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Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness Level 3 Diploma at Bridgwater College

Course description

The course will meet the needs of those aspiring to a career in sport (coaching, teaching, therapy and conditioning etc) and the health and leisure industry. The broad study base and range of qualifications available provides a variety of experiences and the opportunity to acquire knowledge across a diverse range of subjects. The course not only serves as a route to full time employment within sports related fields, it is also a proven progression route to Higher Education. This may be degree status programmes at Universities or continuation at Bridgwater College to study a Sports Science with Sports Coaching Education Foundation Degree.

Course content

A mix of theory and practice, relating to sport, recreation, leisure and physical education, this course includes work experience, residentials in the UK and abroad, fitness industry, coaching and officiating qualifications.

BTEC Diplomas in Sport are divided into units of study that are taught over one/two years depending on the specific qualification. To achieve the full  Diploma, you must satisfactorily complete a total of 13 units, eight of which are core. The Subsidiary Diploma is 7 units.

The course will consist of a Subsidiary Diploma in the first instance, in which you will study 7 academic units in sport and then vocational qualifications that will make up the remaining value of the course. The aim is that you if you successfully complete the first year you will progress to the second year, consisting of the Diploma and a specialism in preparation for a specific career or HE course.

The course is designed in a way so that students will have opportunities to progress and begin to specialise in a field of their choice within the sport industry as the course progresses whilst retaining the option of HE.

The units of academic study are likely to be a combination of:

Year 1 Subsidiary Diploma
  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology in Sport
  • The Physiology of Fitness
  • Assessing Risk in Sport
  • Fitness Training and Programming
  • Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise
  • Practical Team Sports
  • Instructing Physical Activity and Exercise

Alongside the academic component of the course, you will also complete two vocational pathway elements that run in line and linked in to the academic component:

1. YMCA Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing

An industry recognised fitness qualification that is the first and compulsory step to working in the fitness industry.

This qualification will give you the skills to work in any gym in the country, providing inductions and support for clients in preparation for continuing professional development towards personal training/ strength and conditioning etc

You will study a combination of four mandatory units and two specialist units in delivering exercise sessions in a gym-based environment, to consist of:

Anatomy and physiology including:How to maintain health, safety and welfare in a variety of fitness environments, including the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adultsHow to programme safe and effective exercise for a range of clients, the health benefits of physical activity and the importance of healthy eatingHow to communicate with clients effectively, and motivate clients to adhere to an exercise programmeThe skills and knowledge required to plan and prepare a gym-based exercise programme

2. Level 2 Award in Principles of Coaching Sport

This qualification will provide you with the knowledge and guidance in how to be a safe and effective coach in a range of sports. It is the first step on the coaching ladder in the UK and will prepare you for gaining further coaching qualifications and progressing up the ladder.

This element of the course will focus on:

Understanding the principles of coaching sportUnderstanding the principles of planning coaching activitiesUnderstanding the principles of conducting coaching activitiesUnderstanding the principles of evaluating coaching activities

It is expected that during the course of the year you will undertake official NGB coaching qualification assessments in a range of sports to gain a portfolio of Level 1 coaching qualifications to supplement and enhance your employability and ‘package’ of skills you offer.

Year 2 Diploma
  • Sports Development
  • Sports Coaching
  • Sports Leadership
  • Exercise Health and Lifestyle
  • Psychology for Sports Performance
  • Sports Injuries
  • Sport and Exercise Massage

As part of the second year, you will be offered the chance to continue your learning and achievement towards a fitness and conditioning pathway:

1. YMCA Level 3 Personal Trainer & Fitness Training Awards

This is the qualification considered the ‘gold standard’ in the fitness industry and allows you to operate as fully licenced personal trainer, working with clients on a one-to-one basis in gyms and as part of your own business. It is a demanding qualification that requires you to be passionate about the health and fitness industry or working within the field of sports conditioning.

Anatomy and physiology including:

  • The heart and circulatory system
  • The musculoskeletal system
  • Postural and core stability
  • The nervous, endocrine and energy systems and their relation to exercise and health
  • How to maintain health, safety and welfare in a variety of fitness environments, including the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults
  • How to programme safe and effective exercise for a range of clients, the health benefits of physical activity and the importance of healthy eating
  • How to communicate with clients effectively, and motivate clients to adhere to an exercise programme
  • How to apply the principles of nutrition to support client goals as part of an exercise and physical activity programme
  • How to design, manage, and adapt a personal training programme with apparently healthy adults of all ages
  • How to deliver exercise and physical activity as part of a programme for apparently healthy adults of all ages.

As part of enhancing your CV and giving you the experiences, qualities and confidence to make the transition to HE and employment you will also be given the opportunity to put your skills to the test by working with a variety of different clients. Through established links with Bridgwater YMCA and the Sedgemoor Health Promotion Officer you will provide fitness  training sessions in local communities with the responsibility of increasing health and well-being.

2. Level 2 Award in Multi-skills development

This qualification builds on the Level 2 Award in POCS in Year 1 and allows progression to the second step on the coaching ladder and the opportunity to further your knowledge and skill set as a sports coach.

It is expected that during this year you will be taking part in a NGB Level 2 coaching qualification in a sport that you are well qualified ability wise and have good experience in, either in the sports academy or outside college.

As part of the award you will have the opportunity to deliver a number of sports specific sessions at a local primary school therefore enhancing your CV with the experience of working with a range a different athletes.

Entry requirements

At least five GCSEs grades A* – C, with English and Science preferred, or a Merit profile in a relevant level 2 qualification.


Assessment is through a variety of coursework-based methods, including case studies; observation of practical work; assignments; time-constrained multi-choice assessments and work-based projects.

Assignments will include: individual research, practical assessments, surveys, project work, oral presentations, visual displays and role play. Assessments will be awarded at Distinction, Merit and Pass grades.

Future opportunities

Progress to Higher Education; each year students  progress to Universities studying a wide range of sports related programmes, e.g. Personal Training, Sports Conditioning, Sports Science, Sports Management, Sports Studies, Sport and Exercise Science, Leisure Management, Teacher Training, Sports Development, Coaching, Sports Injuries & rehabilitation, Sports Technology design etc.

Employment in sports related industries, e.g. administrators for Sports Council and fitness clubs, physical training instructors, sports development officers. Previous students' career progression has included Private Health and Fitness Club management, Sports Council Administration, Assistant Managers in Sports Centres, Sports Development Officers,

Physical Training Instructors in HM Forces, Leisure Assistants in swimming pools, leisure centres or sports centres.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

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