Course Details


Level 5

ECTS Credits

120 ECTS

Duration of Study Programme

2 Academic Years

Awarding Body

Pearson (UK)


October & January

Malta/EU Price


Course description

If you are passionate about helping others discover the joy of sport or working with athletes to maximize their performance, this course will equip you with the practical and theoretical expertise to become a dynamic and innovative coach in this rapidly expanding sector. This course is specifically designed to provide the knowledge and skills to those people interested in pursuing a career in coaching or sports development. It will provide you with the opportunity to develop theoretical understanding of barriers that affect sports performance and initiatives that are used to broaden participation in sport. It will also provide the opportunity to develop effective planning and delivery of coaching sessions and analysis of sports performance. To fully complete this HND qualification, you must first obtain the HNC (1st year) and then proceed to the HND (2nd year).

This qualification aims to meet your needs by:

  • providing education and training for a range of careers in the sector
  • the education and training of those who are employed, or aspire to be employed, in a variety of types of work, such as in performance analysis, nutrition for sport and exercise, sports development, sports coaching, education, research and development etc
  • opportunities for you to gain a nationally-recognised vocationally-specific qualification to enter employment in the sector or progress to higher education qualifications such as a full-time degree in a related area
  • an understanding of the roles of those working in the sector within the department in which they work, including how their role and that of their department fits within the overall structure of their organisation and within the community
  • opportunities for you to focus on the development of the higher level skills in sport, sport and exercise sciences and related areas
  • opportunities for you to develop a range of skills and techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.
  • the development of your knowledge, understanding and skills in the field of sport, sport and exercise sciences and related areas
  • opportunities for you to develop a range of skills, techniques and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Sport and Exercise

An understanding of anatomy and physiology forms the basis for a number of other areas relating to training, fitness, fitness testing, physical activity and various therapeutic techniques. In this unit learners will study the structure and function of the human body systems (cardiovascular, respiratory and musculo-skeletal), intracellular processes and the endocrine and nervous systems. Learners will also be required to understand the homeostatic control mechanisms for each perspective at rest and during exercise.

Fitness professionals require an understanding of intra-cellular processes including sources of energy, the rate and capacity of aerobic and anaerobic energy release as a basis of training programmes and fitness assessment. Furthermore, knowledge of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, the musculo-skeletal system, intracellular processes and the endocrine and nervous systems provides the basis for understanding training methods and training adaptations.

There is an increasing emphasis on raising levels of physical activity and the role exercise can play in preventing or combating various diseases. Knowledge of energy balance and the endocrine system will help learners understand obesity. An understanding of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems will aid future learning on various diseased states such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or coronary heart disease.

  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

Successful sport performance is dependent upon many scientific disciplines. However, increasingly there is an awareness of the link between what a sport and exercise participant is thinking and the outcomes they achieve. Understanding the experiences of sport and exercise participants and the psychological skills they are employing is the focus of sport psychology.

This unit addresses key concepts in sport psychology that are relevant to sports performance. Whilst the focus of sport psychology is on performance in competitive sport, the focus of exercise psychology is on exercise/physical activity and the role exercise plays in establishing optimal mental health.

The unit looks at motivation and the range of factors that will influence motivation in different situations. The unit also looks at the related concepts of arousal, anxiety and stress. Anxiety and stress are linked to arousal as they are generally experienced at high levels of arousal and they can have a positive or negative effect on an individual and their performance.

The unit also examines group dynamics and the range of processes involved in developing a group that functions effectively, such as cohesion and leadership.

The issue of exercise adherence through successful behaviour change is a key concept and models of behaviour change are examined as well as the relationship between exercise and mental health.

  • Sport and Society

Sport has become an important part of society. It has moved away from its playful beginnings in pre-industrial times and it is now a prominent social institution in almost every society. It has evolved from a pastime into a multi-national operation controlled by commercialism, entertainment, media and government policy.

