Published on August 2, 2022

Did you know that North Hertfordshire College offers Higher National Diplomas and Certificates? These are level 5 higher education qualifications that are perfect for students who know where they want to go with their future career and want a more hands-on learning experience.

We met with two of our HND Sport and Exercise Science students, Joe Walker and Cam Roberts, to find out more about the sort of topics they learn on their course, and how the qualification fits into their future career plans!

What sort of things do you learn as part of an HND Sport and Exercise Science course? 

J: “The course is basically about how the body works under different environments, showing how the body reacts to exercise. At the moment, we’re learning about biomechanics, which is the application of mechanical principles to humans and living organisms.”

C: “You learn loads of things on the course, including psychology, anatomy, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and how to fight illnesses.”


What has been your favourite topic so far on the course? 

C: “Strength and conditioning has been my favourite so far, it’s very practical and right up my street!”

J: “I agree, I think strength and conditioning is what I’m best at. The teaching experience has been great as well… when I’m training people, I feel like I’m in the zone. I understand how my body is moving and I’m really attuned to it.

Out of everything you’ve learnt so far, what would you say is the most important skill? 

C: “For me, the most important thing I’ve learnt and improved is teamwork. Every practical session that we do has been with someone else, so it’s been important to be able to work well with other people. Other than that, I think communication is really important as there is a lot of presenting, research, and writing to do. And, of course, there’s some maths to do too.”

J: “There’s so many skills and topics that I’ve learnt more about since starting my course. I really like that the course is like an umbrella and that there are lots of routes that I can go down after I finish. This course helps to keep your options open.”


What has been one of the highlights of your course so far? 

C: “One of the best bits for me has been the heart dissection, it was really interesting to see the structure of the heart and how all the parts come together. I also enjoyed learning about blood lactate testing and how to carry it out on athletes. This test helps check whether enough oxygen is reaching the body’s tissues, so it’s a really useful thing to be able to do.”

J: “The people are the thing that make the course for me. I’ve known all of them for a long time, I’m in my fourth year at NHC now. I look forward to coming in because of the people I work with and because of the tutors… Dr George Payne is fantastic and always advises me.”


What are your next steps after your course? 

C: “I plan on going to university next, to continue with studying Sport and Exercise Science.”

J: “My plan is to go into personal training, it allows me to be really flexible with my time and will give me the balance I want.”


If you could say anything to someone looking at joining NHC for this course, what would it be? 

C: “This course, and the College more generally, is really good because you get the freedom you don’t get in school. You’ll have a lot of 1-to-1’s with the tutors where you can ask and get help on anything you’re struggling with, and you always get lots of feedback and help, which is great.”

J: “The course is really supportive. The tutors help me to crack down and focus on what I’m doing, but the College is still a relaxed environment and a great place to study.”



For more information about HND/C qualifications in Sport and Exercise Science, as well as NHC’s other Higher Education courses, be sure to visit our Higher Education information pages!