University of Chester

Programme Specification
Fitness & Health FDS
2015 - 2016

Foundation Science Degree

Fitness & Health

Fitness & Health

University of Chester

West Cheshire College

West Cheshire College 



Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

5 Years

Annual - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Business and Management Sport and Community Engagement

Foundation Degree Qualification Benchmark (QAA, 2010). Foundation Degree Sector Framework for the Active Leisure and Learning Sector (Skills Active, 2006). Subject benchmark statements Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (Unit 25). Skills Active National Occupational Standards for the Heath & Fitness sector. Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).

Sport and Community Engagement MAB

Saturday 1st January 2011

  • To provide a high quality academic and practical programme of study in fitness & health with learning opportunities for students from a variety of backgrounds both in their place of work and through utilising specialist facilities at the College campus.
  • To provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills required by employers in the fitness & health industries, through using teaching, learning and assessment strategies that develop professional experience concurrent with academic development.
  • To offer flexible delivery modes and study patterns to meet the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds and employment situations.
  • To provide a high quality academic and practical programme of study in fitness & health that remains relevant, valid and responsive to the needs of employers and students through maintaining and expanding effective partnerships with students, employers, professional bodies and sector skills councils.
  • To provide a programme of study that qualifies students for further study at graduate level on an appropriate Honours degree programme to be offered at the University of Chester, Warrington Campus.
  • To provide a degree programme that equips students with both the academic skills and required knowledge and the confidence to pursue and engage in further development and learning opportunities in the future.

Level 4

a) understand principles and practice of exercise/fitness training (with a focus on applying evidence based techniques and appropriate customer care practices (SS4213, SS4210)
b) understand the relationships between diet, health and exercise in order to effectively communicate this information at an appropriate level for clients to understand  (SS4210)
c) adapt different training sessions for different clients (SS 4210)
d) apply knowledge of public health implications at social and policy levels(SS4214)
e) undertake and interpret fitness assessments - skills and techniques and provide feedback to clients at a suitable level  (SS4213)

Level 5

a) understand the need for population-wide fitness interventions (SS5215)

b) understand and implement the basic principles of business management in the applied setting of the health & fitness industry( SS5213

c) adapt different training sessions for different clients (SS5214 SS5205)

d) understand and apply successful behaviour change theory (SS5209)

e) apply knowledge of public health implications at social and policy levels (SS5214)

 Level 4

a) integrate people, knowledge and customer skills in workplace situations (SS4213, SS4214)
b) work through problems as a basis for learning (SS4213, SS4219, SS4210, SS4214)
c) analyse problems and make decisions through working independently (SS4213, SS4219, SS4210, SS4214)

 Level 5

a) design, manage and report on client programmes (SS5205, SS5214)
b) appraise published research; evaluate and analyse training concepts and principles to ensure evidence based practice supports programmes designed (SS5205, SS5202, SS5215)
c) select and apply a range of approaches in order to deal with different clients (SS5214)
d) reflect on application of theory and learning to health and/or fitness practice (S5209, SS5215)
e) evaluate strengths and areas for development of own health and/or fitness practice (SS5213)
f) manage small scale projects (SS5202)


 Level 4

a) successfully care for clients in a manner befitting the situation to ensure they are comfortable, safe and enjoying themselves (SS4213
b) successfully conduct and interpret a range of appropriate fitness tests specific to clients needs (SS4213
c)apply an informed (evidence-based) viewpointto the vocational setting (SS4213,

Level 5

a) design a range of fitness programmes for a variety of different clients (SS5215, SS5214)
b)apply an informed (evidence-based) viewpoint to the vocational setting (SS5205, SS5202, SS5215, SS5214)

Level 4

a) Work independently and manage one's own learning; improving own learning and performance - being able to plan, monitor and evaluate in order to enhance own work and learning (SS4219 specifically and all modules generally)
b) Plan and organise effectively (SS4219 specifically and all modules generally)
c) Engage with others in small group/teamwork; play a full part in a team and being clear about own responsibilities (SS4214)
d) Communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and management both orally and in a written modes (taking in information by reading and listening; providing information by speaking and writing). (SS4213. SS4214 specifically and all modules generally)
e) Handle information in an appropriate manner (application of numbers using scientific information; producing and interpreting data). (SS4210, SS4123)
f) Interact with and confidentially use information technologies (SS4219 specifically and all modules generally)

Level 5

a) Work independently and manage one's own learning; improving own learning and performance - being able to plan, monitor and evaluate in order to enhance own work and learning (all modules)
b) Plan and organise effectively (all Modules)
c) Engage with others in small group/teamwork; play a full part in a team and being clear about own responsibilities (SS5213)
d) Communicate effectively with clients, colleagues and management both orally and in a written modes (taking in information by reading and listening; providing information by speaking and writing). (SS5209, SS5213 specifically and all units generally)
e) Handle information in an appropriate manner (application of numbers using scientific information; producing and interpreting data). (SS5202, SS5205)
f) Interact with and confidentially use information technologies (all modules)

The Foundation Degree in Fitness & Health requires a total of 240 credits, 120 (6 modules) at Level 4 and 120 (6 modules) at Level 5. The programme offered in 2013-14 is compulsory in terms of modules offered.

