BA (Hons) Top-up

Accredited by University College Birmingham



BA (Hons)


1 year full time (Top-up)




Included in course


September (2021), February (2022)


View Fees

Sport and Nutrition
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Opportunities for additional qualifications to boost your CV

£44m invested in flagship facilities, including sport, to support your future career opportunities

Do you want to become part of the booming fitness sector of the sports industry? If you are passionate about helping people achieve their health and fitness goals or aspire to work in coaching and fitness training, our Sport and Fitness Studies top-up degree will build upon your knowledge to help you forge a career serving a wide variety of clients in a range of roles. 

Designed for anyone who has previously studied a relevant subject (up to Level 5), this sport and fitness top-up course expands upon your understanding of fields such as nutrition, anatomy and physiology. You will be able to tailor your studies to match your career aims through a selection of optional modules as well as conducting in-depth research into an aspect of the sport and fitness industry that interests you.

Alongside your sports top-up course, you will have the chance to gain a number of further industry-recognised qualifications to help you stand out after you graduate, including sports coaching, personal trainer and fitness instructor qualifications. You will also be supported throughout your studies by our range of cutting-edge sports facilities, including our brand new gym and Human Performance Centre.

If you have previously studied a relevant subject up to Level 5, you will be able to enrol on our one-year top-up course. If you have previously studied a relevant subject up to Level 4, you can apply to transfer onto our course at Level 5 for the remaining two years of your degree.

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

Why should I choose this course?

  • ENRICHMENT – Boost your career prospects with a range of additional professional qualifications, as well as engaging with the sports industry through events on campus
  • SPECIALISE YOUR STUDIES – Drive the direction of your studies to suit your interests with a range of optional modules and a research project on the subject of your choice
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Apply your learning and skills to real-life practice, supported by our outstanding sports facilities
  • 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 courses at University College Birmingham have access to a wide range of excellent facilities. Our campus features a brand new Human Performance Centre, cutting-edge gym and sports injury and massage clinics, while you also have access to the state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Avery Fields, thanks to our partnership with local rugby club Bournville RFC.

Human Performance Centre 3D tour

Course breakdown

  • Level 5 (transfer)
  • Level 6 (top-up)

Core Modules

Fitness Training II

You will take a critical look at advanced training techniques in order to work with individual clients or groups in a fitness setting and conduct in-depth investigation of the training required for complicated client groups.

Industrial and Personal Development

You will research the career opportunities available within your chosen industry, exploring the pathways that will enable you to identify and develop the personal and management skills required to be successful. You will also review your own career experiences and form an action plan for your future.

Research for Sport

You will be introduced to the management and application of research, looking at using primary and secondary research tools and techniques through various research activities. You will establish research aims, objectives, research methods and how to collect both qualitative and quantitative data for use in your own research.

Sports Coaching

You will gain an understanding of the coaching process and the wide range of factors that influence it. This will provide you with an understanding of the key psychological and physiological considerations a coach has to take into account when developing athletes and how this can vary with regard to the athlete population.

Sports Psychology

The aim of this module is to investigate the composition of sport in relation to psychology. You will analyse and review the area of sport psychology focusing on key areas such as motivation, personality, learning and aggression. You will always examine the role of the coach and participants in relevance to psychological concepts.

Plus one option from:

Health, Fitness and Wellbeing

A key aspect in children and young peoples' development is how fitness contributes to health and wellbeing. You will critically explore how sport can contribute to health and how practical guidelines for this are developed by practitioners. This also includes the identification of drugs and the practicalities of working with children and young people involved with drug use.

Performance Analysis

The aim of this module is to provide students with the experience of analysing selected athletes. The focus of the module will be for students to develop their own methods of analysing performance. Within the module students will consider how from the analysis they can identify improvements to performance. The role of performance analysis will be considered, and the impact of enhancing coaching and subsequently, player performance.

Sports Nutrition

You will examine the nutritional needs of athletes and those undertaking substantial exercise programmes, exploring the importance of nutrition in achieving optimal health. Other topics addressed will include exercise and metabolism, energy generation, hydration and vitamin and mineral needs for athletic performance.

Voluntary Initiative

The voluntary sector is one of the most dynamic sectors worldwide. You will have the opportunity to work on a volunteer project within a private, public or community organisation and see how they market themselves and compete for resources with other voluntary projects. You will be able to reflect on your experiences as well as develop your personal and professional skills within a working environment.

Core Modules

Applied Fitness Training and Programming

This module focuses on performance-based training and includes sport-specific training, field-based assessment and programming for elite athletes. You will investigate elite level sport, and look at needs and performance analysis, to design specific training programmes for more advanced athletes.

Sports Project

This is a key project through which you will hone your independent learning, problem-solving, analysis and data presentation skills. You will deepen your knowledge in a selected area of the industry of your own choosing to be explored as a case study or a journal submission. Both methods are supported by an additional poster presentation.

Sports Psychology II

You will design and implement a range of interventions addressing areas such as concentration, motivation, aggression, anxiety and injury. You will critically evaluate measurement tools and the impact of regulatory and ethical issues. Using sports psychology in this manner benefits all professionals working in the sports environment.

