Level 3


Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


Included in course




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Sport and Nutrition
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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

The number of employed and self-employed people in sports and fitness in the UK has soared by more than 30% during the past seven years. If you are excited by the prospect of forging a career in the sports industry, our Sport and Physical Activity college course will give you the background of knowledge and skills to hit the ground running.

Opening the door to a wide range of rewarding careers, the course will equip you with the essential skills required for direct entry into a broad range of roles, including performance analyst, fitness trainer, gym instructor and coach. After further higher level study, your future career options could also include becoming a sports therapist, nutritionist or PE teacher.

In addition to your main Level 3 sport course, there are opportunities for you to gain fantastic add-on qualifications in sports coaching, including gym instruction or emergency first aid. You will also experience a variety of sports, enrichment activities and visits to enhance your industry knowledge, as well as having the opportunity to become involved in assisting at a variety of competitions such as the Birmingham School Games.

Find out more about this course and the college by ordering a physical copy of our college prospectus by clicking here.

Why choose this college course?

  • WORK PLACEMENT – Give your CV a huge boost by gaining real-life industry experience on a work placement
  • ENRICHMENT – Gain additional sporting qualifications and get involved supporting sporting competitions and events or working in local schools
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to continue your learning journey after college? This course will allow you to progress onto our range of sport and fitness-related degrees
  • 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
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 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

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


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

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

  • 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

There are two distinct pathways on our Sport and Physical Activity course: the Certificate and the Diploma. You will study the same core topics on both pathways, but there are additional modules for the Diploma. Our experienced lecturers will advise the best pathway for you, based upon your qualifications on entry, to ensure you can thrive in your studies.

Level 3 Certificate in Sport and Physical Activity

  • Normally, you will require a minimum of 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.
  • 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.

Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity

  • You will require 4 GCSEs at grade 4 (grade C) or above, including maths and/or English.
  • Alternatively, you will require a BTEC Level 2 Diploma and GCSE maths and/or English at grade 4 (Grade C) or above.
  • School 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 2021-2024.

Additional qualifications and training

Our course offers opportunities to gain additional qualifications alongside your Level 3 studies, such as:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor
  • Emergency First Aid
  • Sports coaching
  • 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@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our Sport Level 3 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.

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

  • Alexander Stadium (Birmingham)
  • Birmingham Bouldering Centre (Birmingham)
  • King's Norton Boys' School (Birmingham)
  • Hampton in Arden Tennis Club (Solihull)
  • Fairlawns Hotel and Spa (Walsall)
I liked this course because it was a fun and challenging opportunity to learn and appreciate the world of sport. It highlighted the whole sports spectrum and endorsed a suitable career choice, which for me was Sports Therapy. I am now studying BSc Sports Therapy at the University to prepare me for this.

Kacper Bolon Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport

Career opportunities

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

Sports coach (senior, employed by NGBs/professional sports clubs)

Average Salary: £32,500

Fitness instructor

Average Salary: £22,000

Sports professional


Teaching assistant

Average Salary: £23,000

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

Amy’s Story

With aspirations to teach, Amy used her college course as a springboard to go to university, something she had never considered before.

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