Level 2, Level 3

Course Level

Level 2, Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course




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School of Sport and Creative Services
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100% coursework - no exams are included in this course

Access to a state-of-the-art pitch and more facilities at Avery Fields

Health and fitness has become a rapidly growing industry in the UK, with more than 7,000 gyms across the country and total gym membership around 10 million. For anyone looking to enter this exciting sector, our Fitness and Personal Training college course will open the doors to a range of rewarding career opportunities.

If you aspire to become a fitness instructor or personal trainer, this course will provide you with the essential skills you need, from knowledge of exercise, anatomy and physiology to client care or health and safety. With further higher level study, you could also pursue roles such as strength and conditioning coach, fitness/leisure centre manager or specialised fitness instructor (for example yoga, pilates or spinning).

On top of your Level 3 fitness course, you will have further opportunities to gain add-on sports qualifications in areas such as emergency first aid or Olympic lifting. You will also experience a variety of sports, enrichment activities and visits to enhance your knowledge of the industry, as well as having the opportunity to become involved in working within a variety of areas within the health and fitness sector.

Why choose this college course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT – Give your CV a major boost through gaining real-world experience on a work placement in the industry
  • ENRICHMENT – Gain additional sporting qualifications and enjoy a variety of other enrichment activities and industry visits
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to continue your learning journey after college? This course will allow you to progress onto a fitness-related degree
  • TEAM SCOTLAND PARTNERSHIP – Our University will be the home for Team Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, offering exciting opportunities for our students to work with the team and its athletes

Our facilities

Students on our sports college courses at University College Birmingham have use of state-of-the-art facilities at Avery Fields, a purpose-built 15-acre site which we share with leading Birmingham rugby club Bournville RFC.

Course breakdown

In year 1 of our course, you will complete a Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness (Gym-based) and Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Working in Sport and Leisure. In year 2, you will then complete a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training (Gym-based Exercise) and Level 3 Certificate in Working in Sport and Leisure.

Topics you will 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 in 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 in Working in Sport and Leisure

  • Sports Nutrition
  • Sports Injuries
  • Applied Strength and Conditioning

Plus one option from:

  • Sports Massage
  • Sport as a Business

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Maths and English

To help you secure your dream career, you will also continue developing your maths and English skills alongside your full-time course. If you haven’t achieved GCSE grade 4/C in English and maths at age 16, you will continue to study these through resits or taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level.

How maths will support your career

  • 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

How English will support your career

  • 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 service requires 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, advertising/marketing your business or when designing a training plan for a client

Entry requirements

  • Normally, you will require a minimum of four GCSEs, two at grade 4 (grade C) and two at grade 3 (grade D), ideally including maths and/or English.
  • Alternatively, you will require a BTEC Level 2 Diploma along with a minimum of two 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.

Key information

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.

Additional qualifications and training

Our course offers opportunities to gain additional qualifications (subject to funding availability) alongside your studies, such as:

  • Emergency First Aid
  • Safeguarding
  • Instructing Kettlebells*
  • Spinning*
  • Fitness Exercise for Special Populations*
  • Olympic Lifting*

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £50, depending on the items you purchase. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.)


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements


Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our college Fitness and Personal Training course requires you to undertake work placement throughout both years of study. Our industry links allow you to benefit from coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions, as well as opportunities to assist at competitions at the Birmingham School Games, Inclusive Sports Festivals and working in local schools.

This course gives you a unique opportunity to gain valuable industry qualifications alongside an academic course with hands-on experience. With this qualification, you can begin working in fitness facilities and gyms as a paid instructor, and if you are passionate about becoming a specialist, this is the best choice you can make.

Mathew Close Lecturer, Fitness and Personal Training

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Fitness instructor

Average Salary: £22,000

Health coach

Average Salary: £23,000

Fitness coach

Average Salary: £22,976

Personal trainer

£14,000 - £30,000

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our Sport and Fitness Studies degree.


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


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Nicola’s Story

While studying at university, Nicola realised that as well as participating in sport, she had a passion for coaching and teaching others

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