Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Therapy)

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Type of study
Examination board


Year on year the sport and active leisure sector outperforms the rest of the UK economy and researchers predict this will continue to be the case for years to come, long after the sports legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games.

The annual contribution of the sport sector to the UK economy is over £8 billion. This sector has more than 36,000 employers creating work for more than 600,000 full-time and part-time employees, and 5 million plus volunteers. Sport and exercise scientists continue to be a growing presence in the world of sport, and as we look to the future, all the signs suggest that their influence in sport will increase. From the elite performers’ reliance on a large support team, to the casual gym user’s use of ergogenic aids, sport and exercise sciences’ core elements of anatomy, physiology, psychology and biomechanics are seen in almost every aspect of, and activity within, the sport and active leisure sector. 

This course has been designed to give you highly specialist knowledge and understanding along with the opportunity to develop your employability skills. On completion of the course you could gain employment within the sector or progress to study a degree or professional programme within the same or related areas of study. 



Availability & Details

Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Therapy), BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma HSDC-SD-ANDSM

HSDC South Downs Campus
Academic Year 2017-18 (1 year)
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A minimum of five GCSEs including Science at grade C or above including English and Maths at grade 4 or above..

You will study 18 units (nine units in Year 1 and nine in Year 2). Each unit aims to develop specialist sports related knowledge.

The Anatomy and Physiology units focus on the structure and function of the skeletal, muscular, cardiovascular and respiratory systems and how the body physiologically reacts to the onset and continuation of physical activity. Throughout your studies you will be able to examine sports performance and consider how Sports Psychology and Nutrition play an important role in maximising performance.

The Sports Massage and Injuries units allow you to understand theory and practice of sport and exercise massage techniques, injury prevention, identification and rehabilitatory interventions for common sports injuries.

The Training and Fitness aspects of your course will enable you to carry out fitness tests, plan a training programme and analyse the results.

You will also be able to study factors that contribute towards talent, influence performance and provide feedback to athletes and teams.

Plus you will have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement.

The course will include direct teaching, instruction and assessment, together with other structured learning time such as directed assignments or supported individual study.

To support this you will have the opportunity to learn in the Sports Laboratory where you will have access to top quality equipment such as Douglas Bags for gas analysis to enable you to establish oxygen consumption during exercise along with the cycle ergonometer to complete tests such as the Wingate Test which will enable you to measure peak anaerobic power and capacity.

In addition to this you will learn in the Sports Massage room which simulates a Sports Therapy Clinic environment and is fully equipped with massage couches where you will be able to treat your peers. In other lessons you will have practical workshops to analyse the performance of others in a variety of sports and complete biomechanical analysis of their movements and success. You will also have the opportunity to complete a research project where you can select the topic or subject you wish to investigate.

In previous years learners have analysed the effectiveness of different training programmes on developing specific components of fitness and the impact of sports drinks on performance. This is mostly a theory-based course and the coursework demands can be quite intense at times and in order to support your academic studies you will have lessons and workshops in all your subjects with specialist staff and you will have weekly tutorials. 


You will work through a continuous programme of assignments, class activities, practical tasks, discussions, presentations, written reports, voluntary work and completion of an independent research project. Each assessment will be graded against assessment criteria and each unit will be awarded a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

100% pass rate in year 1.

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Gratification, success and achievement come to mind when reliving my two years studying Sport and Exercise Science here at South Downs College. They have wonderful facilities with a positive and supportive atmosphere. Passion for sport fuelled my decision in choosing this life changing course. I have learn't many new skills in which I will cherish for life and made special bonds with new people which made every minute of this course enjoyable.

Mollie Sheppard

From joining the Sport and Exercise Science course, I have come to realise my path and direction which has fuelled my reasoning to progress further in my education. It has changed the way I see the world after being taught by some of the best lecturers, having gained a passion for subjects which I will pursue in my chosen career path. This course is for someone who wants an exciting challenge to start their career in sport.

Sam Adams


The BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science (Sports Therapy) has been developed with career progression and recognition by professional bodies in mind. It is therefore possible for you to apply for membership of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).


Sport & Exercise Technician, sports coaching, sports development, sports management

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