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Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness

This diploma will help put you on track for a career in fitness training, sports coaching or management. It develops work-related and academic to enhance your performance and prospects at work, and explores the key principles of sports science, training, leadership and management. You’ll apply your learning to your own practice, focusing on meeting participants’ physical and psychological needs. By the end of the course, you’ll be a more effective, reflective practitioner and you’ll be well on the way to a degree. This qualification will be of particular interest to students living and working in Scotland.

Key features of the course

  • Increases your current effectiveness as a coach or exercise instructor 
  • Uses case studies and reflects on real and potential work situations
  • Enhances your employability
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Please note: in addition to your OU study, you’ll need to identify and complete a UK-accredited (or equivalent) qualification in either coaching or exercise instruction.

The same programme of study is also offered as the Foundation Degree in Sport and Fitness (X07).

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Diploma

Course code
W07
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
240
How long it takes
Part time – 4 years
Full time – 2 years
Time limit – 12 years
Study method
Distance learning
Course cost
See Fees & funding
Entry requirements
For details see Am I ready?

Register

Registration for this course is now closed. The next opportunity to study this course will be in 2015/16 and registration will open in March 2015. Click to register your interest and we’ll keep you updated.


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Course details

This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits. Stage 1 provides the underpinning knowledge and skills needed for more advanced study at Stage 2.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

Stage 1 explores the organisation, practice and delivery of sport and fitness activity. You’ll investigate who takes part in sport and fitness, how facilities cater for their needs, how can fitness be improved, and how the scientific basis of nutrition informs coaching. You’ll also consider what makes a good leader; effective communication; and motivating participants and colleagues. 


Compulsory modules (120 credits)

Stage 2 (120 credits)

Stage 2 focusses on the scientific aspects of sport and exercise. You’ll develop your analytical and communication skills while focusing on sports science research and the psychological aspects of participation in sport and fitness. You’ll also study a work-related learning module investigating how either sports and fitness instructors or sports coaches develop, drawing on your own experiences of completing an external validated coaching or fitness qualification. 

A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, the diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of our BA (Honours) Sport, Fitness and Coaching (Q76).



The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – reducing the number of modules you need to study. It’s not just study completed at a university that can be considered, you can transfer study from a wide range of professional qualifications as well. A full list of the qualifications and institutions we can consider for credit transfer can be found on our credit transfer website.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide original evidence of your previous study. We will compare this against the learning outcomes for your chosen qualification and inform you of any award.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On completion of this undergraduate course, you will be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness with either Exercise instruction or Coaching.

 

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.


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Entry requirements

You do not need experience of working in sport and fitness prior to starting this diploma. But you’ll find the modules and the assignments much easier and more fulfilling if you can draw on employment experience (paid or unpaid) in the sector during your study.

As part of the Stage 2 work-based learning module you’ll need to have gained in the last eight years – depending on your professional interest – either:

  • an exercise instruction qualification recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) or
  • a coaching qualification from an established sport with a recognised National Governing Body.

If you do not hold a suitable qualification prior to commencing the module, you’ll need to obtain one in parallel with your OU studies. Details of which certificates and levels are acceptable are available here.

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

Help! I'm not ready

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If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

The module is divided into four blocks:

Block 1: Individuals

In this block, each discipline discusses individuals from a subject-specific perspective or point of view. In Social sciences the individual is presented in relation to cultural and group identities. In Childhood, identity formation is demonstrated through relationships and maturation processes. Lifestyle choices are discussed in relation to individual biological and psychological factors in Health. Psychology takes you on a journey through ways of understanding how individuals think and perceive their world, while Law takes a life course approach to individual rights and responsibilities. Finally, Management takes a very practical view of how you as an individual can begin to organise and develop yourself and others.

Block 2: Families and relationships

Here you’ll encounter a range of perspectives from each of the subject areas on the theme of families and relationships. In Childhood, family and relationships are presented from the point of view of an adult who wants to understand more about the lives of children and young people. The Health perspective explores how family life affects health and considers the care demands on families during illness. Psychology reveals how interaction is key to understanding how families are built and sometimes fall apart. You’ll explore division of labour in families from a Social sciences perspective, and how the nature of family life shapes life chances. In considering parental rights and responsibilities, Law discusses serious cases such as child neglect and abuse. Finally, Management looks at relationships at work and how to manage them effectively.

