BTEC Level 3 Diploma / Extended Diploma in Sport (2020): Women’s Football & Education Pathway


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Wanting to combine your passion for football with a career in the sports industry? The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport provides an opportunity to gain an industry-recognised coaching award while being affiliated to the first women’s elite player pathway in Yorkshire.

Delivered at a new state-of-the-art training facility in Handsworth, by qualified teaching staff and coaches, this two-year course offers both talented and recreational woman the opportunity to study whilst actively participating in a football development programme.

The new contemporary vocational qualification has been re-designed in conjunction with feedback from employers and industry experts, in order to help the students develop the skills and qualities that are required to work within sport. A core focus of the qualification is to provide practical work-experience opportunities to the students, allowing them to develop the necessary skills needed for direct employment within the industry. This is underpinned by a broad range of academic skills and knowledge, that allows learners to take their first steps within the diverse and ever-changing sporting environment.

Course Background

This is an academic sports course providing a pathway to a range of sport-based degrees at university. Students will study a variety of units such as anatomy and physiology, fitness testing, skill acquisition, sports coaching, Nutrition and Psychology. The course comprises both classroom and practical, sport-based learning and features various assessment methods that will prepare you for further academic study. Most units are assessed through assignments which are submitted via our interactive learning platforms in a variety of formats; these include written reports, posters, practical sports, demonstrations, group tasks, interviews, practical coaching, presentations, work experience, projects, performance observation and time-constrained assessments.

This study programme is ideal for woman interested in going on to study sport-based courses at university, or following a career pathway into teaching, fitness, coaching or sports development.

Sheffield United Community Foundation

The course is currently delivered at the new ‘category A’ rated football facility at Handsworth FC. Lessons, tutorials and workshops will be delivered on-site within our newly designed learning hubs. The Football programme will utilise excellent sporting facilities which include fully equipped fitness suites, 4G outdoor pitches and changing rooms. The student’s bespoke timetables combine their academic and practical study with work experience, tutorials sessions, work experience, as well as the football training and match programme. The women’s programme has close links with the women’s first team, with current first team players employed to work on the education programme.

You will learn from highly qualified staff with a range of academic and sport specific backgrounds within sport science, health, coaching, and fitness industries. Students will benefit from a broader range of local, regional and national connections available through the community foundations associated partners.

During your study you will have numerous opportunities to undertake additional vocational awards and workshops designed to help facilitate your personal and professional development. This includes coaching and fitness qualifications, tutorial sessions, NCS, employability and progress events, as well as numerous trips and rewards.

For accreditation purposes Sheffield United Community Foundation deliver their educational qualifications in partnership with Sheffield College and the English Football Leagues’ ‘League Football Education’ programme.

Course Success

Since its introduction in 2018 the woman’s programme has grown from 15 to 50 students. We believe this is due to offering a programme like no other within Yorkshire.

At our Football & Education programme each student will have access to a qualified teacher, personal learning mentor, teaching assistant, UEFA B Coach, physio, performance analyst and S&C coach. Overseeing the operations is a Course leader & Head of Football Recruitment who work closely with the Education Manager.

We believe the above provides an incredible staff to student ratio in order to provide the students with an elite level experience across their academic, personal and sporting progress.

In 2019/20 all graduating students left with offers from University, and our Women’s Football & Education students were offered unconditional places. 100% of our woman’s Football & Education students completed the course on target grade and 75% achieved above their target grades.

Here at Sheffield United Community Foundation we pride ourselves on the wrap around care available to all students. Our aim is to develop students in all aspects of their lives and not just their academic ability. Students leave our courses as better people, not just better students.

Recognising achievement

To motivate and inspire our students, we have clear guidelines and boundaries that include a positive behaviour policy. This encourages students to reach their goals and are rewarded for doing so.

Students can earn a place in Team of the Week by excelling in the following areas: Attendance, Punctuality, Work rate, Meeting deadlines, outstanding contributions. These awards are handed out weekly, and the Student of the Month has their full size FIFA card presented by an SUFC first team player.

At the end of each term, the top students who have appeared in the most TOTWs will be rewarded with an all expenses paid trip. Previous trips have included tours of Old Trafford, Manchester City tickets, Alton Towers etc. Students can also win ‘Learner of the term’ with the LFE who will provide the student with a £40 Amazon Voucher.

Investing in your future

The Education department has made significant investments to provide the best Football & Education programme in Yorkshire. We have invested in resources in order for every student to have access to their own laptop, access to world class 4G training facilities and a significant investment into the incredibly experienced staff team to ensure all students are supported from day one of recruitment right through to completion of the course.

Students will have a dedicated work placement coordinator who will help to enhance their CV and career once the course is completed. Furthermore, we will arrange for guest speakers from a huge variety of roles within the sporting industry and give the very best careers guidance whether that be university or sports career ambitions.

Entry Requirements

  • Aged 16-18
  • 4 GCSE’s grade 4 or above (or equivalent), including English Language and Maths*

*Those without English or Maths will complete the Diploma and not the Extended Diploma.

Please Note: A one-year, level two, sport qualification equivalent can be offered to those that fall below the entry requirements. Completion of this course can help learners progress onto the level 3.

Further Information

For further information or general course enquires please get in touch with the education team via the contact details below:

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