SQA Advanced Diploma Applied Sport Science

SQA Advanced Certificate and SQA Advanced Diploma qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Applied Sport Science at SCQF level 8 provides candidates with an appropriate mix of knowledge, understanding and practical skills to pursue a career in the field of applied sport science in a variety of settings or to progress to higher education.

In the first year of study, learners will gain knowledge and expertise in a range of subjects including exercise programming, health screening, nutrition, first-aid for sport, exercise physiology, and anatomy.

The second year of study builds upon these foundations to specialise more on sport science skills such as analysis of performance and skill acquisition techniques, investigates funding streams to support talented athletes, and introduces advanced techniques such as strength training and motion analysis.

This qualification is available through a growing number of colleges, training providers and universities around the world. Typically, an SQA Advanced Certificate takes one year to complete and an SQA Advanced Diploma takes two years.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Certificates and SQA Advanced Diplomas have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The unit-based structure supports flexible delivery. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

The SQA Advanced Diploma provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The SQA Advanced Diploma in Applied Sport Science is suitable for a wide range of candidates, including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people who wish to start their own business

Entry requirements

As with all SQA qualifications, entry is decided by the college or learning provider. As a guide, the college or learning provider will look for:

  • school-leaving qualifications equivalent to Level 3/SCQF level 6, meaning the student has the ability to study at the higher level
  • a centre-devised test which shows the student’s ability to study at SQA Advanced Diploma level
  • relevant work experience


The SQA Advanced Diploma in Applied Sport Science can provide advanced entry to degree-level study.

Offer this qualification

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority are required to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence, as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Diploma in Applied Sport Science

Group Award code: GT8H 48 (30 SCQF credit points)

SQA Advanced Diploma in Applied Sport Science at SCQF level 8 consists of 20 mandatory units.

For further information on the structures and units of these qualifications please refer to the group award specification document.

Group award specification

Unit Specifications