Block 3: Organisations and communities

This block begins with a Management perspective on organisations, in which you will consider characteristics typical of organisations, including structure, culture, and management tools. Also, you’ll discover how adults support transitions for children and their families when children enter school for the first time or move between different educational settings. In Health, the school is again a focus, along with the built environment, this time for considering health influences and interventions. Having approached organisations and communities from a largely experiential perspective, the block then presents Law, and how rights and responsibilities influence and constrain practice in organisational settings. In Psychology, you consider how roles and groups develop within organisations, coming to a working understanding of certain observable behaviours. Finally, Social Sciences present how people can organise themselves to bring about social change.

Block 4: Society

This block opens with an examination of how social scientists view and consider society, including different types of cultures and how aspects of different cultures spread to different countries. The concept of multiple self is discussed in Psychology, showing how individuals can adapt and change when moving to a different culture. Next, you will consider the growth of fast food diets in Western society, their effect on children and young people, and action to foster healthy eating habits. Health is considered by debating the impact of government policy on the health and well being of society. In Law, you’ll consider the laws of negligence and duty of care within society today, drawing on real life cases that English law courts have judged.

The module includes a DVD and website which include further study materials and resources as well as online quizzes and interactive exercises to help test your understanding.

As you study this module you will build your confidence and develop your study skills, including:

  • reading and interpreting information
  • producing written communications
  • time management and organisational skills
  • problem solving.

You will also have the opportunity to gain skills such as working with audio and visual material, using online forums and searching the internet for information. This experience will provide you with a gentle introduction to using a computer to support your study, and will equip you with the basic computing skills you will need for the next step in your studies.

Please note that you will need access to the internet and a computer to study and pass this module. You will need to use a computer early on in the module but not straight away, so if you don’t currently have one you’ve got time to make arrangements. You can use your own computer or one at a library or drop-in centre.

On successful completion of this module you will receive an Open University Access Module Certificate.

Course work includes:

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
6 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Your next step

Call our Student Registration & Enquiry Service on +44 (0)1908 659253. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

The fee information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2015. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification starts from £10,528 based on our current fees.

Additional costs

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable than you might think. Options include Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. 

We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you.




How many credits are you planning to study per year? You will need [xxx] credits to complete this qualification

Part time study

Full time study


Do you already hold a degree?

Are you employed?

British Forces

  • Only currently serving members of the British armed forces, who are temporarily and unavoidably working abroad and using BFPO addresses, are eligible to pay UK course fees for the total time spent outside the UK. Other students who are able to use BFPO addresses need to contact the Student Registration and Enquiry Service (SRS) Pricing Area Team on +44 (0)845 300 6090 for UK fee eligibility to be assessed.
 

An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

Jobs in sport and fitness demand well developed skills for motivating customers; including the communication skills (written, oral and online) needed to enhance good relationships and coaching. This diploma course will boost your career potential and help you develop key skills that are highly valued by employers, including:

  • leadership
  • empathy with participants
  • knowledge of safety and welfare issues
  • understanding group and individual psychology
  • searching for and presenting information
  • use of IT.

Overall, you’ll become a more critically aware leader who can reflect on your own and others’ practice and apply scientific theory to practical situations.

Career relevance

This diploma is ideal if you want to enhance your prospects in sports coaching, fitness training or the leadership of recreational groups. It’s also valuable if you’re self-employed in the sport and fitness sector, working at sports clubs or keen to develop your career in sports management or sports development. 

Other careers

Some students use this qualification as a route towards physical education (PE) teaching, although you’ll need to complete an honours degree and subsequent post-graduate training.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience):

  • sports club manager
  • sports coach
  • fitness instructor
  • recreational group leader
  • personal trainer
  • fitness centre manager 
  • outdoor activities/education manager
  • secondary school teacher (PE)
  • sports development officer 
  • theme park manager
  • human resources manager
  • customer service manager
  • event organiser 
  • sports administrator 
  • tourism officer 
  • tourist information centre manager

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.

career_explorer

Study plan - Overview
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