Foundation Degree in Sport and Fitness
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This foundation degree course will help you get in good shape for a career in fitness training, sports coaching or management. You’ll develop work-related and academic skills that will enhance your performance and prospects at work – and if you want to carry on with your studies, you’ll be able to top up to our BSc (Hons) degree. As well as increasing your current effectiveness as a coach or exercise instructor, the Foundation Degree in Sport and Fitness will develop your understanding of sports science, training, leadership and management principles. Throughout your studies, you’ll always come back to what matters most – applying science and theory to practice, and meeting the physical and psychological needs of the participant or client. You’ll do this by using case studies and reflecting on real or potential work situations using film, text and online materials. In addition to your OU study, you’ll need to identify and complete a UK-accredited qualification in either coaching or exercise instruction.
The programme of study for this foundation degree is also offered as the
Diploma of Higher Education in Sport and Fitness (W07). The diploma of higher education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
Fees and facts
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Flexible, part-time study through
Foundation degrees are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession; they combine work place learning with academic study. Designed and developed with external partners, you must be working either as a paid employee or as a volunteer in a related work setting.
A foundation degree is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They aim to enhance the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or those intending to go into that profession.
You can use a foundation degree to:
change careers or progress your current career gain technical and professional skills gain professional recognition achieve a full honours degree through further study.
Most of our foundation degrees are also offered as diplomas of higher education for those living and working in Scotland.
You do not need experience of working in the sector prior to starting this degree. 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.
If you don’t have a suitable qualification prior to commencing the module, you’ll need to obtain one in parallel with your OU studies. Details of which certificates and levels are acceptable are available
Career relevance and employability
This Foundation Degree in Sport and Fitness 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. Some students use this qualification as a route towards physical education (PE) teaching, although you’ll need to complete an honours degree and subsequent post-graduate training.
Jobs in sport and fitness demand well developed skills for motivating customers; including the communication skills (written, oral and online) needed to enhance good relationships and coaching. This foundation degree course will boost your career potential and help you develop key skills that are highly valued by employers, including:
empathy with participants
knowledge of safety and welfare issues
understanding group and individual psychology
searching for and presenting information
use of IT.
Overall, you’ll become a more critically aware leader who can reflect on your own and others’ practice and apply scientific theory to practical situations.
There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the
OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication and look at our OU study and your career subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
Choose a pathway and register
Pathways allow you to specialise or choose particular topics that interest you. You will need to choose a pathway before registering.
You can choose from two different pathways depending if you want a foundation degree where your work-related assessments focus on exercise instruction and training or the teaching and coaching of sport.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.
If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.
Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Practical and professional skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Sport and Fitness with
either Exercise Instruction or Coaching, and you will be entitled to use the letters FD (Open) after your name.
You will have the option of attending a degree ceremony.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our
Essential Documents website.
If you have a disability
Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:
the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
any work-based competency requirements.
Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:
You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007),
Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you
will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you
register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.
The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities
we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move.
As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed
feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online
tutorials, or by phone.
For more information read
Distance learning explained.