Course at a glance

Subject code: L4SS

Students with an interest in developing a career in sports will find that our Level 4 course provides a well-rounded base in all aspects of sport, including psychology, nutrition and coaching. This internationally recognised qualification can either be used to progress your career, or for further study at degree level.

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an accredited certificate from the CIE GLOBAL and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been accredited by CIE GLOBAL . This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Entry Requirements

Students must hold a Level 3 Diploma or A Level qualification to enrol into our Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma.

Basic English reading and writing skills, as full tutor support is given.

All students must be 16 years of age or above.

Study Hours

Approximately 400 hours.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Course Duration

1 Year.


You can enrol on the course at any time.

Awarding Body

CIE Global

Assessment Method

Coursework only.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Course Content

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 1: Using information, communication and technology ICT in the study of Sports Science

Information, communication and technology (ICT) comprises core skills for learning. In this distance learning course utilisation of methods, tools and strategies of ICT is important in order to establish and maintain a sound working relationship with tutors and the college.

Students will need to develop ICT skills in order to communicate effectively and maximise their study progression.

The first unit of this Sports Science course explains how to set up an ePortfolio which students will use during the lifetime of the course for storage of all their files including coursework, self-assessment activities, independent research notes and reflective journals. The ePortfolio may be requested from time to time by tutors and moderators. Students will be asked at various points in the course to upload files for this purpose. The ePortfolio will not only provide students with a structured system of unique information but once completed can be used as a resource for continuing professional development (CPD), and a body of revision for future studies.

Independent research is fundamental to level H4 study and also equips students with confidence to source and evaluate information relevant to the core course topics.

In this first unit students are presented with tools and strategies with which to begin to undertake independent research and integrate this into coursework activities, for example suggesting ways to read research articles and assimilate types of information from these.

The development of knowledge and understanding through writing skills is important for communicating ideas and arguments to tutors and other readers of written work. Therefore this unit reviews writing skills, and incorporates reflective writing into both the course and coursework activities. Reflective writing is a way that individuals can review their own approaches to learning and communication; and it also promotes pro-active implementation of skills enhancement through tutor feedback and self-assessment.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 2: Essential anatomy and physiology part 1

Homeostasis can be described as a basic principle of biological order in which a constant condition of balance between opposing forces within the body can be maintained. The body’s internal environment is rigidly controlled and this state needs to remain as constant as possible within certain ranges. The process of homeostasis is controlled by sophisticated mechanisms which are sensitive to changes that affect the body’s internal environment, and they respond accordingly.

The circulatory system incorporates the cardiovascular system, respiratory system and components of blood. Oxygen transportation and removal of waste products of respiration are also included in this section.

The unit also examines the structure and functions of the musculoskeletal system, incorporating relevant discussion of homeostatic maintenance.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 3: Essential anatomy and physiology part 2

The central nervous system detects and responds to internal and external environmental changes in, and out on the body. Together with the endocrine system, the CNS works to maintain a stable internal environment (homeostasis).

The digestive system is a group of organs responsible for digestion, or the process by which food is broken down and used for energy within the body. This unit examines the structure and function of each of these organs and explains the processes by which energy transfer occurs.

The endocrine system consists of several unconnected glands. These glands contain groups of secretory cells which are surrounded by dense networks of capillaries, allowing the diffusion of the hormones they produce, into the bloodstream.

Hormones are chemical messengers which target specific organs and tissues in the body, influencing growth and metabolism. Although the endocrine system, which is under the control of the ANS is partially responsible for homeostatic maintenance, its main role is control of precise and slow changes of this state.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 4: Essential anatomy and physiology part 3

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It completely covers the body, and is continuous with all the linings, membranes and orifices. The skin protects underlying structures and organs from injury, and the invasion of foreign material and microbes. It contains the sensory nerve endings for touch, pain and temperature.

In almost every cell of the human body the nucleus contains an identical copy of the individual’s genetic material (apart from red blood cells and gametes or sex cells). Chromosomes carry genes along their length and each gene contains coded information which allows the cell to produce a specific protein. Each gene codes for one protein, therefore the number of genes within the human genome is some 24,500.

The reproductive system is one of the things that sets living things apart from nonliving things. It is not essential when it comes to keeping the living alive, but is essential in keeping the species alive. It is the process by which organisms produce more organisms like themselves. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential when creating a new organism, and are very much alike in their qualities.

The renal system (anything to do with the kidneys) affects all parts of the body by keeping other organ systems functioning normally and the fluids in balance (homeostasis).

The unit ends by explaining the anatomy, physiology and homeostatic mechanism of the organs of special sense.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 5: Introduction to sports psychology

The first dedicated sports psychology facility was started in the early 20th century (called the Griffith era after its founder Coleman Griffith, psychologist). This allowed detailed studies of sports performances, skills and associated psychology to be conducted and analysed, the result was a working model for sport and exercise psychology.

