The primary focus for this course is for those wishing to become a qualified Sports Coach. The highly practical course provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to work as Sports professionals within a variety of different settings in the sector.  The course covers a wide range of contemporary topics such as Coaching Theory and Practice, Sports Development, Anatomy & Biomechanics, and Professional Practice (Including research skills). Whilst the course has a broad range of knowledge and skills developed it is particularly suited to individuals who have an interest in Coaching a variety of different Sports.

This HNC also includes an embedded, industry recognised Professional Development Award (PDA) in Sports Coaching that is jointly approved by Sportscotland and CIMSPA. (Chartered Institute for Sport and Physical Activity)

CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector which recognises the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors in the UK. One of its key functions is to provide a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed national occupational standards. We encourage you to sign up as student member initially.
  • Sports Coaching (Multiple Sports)
  • Current employment skills and expertise
  • Knowledge and Skills to engage people and help individuals change their behaviour; encourage the ideology that good coaching is about understanding role, personal philosophy and connecting with individuals
  • Independent study and research skills
  • A sound understanding of professional practice in sports coaching and development environments and how to apply it
  • Applied coaching skills in relation to knowing yourself, others and coaching
  • Knowledge and understanding of body systems and basic biomechanical principles and their application in sport
  • An understanding of the responsibilities and skills required in a sports development role
  • Learners will develop a range of Core Skills in Communication; Problem Solving; Working with Others; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Numeracy
  • How to enhance employment prospects
  • One year full-time
  • Part-time study is also available

You will actively develop your knowledge and skills through studying the following

  • Human Anatomy
  • Physiology and Biomechanics
  • Sports Coaching Practitioner: Knowing Self, Knowing Coaching, Knowing Others
  • Sports Development
  • Sports Coaching and Development: Developing Professional Practice 
  • Graded Unit 1.  The Graded Unit allows the candidate to explore a topic that is of particular relevance to their own future career aspirations

External Candidates

  • 2 Highers at Grade C or above in appropriate subjects such as English or P.E for example
  • or Successful completion of the NPA: Sports Development plus 1 Higher at Grade C or above
  • Successful completion of a Sport and Fitness course at SCQF Level 6
  • Relevant Coaching experience and / or other relevant qualifications are welcomed and will be considered on an individual basis


  • PVG Scheme membership check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on a Coaching placement as part of the course

Internal CandidatesSuccessful completion of a Sport and Fitness course at SCQF Level 6 e.g.

  • Advanced Certificate: Sport and Fitness (with a minimum of 13 assessed credits)
  • You will need a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course
  • A positive ILR

Successful completion of the HNC/HND may lead to career opportunities with a range of employers who include the following: Local Authorities, Sports & Leisure Trusts, Sports & National Governing Bodies, local sports organisations, private clubs/hotels. The types of role you would be prepared for include

  • sports coaching and/or activity leadership,
  • active school roles
  • sports development
  • disability sports development
  • fitness/gym staff
  • leisure centre staff
  • swimming pool staff
  • health and fitness staff


Online Application Form including

  • Personal Statement
  • Evidence of active participation in Sports & Fitness (please provide details in your personal statement)