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Access to HE Diploma Sports Science

Applications for September are now open.


This course is ideal for anyone looking to pursue a place on a higher education course and future career within the sport and active leisure industry. The range of career opportunities in the sport and active leisure industry is extensive and the access course at Richmond upon Thames College is designed specifically to meet the needs of adult learners in preparation for progression to higher education.


Access to Higher Education programmes are designed for students who are aged 19 and over as of 31 August. However, if you are 18 on the 31 August please contact us by clicking the enquire button below so that we can discuss your options.

  • Course details, fees and dates

    Course Code 20-FL3AC-SSS-1

    Start Date September

    How long is the course? 32 weeks

    What time does the course start? TBC

    What time does the course end? TBC

    When does the course run? 3 days per week

    How much does the course cost? Tuition fee £3,284 Exam fee £0 Certification fee £100 Materials fee £0 = Total fee £3,384

    Is this course eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan? Yes

    Is there a registration fee? Yes

    Are concessions available? No

    Examining Body OCNLR

    Is an interview required? Yes

  • What is the course about and how might it benefit me?

    The course is made up of a range of mandatory and optional units. The mandatory units include Anatomy and Physiology and example optional units include Diet and Nutrition, Fitness Trainer, Teaching and Coaching, Sports Psychology . In addition there will be an opportunity to develop level 2 maths and English skills, study skills, academic practice and relevant IT skills.

    The broad range of disciplines and subjects covered on the course will allow you to develop necessary skills relevant for progression in the sport and active leisure industry. It is intended that the majority of students, on successful completion of all units, will progress to higher education courses or employment.

    This is an intensive one year programme and you will be expected to work hard on the course. Your life skills in time management, planning, prioritising and meeting deadlines will be key factors in ensuring success on the course.

  • What qualification or experience do I need to start the course?

    You will be a mature applicant (19+) at the start of the course. In addition to a keen interest in developing a career in the sector, it is desirable that applicants have experience of the industry through either employment or participation in the industry. Following acceptance on this course you are advised to participate in work experience in the sector. Preferably you will also have English and maths qualifications at level 2*. If you do not have evidence for the English and maths qualifications, you will be expected to complete an online assessment and a free writing and/or technical assessment. If you meet the entry requirements you will then be offered an interview to ensure you are suitable for the course.

    *GCSE requirements for access applicants: In order to progress to certain higher education courses, you may require GCSE English and/or GCSE maths to satisfy your university entry requirements. If you do not already have a grade C or above in these qualifications then please speak to the Access course leader about the option of taking these qualifications as an additional programme either before or during the Access to HE Diploma. It is important to consider the additional work load required in this situation.

  • How will I be taught?

    You will learn about your subjects in a variety of ways including group work, independent research, taking part in discussions, visits, external speakers and live projects. You will develop and apply your technical and theoretical knowledge and your communication and leadership skills through practical coaching, instruction and participation opportunities. You will be encouraged to develop your study skills through the completion of assessments and activities including research, analysis and presentations. You will have access to fitness gym, sports hall and classroom environments. Delivery will be varied including aspects that are both teacher led and student led.

  • How will I be assessed?

    There is currently no examination on this course. You will be assessed for each unit through assignments, coursework and practical tasks eg coaching a group. The grading on the course is either level 2 (GCSE equivalent) or level 3 (GCE Advanced level). You will be awarded a grade of 'Pass', 'Merit' or 'Distinction' for each level 3 unit that you complete.

  • What qualification will I get?

    On successful completion of 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 3 or 2, you will awarded the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Sports Science.

  • What can the course lead to?

    An access qualification is recognised as an entry requirement by universities and other institutions providing higher education courses. The successful completion of the course will enable you to apply to higher education to study for a degree, foundation degree, HNC or HND in a sport and active leisure related subject. These include: sport science, sports therapy, sports coaching, sport, health and fitness and sport and exercise sciences. You will be supported through the UCAS process and guided towards selecting the appropriate course. If you are thinking of progressing to higher education, you should check the entry requirements of specific course providers prior to starting this course.

    Career opportunities in the sport and active leisure industry include:

    Sports coaching, personal training, teaching, strength and conditioning, sports management, physical therapy, sports massage, fitness instruction, sport psychology.

  • How do I join the course?

    Please complete and submit an application form by clicking the 'apply' button at the top of the page. After submitting an application form, you will have an initial assessment to assess your suitability for the course and be invited for an interview. At the interview you will be required to show evidence of relevant skills (eg any sport or exercise related employment or certificates) and a strong commitment to study.

  • Further information

    For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 8607 8302.

    If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of your Access to HE Diploma and you then go on to Higher Education and successfully complete a degree, the Government will write off the loan that covered your Access course.

    *instalment options are available – contact Finance 020 8607 8347.

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