Level 3
BTEC National Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course




View Fees

Department of Sport and Nutrition
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Gain a recognised Level 3 qualification equivalent to three A-levels

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

Understanding the science behind sport and exercise helps address a range of challenges we face, from tackling obesity, physical inactivity and unhealthy ageing to enhancing the performance of elite athletes. Our Sport and Exercise Science college course combines theoretical knowledge with a range of practical applications to help prepare you for working in the sports industry.

This nationally-recognised BTEC course explores how a range of disciplines – including physiology, psychology, field and lab-based fitness testing and biomechanics in sport and exercise science – can be applied to boost sports performance, physical activity, health and wellbeing. You will have the chance to complete laboratory testing in state-of-the-art facilities to support your knowledge, and you will gain the essential skills and understanding of the sports sector to progress onto a variety of rewarding careers or university courses, from sports therapy or physiotherapy to sports psychology and sports nutrition.

To further enhance your industry knowledge, our Level 3 sports science course features a range of enrichment opportunities, including a visit to St George's Park to experience professional sport science procedures. You will also have the chance to put your training into practice on work placement, as well as gaining a range of additional sports qualifications including gym instruction and emergency first aid.

Why choose this college course?

  • ENRICHMENT – Boost your employability with a variety of additional qualifications, including Level 2 Gym Instructor and Emergency First Aid
  • WORK PLACEMENT – Gain real-life industry experience on placement, supported by our strong links with the industry
  • EXPERT TEACHING – Get excellent support from our experienced academic staff and guest lecturers with expertise in a variety of areas
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to continue your learning journey after college? This course will allow you to progress onto a specific fitness-related degree
There are lots of reasons why we think you should study with us, but here are our top 5. View video.

Our facilities

Students on our sports college courses at University College Birmingham have use of our on-campus sports facilities as well as 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

Topics you will study:

Year 1

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

  • Functional Anatomy (exam)
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology (exam)
  • Applied Research Methods in Sport and Exercise
  • Coaching for Performance and Fitness
  • Specialised Fitness Training
  • Research Project

Year 2

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

  • Sport and Exercise Physiology (exam)
  • Nutrition for Sport and Exercise Performance (exam)
  • Field and Laboratory-based Fitness Testing
  • Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise Science
  • Sports Massage
  • Technology in Sport and Exercise Science
  • Sports Injury and Assessment

Please note: Units/topics of study are subject to change

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.

Entry requirements

Our sport lecturers are looking for students who are committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed in the sports industry, so please contact Admissions if you do not have the specific requirements outlined below.

If you are unsure if your qualification is equivalent or if you wish to check if you meet the entry requirements for this course, please call 0121 214 2919, email or use our live chat.

Academic requirements

  • 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) including English (Language or Literature), Maths and Science, or equivalent.

English and maths

As applicants are required to achieve English and Maths at grade 4 (grade C) prior to entering this course, University College Birmingham will not offer English or Maths alongside the Sport and Exercise Science course.

Supporting documents required

School applicants will be required to provide a good school report, which must include attendance. This will be assessed in conjunction with your qualifications and application during the confirmation of your place at University College Birmingham.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 128 UCAS points from this qualification will be automatically guaranteed an interview for Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) at University College Birmingham.

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.

To pass this course, you will carry out a wide range of assessment activities and coursework (e.g. written reports, formal presentations, poster design and presentation, leading practical sessions etc.)

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.

Additional qualifications and training

Our course offers opportunities to gain additional qualifications alongside your studies, such as:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Safeguarding

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.)

Latest updates

Join the conversation and check out the latest updates from the department of Sport and Nutrition.

UCB Sports



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 employability team can help find the ideal placement for you.

As part of our sports science Level 3 course, you will undertake a mandatory work placement throughout both years of study. Our strong external partnerships allow you to benefit from coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions to boost your employability. You will also have opportunities to become involved in assisting at competitions such as the Birmingham School Games and Inclusive Sports Festivals as well as working in local schools.

Work alongside experts in your sector

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • Scotland Rugby Team
  • Alexander Stadium (British Athletics)
  • Aston Villa Football Club
  • West Bromwich Albion Ladies FC
  • Birmingham Bouldering Centre
  • Birmingham Movement Therapy Clinic
  • Hampton in Arden Tennis Club
"Sport and exercise is an ever-growing global industry with fitness and participation levels constantly bringing about societal challenges. This course will give students the ability to respond to these challenges by exploring the profession and supporting greater physical activity and elite performance. The students will benefit from a range of modules giving them greater career opportunities within the sector."

Jennie Phillips Sports Lecturer

Career opportunities

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

Sports therapist (privately/with a professional team)

£17,000 - £35,000

Exercise physiology lecturer

Average Salary: £24,000

Sports nutritionist

Average Salary: £25,000

Strength and conditioning coach

Average Salary: £25,090

Sports scientist

Average Salary: £26,500


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

Find out more

Megan's Story

After a decade competing as a track and field athlete, lecturer Megan went on to develop her own sports therapy business as well as working with top sports clubs.

Read Story

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