Course Detail

Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Sport and Exercise Science
Further course information

Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications are designed to develop practical skills alongside specialist knowledge and understanding of the subject area. These qualifications are well respected and recognised by both employers and higher education institutions. The Higher National Certificate (HNC) is a Level 4 qualification which is equivalent to the first year of the Bachelor Degree. HNC qualifications can be taken as an academic pathway from Level 3, A Level or ‘Access to Higher Education’; or alongside employment for career enhancement. The HNC pathway is a vocational but academically equivalent alternative higher education pathway available locally at affordable cost.

This course is designed for you if you would like to be involved with sport and the fitness industry, with an emphasis on sport science, exercise, health and lifestyle. The course aims to develop a sound understanding of the major theoretical and practical principles associated with working in the sport, health, exercise and fitness industry, a growing sector. A significant focus is placed on the skills required for effective communication, self-development and career progression. If you are looking to pursue a career in sports science or the health and fitness industry, or you are currently employed in a sports environment and wish to combine work with study to develop your skills and knowledge to enhance your career prospects, then this course may be for you. This course will draw on a range of industry links and local employers to provide you with vocational experience. Work placements may be offered during the programme to provide direct industry experience in an area of your choice, developing and enhancing your employment prospects.

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Entry Requirements

For students who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

• A Pearson BTEC Level 3 National/Extended Diploma in a related subject with a Merit grade profile
• A minimum of two A Levels at grade C or above with one in relevant subject
• T-Level qualification in a related subject with a Pass grade
• Access to Higher Education Diploma with relevant subject options awarded by an approved further education institution with a Merit grade profile
• Other related Level 3 qualifications
• Extensive relevant work experience - mature learners who have extensive work experience and/or professional qualifications in a related industry are welcome to apply.
• A* to C or 9 to 4 grades in GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent)

On receipt of your application to study this course you will be invited to attend an admissions interview with a member of the teaching team to discuss the course and its requirements further. Please note that meeting the entry requirements does not guarantee an offer will be made. Offers are made based on the interviewer’s professional judgement.

Course Content

You will study a total of eight units throughout the HNC course. Four mandatory core units will provide a general foundation, two specialist and two optional units will introduce you to particular sports science, exercise, health and lifestyle topics in more depth.

Core units for the HNC:
Unit 1: Nutrition
unit 2: Anatomy and Physiology
Unit 3: Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Unit 4: Professional Skills (Pearson-Set)

Specialist units for the HNC:
Unit 5: Coaching Practice & Skill Development
Unit 7: Physical Activity, Lifestyle & Health

Optional units for the HNC:
Unit 10: Technology in Sport
Unit 12: Community Coaching

Note: Optional units may change to meet local employment need.

Unit Specification: Sport and Exercise Science (2018) | BTEC Higher Nationals | Pearson qualifications


HNC units are assessed internally. You will be graded for each individual unit with a Pass, Merit or Distinction. You may be assessed in a number of different ways, such as presentations, written reports, logbooks and practical tasks.


Fees: £2900.00


On successful completion of this course you can enter into employment or use the HNC to apply for other Higher Education qualifications e.g. HND or Bachelor Degree. You can apply to university to complete a degree in a related subject; entry to the degree may be at Year 2 dependent upon the university and degree programme. This qualification can also be used to support a job application within a related profession.

Additional Information

During your interview you will be advised for any additional course requirements and costs. The information on the college policies and procedures, Terms and Conditions and the Student Protection Plan (SPP) are available on the college website
https://macclesfield.ac.uk/awards-policies-and-values/student-and-college-policies/. Also, a copy of these terms and conditions and the Student Protection Plan will be given to you to read before enrolling on the course.

Duration and Times

Next course available: September 4th, 2024
Number of Weeks: 33

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