Key Information

Course Duration

2 years

Age Requirement


Entry Criteria

5 GCSEs (Grade 4)


A passion for sport

Course Overview

This is our flagship course and our most popular. With 18 units, it really covers the depth and breadth of the skills, knowledge and understanding required to work in the sports, marine and outdoor adventure Industries. This two-year Advanced Level 3 Extended Diploma course is equivalent to three A-Levels and carries UCAS points, therefore also paves the way for higher education.

Open Events

Prepare for an adventure-packed journey into foundational modules shaping your expertise! Below is a selection of example modules you will be studying during the course:

YEAR 1 – SKILLS BUILDER: This year sets the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of the sports and physical activity sector. You will cover topics including: 

  • Exercise, Health and Lifestyle 
  • Principles & Practices in Outdoor Adventure
  • Practical Team Sports 
  • Skills for Water-based Activities 
  • Skills for Land-based Activities
  • Work Experience in Sport

YEAR 2 – INSTRUCTOR: Elevate your skills as you take on hands-on leadership roles in readiness for the outdoor industry. Year 2 focuses on practical modules such as: 

  • Alternative Pursuits
  • Sports Injuries 
  • Equipment and Facilities
  • Sports Coaching
  • Expeditions and Leading Land Based Activities
  • Leading Water Based Activities

If you are passionate about sport and the great outdoors, eager to embrace new experiences and have a can-do attitude, you are exactly who we are seeking! No prior expertise in water or land-based activities is required.

You will need five or more GCSEs, ideally including a grade 4 or above in English and Maths. You should be 16 years old by 31st August and ready to kick-start your journey with us in September.

If English or Maths aren't your forte, do not worry - you can work on these subjects alongside your course for a solid academic foundation.

Our optional training programme worth over £4000 will allow you to up-skill and work towards a range of National Governing Body and in-house qualifications. We offer FREE training in both water and land based activities giving you an amazing opportunity to develop as an instructor and prepare for a career in the outdoor industry.

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, powerboating, bell boating, raft building, high / low ropes, climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, walking, orienteering, rifle shooting, tunnelling, tomahawk throwing, archery, team building, expeditions, bushcraft and many more.


At Rockley College, we provide a comprehensive support network that ensures both your personal growth and academic achievement.


Our commitment to academic excellence extends beyond the classroom. Our experienced teaching staff are invested in your progress with tailored guidance - from teaching units to personal tutoring as well as fostering critical thinking skills.


Our pastoral care programme focuses on mental well-being, personal development, and social growth. Our safeguarding-trained staff provide a nurturing and supportive environment where students can thrive, addressing individual needs and fostering a sense of belonging within our community. 


Preparing for the future is integral to your journey at Rockley. Our careers advice and guidance sessions are tailored to equip you with the tools needed for your professional path. Whether it's exploring higher education options or venturing into the workforce, our expert advisors offer personalised support - from CV building to interview preparation.


Your study programme offers practical learning experiences linked to various sports-related environments. Benefit from a virtual learning platform and weekly tutorials covering topics including safety awareness, UCAS, and job applications. Termly reports and parental engagement through parents' evenings keep everyone informed about your progress.


Rockley College offers specialised support aligned with the sports industry, including work-based assessors and relevant work experience opportunities. We also assist in managing finances with student discount cards, transport discounts, and bursaries to support your educational journey.

Your Rockley journey doesn't end with your Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure). In fact, it's just the beginning of a world of possibilities, offering a blend of higher education, career progression, and exciting ventures in the outdoor industry.

On successful completion of the Level 3 Extended Diploma, many former students have gone on to higher education with many universities favouring the hands-on learning approach and the 'soft skills' gained from a diploma course.

EMPLOYMENT - Being immersed a working environment, leading sessions and undertaking work placement opportunities as part of your course will fully prepare you for direct employment in your chosen industry.

APPRENTICESHIPS - Combine further learning with on-the-job experience through apprenticeships. For those wishing to continue with Rockley, ask about Rockley's LEVEL 3 OUTDOOR INSTRUCTOR APPRENTICESHIP.

Our expert team will be happy to offer you help and guidance as you continue on to the next step of your exciting adventure.

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What Our Students Think

“From the first open day to the last day you leave, Rockley want the best out of every student and they won’t stop helping and giving you the attention and advice you need to be able to succeed.”

Katia McCrudden

“Rockley has helped me gain the confidence I have needed to tackle new things and pursue new opportunities. It has motivated me to gain further qualifications and has also made me want to travel the world more.”

Connor Barnard

“I really want to emphasise the positive side of dyslexia. I like the fact that I’m giving something back to Poole Yacht Club by training the youth sailors now - I’d encourage everyone to follow their ambitions.”

Toby Griffen

“Choosing Rockley over other sixth form and colleges is the best decision I've made. I want to meet new people through travelling and working in different places and ultimately teach watersports to local communities.”

Megan Westbrook


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