Cookie Notice

This website uses cookies to ensure the best experience. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Learn more about privacy policy.

JordanFdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness degree provides Jordan with springboard to his dream career

Put off by the idea that University level study involved sitting in big lecture theatres for hours on end, with vast amounts of other students, 21-year-old Jordan initially believed that Higher Education wasn’t for him.

After successfully completing his BTEC Extended Diploma in Sports Development at St Helens College, Jordan enrolled onto a level 2 Gym Instructor course, before progressing and successfully completing the level 3 Personal Trainer programme, providing him with a qualification that would allow him to work as a fully qualified personal trainer in any gym nationwide.

Quickly realising that the fitness industry is a competitive market, Jordan decided to gain some valuable work experience as a personal trainer in a local gym, whilst working in paid retail employment. It was at this point that Jordan discovered the Exercise, Health and Fitness degree offered by University Centre St Helens, a two-year degree, validated by The University of Chester. Still with reservations about higher level study, fearing that he would struggle to learn in a large lecture theatre with a lot of other students, upon enquiring about the degree, Jordan was delighted to learn that the class sizes at University Centre St Helens were much smaller. In addition, Jordan lived locally to St Helens, so the ease of access to the campus and the ability to remain living at home and keeping part-time employment, alongside the draw of lower tuition fees swayed Jordan to apply for the degree.

Enrolling with a plan of broadening his knowledge range around the Health and Fitness sector, providing him with the skills, confidence and knowledge needed to work confidently and progress in the fitness industry.

Speaking about his first few weeks on the degree, Jordan said:

“Within the first couple of weeks as a student at University Centre St Helens, I made immediate friends and those people have become friends for life. The small class sizes really helped us to get to know each other and the lecturing team well.”

Continuing, Jordan said:

“The degree employed a broad range of teaching methods, which helped to keep the degree interesting, with a lot of the teaching taking place by way of interactive activities and in-gym sessions. As a practical learner, this really helped me and was a great opportunity for me to learn new things outside of a traditional classroom and lecture theatre setting. In addition, we had regular 1-2-1 meetings with our lecturers, which were used to catch up on progress and provided an invaluable opportunity to seek help, advice and guidance on any modules or particular areas that we were having difficulty with.”

Offering access to a fully equipped gym, computer rooms, the main library, quiet study spaces and a Student Lounge, accessible only by Higher Education students, as well as a range of online resources from The University of Chester, Jordan describes the facilities on his course as “excellent” and explained:

“It is hard to fault the facilities available for the duration of my degree. All of the rooms we used were well suited to the course content, online resources for journal documents were easily accessible and I never had any issues booking physical copies of books or journals out from the library. I used the library a lot as student, as I found it a great place to sit down to plan and work on assignments, work with other students on group tasks or have informal 1-2-1 meetings with lecturers.

Explaining how the degree exceeded his expectations, Jordan added:

“I honestly can’t think of anything negative during my degree. The whole experience was far better than I expected, from classrooms and class sizes to the support received from lecturers and fellow students. The Programme Leader, Chris, was absolutely fantastic and went above and beyond to assist each and every one of us during our time at University Centre St Helens. The help, advice and guidance provided by the whole team was fantastic and I really valued the time taken to get to know us as individuals; even now, whenever I see Chris, he always finds the time to stop and ask me what I am doing and is genuinely interested to see what I am working on.”

With an original plan of not attending University at all, to seek full-time employment in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, upon completion of his two-year Foundation degree, Jordan discovered the vast array of career options available to him in the Exercise and Health industry and after several conversations with Programme Leader, Chris, decided to further his knowledge by pursuing an additional year of study, at The University of Chester, to ‘top-up’ his degree to a full BSc (Hons) in Physical Activity and Health.

Thanking his time at University Centre St Helens for providing him with both the skills and confidence needed to progress onto the next level of study, Jordan said:

“Before I joined University Centre St Helens, my heart was set on pursuing a career as a Personal Trainer. However, as I started to gain experience in this field, I began to realise that 1-2-1 personal training wasn’t something I wanted to pursue as a career for the rest of my life. The FdSc in Exercise, Health and Fitness allowed me to discover the wide range of careers available to those with higher level qualifications in Exercise, Health and Fitness and I now have more interest working within the health sector as a whole, not focusing purely on exercise. The FdSc is brilliant, as it provides students with a wide range of knowledge around health, exercise and the wider fitness industry, providing the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a range of career paths within this growing industry.”

Continuing, Jordan added:

“Upon successful completion of my two years at University Centre St Helens, I successfully progressed onto The University of Chester, to complete my BSc degree in Physical Activity and Health. The Foundation degree made my transition to The University of Chester easy, providing me with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed at level 6. Modules at level 6 where very similar to the ones on the Foundation degree, meaning that I had sufficient knowledge to confidently take my learning to a higher level.”

Now working for St Helens’ Healthy Living Team, Jordan is training to become a Health Trainer. With interests now in health, not purely exercise, the role is perfect for Jordan’s future career plans.

Speaking, he said:

“Without my studies at university I don’t believe I would have secured my current position, or be able to fulfil the role on a daily basis. My studies provided me with the knowledge and confidence to progress into this role and work in a position that is both enjoyable and fulfilling. Alongside this, I am able to work around the role as a Personal Trainer in my spare time, so I really am getting the best of both worlds and doing something that I love.

Completing the degree allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge in the industry and has given me the confidence to trust in my abilities. Completing a degree is a fantastic achievement and I am proud of myself for taking the step to study at a higher level. Upon completion of my BSc, I quickly gained work within the industry, in a role that I am thoroughly enjoying. Helping others with health and exercise is something I have always aspired to do and I am proud of myself for achieving my goals.”

When asked to provide advice to prospective students, Jordan said:

“Time management on the FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness is of the most importance. Being punctual for lectures and completing assessments in the appropriate time is vital to achieving. Leaving assessments until the last minute often means the piece of work isn’t as good as it could’ve been and you reduce the amount of support your tutors can give you.

Be respectful and listen to your tutors. The tutors are fantastic and will do everything they can to support you during your studies and treating them with respect will go a long way. This is reflective of industry and sets you up for successfully working as part of a large team.

Finally, if the area of study is genuinely something you are interested in and a career you aspire to progress in, just enjoy your time on the degree and gain as much knowledge as you can. It will help you massively going forward and even though sometimes degree level study can be challenging, with the support you will receive from Chris and the rest of the team, you will achieve great things. Believe in yourself and realise that University level study is accessible to everyone, you just need to think about how you like to learn, use that to find the right University and the right degree, then you will excel!”