The unit learners a focus on the issues and debates that preoccupy sports and their providers at a strategic level. Sport has become a tool to alleviate many of the social issues affecting society today, such as health, crime, and inactivity. Many of these reflect current agendas of national and local government and address the challenges of satisfying the aspirations of society.

This unit develops learners’ awareness of the influence that media and marketing has in international and European relations alongside national developments such as hosting the Olympic Games which recognises the political meaning of sport to many societies not just within Britain.

Inequalities in society such as gender class and racial inequality are often mirrored within sport. In this unit, learners will have the chance to analyse these issues of inequality by applying theory.

Learners will evaluate local, regional and national initiatives that have used sport to encourage social inclusion and eliminate social barriers at all levels.

  • Research Methods for Sport and Exercise Sciences

Research methods is the branch of sport and exercise sciences that aims to enhance human knowledge on a given topic. It is essential for all elements of sport and exercise sciences and without it there would be very little credibility to any of the applied work that is conducted within each of the different disciplines within sport and exercise science.

This unit will introduce learners to each of the different areas of understanding within research methods, starting with being able to find and read journal articles to develop subject knowledge in a given area and culminating with to having an applied knowledge of the different quantitative and qualitative techniques that are commonly used within sport and exercise science research.

The knowledge and skills gained from this unit will be ideal for learners wanting to progress to further study and/or sports related careers such as sports science, sports therapy, physical activity, personal training, strength and conditioning or research.

  • Training and Fitness for Sport and Exercise

Training and fitness has inherent applications within all areas of sport and exercise sciences and sports therapy as it examines the different fitness requirements of different sports and athletes, the training methods that can benefit these areas and the changes that can occur with an individual or team as a result of the adopted methods. The principles of training and fitness can be particularly important for sport and exercise scientists working with sport and exercise performers who are trying to peak for competition and sports therapists that are working with performers in the later stages of functional rehabilitation.

In this unit there is a combination of both theoretical and applied learning contexts which will allow learners to examine traditional principles of training in a practical learning environment. Learners will also discover how to use essential practical techniques in training environments through investigating different training techniques. This will allow for a greater understanding of the key physiological, biomechanical and psychological changes that can benefit performance. Learners will also adopt an evidence-based practice approach to their work on training programmes which will help them to prepare for the continuing rigours of Higher Education and careers within sport and exercise sciences, sports therapy and other related areas.

  • Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Wellbeing

Lifestyle plays a very important role in the health and wellbeing of an individual. Individuals who lead a healthy lifestyle are likely to live longer and cope better with the daily demands of life. A poor lifestyle can also increase the risk of a number of diseases including coronary heart disease, cancer and obesity.

An understanding of the effects lifestyle can have upon health and how to improve the lifestyle of an individual is important to individuals working in the sport and fitness sector. This unit is particularly relevant for individuals wanting to work in health promotion and exercise and fitness instruction.

The unit covers exercise, diet, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption and the ways that these factors can affect the quality of life of an individual. In this unit, learners will examine the relationship between lifestyle and health and look at current recommended dietary guidelines as well as methods of weight management. Learners will also explore strategies to manage stress, reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking, analysing their success and effect on the ‘health of the nation’. This unit provides opportunities for learners to plan, cost and manage a lifestyle improvement programme for a selected individual.

  • Injury Prevention and Treatment in Sport and Exercise

This unit provides learners with an opportunity to consider the most common sport and exercise injuries in relation to specific sports and in relation to how they may be prevented.

Learners will investigate causal issues and the physiological evidence for the specified injuries will clearly link their effect on the nervous and musculoskeletal system.

This will give learners an understanding of causal factors and therefore inform the preventative measures that need to be implemented.

The unit also provides an opportunity for learners to examine the importance of immediate and appropriate treatment where necessary. Learners will be encouraged to utilise this underpinning knowledge in order to consider effective treatment and rehabilitation where appropriate.

  • Technology in Sport and Exercise

Technological developments in the diagnosis and treatment of injury may return the athlete to training and competition quicker than ever before. Once fully fit, the technological advancement in training methods and equipment are known to enhance performance.

