Develop your passion for watersports and outdoor education while finishing your further education

If you have a passion for watersports/outdoor education and want an active, adventurous alternative to school or sixth form college, our BTEC Level 3 in Sports and Physical Activities (Coaching in the Outdoor Industries) could be just what you are looking for. On completion you will be ready to work in employment within the vast sectors of sport and outdoor industries or train further* to enter into higher education at degree level (through accumulated UCAS points). During both years, students will be offered employment between June and September.

A student playing Tennis in their BTEC Sport & Physical Activities - Level 3

*Pathways into other UKSA yachting careers

UKSA’s 2-year BTEC Level 3 programme provides in-depth knowledge of the sports and outdoor industries and students actively participate in leading sessions as a coach or instructor. Anatomy, physiology, the effects of nutrition and activities on the body are analysed through different training programmes. This course is funded as part of a full-time 16-19 year old further education (FE) programme.

If you are aged 19+, you may still be eligible for funding; please speak to a course advisor on 01983 203038 for full terms and conditions. If you don’t meet these criteria, case-specific options are available. For more information call the Student Services team at the Isle of Wight College (01983 526631).

Entry requirements

  • Minimum of 3 GCSE’s 9-4 including English and maths
  • An interest in sports, coaching, outdoor education or watersports
  • Successful interview at UKSA

About the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports and Physical Activities

BTEC Sport & Physical Activity Students playing Football

Qualification units on this BTEC:

  • Practical Sports Performance
  • Fitness for Sports and Exercise
  • Anatomy and Physiology in Sport
  • Physiology of Fitness
  • Organising Sports Events
  • Sports Development
  • Sports Coaching

How will I learn?

  • 3 days a week minimum (2-2.5 days theory, 1-1.5 days practical)
  • Attendance is compulsory in all timetabled sessions

1st year training at UKSA includes:

  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun (Safeguard Training)
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 Licence
  • RYA Marine Short Range Radio Certificate
  • BSUPA Stand-Up Paddle Board Level 1

2nd year students will work towards:

  • RYA Dinghy Instructor
  • RYA Windsurf Instructor
Students around a table studying their BTEC Sport & Physical Activities

The skills required for these achievements will be gained through practical sessions. Additional retake assessments will be the responsibility of the student, cost-wise and time-wise. There is no guarantee of students gaining qualifications. It is paramount that all sessions are attended.

Career support and mentoring during your training includes:

  • UKSA’s careers and employment advice
  • Support with job searches and the recruitment process
  • CV development & covering letters

At UKSA we value the importance of work experience

A number of weeks will be dedicated to work experience on different sites and in unfamiliar environments. This is intended to broaden understanding and experiences while providing opportunities for networking. This desirable qualification offers increased employment prospects worldwide from age 18 years and can be used as an entry point for professional yacht training.

What are our BTEC Level 3 students doing now?

Our BTEC Level 3 offers a vast range of successful pathways on completion. This includes employment and career progression with world leading watersports and outdoor education companies, careers within the yachting and superyacht industry, and entry into university.

Below are some examples of the exciting pathways our students have followed on completion of the BTEC Level 3 course.

  • Kieran Husband – After finishing the BTEC in 2015 Kieran  applied to attend the October 2015 intake of our Superyacht Cadetship programme which includes a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science. Following a winter of training at UKSA Kieran achieved his RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Certificate of Competency and STCW Basic Safety Training qualifications and in March 2016 secured a fully paid position as a Deckhand on a 60 metre superyacht. Kieran returned to UKSA in January 2018 to compete his third phase of the Cadetship and is now back working on the yacht, preparing to gain the seatime, experience and qualifications required to progress on to becoming an Officer.
  • Callum Blackwell 2013 > Season at UKSA > Then worked for Neilson Holidays as a Watersports Instructor > Now works as a Beachfront Manager Neilson in Vassiliki
  • Ali Nolan 2014 > Season at UKSA > Is currently a Lead Instructor at UKSA and is planning  to work in Entertainment on cruise ships at the end of 2018
  • Felix Trattner 2015 > Seasons with UKSA > University (Marine Architecture)
  • Lillie Killick 2015 > Watersports Instructor UKSA > Mark Warner Summer and Winter season
  • Jacob Jordan 2016 > University (Strength and Conditioning)

All study programmes for 16-19 year olds at The Isle of Wight College include:

  • Work experience
  • English and maths
  • Non-qualification activity
  • Vocational experience

A BTEC Sport & Physical Activity student playing basketball

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this BTEC Level 3, please fill in a register interest form or call our course advisors. Alternatively you can apply directly to the college website as detailed below:

  1. Visit
  2. Select ‘courses’
  3. Select ‘activity leadership’
  4. Select either ‘course of interest’ or ‘apply online’
  5. You can now apply online by registering an account or using an existing account

Once completed, applications will be processed and an interview date will be sent out by post. All interviews are conducted by UKSA representatives – some courses may have a selection day instead of an interview. This will be stated in the letter sent by the Isle of Wight College.

For further information please visit

or call 01983 203028.

Register Interest