Higher Education


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.

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.

Entry Requirements

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

• A BTEC Level 3 or other Level 3 qualification in a related subject with at least one merit in the final grade profile.
• A minimum of 2 A Levels with one in a related subject at grade C or above.
• Access to Higher Education’ with relevant options.
• 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 grade (grade 9-4) in GCSE English and Maths is strongly recommended

If you do not hold GCSE maths and English at Grade C (grade 4) or above then it is strongly recommended that you study these before starting on a Higher National Certificate, both to support your study and to allow you to progress to higher education. 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.


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

Core Units for the HNC
• Nutrition
• Anatomy and Physiology
• Fundamentals of Sport and Exercise Psychology
• Professional Skills (Pearson-Set)

Specialist units could include: Physical Activity, Lifestyle & Health, Lifestyle Coaching, Injury Prevention, Sports Massage, Community Coaching, Training and Fitness Testing.

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


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.

Awarding body

Pearson BTEC


On successful completion of this course you can continue with 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

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.

Further Information

For further information, advice and guidance call The Learner Experience Team on 01625 410062.

Duration and Times

Start date: 20/09/2021

End date: 24/06/2022

Time: 9:00am - 4:30pm

Days of week: TBA

Number of Weeks: 33

Weekly hours: 12.00

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