In full-time mode completion would usually take 2 years of study, in part-time mode this could take up to 4 years (minimum of 60 credits to be attempted each year). Completion would be expected within 5 years of formal registration.

The programme comprises a mix of modules common to other Foundation degree programmes ( e.g. FdSc Sports Coaching) and those that are distinct to the named programme. All modules offered are structured to enable students to use examples for learning and assessment relevant to their primary programme of study.  

All of these modules will conform to quality assurance procedures established by the University Host Department.


Level 4


Compulsory Modules (120 credits): SS4219 (Academic Preparation and Development), SS4203 (Psychology for Sport and Exercise), SS4210 (Anatomy & Physiology for Sport), SS4212 (Learning at Work I), SS4213 (Health & Fitness; Assessment & Monitoring), SS4214 (The Fitness Industry: Health Perspectives),


Level 5


Compulsory Modules (120 credits): SS5202 (Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity), SS5209 (Positive Communication & Counselling Skills), SS5205 (Applied Physiology: Growth, Development and Training in Young People), SS5213 (Learning at Work II), SS5214 (Working With Different Populations), SS5215 (Physical Activity: Interventions & Measurement)



Rationale for programme structure: 

As the primary aim of the programme is to equip students adequately to enter the fitness & health industry students will as necessary be prepared for and subsequently take an award recognised for entry onto the Register of Exercise Professionals. In Level 4 (Learning at Work I) this will involve gaining industry (REP's) recognition at Level 2. This focus on qualification/professional development complemented by work based learning clearly linked to the employment experience is central and all students must become involved in appropriate work activity to progress on the degree. This format is also necessary in that employers require students to be vocationally qualified from the outset and students must be legally enabled to be actively involved in the employment environment to get the most from potential learning experiences.

The achievement of recognised industry awards is not intended to replace academic assessment of the Learning at Work modules as this will mostly take effect following the award process and will concentrate on the student ability to draw meaning from their experiences.  This addresses the necessary requirement of the health & fitness professional to operate as a 'reflective practitioner'.

The same approach to enhancing working effectiveness is reflected at Level 5. The module Learning at Work II provides the opportunity for students to gain further vocational recognition, further work experience and plan academic development in recognition of their intention to continue academic study. In this way it allows personal and professional development based on flexibility of approach that acknowledges student aspiration and available opportunities.

The programme structure also enables students that have a relevant award at REPs level 2 on entry, but have limited industry experience to undertake a different industry award to continue developing their overall vocational competence. This enables students to extend their knowledge and skills within the overall programme framework. In this respect the programme is designed to be clear and distinct yet offer some flexibility on entry to prospective candidates based on their industrial and work-related background.

All students also undertake the Academic Preparation and Development (Level 4) and Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity (Level 5)  modules that aim to develop an awareness in the student of the requirements for professional practice and how best they can develop personally and professionally in order to try to adhere to and satisfy these requirements. These modules feature a focus throughout on academic study skills, with a shift to developing the research capacities of candidates at Level 5.

Following successful completion of the Level 4 programme students progress to more analytical/applied modules in Level 5 that largely build on a foundation of knowledge and understanding already established. As already indicated students will  experience modules that develop and investigate the knowledge, understanding, application and skills required for ongoing professional and academic development and this is designed to assist in preparation for more advanced industry based awards and/or progression to a relevant Level 6 programme.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SS4203 4 Psychology for Sport and Exercise 20 Comp
SS4204 4 Introduction to Events Management 20 N/A
SS4210 4 Anatomy & Physiology for Sport 20 Comp
SS4212 4 Learning at Work I (Fitness & Health) 20 Comp
SS4213 4 Health & Fitness: Assessment and Monitoring 20 Comp
SS4214 4 The Fitness Industry: Health Perspectives 20 Comp
SS4219 4 Academic Preparation and Development 20 Comp
SS5202 5 Research Skills for Sport and Physical Activity 20 Comp
SS5205 5 Applied Physiology: Growth, Development and Training in Young People 20 Comp
SS5209 5 Positive Communication & Counselling Skills 20 Comp
SS5213 5 Learning at Work II (Fitness & Health) 20 Comp
SS5214 5 Working with Different Populations 20 Comp
SS5215 5 Physical Activity: Interventions and Measurement 20 Comp
SS5217 5 Event Planning, Management and Evaluation 20 N/A

Successful completion of Level 4 – accumulation of 120 credits – Certificate of HE
Successful completion of Level 5 – accumulation of 240 credits –FdSc in Fitness & Health

The Foundation Degree in Fitness & Health is designed specifically to offer education and training to people who have not had the opportunity of university level education, but who will benefit, both personally and in their career, by developing their work-related academic knowledge and higher-level skills.  Appropriate NVQ Level 3, modern apprenticeship, work experience, and free-standing qualifications that form part of the post-16 qualifications framework will be considered as conventional entry. 

