Access to HE Diploma (Sports Science)

Study level: Access courses
A student leaning over a weight lifting bar in a gym.

This Access course is designed for adults who may not have the conventional educational requirements but would like an opportunity to enter a higher education course.

Year of entry


CU Scarborough (Scarborough)

Study mode



1 year full-time

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

The aim of this Access to Sports Science course is to enable you to acquire the academic and practical skills, knowledge and confidence to start a degree programme of your choice. This should help you to fulfil your chosen career potential in the field of sport, nutrition, sports psychology, secondary physical education teaching and sports coaching.

  • As well as subject-specific knowledge, we aim to prepare you in the fundamentals of study skills which include writing standard English, writing essays and sourcing information.
  • The course offers 45 credits at Level 3 in subject-specific units, and a further 15 credits at Level 3 in study skill units. The 45 credits will be made up of health-related and sport science-related modules.
  • The course provides you with the opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience needed when moving onto your degree, as well as the skills to move forward in your academic journey. This includes developing your academic writing skills, referencing, critical analysis and research skills. All these skills are required to move onto a degree programme.

Why you should study this course

  • Quickest route to Higher Education.
  • No end-of-year exams.
  • Mapped to match with modules taught on degree programmes.
  • Open learning environment.
  • Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete an eligible higher education course (subject to SFE requirements). For more information visit the Advanced Learner Loan website.

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) regulated.

What you'll study


    • Understand the stages, structures and processes involved in the passage of a nerve impulse from origin to motor units.
    • Understand the components of information processing and reaction time.
    • Understand a range of learning theories to the sporting situation.
    • Understand a variety of theories of practice and feedback to the stages of learning.
    • Understand learning curves in the process of skill acquisition.


  • After completion of this unit, you should be able to write a report according to set conventions that contains evidence of independent investigatory work.


    • Be able to demonstrate sustained focus on specific investigatory questions across diverse sources.
    • Be able to use reading techniques that facilitate reading for explicit meaning.
    • Understand the purpose and effect of implied meaning.


  • In this module, you will have the opportunity to develop a more detailed understanding of the basic structure and function of the cell. You will learn the relationship between the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory and nervous system. Finally, you should develop an understanding of the key responses of the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems during physical activity.


  • This module gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your extensive subject-specific knowledge in a specific area of your choice. You should be able to construct an argument in an extended piece of work. Finally, you will be encouraged to present your work in a form consistent with the conventions of the specific subject that includes an appropriate form of academic citations.


    • Understand the available progression opportunities.
    • Understand your own skills in relation to your chosen progression route.
    • Understand the stages of the application process.
    • Know how to prepare for an interview.


    • Understand theories of personality type as related to sports performance.
    • Understand the effects of anxiety on sports performance.
    • Understand appropriate methods of motivating performers.
    • Understand the impact of aggression in sport.
    • Understand the role of team dynamics in sports performance.


    • Understand the different levels in sports development.
    • Understand factors affecting participation in sport.
    • Understand the role of national and international initiatives to promote participation in sport.


  • This module will allow you to develop your use of grammar in standard English, along with the opportunity to develop your understanding of appropriate punctuation in accordance with the rules of standard English. This module also aims to help you to develop your understanding of the use of paragraphs within your essays and the use of syntax.


  • This unit will help you to understand different types of acute and chronic injuries related to sports participation and gain an understanding of the principles of tissue repair. You will cover the relevant rules and regulations in sport that relate to health, safety and prevention of injury. You should also gain an understanding of the use of PRICE as an initial treatment for sports injuries. Finally, you it will help you to understand the relevance of training methods, equipment, and technique to minimising chronic sports injuries.


    • Understand the different coaching theories and styles and how they are applied in a practical setting.
    • Understand the qualities needed to coach a programme of activity.
    • Understand the value of planning in developing and delivering an effective coaching session.


    • Understand the components of fitness.
    • Understand the methods of fitness testing.
    • Understand the criteria for screening clients pre-exercise.
    • Understand the principles of a progressive exercise programme.
    • Understand the physiological effects of warm-up and cooldown on body systems.


    • Understand the role of macronutrients and micronutrients in a sporting context.
    • Understand the process of digestion.
    • Understand the macronutrient needs for different types of athletic performance.
    • Understand the effects of dietary strategy on athletic performance.
    • Understand the role of fluids in athletic performance.


    • Speak to an audience.
    • Listen with understanding.
    • Respond to questions.
    • Engage in Discussion.
    • Understand strengths and weaknesses of oral presentation.


    • Understand the origins and impact of nationalism in sport.
    • Understand the influence of different stakeholders in sport.
    • Understand the impact of socioeconomic status in sport.
    • Understand the concept of equality in sport.
    • Understand the notion of fair play in sport.


  • Within this module you will explore the difference between cells, tissues, organs and systems. Following this you will also have the opportunity to learn the structure and function of human tissue, and the human system.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

The access course offers an opportunity for students to study for a Level 3 Diploma. The CU model of delivery focuses on one module at a time, allowing you to focus on the in-depth content of the subject. Lectures are delivered by subject experts using a variety of methods to reinforce the concepts of the topic from traditional lectures, group work, worksheets, case studies and research activities.

Teaching contact hours

Classes will be taught Monday - Thursday, followed by a 1-hour optional tutorial.

Lesson 9:30am – 11:30am
Lunch 11:30am – 12pm
Lesson 12pm – 2pm

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods may include:

  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Projects
  • Coursework

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English are preferable but not mandatory for commencing the Access course. Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English can be acquired alongside the Access course as they are a pre-requisite to progress onto universities.

As part of the application process, an interview and a literacy and numeracy assessment will be required so that our tutors are satisfied that you can benefit from the course and be able to cope with the future requirements of studying in higher education.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK £4,320   Not available

You may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. Visit the Advanced Learner Loan website for full information and to check your eligibility. If you are eligible and awarded an Advanced Learner Loan, and successfully complete an eligible Higher Education course, the outstanding balance from your Access course could be written off.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permits an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Our purpose-built campus building is arranged around an open central atrium that includes IT suites and study spaces.

The onsite library stocks essential and recommended reading and over 115,000 eBooks. The building also includes areas for career guidance and study support services, a café, a prayer room and social areas. Next to the campus is Scarborough’s leisure village. This complex includes an Olympic Legacy swimming pool, sports hall, fitness suite, all-weather pitches and the Scarborough Athletic football ground.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of this course, you will obtain an Access to Higher Education Diploma, which allows you to apply for several relevant degree programmes within the Coventry University Group*. You will have knowledge of a range of health-related topics that can help you start your degree programme. You will have also gained a range of study skills that will be useful throughout your studies and future career, including research, referencing and the correct style of academic writing.

*CU Coventry, CU London and CU Scarborough come together to form Coventry University College Limited, a Subsidiary Company of Coventry University and a part of the Coventry University Group with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

Further study

Successful completion of this course will guarantee you a place on any degree programme at CU Scarborough (excluding nursing courses). The most relevant course is Sport Performance and Coaching BSc (Hons).

You could potentially obtain a place on the following degree programmes with Coventry University subject to you meeting the additional entry requirements. Please see the subject web pages for more information.

How to apply

  • Access courses are designed for students who haven’t had the opportunity to access higher education, so formal qualifications are not mandatory. If you’re interested in an Access to HE course you’ll need to apply to us directly by completing our online application form.

    Once your application form has been processed you’ll receive the outcome of your application via the email address you provided.

    Apply now

    If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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