Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Sport and Outdoor Activities

How to apply Come to an Open Day


Prepare to work in the outdoor activities sector, with our professionally endorsed Level 3 National Foundation Diploma at Writtle College.

As a student at Writtle College, you’ll learn how to lead land- and water-based activities such as navigation, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting, paddle-boarding and canoeing.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work towards a CYQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor qualification.

We’ve developed our course in consultation with employers and professional bodies. It’s endorsed by the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL), confirming that the content is appropriate and consistent with current industry practice. After successfully completing the course, you’ll be ready to work as an assistant outdoor activities instructor.

Key facts

Course Option Assessments Panel


Two students using equipment to monitor sporting performance

Hands-on learning

As a student at Writtle College you’ll benefit from:

  • extensive sporting facilities including floodlit tennis and netball courts, football and rugby pitches, a squash court, cricket square, and sports hall
  • recreation and fitness centre equipped with cardiovascular and resistance machinery, functional fitness and free-weights area, and fitness studio
  • access to the latest equipment such as watt bikes, video analysis, and health-screening tools.
Three students standing in a group and looking at books

Outstanding student support

Join our student community and:

  • learn from experienced tutors, who'll provide encouragement and feedback
  • make full use of facilities including library and IT resources
  • access support, should you need it, with study skills, careers advice, health and wellbeing, and more.


Institute for Outdoor Learning logo

Institute for Outdoor Learning

This course has been endorsed by the Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL), confirming that the content is appropriate and consistent with current industry practice and will allow learners to enter employment in the outdoor activities sector.

Awarding body

Pearson and BTEC logos


Pearson is the UK's largest awarding organisation offering academic, vocational and work-based learning qualifications.


The Level 3 National Foundation Diploma, endorsed by the Institute of Outdoor Learning, will prepare you to work as an assistant outdoor activities instructor.

Alternatively, you might decide to continue your studies. This qualification is equivalent to 1.5 A-levels and, when combined with other qualifications, prepares you for degree-level study. Writtle College is part of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU); you might choose to stay at ARU and study for a degree in sport.

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Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts about courses at Writtle College.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Main entrance building and front lawn at ARU Writtle

Life in Writtle

Close to major cities, Writtle College is located on a picturesque 150-hectare campus in the heart of the Essex countryside.

Explore the Writtle campus