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Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

The diploma will enable you to:

  • develop an understanding of the theoretical and practical knowledge relevant to professional practice in instructional and management settings in sport, fitness and health
  • develop the ability to reflect on experience of practice to produce and apply new understandings and skills
  • develop an ability to recognise and deal with safety, equity and welfare dilemmas in the workplace.

Learning outcomes

The diploma provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding


  • the organisation and operational principles underpinning the provision and management of sport, health and fitness in the UK
  • the way that physiology and psychology impact on sport, health and fitness
  • exercise and fitness instruction, planning, delivery and evaluation, including adaptations to suit the needs of different population groups.

Cognitive skills

Be able to:

  • analyse and evaluate practice critically and systematically
  • select and integrate ideas and evidence to develop arguments
  • link theory and practice.

Practical and/or professional skills

Be able to:

  • appreciate the wider strategic context in which work teams and organisations operate
  • collect and analyse information to plan a progressive physical activity programme
  • carry out aspects of work roles in relation to sport and fitness to the standards expected in employment
  • show awareness and adherence to codes of conduct and operating procedures.

Key skills

Be able to:

Application of number

  • use and interpret graphical and numerical data.


  • organise and articulate opinions and arguments
  • draw on appropriate conventions of academic writing
  • engage, motivate and respond sensitively to others.

Improving own learning and performance

  • reflect on the learning process and learning experiences.

Information and communication technology

  • use appropriate forms of ICT to communicate and present information, and to support research and learning.

Problem solving

  • explore problems in order to gain a deeper insight and identify different perspectives.

Working with others

  • work effectively with others in work situations and contexts.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding of sport, fitness and health is developed through the main teaching materials and in-text questions, tasks and activities to support your learning. The main teaching material is offered through supported open learning modules with associated material, including module reading texts, audio-visual material and directed reading. Summative assessment is mainly by written tutor-marked assignments (TMAs), end-of-module reports and, in some cases, oral descriptions and explanations. Tutors support your development across all learning outcomes through online tutorials, written feedback on assignments and online/telephone support.

Cognitive skills are assessed by module assignments. These will allow you to demonstrate your ability to structure a clear and reasoned argument and to analyse module issues. Work-Based Learning Projects will offer you the opportunity to demonstrate independent thinking skills; to demonstrate your understanding of theoretical concepts and the underpinning principles for working in sport, fitness and health; to show evidence of reflective practice; and to use appropriate methods of enquiry.

Key skills are referenced to QCA National Standards and are promoted within learning materials and as part of continuous assessment. Assessment criteria for TMAs require you to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in writing and orally. The approach taken to key skills and work-based learning is to place students’ experiences at the centre of their learning, and use reflective processes to interpret these workplace experiences. Reflection helps students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and develop an action plan to guide their future development.

Professional skills are developed through module work including evidence-based project work. This is part of an increased awareness and understanding of practice in planning, delivery and evaluation of work activities, including exercise and fitness sessions. Reflection on practice will be central to this approach. The assessment of practice skills (at OU level 2) is through observed work-based scenarios. There may be some development of group working skills through the use of web-based tasks.