Plus two options from:

Sports Coaching and the Development of Expertise

What does it mean to become an expert in the sports environment? You will gain an understanding of how to develop sport expertise through the use of evidence-informed coaching practice through theory, sampling and specialisation. You will also analyse and critique methods to facilitate motor and perceptual cognitive skills acquisition.

Nutrition for Performance

You will explore advanced concepts in sports nutrition and look at the application of diet in response to individualised sport-specific needs through the assessment of anthropometry and caloric assessment. You will analyse the use of contemporary and emerging diets within sport such as the Palaeolithic diet, ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting practices.

Work Based Learning for Sport

The aim of this module is for you to gain work-based experience within the sport and fitness industry. This experience will allow you to further enhance both your career-specific skills and transferable skills. Throughout the work-based learning module, you will have the opportunity to experience and observe a variety of different practices. The module further aims to develop your ability to analyse the work-based experience, with the use of reflection models. In addition the module is focused upon ensuring you are employment ready following the completion of your studies.

Sports Marketing

You will be integrating the concepts of marketing with sports-related products and services and the use of sporting events. This will give you the understanding and knowledge of the important factors that affect this area of business such as sponsorship, branding, digital marketing concepts, relationship marketing and consumer behaviour before examining their impact on the domestic and international markets.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Level 5 (Year 2)

Academic: A relevant HNC or a foundation degree in the areas of Sports and Exercise Science, with 120 credits.

Level 6 (Year 3)

Academic: A relevant HND or a foundation degree in the areas of Sports and Exercise Science, with 240 credits.

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable, please contact us before completing an application. You can complete our enquiry form here or call us on 0121 604 1040

EU/international students

Academic: European and International qualifications studied in a relevant subject matter will also be considered. Applicants will need to have achieved 120 ECTS or equivalent (European Credit Transfer).

If you are unsure if your previous qualification is suitable, please contact us before completing an application. You can call us on 0121 604 1040 or complete our enquiry form:

Enquiry Form

Key information

Teaching and assessment


In light of COVID-19, we have made some changes to the way we deliver our teaching. We are continually following the guidelines and measures put in place by the UK Government to ensure our students and staff are safe on campus, whilst remaining committed to providing high-quality education. The information below explains how teaching will take place in semester 2 (or semester 1 for those joining us in January).


Estimated breakdown of assessment for this top-up degree course:

  • Coursework – 55%
  • Practical assessment – 35%
  • Written examinations – 10%

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Additional qualifications and training

There are opportunities to gain further industry-accredited qualifications throughout the duration of your studies. These include:

  • Level 2 Certificate Fitness Instructor (NCFE)
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer (NCFE)
  • 1st4Sport Level 2 Award in Multi-Skills Sports Coaching

Please note extra qualifications incur an additional fee.

Uniform and kit costs

This course incurs additional costs of approximately £55 for uniform. (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.)

Kick-start scheme

As a new student studying this degree full-time, you will receive £300 per year via our Kick-Start Scheme (eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You might even qualify for an additional £500 per year.

Tuition fees

UK/EU students

If you are a UK/EU student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250 per each full year. A half year tuition fee is £4,625. UK/EU students do not pay tuition fees for any placement periods.

International students

If you are an international student enrolling on a a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2020/21, your fee for this academic year will be £11,500 per year.

If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year, or £250 for a half-year placement.

UCBconnect - meet other students on your course

Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, we have created a platform called UCBconnect, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.

As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation via text and email to complete your user registration and join UCBconnect. For more information, please visit

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 experience

Work experience is vital for learning how to apply your training in the real world and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and it may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help you find suitable work experience.

We encourage students on our BA Sport and Fitness Studies top-up course to gain work experience throughout your studies. The 'Work-Based Learning for Sport' module incorporates a work placement.

Work alongside experts in your sector

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

  • Warwickshire County Cricket Club
  • Wasps Rugby Academy
  • West Bromwich Albion FC Women
  • Easy Gym
  • Vibro-Suite Health and Wellness Club

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, please be aware that opportunities to travel abroad for placements, project work or residential trips may be affected by government travel restrictions. Please visit our updates and FAQs page for information.

I chose the course because I could relate it to what I do with my athletics. The lecturers make it enjoyable and have helped me when I’ve needed time with my athletics too. I’ve gained knowledge about my sport and it’s a good course with many pathways. Since I started here, I haven’t looked back.

Jordan Broome Sport and Fitness Studies BA (Hons) | 200m sprinter for Great Britain and England Athletics

Career opportunities

Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Sports coach

Average Salary: £32,500

Sports development officer

Average Salary: £30,000

Armed forces training and education officer

Average Salary: £31,232

Fitness centre manager

Average Salary: £23,000 – £30,000

Want to take your studies to the next level? Completing the BA (Hons) degree will enable you to move onto our postgraduate courses such as Strength, Conditioning and Performance MSc. If you are interested in teaching, you could also progress onto our PGCE course.


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


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James’s Story

James played a key part in Bournville RFC securing promotion to National League 2 for the first time in the club’s history.

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