Mature students (21 years of age or over) without evidence of the above qualifications but with appropriate experience, will be required to demonstrate enthusiasm and aptitude for higher level study. This would be evidenced through a either interview or written personal statement/testimony.


The subject benchmark statements have been selected and re-interpreted from the sector skills council (SkillsActive) and are included below.

The following statements are accurate in terms of modules in Level 4.

Students will be able to (subject to specific pathways/module choices):

a) Understand, accurately interpret and apply theoretical knowledge in an appropriate manner to clients.

b) Identify and understand the psychological benefits of exercise.

c) Identify the major bones, joints and muscles and apply basic biomechanical principles to understand and explain human movement.

d) Understand the interaction of the energy systems during a range of exercises/activities and how this affects exercise prescription.

e) Apply the principles of fitness including FITT principles, overload, specificity and reversibility when designing fitness programmes.

f) Provide clients with clear instructions, explanations and demonstrations of skills and techniques whilst providing the opportunity to practise these while correcting client actions using clear and positive feedback.

g) Apply behavioural change theories to successfully modify client behaviour favourable towards a healthier lifestyle.

The following statements are accurate in terms of modules in Level 5.

Students will be able to (subject to specific pathways/module choices):

a) Plan, conduct and review programmes to address the needs of older adults and disabled clients.

b) Plan and agree specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals that are appropriate to a client's current level of physical fitness and health/lifestyle profile.

c) Market their services to prospective clients.

d) Identify specific, measurable and achievable objectives for their own area of work and future career development

e) Use a range of methods to help clients be enthusiastic and motivated about their goals and progress and provide the support they need to overcome obstacles.

Also, the subject benchmark statements have been selected from the QAA Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism stating the following topics are required to be included: human anatomy and physiology, kinesiology human growth and development all included within Level 4 modules. Specific skills mapped within the programme from those stipulated by the QAA Benchmark Statements include:

  • Planning, design and execution of practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures
  • Undertaking fieldwork with due regard for safety and risk assessment
  • Planning , design, execution and communicate of a sustained piece of independent work using appropriate media   to communicate the findings
  • Recognition of moral, ethical and safety issues which directly pertain to the context of study and be cognisant of relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct.

Learning and teaching on the Programme is underpinned by a variety of learning and teaching methods. Within all modules the core emphasis will be placed on the development of students' cognitive, key and professional skills, and the application of academic knowledge and understanding to the professional environment. Module aims, learning outcomes and content will be reflective of this.

As the student gains skill and confidence in his/ her approaches to learning, higher levels of reflective, applied knowledge and critical learning will be facilitated.  There will be significant emphasis on student participation and an overriding attempt to relate to everyday experience that students bring with them to the course of study. 

Lectures are employed for the purpose of orientation and for the transmission of key knowledge and perspectives in a structured form.  Lectures also introduce a model for the generation of evaluation, as a fundamental process, in higher education.  Finally, they provide a basis for self-directed study. Key-note lectures in core modules will be supported by contextual seminars as relevant to the requirements of the students programme.

Inter-active Lectures - In this format the lecturer encourages discussion made during the presentation and interacts with participants by alterations and adaptations to both the content and pace of the lectures.

Discussion - This develops evaluative and critical processes by debate regarding perspectives, experiences and outlook. These can be tutor-led and/or student-led. 

Workshops - These are intended to provide experience in collaborative and creative problem solving.  Workshops may include relevant case studies, simulation and virtual experiences.

General research training- This is delivered through specific modules (Research Skills for Sport & Physical Activity). Delivery of some IT skills and relevant research methodologies are also provided through other modules.

Seminars and Presentations - These provide the participant with the opportunity to investigate issues and present these to the rest of the group.  They have the role of providing the participant and investigatory experience, the sharing of knowledge, the justification to others of the conclusions reached and experience of semi formal or structured presentation. 

Tutorials - These are learning exercises, which are participatory. They provide an opportunity for participants to share knowledge and experiences and attempt to develop information, which arises from the formal programme or from self directed study. 

Laboratory practical sessions - These assist with understanding of evidence based techniques and scientific approaches to generating relevant data/information and associated interpretation and application.

Self directed study - This is regarded as an essential component of any Degree Programme. Participants have a wide range of resources and learning materials at their disposal.  These are introduced at the beginning of the course, and their use is encouraged and reinforced through the delivery of modules.  These resources may include tutorial support, audio-visual materials, laboratory, library and information technology facilities. 