New technology impacts on all involved in sport, whether as designer, athlete, coach, manager, official, supporter, or health practitioner. Innovative rehabilitation methods are often key to the rapid and successful return of the individual to performance.

The assumption should not be that all technological advancements in sport are advantageous to the athlete. Learners will understand how to discriminate between the positive and negative impacts of new design and technology on the individual, team, or sport industry as a whole.

In this unit learners will investigate the relationship between technology and sports performance including the evolutionary development, current application, and implications of technology for the future of sporting performance.

Upon successful completion of First Year, student is awarded an HNC (Higher National Certificate) at EQF/MQF Level 5 by Pearson. 

  • Nutrition for Sport and Exercise

The unit develops learners’ knowledge of nutrition in relation to improving performance in sport and exercise and helping them to achieve their sporting or exercise goals. On completion of this unit, learners should feel confident in offering well-informed, accurate nutrition advice to other people. The ability to provide information to people participating in exercise sessions and those interested in general health is a skill in increasing demand from coaching and instructional professionals.

The unit examines macronutrients by looking at their sources, calorific values and structure. Learners examine the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat to provide energy for aerobic and anaerobic energy production, and how this can be measured. This is linked to the production of energy through the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. The unit explores specific issues, such as the practice of vitamins and mineral supplementation, free radicals and the role of vitamins and minerals as antioxidants and how they act as coenzymes and cofactors. Learners will apply their knowledge of nutrition by looking at nutritional strategies employed to improve performance.

  • Biomechanics for Sport

Sports biomechanics is the branch of sport and exercise sciences that examines the causes and consequences of human movement and the interaction of the body with apparatus or equipment through the application of mechanical principles in sporting settings. It is one of the key areas to understand when analysing the performance of both individuals and teams.

This unit combines theoretical and applied learning contexts allowing learners to examine traditional principles of biomechanics through a practical learning environment. Learners will also discover how to use essential practical techniques in sports biomechanics through investigating different sporting activities first hand, which will give learners a greater understanding of the key mechanical principles in sport performance. Learners will start to adopt an evidence-based practice approach to their work which will help them to prepare for possible careers within sport and exercise sciences, sports therapy and other related areas.

The knowledge and skills gained through this unit will be useful for learners wishing to progress into careers based around performance analysis, sports injury, sports therapy, sports coaching and fitness instructing or training.

  • Biochemistry of Exercise

This unit provides the learner with an overview of the biochemical process in the human body and how they respond to the stresses of exercise.

The unit starts by exploring the structure and function of human cells and the organelles within them. Learners will explore different types of cell and how their structure relates to their function. The unit then examines homeostasis in relation to maintenance of pH levels, oxygen levels, body temperature and osmotic environment and how they vary and are controlled in relation to exercise participation.

Learners will explore metabolic processes including the energy systems – both anaerobic and aerobic energy systems are covered together with the biochemistry of the different stages involved in energy production.

The final part of the unit examines metabolic processes and their changes during exercise. An appreciation for the metabolic processes is essential to any consideration of the limitations to exercise and to performance in sport. An understanding of the living cell and the cellular inclusions with it is fundamental for a study of metabolic events.

A range of careers in the sport and exercise industry, such as coaches and sports nutritionalists require an understanding of the biochemistry of exercise in order to help to improve athletes’ sporting performance.

  • Personal and Professional Development

This unit is designed to enable the learner to assess and develop a range of professional and personal skills in order to promote future personal and career development. It also aims to develop learners’ ability to organise, manage and practise a range of approaches to improve their performance as self-directed learners in preparation for work or to further career development.

This unit’s emphasis is on the needs of the individual, but within the context of how the development of self-management corresponds with effective team management in meeting objectives.

Learners will improve their own learning, be involved with team work and be more capable of problem solving through the use of case studies, role-play and real-life activities.

