About this course

The Level 3 Fitness Training Academy is run in London and Manchester and is the perfect alternative to college and A-Levels if you're more interested in getting started with a fitness career. As well as continuing your maths and English development you will also complete relevant and developmental work placements and develop your technical understanding of the health and fitness industry.

The benefits of taking this course:

  • You’ll earn a credible fitness industry qualification.
  • You’ll become a qualified Personal Trainer with mentoring from world-class industry experts.
  • You’ll get qualified to go straight into work without going to college.
  • Practical training in PUREGYM combining gym & studio based study.
  • You’ll get professional experience with weekly work placements at established fitness and leisure clubs.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to work within fitness clubs or branch out into other areas of the active leisure sector.
  • You’ll earn UCAS points in case you want to continue your study in higher education/university.

What you will learn

This two-year fully-funded course gives you the skills and qualifications you need to start a career in the fitness industry or take a direct route into higher education.

Alongside the Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science you will also:

  • Complete relevant and developmental work placements
  • Continue your development in Maths and English

Year 1

Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science & principles of anatomy, physiology and fitness:

Here you will develop your technical understanding of the health and fitness industry, covering topics such as:

  • Principles of anatomy, physiology and fitness
  • Planning and instructing gym-based exercise
  • Principle of customer care
  • Working in active leisure facilities
  • Health and safety in the workplace
  • Managing personal and professional development
  • Skills for entering employment
  • Skills for employment interviews
  • Studio cycling
  • Circuit training
  • Training adolescents

By the end of your first year you will be qualified as a Level 2 Gym Instructor.

Maths and English skills

You will also continue to develop your maths and English skills. For those of you without a C in either subject at GCSE level you will be required to continue to work towards your GCSE grade C. If you have already achieved a grade C you will study English and Maths Functional Skills at Level 2.

Work experience

You will complete a variety of work placements at established and respected health and fitness venues ranging from independent gyms to larger leisure centres.

Year 2

In your second year you will begin to apply the knowledge you gained in your first year. You will learn:

  • Applied human biology for exercise and fitness
  • Principles of nutrition for health lifestyles
  • Conducting consultations with personal training clients
  • Programme design and delivery
  • Developing exceptional customer care skills
  • Enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Marketing products and services
  • Technology in sport and exercise

Your development in Maths and English will continue and further work placements will be set up. As you will be a qualified gym instructor by Year 2, these placements will allow you to gain on-the-job experience as an instructor and begin to establish potential employment opportunities.

By the end of Year 2 you be qualified as a Level 3 Personal Trainer

Course details

This is a two year full-time qualification, which will take place five days a week from 9am-5pm. The main qualification will run over four days, with one day per week allocated to your work experience placements. The format of the course combines theory and practical application with time spent in the classroom and on the gym floor.

Course dates


Year 1: 18 Sep 2017 – 27 Jul 2018


Year 1: 18 Sep 2017 – 27 Jul 2018

How you will be assessed

Assessment will include:

  • Multiple choice theory exams*
  • Theoretical case studies
  • Written assignments
  • Practical observations

Please note: there is only one resit attempt permitted per exam.

What you will qualify with

  • Level 3 Diploma in Physical Activity, Fitness and Exercise Science
  • GCSE Maths and English and/or Functional Skills Level 2 maths and English

Who can do this course

In order to enrol on the course you will need:

  • A minimum of four GCSEs, A-C*
  • Attend an entrance interview before being formally accepted
  • Basic experience of gym-based exercise including free weights

Please note: The course will require physical exertion and a high level of individual participation, therefore a degree of physical fitness is necessary. There is also an element of communication (discussing, presenting, reading and writing) involved and you should have basic skills and competence in this area.

*If you have AS or A-levels you can still apply but may not be eligible for full funding.

How to apply

Apply here for London

Apply here for Manchester

If you would like to register your interest and find out more information or attend an open evening, please email us on ymcafit.trainingacademy@ymca.co.uk.

Open evening

Come along to one of our free open days or evenings, which run throughout the year.

Tutors and members of the Course Sales Team will be available to discuss:

  • The content of the Fitness Training Academy
  • Different training routes available to you
  • The training and support you'll receive whilst studying
  • Career paths once you're qualified
  • Continuing professional development

You'll also get the opportunity to check out the course venue, course manuals and meet other students.

It's free to book, so just call our Course Sales Advisors on 0844 346 0036 to reserve your place today.