Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness

The Open University

Program Description

Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness

The Open University

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 your own work context to reflect on practice
  • 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 qualification in either coaching or exercise instruction.

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.

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 and face-to-face 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.


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. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • 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 currently starts from £10,528 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 4 years
  • Full time – 2 years
  • Time limit – 12 years

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.

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.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
2 - 12 years
Part time
Full time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school