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RUTC & AFC Wimbledon Elite Football Academy Men’s & Women’s Football Development Programme (Level 3)

The Football Academy provides students with the platform to develop their technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of their professional game. 


The A level programme is split into 2 years. In Year 1 you will study Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport. In year 2 you will study Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma Sport. Upon completion of the 2-year course, you will also have the opportunity to achieve the equivalent of 3 A levels while developing as a player.

Exam Board: Pearsons



  • What will I study and learn?

    We will support you to develop your academic and professional skills through training which consists of technical and tactical development, strength and conditioning along with looking to improve player game intelligence. Football training & development and education will take place in Richmond & at AFC Wimbledon in Plough lane.

    Experienced and well qualified staff at RUTC & AFC Wimbledon will ensure that player development is paramount and that an effective learning environment is provided to allow players to be a success both on the field and in the classroom.

    Support staff include strength and conditioning as well as sports therapy to ensure that players are in the best physical condition to compete in all aspects of the Elite Development Programme.

    You will have opportunities to meet & train with AFC Wimbledon key staff including players and coaching staff.

    As part of your studies, you will have 1080 guided learning hours over 2 years. This is equivalent to 3 A levels. You will study 14 units of which 10 are mandatory and 4 are external.
    Mandatory content (78%)
    External assessment (42%)

    Some of the units you will study include:
    1. Anatomy and Physiology
    2. Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
    3. Professional Development in the Sports Industry
    4. Sports Leadership
    5. Application of Fitness Testing
    6. Sports Psychology
    7. Practical Sports Performance
    8. Coaching for Performance
    9. Research Methods in Sport
    10. Investigating Business in Sport and the Active Leisure Industry
    11. Development and Provision of Sport and Physical Activity
    12. Skill Acquisition in Sport

  • How is the course assessed?

    You will study 14 units of which 10 are mandatory and 4 are external.

    Mandatory content (78%)
    External assessment (42%)

    Excellent attendance, punctuality, work completion and professional ethics is the key foundations of the Elite squad. RUTC & AFC Wimbledon will regularly monitor and assess these key metrics in team selection.

  • What skills will I need for the course?

    To join the football Academy, you will need to pass the Football trials, be 16-18 years old and have the required GCSE results for entry.
    If you pass the trials, you will join the Men’s or Women’s RUTC & AFC Wimbledon Elite shadow squad and compete in national leagues.

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum of 4 GCSE’s grade 4 and above including English & Maths
    Pass football trial to join the RUTC & AFC Wimbledon Football Academy

  • What are my progression options?

    Our focus is to not only develop your performance as a player, but to also achieve academic excellence. We balance training with your academic commitments, ensuring you can meet your potential in both areas, leading to a wider range of progression opportunities through university, apprenticeships or employment with our Football development partner AFC Wimbledon.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    You will be required to purchase course text books and AFC Wimbledon football kits.
    Elite Shadow Squad members will receive their kits at a discount price. Approximately £130.

    Football training & development and education will be located at Richmond upon Thames College and AFC Wimbledon in Plough Lane. There will be a requirement for you to travel between sites.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.

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