Level 3

In partnership with Birmingham City FC Community Trust and the EFL Trust
This course is subject to validation


Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course


September (2021)


View Fees

Sport and Nutrition
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Open up pathways into football and other sports careers

Train in elite football facilities with support from industry experts

Are you passionate about football? Do you have ambitions to work within the game and the wider sports industry? Delivered in partnership with Birmingham City FC Community Trust and the English Football League (EFL) Trust, our Sport and Physical Activity (Football) course enables you to combine developing your footballing ability with studying for a career in sport, opening up a range of exciting pathways for your future.

Studying at both University College Birmingham and at Birmingham City FC, you will compete at a range of footballing levels (depending on your ability) and receive coaching from Birmingham City FC Academy coaches alongside UEFA A Licensed coaches. You will also be able to take part in the Community Trust’s pre-season training camps and end-of-season tours in the UK and abroad, as well as having the opportunity to gain vocational coaching qualifications.

In addition to your football development, this Level 3 sports course will give you the essential skills for a wide range of future careers in sport, from football coach, personal trainer or sports therapist to nutritionist and sports psychologist roles. Throughout your studies, you will be supported by expert club staff and experienced lecturers, with access to elite-level training facilities and equipment.

You will enrol on either the Level 3 Certificate (equivalent to 1 A-level) or Level 3 Diploma (equivalent to 2 A-levels) in Year 1, with the opportunity to progress onto the Level 3 Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-levels) in Year 2. Please note the different entry requirements for each qualification below.

Need some advice? Our Course Enquiries team are available on live chat for you to ask any questions you have about college. Find out more here.

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR FOOTBALL SKILLS – Compete at a high level of football, with past learners having gone on to sports coaching roles as well as signing for football clubs
  • LIVE STUDY ENVIRONMENT – Learn at St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium and Wast Hills Trillion Trophy training ground as well as a pre-season training camp, plus you’ll have use of our campus sports facilities
  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – Balance your footballing development with studying for a respected Level 3 sport qualification, up to an Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-levels)
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to continue your studies after college? Complete this course and you could move onto our Football Business Management foundation degree and other sports university courses

Our football partner: Birmingham City FC Community Trust

About the Football Education Programme

The Football Education Programme (FEP) is run by Birmingham City FC Community Trust in partnership with University College Birmingham and the EFL Trust.

At Birmingham City FC Community Trust, we believe in a holistic individual development programme. This is reflected in our Football Education Programme, where we work to each individual’s needs and long-term ambitions through education and football, as well as striving for success within the team environment.

With the support of outstanding experienced lecturing staff, UEFA licensed coaches, our medical professionals, sports and conditioning staff, elite training facilities and football analysis equipment (Veo software), we believe that our programme has everything in place to help students make substantial progress in the game and their non-football careers.

We also understand the development pathway will look different for all our students, which is the reason we have worked to build solid links with local non-league first team football clubs, American scholarship scouts and managers and university staff.

Pre-season training camp – Denstone College

As part of this unique learner pathway, you will have the opportunity to attend the prestigious Denstone College for our annual residential pre-season training camp. This is always one of the highlights of our year, set in stunning surroundings with outstanding sports facilities. Students have the opportunity to live the life of a professional for four days, while it is also a great chance for new and returning students to get to know their coaches, tutors and support staff and other students.

You will follow an itinerary linked to what a professional club would implement at a camp, giving you many opportunities to train on the purpose-prepared pitches, use excellent facilities including a gym and swimming pool, and represent Birmingham City FC Community Trust in pre-season friendly matches. You will also have access to guest speakers and use of a lecture theatre alongside free time to relax and rest.

The camp is a great opportunity for you to showcase both your footballing abilities and build positive relationships for the rest of the year. The trip does involve a cost, which is available on application.

Our facilities

Students on our Level 3 football course will study at both Birmingham City FC (St Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium and Wast Hills Trillion Trophy training ground) and at University College Birmingham, with access to an array of elite facilities.

