BA (Hons) / FdA

Accredited by University College Birmingham

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3 years full-time




Opportunities available


September, January


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School of Sport and Creative Services
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2 years full-time




Opportunities available


September, January


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School of Sport and Creative Services
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100% overall student satisfaction (FdA)*

*NSS, 2020

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

Fitness is the biggest sector in the sports industry, offering extensive opportunities to help people achieve their health and fitness goals. If you have a passion for fitness and aspire to work in areas such as coaching or fitness training, our Sport and Fitness Studies degree will help you gain the advanced knowledge to work with a wide variety of clients in this dynamic and diverse industry.

Sport and fitness encompasses professional, amateur and educational roles, and many areas of the industry require similar base knowledge in fields such as nutrition, anatomy and physiology. Our sport and fitness course allows you to investigate various facets of the industry, tailoring each area to suit your interests and career aspirations, thereby putting you in a great position to exploit employment opportunities when you graduate.

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

Why should I choose this course?

  • ENRICHMENT - Boost your career prospects with a range of additional qualifications recognised by the sport and fitness industry
  • 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
  • WORK EXPERIENCE - Engage with industry through a range of opportunities throughout your course, with our past students having worked for top professional sports clubs
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION - Apply your learning and skills to real-life practice, supported by our outstanding sports facilities

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

Students on the FdA have the option of progressing onto the final year upon completion of the foundation degree.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Core Modules

Academic Skills (SSCS)

Your vital skills and abilities will be developed to enable you to study effectively at an undergraduate level. Key learning concepts will be identified and related to skills relevant to the industry, which will then be developed through a variety of tasks and activities. This is done in a relevant context that takes into account the wider education and community focus of your course as a whole.

Applied Anatomy and Physiology

This module will be a combination of theoretical and practical application of the musculoskeletal, energy, cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as muscle contractions and basic neurology. You will also have the opportunity to attend additional study support workshops.

Coaching Principles

From teaching to instructing fitness, coaching is a key aspect of many sports-related leadership roles. You will learn how to develop the physical, social and mental skills of participants through active recreation and develop an awareness of the techniques involved in the coaching process, the agencies involved and potential legal issues.

Fitness Training

You will discuss the principles of fitness, the different types of exercise and the ways in which it benefits the human body. You will also examine factors that affect fitness and how to do risk assessments to prioritise exercise safety. The differences between health and fitness programmes will be explored as well as gym-based exercise instruction, dynamic warm-ups and how to end an exercise session.

Healthy Lifestyle

The notion that sport can contribute to a healthy lifestyle is a debate which carries social, economic and political considerations. You will explore how sport is used to develop wellbeing in communities and explore alternatives to a healthy lifestyle such as performance-enhancing drugs and dietary supplements. You will also examine the practical guidelines developed by practitioners to improve individual and community lifestyle.

Sport in Society

In an ever-changing and dynamic environment you need to have a grasp of the contemporary issues affecting the industry scene. You will analyse sport within sociological, economic and historical contexts to enable you to develop an understanding of theories, concepts and research skills relevant to the industry.

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.

Choose 1 optional module

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.

Choose 2 optional modules

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.

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.

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.

Work Based Learning for Sport

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

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

Sport and Fitness Studies BA (Hons)

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC-CDD.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM-MMP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 96-80 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 96-80 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction.

Sport and Fitness Studies FdA

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CD-DD.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of PPP-PP. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications.

Apprenticeship: Achieve an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3).

Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted for entry. A minimum of 56-32 UCAS Tariff points will be required.

Access to Higher Education Diploma: 56-32 UCAS Tariff points.

Non-tariff: Non-UCAS Tariff-based Level 3 qualifications are also considered for entry. Please contact to check your eligibility.

Work-based: We also give equal consideration to applicants who are currently in work and wish to apply to University College Birmingham. To apply, you must have a minimum of 3 years’ relevant work experience, demonstrating management or supervisory duties. Your application must also include a reference from your line manager supporting your entry to higher education. For further details, please contact Admissions.

EU/international students

For entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.


Example of a typical teaching week (up to 12 contact hours):

  • Large group teaching – 6 hours
  • Smaller group teaching – 3 hours
  • Tutorials – 3 hours

You will also need to commit around 20 hours per week for individual study time.


Estimated breakdown of assessment for this 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

  • In Year 1, you will be able to obtain Level 2 Certificate Fitness Instructor (NCFE)
  • In Year 2, you can achieve Level 3 Personal Trainer (NCFE)
  • In Year 3, you can undertake 1st4Sport Level 2 Award in Multi-Skills Sports Coaching and 1st4Sport Level 2 Award in Instructing Weight Lifting (British Weight Lifting)

Please note extra qualifications incur an additional fee.

Uniform and kit costs

This course incurs additional costs of approximately £100 for uniform and kit. (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.)


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, your tuition fee would be £500 for a full year (£250 for half year placement).


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

We encourage students on our FdA and BA Sport and Fitness Studies courses to gain work experience throughout your studies.

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

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.

Sports coach

Average Salary: £32,500

Sports development officer

Average Salary: £30,000

Armed forces training and education officer

Average Salary: £31,232

Secondary school teacher (physical education)

Average Salary: £29,364

Fitness centre manager

Average Salary: £23,000

Primary school teacher

Average Salary: £29,364

Want to take your studies to the next level? Completing the BA (Hons) degree will enable you to move onto our Strength, Conditioning and Performance MSc 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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