Exercise & Sport Science (Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Science and Mathematics

Science and Mathematics
Science and Mathematics

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Exercise & Sport Science (Level 3 Extended Diploma)
Code L3Sb3
Qualification Type National Extended Diploma (BTEC)
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


This is a Level 3 Extended Diploma course. It is the equivalent size to three A Levels - 180 credits.

The qualification gives you the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin study of the Sport and Exercise Science sector, and gives the additional breadth and depth to prepare you fully for further study or training. This includes the opportunity for learners to choose several topics from a selection of options reflecting progression in Sport and Exercise Science. The optional units have been designed to support progression to sport and exercise science courses in higher education.


You will study seven mandatory content areas:

  • Applied Research Methods in Sport and Exercise Science
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Coaching for Performance and Fitness
  • Field and Laboratory-based Fitness Testing
  • Functional Anatomy
  • Nutrition for Sport and Exercise Performance
  • Sport and Exercise Physiology

The optional content areas include:

  • Biomechanics in Sport and Exercise Science
  • Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science
  • Physical Activity for Individual and Group-based Exercise
  • Sociocultural Issues in Sport and Exercise
  • Specialised Fitness Training
  • Sports Injury and Assessment
  • Sports Massage
  • Technology in Sport and Exercise Science

How will it be delivered?

The course is delivered through taught sessions which lead to preparation for external assessments or the completion of assignments. Group discussion, individual written preparation, practical exercises; practice questions and assessments are all used throughout the course.

Achievement in the qualification requires a demonstration of depth of study in each unit, assured acquisition of a range of practical skills required for employment or progression to HE, and successful development of transferable skills. Learners achieving a qualification will have achieved across mandatory units including external and synoptic assessment. 

Assessment is specifically designed to fit the purpose and objective of the qualification. It includes a range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in the sector. There are three main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic. Each external assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by the awarding organisation and a grade is awarded. Learners must achieve all external units at pass grade or above. Students are permitted to re sit any external assessment only once during the programme.

Internal assessments are set and marked by the course staff and the outcome verified by an independent member of staff. Internal assessments usually take the form of assignments, which might be written reports, presentations or practical activities which are observed by an assessor.

The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the this course are: 

  • Examinations - all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome 
  • Set tasks - learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task. Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information. External assessments are available twice a year.

Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction, Merit, Pass and Unclassified. All mandatory and optional units contribute proportionately to the overall qualification grade, for example a unit of 120 GLH will contribute double that of a 60 GLH unit. Qualifications are graded using a scale of PPP to D*D*D*. Depending on total points scored across the course of the year.

To achieve any qualification grade, learners must:

  • Complete and have an outcome (D, M P or U) for all units within a valid combination
  • Achieve the required units at pass or above (Units 1,2,3,4,5,6)
  • Achieve the minimum number of points at a grade threshold and for the Extended Diploma, achieve a minimum of 900 GLH at pass or above.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE Grades 9 - 4 to include English and Maths.

Your next steps...

This qualification is primarily designed to support progression to employment after further study at university. However, it also supports learners who may choose to progress directly to employment, as the transferable knowledge, understanding and skills will give you an advantage in applying for entry level roles or school leaver industry training programmes and Higher Apprenticeships in areas such as sport and fitness training, coaching, and sports performance research. The qualification is intended to carry UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements for many relevant courses, for example:

  • BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science
  • BSc (Hons) in Sport Science
  • BSc (Hons) in Sport and Coaching Studies.

You should always check the entry requirements for degree programmes with specific higher education providers.