Course breakdown

You may study the following:

Year 1

Level 3 Certificate in Sport and Physical Activity

  • Exercise Health and Lifestyle
  • Preparing for a Career in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Sports Coaching
  • Practical Team Sports
  • Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise
  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology


Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity

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

  • Current Issues in Sport
  • Assessing Risk in Sport
  • Leadership in Sport

Year 2

Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity

  • Leadership in Sport
  • Practical Individual Sports
  • Organising Sports Events
  • Work Experience in Sport
  • Current Issues in Sport

Plus one option from:

  • Coaching Special Populations
  • Sports and Exercise Massage


Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity

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

  • Sports Nutrition
  • Psychology of Sports Performance
  • Sports Injuries
  • Applied Strength and Conditioning

Please note: Study topics are subject to change – any updates will be communicated to applicants as soon as possible.

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 may be able to continue studying these through resits or taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level, depending on your level of study:

  • Level 3 Certificate – you will be able to study both English and maths alongside your course
  • Level 3 Diploma – you will be able to study either English or maths alongside your course

(Students on the Level 3 Extended Diploma will not be able to study English or maths due to the requirements of their main course of study and footballing commitments.)

How maths will support your career

  • Mathematics is central to an understanding of nutrition and sports formulae
  • Fractions are needed in calculating BMI
  • When designing fitness programmes, a sound understanding of basic numbers is needed for working out appropriate repetitions and determining increments in weight training
  • Measurements are also key in determining and monitoring client heights and weights

How English will support your career

  • Good quality speaking and listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues/sponsors
  • Accurate spelling and a wide and specialist vocabulary are key in the presentation of sports services and products
  • 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 business proposal, advertising/marketing your business or designing a training plan for a client

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements – Level 3 Certificate in Sport and Physical Activity (Football)

  • 4 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

Academic Requirements – Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity (Football)

  • 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including maths and/or English
  • Alternatively, you can achieve a BTEC Level 2 Diploma and GCSE maths and/or English at grade 4 (Grade C) or above

Football Assessment

You are required to attend and successfully pass a football trial with Birmingham City FC Community Trust – information about the event is provided in the offer letter of successful applicants.

Supporting Documents Required

Applicants will also be required to submit a reference from a previous or current employment role.


While completing your online application, you will be given a set of available presentation dates with our partner, Birmingham City FC Community Trust. You will first be required to attend a presentation evening. Once you have attended your presentation event and confirmed your interest in the course, the Admissions team will book you in for the next available online interview event.

The presentation and interview will take place online and will be conducted solely by Birmingham City FC Community Trust.

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.

Uniform and kit costs

This course requires a uniform and kit costing approximately £200. This includes Birmingham City FC branded clothing: 2x shorts, 2x pairs of socks, jumper, rain jacket, tracksuit bottoms and top. (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.)

You may be eligible for the Learner Support Fund, which assists college students with course-related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel. For more information, please visit our Financial Support for College Students page.

Latest updates

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

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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 Sport Level 3 (Football) course requires you to undertake work placement throughout both years of study. University College Birmingham’s 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.

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

  • Birmingham City FC / BCFC Community Trust
  • Sport Birmingham
  • Premier League Primary Stars
  • EFL
  • National Citizen Service (NCS)
When leaving school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to work within the football industry. I really wanted to play football as it is a passion of mine… What better way is there than studying a sport you love and representing a professional football club and in the EFL leagues against clubs such as Aston Villa, West Brom, Derby County etc.? On the course I learned many new topics including sports coaching, sports analysis, anatomy and physiology.

Matt Jackson Football Education Programme 16-19 [Sport and Physical Activity (Football) Level 3]

Career opportunities

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

Football coach

Average salary: £12,000 – £30,000+

Sports lecturer

Average salary: £24,000 – £40,000

Personal trainer

Average Salary: £14,000 – £30,000+

Sports therapist

Average salary: £17,000 – £37,000

Sports nutritionist

Average Salary: £25,000

Sports psychologist

Average salary: £27,000 – £37,000

Aspiring to a higher level career? Complete this course and you could progress onto our undergraduate courses including Football Business Management FdA, Sport, Coaching and Fitness BSc/FdSc or Sports Therapy BSc/FdSc.


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


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