The sport industry in the UK is growing fast and provides a diverse range of careers in the exciting world of sport, fitness and coaching.

Whatever your interests and career aspirations, we have the right course for you. You could even develop your rugby skills and game understanding alongside a study programme!

There are endless possibilities, not simply for elite athletes – and the coaches they depend on! The community needs personal trainers and coaches too, whilst continuing your studies at university could lead you into sports development, nutrition, psychology, physiotherapy or teaching. You might also consider a role in marketing, journalism or social media.

We work closely with sports providers in our local areas. Our network of employer partnerships means, whichever course you choose, you will get practical experience in the sports, coaching and fitness sectors throughout your time at college. In addition, there will be employer visits and talks, trips, and valuable work experience that will allow you to put your skills into practice.

Every student benefits from highly trained staff, including a Coach Mentor. You will also have access to the outstanding gym, strength and conditioning and sports therapy facility at the City of Oxford College city-centre campus to help you keep fit and advance your studies.

There are two options to choose from:

  • Fitness
  • Sport

We also provide talented young rugby players (aged 16–18) with the opportunity to pursue their chosen academic pathway alongside their rugby ambitions (subject to selection) with Activate Rugby Academy.

If a career in fitness is for you, you could change the lives of people of all ages and walks of life. You will learn how to be an approachable and effective motivator, encouraging people to reach their fitness goals, creating personalised exercise programmes, giving advice on healthy living, and carrying out fitness assessments. The Personal Training L3 programme even offers bolt-on courses such as exercise to music, spin, yoga and pilates.

Our sport pathway will combine the study of anatomy, physiology and psychology with biometrics, exercise, health and lifestyle. In addition, you will develop skills in fitness testing and training, sport and exercise massage, sports injuries and coaching.

The sport and physical activity industries contribute £39 billion to the UK’s economy. Much of this comes from grassroots sport: the millions of people who buy trainers, bikes, gym memberships, get physiotherapy or pay match fees.

As of 2021, there are over 300,000 people employed in the UK in sports-related jobs. Popular roles in this sector include sports coaches, instructors, and officials, with one in ten graduates employed as secondary education teaching professionals.

Industry partnerships

Rugby Academy

Our sports acadamies provide world-class coaching, high-performance facilities and expert sports-science support alongside academic and vocational programmes.

In 2019, we expanded our sports academy offer, to include Rugby Union in partnership with Wasps RFC, now known as Activate Rugby Academy. Delivered out of the City of Oxford College, it has become one of only eight colleges in the country to be given England Rugby Partner College status.

An element of the partnership gives support to the College to help continue to grow the rugby academy for all abilities. The programme runs teams within the RFU Elite college leagues, AOC Premier league and friendly fixtures tailored to support the development of the group.

Activate Rugby Academy offers both boys and girls aged 16-18-years-old, the opportunity to combine their academic studies with a professionally run rugby development programme. You can develop as a player with training and high-level competition while continuing your academic studies with the option of A Levels, Business or Sport. There will be classroom-based assignments, but mostly you will work and train as an athlete.

Whether your goal is to become a professional rugby player, move into a coaching or backroom role, or if you believe playing and learning the game in a professional environment can benefit your studies or career in other ways, a place on the Activate Rugby Academy is for you.


Jacob, Sport Level 3 Being able to play football alongside studying has been the best thing. You make some great friendships through the sport. 
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