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Level 3 Diploma (Sport Performance and Excellence) at University College Birmingham

Course description

This course leads to a range of rewarding careers in the sports sector and will equip you with the essential skills required for roles including sports coach, performance analyst and professional sportsman/woman.

In Year 1 you will complete either the Extended Certificate in Sport or the Foundation Diploma in Sport. In Year 2 you will study course specific modules for Sports Performance and Coaching.

In addition to the main qualification there are opportunities to gain further qualifications in sports coaching, Level 2 gym instruction, emergency first aid and safeguarding. You will also experience a variety of sports, activities and visits to enhance your understanding of the industry.

Work Placement

You will have the opportunity to complete a seven-week work placement in partnership with a primary school, assisting and teaching a variety of PE lessons to pupils.

UCB has established strong partnerships which provide you with the opportunity to participate in coaching sessions, qualifications and training sessions to enhance your employability skills. In addition you will be involved in assisting with numerious competitions for the Birmingham School Games and running a Sports Inclusion Festival.

You will also have the opportunity to apply for a three-week work placement overseas in Year 2.

Course content

Year 1 - either:

Extended Certificate in Sport:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport & Well-Being
  • Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Sports Leadership


Foundation Diploma in Sport:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport & Well-Being
  • Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Sports Leadership
  • Practical Sports Performance
  • Coaching for Performance
  • Application of Fitness Testing

Year 2:

  • Sports Psychology
  • Coaching for Performance (Extended Certificate students only)
  • Sports Performance Analysis
  • Practical Sports Performance
  • Sports Injury Management
  • The Athlete Lifestyle
  • Technical & Tactical Demands of Sport


Entry requirements

You will need 4 GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above including maths and English, OR a BTEC Level 2 in Sport with a minimum of a Merit result, plus GCSE grade C/grade 4 in maths and English.

All applicants are required to attend an interview prior to acceptance, and must have a good school report or a reference. You will also be required to have a satisafactory Disclosure & Barring Service check (DBS) prior to starting the course.


The practical nature of the course means assessment takes place in realistic working environments including the fitness gym, outdoor fitness and studio-based fitness.

You will be required to prepare work independently and as part of a team. You will be assessed through coursework, assignments, practical observations, presentations, projects and one exam.

Financial information

Tuition Fees

If you are aged 16-18 you will not have to pay tuition fees.

Uniform and Equipment

You will need to buy some sports kit for your course and full details will be given to you prior to the start of the course.  Some students may be entitled for assistance with the cost, please see information on the Learner Support Fund below.

Educational Visits

You may be required to pay for some educational vists or trips as part of your course.

DBS Checks

You will need a DBS check to join this course and our Placement Team will contact you to arrange this. If you require further information please contact us.

Learner Support Fund

The Learner Support Fund is available to assist students with course related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel. The fund is available to students who have a total household income of less than £30,810 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). A non-refundable contribution of £50 is required.

Discretionary Bursary

The Discretionary Bursary is for learners aged between 16 and 18 who have a household income of less than £20,817 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). Bursary payments will be made every Friday subject to 100% attendance. Learners who are in receipt of out of work benefits, work more than 24 hours per week or are over the threshold are not eligible.

Mandatory Bursary

The Mandatory Bursary Scheme is paid to students aged 16-18 (on 1st September) who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Looked after child.
  • Care Leaver.
  • Receiving Income Support in their own name.
  • Receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or PIP.

Eligible students will be entitled to a guaranteed bursary with weekly payments paid every Friday subject to attendance.

Application forms for the Learner Support Fund and Bursary will be included in your enrolment pack (usually available in May/June). Forms are also available from Student Services.

Network West Midlands 16-18 Photocard

If you are 16-18 years old and in full-time education you may be entitled to child rate fares and season tickets for travel on the bus, train and Metro. All you need is a valid 16-18 Photocard which is available from Network West Midlands. It costs £10 and is valid for one academic year. You will be able to apply once you are enrolled. Further information is available from our Student Services team.

Travel Assistance

If you are travelling from outside the Network West Midlands area you may be able to claim a 50% reimbursement of your travel costs. Please contact the Student Budget Counsellor to discuss the additional support that may be available to you.

Free Meals

Some  students will be able to receive a free meal at lunchtime whilst they are in college. You must be between 16-18 (on 1st September 2017) with parents or guardians in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income based)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit

You will need to apply for the Discretionary Bursary Scheme and provide evidence of one of the above benefits. An application form will be included in your enrolment pack and forms are also available from Student Services.

If you are eligible you will receive a daily allowance which can be used to purchase a selection of items within the Summer Row cafeteria and Richmond House cafeteria. You will need to present your Student ID card at the till and your allowance will be deducted off eligible items. Please note that as we are aiming to promote healthy eating there are restrictions on some items such as fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps, cakes and flapjacks.

Childcare Funding

Students aged under 19 on the start date of their course can apply for childcare support through the Care to Learn Scheme. For further information and how to apply go to and search 'Care to Learn' or call the helpline on 0800 121 8989.

Future opportunities


Having successfully completed Level 3 Sports Performance and Coaching you can progress to study a degree in Sport and Fitness, Sports Management or Sports Therapy at UCB. Alternatively you can apply for other degree courses at UCB or other institutions.

Career Opportunities

There are varied career options in the sports industry, including work within community grassroots sport, sporting venues or helping others achieve their sporting potential. You can progress into many fields including coaching, fitness work, performance analyst, professional sport and sports development.


Further information

Please see our website for further information and details about our next Open Days.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact University College Birmingham directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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