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Access to HE Diploma (Sport Science) - Level 3


Note that this course is advertised subject to validation, and for expressions of interest.

Access to HE courses are for prospective students who wish to apply for a Higher Education course at university or a similar Higher Education establishment. This course is ideal for mature students (aged 19+) with a keen interest in sport and exercise, who would like to study a related Higher Education course, such as a foundation degree in sports coaching and development, or sport and exercise science. You will study a range of units and complete graded assessments throughout the year in a range of formats, eg. practical observations, written assignments, tests and presentations.

Cambridge Access Validating Agency (CAVA) designs and validates Access to Higher Education Diplomas. To find out more visit

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Entry requirements

  • You must be at least 19 years of age to enrol on an Access to HE course.
  • GCSE English Language (or IELTS 6.0) at grade C or above.
  • GCSE Maths at grade C or above (Please note that GCSE equivalent qualifications will not be accepted).

These entry requirements are subject to the programme being revalidated and may change.

Start dates and fees

19-23 without a current full Level 3 qualification: Free

19-23 with a current full Level 3 qualification: Learning Loan (see below)

24+: Learning Loan (see below)

This course is eligible for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan

The 24+ Advanced Learning Loan is a new scheme introduced by the government to help mature learners study for qualifications that will improve their employability and develop high level skills and knowledge.

Loans are specifically designed for those aged 24 and over, who are intending to study on a Level 3 or higher course – including Access to HE diplomas.

Best of all, if you successfully go on to complete an HE qualification following an Access to HE course – you won’t even have to pay the loan back.

It’s easy to apply! To find out if you’re eligible, or for more information, see the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan page.

How long is the course?

One year.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a range of units and complete graded assessments throughout the year in a range of formats, eg. practical observations, written assignments, tests and presentations.

What does the course lead to?

Ultimately, this course will lay the foundations and skills needed to work in the sport and fitness sector. Examples of rewarding careers include:

  • Physical education teacher
  • Sport analyst
  • Sport and exercise nutritionist
  • Sport development manager
  • High performance sport coach

A sport graduate with a good degree could earn up to £27,500 in their first job, whereas moving into senior management/sport coaching positions could secure remuneration of up to £45,000.

What will I study?

The course is made up of a number of units designed to prepare you for the demands of higher level study. The units you will study are:

  • HE study skills
  • Sports coaching practical
  • Placement practice
  • Human anatomy
  • Business in sport
  • Sports psychology
  • Exercise psychology
  • Sports development
  • Sports coaching principles
  • Fitness testing and training
  • Sports injuries and rehabilitation
  • Sports science research project

What can I go on to study?

You could progress to study a wide range of sport-related HE courses including our own HE courses:

  • Foundation Degree Sport Coaching and Development
  • Foundation Degree Sport and Exercise Science
  • BA (Hons) Sports Studies (Top-up)

How do I apply?

As the course is currently subject to validation, please send an expression of interest by email to, providing your name, address, telephone number and email address. We will acknowledge receipt and invite you to an initial information event to explain the next stages for the course development and how to apply.


Next steps

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Why choose West Notts?

Best college for A Levels value added* in the East Midlands

£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

In the top 10% of all providers nationally for apprenticeships

Second for vocational value added* in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

90% of students move into a positive destination

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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