What is this subject about?

A BTEC Sports Coaching and Development qualification is a stimulating and challenging course for students wishing to progress to higher education or pursue a career in sport and recreation.

Both courses are two years and are nationally recognised, vocational qualifications. They are an ideal platform for students wanting to begin building the foundations for a career in the sports industry. E.g. Sports coaching/teaching, sports development, fitness instructor and sports management.

The BTEC National Extended Certificate is equivalent to one A Level and the National Diploma is equivalent to two A Levels.

What will I study?

Both courses are designed to develop knowledge and practical skills in the broad field of sport, leisure and fitness.

Examples of the units studied by both courses over the two years include: Careers in the Sport and Active Leisure Industry; Health, Wellbeing and Sport; Developing Coaching Skills. The BTEC National Diploma (equivalent to two A Levels) includes additional units on Sport Development; Self-employment in Sport and Physical Activity, Applied Coaching Skills and Anatomy and Physiology.

Learning for both BTEC courses is based on theoretical and practical sessions, which link current theoretical concepts to applied settings. Students will engage in class-based activities, participate in practical activity, lead coaching sessions, individual and group research and learn from visiting speakers and personal experiences.

How is the course assessed?

Both the BTEC National Extended Certificate and BTEC National Diploma consist of 100% coursework, which consists of written assignments, presentations, practical assessments and work experience. 

What skills will I need and develop on this course?

Students will need a keen interest in sports coaching and be prepared to develop their coaching expertise throughout the course. Many lessons will be practically based and involve students actively leading coaching activities to others in the group. This will require learners to be conscientious during the planning phase and confident in managing groups of participants within a teaching/coaching setting. Skills such as communication, session organisation, feedback and group management will be developed but learners should be prepared to challenge themselves to enhance these skills throughout the course. Additionally, learners will acquire a vast range of coaching/pedagogical theory that they will be expected to embed within their applied practice of coaching. It is essential that students are prepared to participate/coach across a variety of sports on a frequent basis and will need a willingness to lead coaching sessions for children and community groups. Those students on the second year of the Diploma will need to organise coaching placements within a community setting. A willingness to act on feedback from coaching sessions in order to enhance future performance will be a critical skill. Finally, extended writing skills with a high degree of literary quality will be vital for the completion of theoretical coursework assessment which will support the practical coaching assesments.


What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

Many students progress to study sport-related degrees at university, including sports science, teaching, sports psychology, sports studies and sports coaching. Equally, students may choose to go straight on to employment within the broad spectrum of sport-related jobs.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

Aside from the general entry criteria that the College requires, an interest in coaching is critical and ideally Grade 4 in GCSE English Language. If you have taken GCSE PE you are expected to have achieved grade 4 or above, but you can take this course without having previously studied GCSE PE. 

Extra Support

What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

The department runs a wide range of visits directly related to the core content of the units studied. These will include local leisure facilities such as St Mary's University Twickenham and Wimbledon Tennis Club.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

BTEC Sports Coaching and Development combines well with most subjects, including IT, Business Studies and Psychology due to the various units studied. BTEC Sports Coaching and Development can be taken in combination with A Level PE as there are limited links with the units covered in the A Level Physical Education specification​.