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Foundation Degree in Sport; Coaching, Health and Fitness

Level 4-5
Course Code:
HEB014 / C600
North Devon Campus
Two years, full-time

This exciting, challenging, and contemporary course includes academic, practical and work based learning experiences that allows for a wide range of assessment methods. You will study and be involved with learning and practising select principles of varied sports, sports coaching, health promotion, fitness training, fitness testing, nutrition, exercise prescription and psychology.

This course will allow you to take part in several projects allowing you to work with clients from a variety of backgrounds and with differing needs and conditions. Students are encouraged to take a practical approach to study and activity, and are assessed in a number of innovative and engaging ways.


As well as these scientific elements, the course also includes aspects of sport and health policy and health promotion strategies, including exercise prescription. The modules are constructed around the main scientific disciplines which underpin coaching, fitness development and health maintenance, as well as providing an insight into historical and organisational perspectives. The assessed work allows you to specialise in areas which are of particular interest to you. You will develop an array of academic, practical and interpersonal skills.

You will be required to undertake a substantial work-based project in an aspect of the industry of your choice, and as a result of this and other industry related tasks, you will come into contact with and work with local employers.

Modules typically include Human Performance in Sports, Sports Coaching, Health and Fitness Principles, Developing Graduate Skills, Sport, Health and Physical Activity Organisations, Research Methods, Health Promotion, Health and Activity for Young People, Special Populations, Further Principles of Sports Coaching, and, Exercise Prescription and Behaviour Change.

The course content will explore a range of academic based theory specific to each module, that provides a sound base to explore your learning within the practical environment. Working individually and within groups suits a spectrum of learning styles to progress student learning.

Sports coaching, health promotion, sports development and prescription of exercise, to name just a few, are growing industries and therefore the course content stays current, providing relevant topics to ensure students develop and build on the current trends. This keeps students engaged and ensures they are able to top up to a full degree or enter the sports and health industry.
A selection of different, relevant, and innovative assessments are linked to this programme. Written assignments, presentations, academic posters, seminars, professional portfolio and examinations may all be a feature of the course. Students are supported to understand and complete these assessments with relevant guidance, workshops, and formative assessment.

Each year, students will study six modules and each module consists of 2 assessments; each assessment will cover specific learning outcomes relating to the subject area and be broken down into a marking grid of the details required for the overall assignment.

External Examiner's comments:
"There is a very good variety of assessments that enable students to demonstrate their range of skills and knowledge...links to future employment and subject specific knowledge was clearly evident."
"Examples of innovative assessments showing clear links to industry requirements. Good examples of this are the health intervention scrap book, school based coaching and newly introduced Nuro Fit [sic - Neurofit] classes."
Five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

The programme will be of interest to those with a sports background, those interested in health care and also health maintenance, as well as those looking to pursue a career within the teaching, coaching or fitness sector. Ideally you will need to be educated to A-level or BTEC National standard with 64 UCAS points, but applications from mature applicants without these qualifications are also considered.
Successful students may decide to apply to spend a further year on the the BSc (Hons) Health and Fitness top-up; BSc (Hons) Health, Exercise and Physical Activity; BSc (Hons) Coaching and Fitness Education; or, BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning at the University of St Mark & St John in Plymouth, in order to obtain a full Honours Degree. Another local option is a third year top up at Richard Huish College, Taunton completing the Sports Development and Coaching Degree; this may also be a good route for those interested in teaching PE in schools.

Please note, there is a progression application deadline and limited places, and the availability of these Level 6 courses may be subject to change. Career avenues which you will be able to work towards include fitness instructor, sports coach, health consultant, personal trainer, sports teacher/lecturer, primary school teacher with PE specialism, researcher, health promotion officer, sports development officer and youth worker.
There is a range of sports equipment and facilities, including a sports hall, gym fitness suite, a range of fitness testing services, lecture rooms, laptops, an onsite library and online library. You will also be able to log in to Plymouth University to access online journals and resources.
Students will be invited to an induction day prior to the start of the course; they will need to bring with them a method of recording information and taking notes (laptop/tablet, notebook). They will also require sports kit and sports trainers. Year One students will also be sent project work over the summer to help the student and their transition towards starting a Level 4 based course.
There will be additional costs for the course kit (Petroc sports polo shirt, top and tracksuit bottoms), and a variety of trips, including fitness testing lab visit, school visits, and specific course module trips.
Please contact the HE Team on 01271 852335 for more information.
Q: How much will this course cost?
A: For more information about course fees, please visit

Q: Is this a full-time programme?
A: The course runs for two years. You will attend Petroc for two days per week.

Q: What days and times does each year run?
A: Year One runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; Year Two runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You will start at 9am and finish at 4.30pm.

Q: What will the content be like on the days we attend Petroc?
A: Each day will consist of both practical sessions and academic theory-based lessons.

Q: Will I be able to work whilst studying?
A: The timetable is delivered over 2 days per week; therefore, you will be able to work during the rest of the week. This also means that any students living at home can potentially make significant financial savings.