Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

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This predominantly theory-based course is focussed on giving you a well-rounded and detailed knowledge of the sports sector.

You’ll cover topics such as: sports coaching, training and fitness, sports development, nutrition, psychology, anatomy and physiology and sport as a business.

You’ll consider the roles, responsibilities and skills of sports coaches, and plan and deliver sports sessions, while also learning how to carry out fitness tests, plan a training programme and analyse the results.

In addition, you’ll have opportunities to be involved in sport in the community, complete work experience and gain additional qualifications in coaching and leading groups.


A minimum of five GCSEs including Science at grade C or above including English and Mathematics at grade 4 and above.

You will study 19 units (10 units in year 1 and nine in year 2). Each unit aims to develop specialist sports related knowledge.

The Sports Development related units will examine issues in sport, barriers to participation for specific groups of people and the issues in sports development.

Sport as a Business will allow you to study sport as a multi-billion pound business and examine what makes sport successful and the organisation of sport.

Within the Sports Coaching, Practical Team and Practical individual units you will consider the roles, responsibilities and skills of sports coaches, and plan and deliver sports sessions.

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

In Anatomy and Physiology you will also examine the different systems of the body and establish their relationship with sports performance and consider how Sports Psychology and Nutrition play an important role in maximising performance.

You will be timetabled over four/five days with time to study independently and to take part in Enrichment based activities that run across College. Plus you will have your Wednesday afternoons free to be involved with one or more of the College teams. The course will involve you working with lecturers and classmates, receiving different tasks and activities which will go towards assignments. Lecturers will always be available to support your learning and understanding of the assignments set.

You should be very aware that this is mostly a theory-based course and this should be considered before you make your final decision about whether this is the course for you. The course currently has no exams, which may be a positive aspect for you to consider, however the coursework demands can be quite intense so you’ll need to have very good organisational skills. This is not a soft option – so make sure you’re fully committed.

You’ll work through a continuous programme of assignments, class activities, practical tasks, discussions, presentations, written reports, voluntary work, organising events and coaching. Each assessment will be graded against the unit criteria and from there you’ll get an overall grade ranging from Pass, Merit and Distinction

100% Success rate ALPs grade 3

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I overcame a couple of barriers by working really hard to get the top grades. My experience was really good, with the course and the lecturers, the residentials and activities, together it was all really good. I had really great teaching support, I could always go to the lecturers and speak to them if I needed to.

David Stenning, Public Services student

The teaching has been really good, I’ve loved all of my teachers, they’ve all been really nice and supportive.

Jodie Hook

South Downs is a really good College, and it is definitely somewhere you can achieve your dreams.

Yolanda Stemp, BTEC student


In the future you could pursue a career in sports coaching, sports management, sports development, the leisure industry or the public services. You could go to university to study a foundation degree, HND or degree programme which focuses on a specialist area of work.


PE Teacher
Sports Therapist
Sports Development Officer
Sports Coach
Sports Psychologist
Sports Nutritionist
Fitness Instructor
Personal Trainer
Gym Manager
Leisure Centre Attendant
Public Services
Armed Forces

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