, there are fantastic opportunities to gain add-on sports qualifications in emergency first aid, safeguarding, Instructing Kettlebells*, Spinning*, Fitness Exercise for Special Populations* and Olympic Lifting* (subject to funding availability). You will also experience a variety of sports, enrichment activities and visits to enhance your industry knowledge and have the opportunity to become involved in working in a variety of areas within the health and fitness industry.




Why should I choose this course?

  • You will study a variety of modules preparing you for a career within the fitness industry
  • Work-focused modules will provide you with valuable transferable skills for career progression while you study
  • You will be able to pursue a career within the fitness industry upon completing year 1 of study
  • It will provide opportunities for you to progress onto a specific fitness-related degree
  • You will undertake a mandatory work placement for invaluable industry-based experience

Avery Fields

Students also have use of the state-of-the-art, all-weather pitch at Avery Fields, which we share with leading Birmingham rugby club Bournville RFC. The purpose-built, 15-acre site has undergone a £3m transformation, with the all-weather pitch situated alongside two, new grass pitches and an impressive clubhouse, which includes function room, modern changing facilities and a physiotherapy suite. 

Open days 

Our open days are designed to give you as much information as possible about UCB and the areas you are interested in studying. Come along and we may make you an offer on the day.

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 secure 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 out 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

Our Clean Sport commitment

University College Birmingham adopts the UK Anti-Doping and World Anti- Doping Agency (WADA) position that cheating, including doping, in sport is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport, undermining the otherwise positive impact of sport on society. Further details about UKAD and WADA can be found on their website, or on twitter

View our Clean Sport Commitment statement (PDF)


Teaching & Assessment (NV)

Teaching and assessment

You will be required to prepare work independently and as part of a team. You will be assessed through coursework, assignments, projects, practical observations and presentations, some of which will involve industry-related visits and external assessment. 

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

Entry Requirements (NV)

Entry requirements

  • Normally, you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs, 2 at grade 4 (grade C) and 2 at grade 3 (grade D), ideally including maths and/or English
  • Alternatively a BTEC Level 2 Diploma along with a minimum of 2 GCSEs at grade 3
  • Applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance
  • You should be committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the sports industry


Students are required to buy a uniform and 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?

Year 1:

Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness (Gym-based)

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Exercise 
  • Supporting clients who take part in exercise and physical activity 
  • Health, safety and welfare in a fitness environment 
  • Principles of exercise, fitness and health
  • Planning gym-based exercise 
  • Instructing gym-based exercise

Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Working in Sport and Leisure

  • Exercise Health and Lifestyle
  • Preparing for a Career in Sport and Physical Activity 
  • Work Experience in Sport 

Year 2:

Level 3 Diploma Personal Training (Gym Based Exercise)

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Activity, Health and Fitness 
  • Client Motivation and Lifestyle Management 
  • Programming Personal Training Sessions 
  • Delivering Personal Training Sessions
  • Nutrition to Support a Physical Activity Programme 
  • Business Acumen for Personal Trainers

Level 3 Certificate working in sport and leisure

  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Injuries
  • Applied Strength and Conditioning 

Plus one option from:

  • Sports Massage
  • Sport as a Business

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 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. Achieving a good level of English and maths is important so that you can compete in today’s labour market and secure the career you’ve always wanted.

Work Placement

As part of your course, you will be required to undertake a mandatory work placement throughout both years of study. 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 work closely with our specialist hired@UCB team to ensure you have the skills, confidence and ability to secure placements that suit you and match your career aspirations.

UCB has established strong external partnerships to allow students to benefit from coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions, all with a view to enhancing your employability. You will also be provided with opportunities to become involved in assisting at competitions such as the Birmingham School Games, Inclusive Sports Festivals and working in local schools.

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

  • Helps you to apply what you’re learning into practice
  • 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 ground floor of Moss House), who will provide you with the necessary skills 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 workforce.

Careers (NV)


You will be able to take up immediate employment opportunities including:

  • Fitness instructor
  • Personal trainer (upon completion of year 2)
  • Recreational assistant
  • Freelance fitness instructor
  • Fitness roles within the armed forces
  • Health and wellness coach

There are also opportunities to move into higher education at UCB and build on your growing knowledge and skills. You could take a degree in Sport and Fitness Studies, Sports ManagementSports Therapy or Sports Massage and Remedial Therapy


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 ground floor of Moss House, 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.