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Sports Studies

BTEC Level 3: Sport

About the Course
The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it supports progression to higher education. Employers and professional bodies have also been involved and consulted to confirm that the content is appropriate and consistent with current practice for learners who may choose to enter employment directly in the sport sector.Learners will study a mixture of mandatory and optional units.
Key Features of the BTEC Level 3 Sport
Externally Assessed UnitsEach external assessment for a BTEC National is linked to a specific unit. All of the units developed for external assessment are of 120 GLH to allow learners to demonstrate breadth and depth of achievement. Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and a grade awarded. Learners are permitted to re-sit external assessments during their programme. The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the Sport suite 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.

Internally Assessed Units

In internally assessed unit’s learners work will be marked and graded within the centre and not externally marked.

Learners could be given opportunities to:

  • Write up the findings of their own research.
  • Use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations.
  • Carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes.
  • Demonstrate practical and technical skills.


Units are assessed using a grading scale of Distinction (D), Merit (M), Pass (P), Near Pass (N) and Unclassified (U). The grade of Near Pass is used for externally-assessed units only.

Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Sport (Previously Subsidiary Diploma)
 Sports Studies National Extended Certificate Details
  • Equivalent in size to one A Level.
  • 4 units of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.
  • Mandatory Content (83%)
  • External Assessment (67%)
Level 3 National Diploma in Sport (Previously Diploma)
 Sports Studies National Diploma Details
  • Equivalent in size to two A Levels.
  • 9 units of which 6 are mandatory and 3 are external.
  • Mandatory Content (75%)
  • External Assessment (45%)
The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses if taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of study. It combines well with a large number of subjects and supports entry to higher education courses in a very wide range of disciplines (depending on the subjects taken alongside). For learners who wish to study an aspect of sport in higher education, opportunities include:

  • BA (Hons) in Sport Studies and Business, if taken alongside A Levels in Business and Maths.
  • BSC (Hons) in Sport Psychology, if taken alongside a BTEC National Extended Certificate in Applied Science and A Level in Psychology.
  • BA (Hons) in Sports Education and Special and Inclusive Education, if taken alongside an A Level in English Language and a BTEC National Extended Certificate in Performing Arts.
  • BA (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science, if taken alongside a BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science.

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