  • Employability Skills

All learners at all levels of education and experience require honed employability skills as a prerequisite to entering the job market. This unit gives learners an opportunity to assess and develop an understanding of their own responsibilities and performance in or when entering the workplace.

It considers the skills required for general employment such as interpersonal and transferable skills, and the dynamics of working with others in teams or groups including leadership and communication skills.

It also deals with the everyday working requirement of problem solving which includes the identification or specification of the ‘problem’, strategies for its solution and then evaluation of the results of the solution through reflective practices.

  • Work-based Experience

A significant amount of learning can be achieved by carrying out practical activities in a workplace. Learning may be enhanced by taking a more formal approach to work-based activities – by planning, carrying out the activities and reflecting on the benefits of the activities to the business and to the learner.

This unit is designed to allow flexibility of study for part-time and full-time learners. It is expected that learners are supervised in the workplace in addition to their academic supervisor.

Learners will have the opportunity, supported by their supervisors, to negotiate and perform activities which will allow them to fulfil the assessment criteria for this unit. They will recognise the scope of what they have achieved by recording evidence from carrying out the activities. They will also gain maximum benefit by reflection on and evaluation of the work they undertake.

  • Research Project

This unit is designed to allow learners become confident in the use of research techniques and methods. It addresses the elements that make up formal research including the proposal, a variety of methodologies, action planning, carrying out the research itself and presenting the findings. To complete the module satisfactorily, the learners must also understand the theory that underpins formal research.

The research itself is dependent on the learner, the context of their area of learning, their focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes. The unit draws together a range of other areas of content within the programme of study to form a holistic piece of work that makes a positive contribution to the learner’s area of interest. Learners should seek approval from their tutors before starting the study.

  • Analysis of Sports Performance

Learners will select a specific sport, depending upon their own areas of interest. They will learn about the performance demands of selected sport including the skills, techniques, physical fitness requirements, skill related requirements and psychological requirements.

Learners will then assess the sports performance of an individual, they will identify appropriate tests and carry out these tests on the individual to analyse their sports performance.

Learners will then consider factors that affect performance, primarily concentrating on the physiological and psychological factors.

At the end of the unit, learners will be able to provide detailed feedback to the individual to help them to improve their sports performance.

Upon successful completion of Second Year, student is awarded an HND (Higher National Diploma) at EQF/MQF Level 5 by Pearson. 

How you will learn

This diploma is delivered with a flexible classroom-based method, through a variety of course materials, case studies, discussions, presentations, enquiry-based learning and problem-solving activities. We provide you with key reading and research activities, and you will make the most of our own teaching portal.

Method of Assessment

The purpose of assessment is to ensure that effective learning has taken place of the content of each unit. Evidence of this learning, or the application of the learning, is required for each unit. The assessment of the evidence relates directly to the assessment criteria for each unit. The grading of BTEC Higher National qualifications is at the unit and the qualification level.

Each successfully completed unit will be graded as a pass, merit or distinction. A pass is awarded for the achievement of all outcomes against the specified assessment criteria. Merit and distinction grades are awarded for higher-level achievement.

Summary of grades

In order to achieve a pass in a unit
  • All learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria have been met
In order to achieve a merit in a unit
  • Pass requirements achieved
  • All merit grade descriptors achieved and all prescribed indicative characteristics
In order to achieve a distinction in a unit
  • Pass and merit requirements achieved
  • All distinction grade descriptors achieved and all prescribed indicative characteristics

Entry requirements

  • Have an ‘A’ Level standard of education; or
  • Relevant qualification at EQF/MQF Level 4 or equivalent
  • If English is not your first language, you will need IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Exemptions from providing evidence of English language proficiency may arise if you have studied your previous qualification in English.

Students should produce copies of certificates, full CV preferably in EuroFormat and passport-size photo.

Fees & funding

Current Fees

Full-time Part-time
Malta/EU €9,000 €9,000

Get Qualified

Refund through Get Qualified Scheme: €6,300*

Net Amount: €2,700*

*Terms and Conditions Apply

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