What Further Education (FE) funded courses are offered at UKSA?

UKSA offers 3 FE courses requiring different entry requirements and all are Government funded if you meet the entry criteria:

  • BTEC Level 3 in Sport and Physical Activities (2 years advanced programme) for age 16-18 requiring 3 GCSE’s (grade 9-4) including English & Maths. You will gain up to 112 UCAS Points for Higher Education, or you can enter work, or go on and study the UKSA Superyacht Cadetship (18-25).
  • Watersports Instructor Traineeship (1 year) for age 16-18 – English & Maths GCSE passes (grade 9-4) desirable otherwise English and Maths functional skills at the Isle of Wight College to be studied alongside the Traineeship. You can work in the UK immediately and abroad if you are 18 and over.
  • Watersports Instructor Development Programme (IDP) (24 weeks full time) GCSE’s in English & Maths (grade 9-4) desirable otherwise English & Maths functional skills to be done at the Isle of Wight College alongside, as well as successful completion of the UKSA Watersports Instructor Traineeship or an equivalent Dinghy Instructor Course plus a season’s employment as a watersports instructor.  You will gain NCFE Level 3 Certification in Sport (Outdoor Pathway).

All require an interest in watersports/outdoor activities and are subject to a successful interview at UKSA.

Funding options for 19+ are available on a case by case basis, contact the Isle of Wight College Student Services for more information (insert email address).

GOV.UK – Guidance – 16 to 18 education: financial support for students

  • Start Date: 3rd September 2019 for all three courses


What is a BTEC Qualification?

BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technology Education Council’ which runs the award and the exam board is Pearson. They are highly reputable vocational and work-related courses, designed to accommodate the needs of employers for immediate full time employment and allow students to progress to higher education to degree level (through UCAS points). Alternatively, a next step could be applying for UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship (4 years).

A BTEC takes a practical approach to learning, without missing any of the important theory on the subject.

What’s included in the BTEC Level 3?

The course is made up of mandatory units under the Qualifications and Credit Framework: BTEC Level 3

What are the entry requirements for BTEC Level 3 in Sport and Physical Activities?

  • BTEC Level 3 – a minimum of 3 GCSE’s (grade 9-4) including English and Maths
  • An interest in watersports/outdoor education
  • Successful interview at UKSA

What’s the format of the BTEC Level 3 course?

On average, its 3 days theory and 1 day practical per week, however, when completing some supplementary qualifications, you may be asked to gain training and coaching experience.

What employment opportunities and additional qualifications will I gain with the BTEC Level 3?

During the 2-year programme students will be offered employment during summer to gain experience.  Additional qualifications will include, in year 1, RYA First Aid, Safeguarding Training, PBL2 and SRC Licence. In year 2, students will work towards RYA Dinghy Instructor and Windsurf Instructor.

What could I do next after completing this BTEC Level 3 qualification?

You could work as a watersports instructor in holiday companies abroad if you are over 18, or do further courses such as a degree at University; 112 UCAS Points can be gained from this BTEC level 3 course.

Where is the BTEC course delivered from?

All courses are delivered from UKSA in Cowes, Isle of Wight, which has specialist training facilities ‘under one roof’, a great social environment on-site and access to world class instructors.

What qualifications will I gain from the Watersports Instructor Traineeship?

Successful learners will be fully qualified Dinghy, Windsurf, Stand-up Paddle Board and Kayak Instructors, and with careers and employment advice from UKSA, you will be able to prepare for employment in the UK – you have to be 18 to work outside of the UK.

If you don’t meet the GCSE entry requirements, and aim to be a watersports instructor, we have a Watersports Instructor Traineeship with functional skills in Maths and English study incorporated.

Who is the Watersports Instructor Development Programme aimed at?

UKSA offers the 24-week intensive Watersports Instructor Development Programme (IDP), to develop and progress candidates in the next stage of their careers in the watersports industry so they can apply for advanced watersports instructor jobs or centre manager roles. Students work towards instructor advancements and industry endorsements.  You can apply if you have successfully-completed the Watersports Instructor Traineeship at UKSA or an equivalent Dinghy Instructor course as well as a season’s experience as a watersports instructor.

Are the courses funded?

If you are 16-18 the course is funded. If you are 18+, funding may be available on a case by case basis, so speak to the Isle of Wight College Student Services team – see below.

Is funding available for travel and meals?

You may be eligible for a bursary for travel to college and meals.

https:/ /www.iwcollege.ac.uk/information/student-services/financial-support/

Contact the Isle of Wight College and ask for Student Services: Email: [email protected]   Phone : +44 (0) 1983 526631

Can I live on site at UKSA during the course and what are the costs?

For Further Education courses (Watersports  Instructor Traineeship, BTEC Level 3, Watersports Instructor Development Programme) you can stay on site during term time. The cost is £130 per week (7 days) with 4 sharing of the same gender and either all under 18 or all over 18.

Do I have to go on the water?

The courses encourage and offer opportunities and experiences within the outdoor industry and an interest in sport is essential to help relate theory-based work.

Does UKSA run open days to find out about the FE courses and what UKSA is like?

Open days are run monthly – see our website for dates: https://uksa.org/about-us/open-days/

Does UKSA have career support in place to help me find my first job after the course?

 At UKSA you will have receive career support and mentoring advice including support with CV development and covering letters. A number of weeks will be dedicated to work experience on different sites to broaden understanding and experience while providing networking opportunities.

Do I need my own kit to do any of the courses?

UKSA has all the kit to do the course to keep you safe and warm outside, including wetsuits, buoyancy aids, spray tops and helmet. All you need to bring is some dinghy boots or old shoes to go in the water.

Where is the watersports training part of the course done?

The watersports activities are done in the river at UKSA and around the Island and further afield for sail training. The Solent, which is the water between the Isle of Wight mainland UK, is a fantastic training ground as the conditions change rapidly. Dinghy and board training can be done on the river if the conditions are too challenging in the Solent; this means that there is little down time.

What equipment does UKSA have?

  • 7 yachts
  • Variety of designs and size
  • 5 x 42-45ft Cruising Yachts
  • 1 x 65ft Farrs
  • Dinghies and Keelboats
  • RIBs and Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski)
  • Variety of watersports kit and equipment

What if I start the course and want to change, what are the options?

If within the first 6 weeks of your course you want to move to another FE course at UKSA or at college, this will still be possible. Talk to your tutor as soon as possible if this is the case.

If I’m over 18 and want to gain qualifications in watersports and/or sail training experience for recreation purposes, what does UKSA offer?

Lots of information is available on our website and some course dates may fit in with your summer holidays if you are a student or leave if you are working or call our team who will be able to advise you based on your individual requirements and availability. Tel: +44 (0) 1983 203038