By the 1960s physical education had become embedded within educational curricula and the academic standing demanded explicit discipline related knowledge and training. This led to the sciences of motor learning and exercise being separated from sports psychology, and the recognition of how psychological influences could enhance training and performance outcomes.

From the 1970s onwards growth in the field of sports psychology was exponential; research became important and the emergence of experts and consultants led to the science becoming respected and ‘noted’. Standards, training and professional codes began to be established and the field has continued to develop into a flourishing area of sport.

The essence of psychology is to look at behaviour, and this can be contextualized within all areas of life and living. Therefore it makes sense to separate various elements of psychology which is why there are numerous branches: clinical, nutritional, child, behavioural etc. In addition you then get the allied psychological fields of counselling and coaching etc.

It is accepted that anything theoretical is wholly different when put into practice; sports psychology is no different in this respect. Anything that is based on scientific evidence tends to have even more theoretical components and this can make implementation quite difficult considering the uniqueness of individuals.

Psychology is an evolving discipline: it has changed dramatically over time and continues to be modified by new theories and research. Perspectives on psychology tend to gain or lose popularity as new ideas and knowledge bring to light weaknesses in older arguments. Knowing the sequence of these different perspectives will show you why some ideas are no longer thought to be valid.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 6: Cognitive approaches in psychology

Cognition is the process of knowing, in other words, knowing something about an object, person or event in terms of structure, form or purpose. Cognition also can be described as the perception of the object, person or event. For example the recognition of another person by knowing certain characteristics about them from previous encounters and memories that are laid down.

Cognition is a dynamic concept and this means that the mental representations we make are constantly changing due to subsequent encounters, experiences and perceptions. Cognitive processes take place within the brain and are manifested in behaviour patterns, as actions, thoughts and feelings. In addition to perception, we have stimulatory input from external sources via hearing, vision, touch, taste and smell. In fact the world we inhabit contributes to the development of these cognitive processes, and their subsequent behavioural representations.

Therefore this is about how we perceive the world around us as well as how we assimilate the knowledge and experience we accumulate throughout our lives.

In cognitive behavioural therapy of any kind you would normally work within a structured programme with the individual. Some of the components that may be included are listed below. These have been adapted from various psychologists and behavioural specialists’ programmes which have been part of research studies.

They are obviously only suggestions, and are flexible according to individual requirements.

  • The development of a stable working partnership between you and the individual and you must continually explain the underlying principles of treatment, thus expressing transparency.
  • Identification and assessment of the cognitive problem and associated behaviour patterns which will be a collaborative process.
  • To challenge irrational beliefs and thoughts in order to focus on objectives and positive outcomes.
  • Reframing suggestions.
  • Allowing the individual to set the goals which should be transparent and achievable.
  • Skills training if necessary.
  • Homework tasks and the practice of new behaviours between sessions.
  • Consistent and regular monitoring of progress and readjustment of goals if necessary.
  • Regular follow ups to ensure continued reinforcement of new behaviour patterns.

This unit explores each of these concepts and relates them to sports psychology and behaviour.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 7: Competitiveness and cooperation

When we think about the term competition perhaps envisage a contest against ourselves, others or a group and this would normally relate to some kind of activity where others would be completing the same task in order to provide a standard or benchmark against which to compare our own performance.

There are many ways to view the competitive process but the most holistic way is to view it as a social one, with many contributing factors underpinning it.

Competitiveness and cooperation are complimentary characteristics and usually individuals will fall more into one ‘type’ or the other. In many sporting environments one or other may be established, for example in a school situation a non-competitive strategy may be adopted where everyone’s a winner, therefore this would be termed a cooperative environment.

As a sports psychologist these concepts will feature in assessing personality type and will have a bearing on how you design the programme. Sometimes, for example an individual who has been used to a cooperative environment might find it difficult to perform in a competitive one and may need appropriate assistance in order to develop competitive skills.

Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma Unit 8: Communication

Communication is a cyclical process which relies on interaction and responses creating a flow or exchange of information between individuals or groups. There will be assumed accepted behaviours and boundaries which facilitate this flow, and depth or richness of the communication depends on each individual’s characteristics, personality type and the social and environmental settings that the ‘conversation or communication’ takes place in. If it is a group scenario, the facilitator will be key in how the discourse progresses and therefore perceived attitude and approach are crucial to success.

The cyclical process depends on how we interpret what messages are received and conveyed; therefore this depends on various senses such as hearing, sight, speech, touch and understanding or cognition.

It may be necessary in a professional role as a sports psychologist or trainer, to undertake special training for skills that enable communication with specific groups, for example whose first language is not English, or perhaps team members who have physical impairment such a hearing impairment. The unit will explore some of these issues and present strategies for resolution.

There are many barriers to effective communication and some of these would not seem obvious, for example those things that we subconsciously hold as prejudices or personal beliefs which may influence our attitude and behaviour towards others or in certain circumstances.

The unit ends with exploration of group communication.


This Level 4 Accredited Sports Science Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 5 Diploma or Degree course in a related field.