Sport - Higher National Certificate

BTEC’s are work-related qualifications for students taking their first steps into employment, or for those already in employment and seeking career development opportunities. BTEC’s provide progression into the workplace either directly or via study at university and are also designed to meet employers’ needs.

The BTEC Higher National Certificate in Sport is designed to meet the growing demand for advanced vocational training in the sports industry. The vocational theme and academic credential of the qualification ties in successfully with large scale sporting/employment opportunities such as those arising from the current society-based focus around improving health and wellbeing. The demand for high quality staff with relevant expertise remains important in the many diverse areas within the sports industry including sports coaching, sport development, P.E teaching and the exercise fitness sector.

The programme allows you to gain both practical experience and an academic qualification that helps to support movements into management positions within the sports sector. The programme allows learners to build on previous knowledge and experience through the completion of mandatory units, including, The Sports Landscape, Physical Activity, Lifestyle & Health and Project Management.

Aims of programme

The Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Sport offers students an introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of skills and experience through the selection of optional units across a range of occupational sectors. This effectively builds underpinning core skills while preparing the student for subject specialisation at Level 5.

Graduates successfully completing the Higher National Certificate will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the concepts of Sport. You will be able to demonstrate skills to communicate accurately and appropriately, and you will have the opportunity to develop qualities needed for employment that will require some degree of personal responsibility. You will have had the opportunity to develop a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. You will be able to demonstrate an adaptable and flexible approach to Sport and show resilience under pressure and meet challenging targets within a given resource.

Programme contents

The Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Sport provides a specialist work-related programme of study that covers the key knowledge, understanding and practical skills required in the Sport, Leisure and Recreation sector and offers particular specialist emphasis through the choice of selective units. Pearson’s BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificates provide a nationally recognised qualification offering career progression and professional development for those already in employment and opportunities to progress further into higher education.

Awarding body


Entry requirements

Students under 21:
48 UCAS points
We also accept equivalent qualifications, including:

. BTEC/National Diploma
. International Baccalaureate
. Advanced & Progression Diplomas
. Access courses

Plus: GCSE English Language & Maths with a minimum of grade C/4 or recognised equivalent are required.

Students over 21:

If you do not have the above UCAS or GCSE requirements but have appropriate experience, specific knowledge or industry-based qualifications, your application will be welcomed & still considered.

Progression / Careers

PE Teaching pathway
Sports Coaching
Leisure Management



Modes of assessment

Assessment will be a combination of formative and summative assessment tasks. A range of methods will include: essays, reports, portfolio tasks, group presentations, video examinations, oral examinations, practical assessments and through evidence-based competencies developed within the portfolio.

Additional information

Student Testimonials

“Having not been in education for over 10 years I was concerned if I would be able to complete the work to the correct standard. The support I have received from the academic staff have meant that the transition back in to studying has been smooth and relatively stress free.” (D. Pooley)


This information may be subject to change without prior notice.

Timetables are normally available one week before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.