Level 3
BTEC National Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training / National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Fitness

Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course




View Fees

Department of Sport and Nutrition

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 Sport and Fitness 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 widely-recognised BTEC 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 Sport and 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
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 Extended Certificate in Sport and Fitness

  • Careers in Sport and Active Leisure Industry
  • Health, Wellbeing and Sport
  • Fitness Skills Development

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Fitness

  • Careers in Sport and Active Leisure Industry
  • Health, Wellbeing and Sport
  • Fitness Skills Development
  • Self-employment in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Fitness Testing
  • Organising Events in Sport and Physical Activity

Year 2

BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training

  • Personal Training Skills Development
  • Self-employment in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Nutrition for Physical Performance
  • Business and Technology in Personal Training

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sport, Fitness and Personal Training

  • Personal Training Skills Development
  • Nutrition for Physical Performance
  • Business and Technology in Personal Training
  • Research Project in Sport
  • Sporting Injuries
  • Functional Sports Massage
  • Fitness Training

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.

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

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

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport and Fitness

  • 2 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C)
  • 2 GCSEs at grade 3 including English (Language or Literature) or Maths

A minimum of grade 2 or equivalent must be achieved in English Language or Maths where a grade 3 or equivalent has not been achieved.

BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Fitness

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) including English (Language or Literature) or Maths

A minimum of grade 3 or equivalent must be achieved in English (Language or Literature) or Maths where a grade 4 or equivalent has not been achieved.


English and maths

If you do not have a grade 4/C or above in English and maths and you are under 19, you will be required to study these subjects alongside your vocational subject. After enrolment you will complete an assessment with our teaching team so we can ensure you receive appropriate English and maths support.

Applicants over 19 are not required to complete maths and English.

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.
  • If you are a school leaver (over 19), you will be required to provide a reference from a previous education provider or employer in support of your application.

Guaranteed progression

Students who achieve 56 UCAS points or more from this qualification will automatically be guaranteed a place on a degree course at University College Birmingham. Some undergraduate courses require additional entry requirements, so applicants are advised to check entry requirements before applying.

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 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
  • Spinning*
  • Fitness Exercise for Special Populations*
  • Olympic Lifting*

*Subject to funding and availability

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 employability team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our college Sport and Fitness 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.

Matt Greasley Lecturer, Sport and Fitness

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

Health and wellbeing coach

Average Salary: £22,000

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


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


Find out more

James’s Story

Having gained his sport and fitness qualifications here at University College Birmingham, tutor James knows just how valuable such a grounding is for making a mark in the industry.

Read Story

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