arc blue


  • Start date:   August 2024
  • Level of Qualification:   SCQF Level 7
  • Course Type:   Full-time


The HNC Fitness, Health and Exercise will allow you to work towards a range of careers in the industry. For example, fitness instructor, gym instructor, groups exercise instructor.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in a range of industry related classes throughout the year. 

Luke Mullen is studying HNC Fitness, Health & Exercise at West Lothian College, and talks about his experience on the course.

  • What the course includes

    The course teaches you about the industry and gives you the skills for working with clients and leading group exercise sessions. Topics include:

    • Anatomy and exercise physiology – You will gain in-depth knowledge on the body systems and how the body works, transferring this into a practical setting when working with clients.
    • Group exercise – You will plan, deliver and evaluate group exercise sessions.
    • Gym based sessions – You will work with clients to plan, deliver and evaluate session to allow your clients to gain the best results for them.
    • Nutrition for fitness – You will learn about the major food groups, lifestyle and diets.
    • Health screening – You will learn how to create a PAR-Q and complete screening procedures prior to exercise with individual clients and groups.
    • Psychology of sports coaching – You will learn the importance of psychology within a sporting context.
    • Exercise principles and programming – You will learn about fitness testing and creating client programmes.

Why choose this course

This nationally recognised SCQF L7 qualification will provide you with the underpinning knowledge in both a practical and theoretical setting to allow you to pursue a career within the health and fitness sector. Upon successful completion of the course, you will have the chance to gain entry to the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) as a gym instructor practitioner (Level 2). As part of your course, you will complete a mandatory work placement experience. This will take place with our partner X-Cite and/or local primary schools. A PVG is required to undertake the work placement.

Entry requirements

  • For external applicants, two Highers at grade C or above, one of which should be English 
  • For internal applicants, a Level 6 sport and fitness award, or equivalent, with good attendance, good submission of work and a positive tutor reference 

We welcome applications from people with relevant life and work experience. 

An Enhanced Disclosure Scotland application is required which you will do through the college if offered a place. 

If English is not your first language, ESOL Level 5 is an entry requirement for this course. 

  • Where it leads

    Education: HND or degree-level courses in subjects related to fitness, health and exercise. Previous students have progressed onto sport studies or PE teaching courses at Queen Margaret UniversityNapier UniversityStirling University and The University of Edinburgh. 

    Employment: roles in a health and fitness suite, sports centre or health spa as a fitness instructor, lifestyle adviser or gym instructor. Previous students have found employment with local authority and private sector gyms. 

Interview arrangements

If you are invited for an interview/course information session, plan to be in college for around two hours. The interview includes:

  • An introduction from the course tutor
  • An individual interview
  • Short written task

Please bring your practical kit and be prepared to take part in fitness testing activities. Also bring evidence of your qualifications and/or employment references.

Fees, Finance & Funding

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds. Click here to find out more

arc purple
arc white

Take that next step in your career and apply for this course today. If the course is not yet open for applications, feel free to ask any questions by clicking make an enquiry.