Work-based/Experiential learning - This provides the participant with experience of a work environment that is relevant to the programme of study. In addition it provides a key basis on which to advance the process of reflection and development of appropriate professional skills. Ideally students will have direct exposure to relevant tasks and/or issues in order to lead their learning and assignment work from their direct experience.  Where this is not possible students will use the module content, reading recommendations and associated content to build their knowledge in a simulated context. Within the work place the students will also be supported by a work place mentor. These individuals will help to ensure the students are obtaining the most appropriate opportunities/challenges to support their learning opportunities.

In support of the learning process all students will receive initial guidance on how to identify, locate and use material from available sources (library, on-line sources, University intranet). To complement this each module will have a handbook that provides guidance on issues such as, assignment requirements, production/submission of assessments, academic impropriety and relevant reading/research. Students are given guidance through an assigned personal academic tutor (PAT), and are encouraged to assemble a personal portfolio providing evidence of key skills achievement complementary to specific/professional skills and their ability to apply learning to their work environment.

Types of assessment opportunity provided by the programmes include: 

Coursework Assignment: includes traditional essay (with word limit), portfolio work, case study, reflective practice log, preparation of reports, analysis of research data , seminar paper, progress file etc. Therefore coursework can and will include elements of formative process and product as indicated in learning specifications. Assessments are were possible/appropriate based around consideration of authentic problems and challenges and are thus based on experience and application related to the learner's work experiences and reflections and aim to demonstrate use of evidence based practice

Formal Examination: typically represented by examinations of up to 2 hours applied at the end of a module. This could be a multiple choice, short answer, an essay or a combination of these formats.  

Presentation: including individual presentation based upon assigned and selected topics.

Work Based Learning: assessment elements include reflective portfolio and presentation.

Formative assessment is utilised as appropriate across the programme to support & gauge student progress.

The strategic approach to assessment within the programme reflects a move from more practically based/reflective assessment towards a more theoretical approach that requires evidence of ability to cite appropriate reading/research evidence. This ensures that students are prepared the option of progression to a third year of study.

The programme content and development of a skills base is mapped against the SkillsActive framework for Foundation Degrees and the graduate characteristics will reflect these competencies. On completion of relevant industry awards students will be eligibile to join REPs and be placed on the national practitioner register.

On completion of the programme graduates will have the background knowledge and skills to achieve career progression in the fitness, leisure and health sectors. Vocations such as advanced fitness instructor, personal trainer, referral officer and allied physical activity roles are typical of the careers graduates will be able to develop. Based on module choices some students will have developed management knowledge and skills that would open further career routes.

All students will have developed relevant background knowledge and skills to provide opportunity for progression onto a third year of a relevant Honours Degree programme.


The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality of opportunity both as an employer and an education institution, for this purpose it has an Equal Opportunities Policy and appropriate codes of practice.  The University has four approved Equal Opportunities Policies relating to: Freedom of Speech; Multicultural Education; Gender, and Disability.  It also has a code of practice and guidance notes on recruitment.  The Equal Opportunities Committee is responsible for monitoring the operation of the policies.  The aim of the policy is to ensure that all students and all members of staff at the University of Chester have equality of opportunity and are treated solely on the basis of their aptitude, ability and potential to pursue a course of study or to fulfil the requirements of a job.  The policy also aims to eliminate unlawful or unfair discrimination.  In particular, the University will ensure that no member of the community will be disadvantaged or discriminated against on the grounds of: sex; age (subject to University of Chester retirement policy); marital or parental status; sexual orientation; racial group (race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins); creed (religious, political or personal beliefs or principles); membership or non-membership of a trade union, or socio-economic background.  It also aims to ensure that disabled people, or those with special needs, do not suffer unfair discrimination and are enabled to achieve their full potential.

The objective of the policy is a University which is open to all sections of the community, where people from all groups in society are represented at all levels, and in whose activities all members of staff and all its students can participate fully and equally for the benefit of the University of Chester.

The programme, specifically, is designed to be open to all who are sufficiently qualified to engage within it. As such, there are support mechanisms in place for students from the moment they enter the programme. The Department instigates a well established system of support, most noticeably, though not exclusively, through the Personal Academic Tutor system. In addition, students are represented on the Foundation Programme Team, which meets twice per academic year, where issues regarding diversity and equality can be discussed. In addition, Teaching, Learning and Assessment strategies are deliberately varied in order to be as accessible as possible to all. Practical work can be modified to ensure that students of all physical abilities can engage appropriately with the intended learning outcomes. Aspects of the programme are also deliberately designed to discuss the myriad of ways in which race, gender, disability and age impact upon involvement in sport and exercise.

The Programme has additional vocational qualifications that run alongside the Foundation Degree and give a students practical skills to work in the fitness industry.

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