BTEC Football Academy 

As an official partner with Blackburn Rovers FC, The Moorland Football Academy ‘Blackburn Rovers BTEC Shadow Squad’ football programme acts as the perfect platform for students wishing to pursue a career in sport, business or other professional fields. We are proud to share the success stories of our pupils, with 100% of students progressing on to higher education at universities in the UK and United States and 6 of our boys gaining trials for professional clubs in England and Scotland. The area of study associated with the programme are the BTEC Diploma and Extended Diploma qualifications accredited by the awarding body Pearson. The academic programme allows learners the chance to choose from and follow three specialist pathways:

  • Performance and Excellence
  • Development, Coaching and Fitness
  • Outdoor Adventure

Further to these areas, there are a plethora of optional units that allow students to pursue their interests in more specific areas such as; Sport as a Business, Sports Coaching, Sports Nutrition, Sports Injuries, Psychology for Sporting Performance, Physiology and Fitness to name but a few.

Students following this programme will cover 19 Units over the course of 2 years whilst being a part of a Category 1 Academy Experience in partnership with Blackburn Rovers FC Academy. The programme proudly offers the opportunity to utilize the top-quality facilities at Blackburn Rovers FC Academy facilities each week for training, fixtures and education. This opens up opportunities to be scouted and potentially selected for a professional football club.

The games programme consists of entry into local and national cup competitions plus entry into the ECFA College Football Division for weekly league fixtures against other colleges or schools within the region. The academic opportunities, alongside the quality of the coaching and access to Category 1 Academy facilities, coaches, physio’s and scouts, at BRFC ensures that this course is truly unique.

Quite simply, this course represents an opportunity like no other, and we believe that we are academically, socially and emotionally in the best possible position to educate and to provide a footballing opportunity like no other Post 16 education provider. We are excited by the richness, credibility, partnerships and amazing qualified staff team, which in our opinion makes this an unrivalled programme of study.

What does being an official partner with a Category 1 Football Club mean to Moorland?

Ex-Premier League Champions Blackburn Rovers FC were awarded Category 1 status under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

The EPPP is a long-term strategy designed to advance youth development to the next level, with the intention of creating a legacy for producing the very best young footballers. Following an independent audit, which focused on a range of factors, including productivity rates of players for the first team, training facilities and coaching, education and welfare provision, Blackburn received the elite rank after scoring highly across the board.

About the course?


Moorland School – Blackburn Rovers FC Shadow Squad offers an opportunity to study a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport, which is equivalent to 3 A-Levels or a BTEC Level 3 90 Credit Diploma in Sport equivalent to 1.5 A-Levels.

The BTEC Extended Level 3 Diploma in Sport is a recognized qualification that will lead to further opportunities within the football world and further education in the UK and overseas. Students are able to study at Moorland School as part of the Official Blackburn Rovers FC Cat 1 Academy Shadow Squad. This means that students on this course will be part of the most exciting opportunity to come out of a Cat 1 Academy for years!

If you are a student looking to combine your BTEC studies with additional A Level provision we also offer a programme that can ensure you are able to access the ‘best of both worlds’ via tailoring an individualized timetable to suit your needs & requirements.

For example, if you were looking to progress into a career as a sports journalist you may wish to complete an AS or A-Level in English Literature or Media alongside your BTEC Sport qualification. All of which we can facilitate & accommodate here at Moorland with a balanced timetable which suits all qualifications whilst still providing a fantastic education & practical sport experience!

Pathway 1

(One Year Study Programme)

BTEC Level 3 90 Credit Diploma in Sport (Equivalent to 1.5 A Levels)

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 90-credit Diploma in Sport is 90 credits and has 540 guided learning hours (GLH). It consists of four mandatory units & one specialist unit, plus optional units that provide for a combined total of 90 credits. It is equivalent to 1.5 A levels. This programme is run over one year, with the opportunity to study an additional year if required. The modules of study are highlighted in the education programme outlined below: The mandatory units are: Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4 The specialist unit is: Unit 7 *Five other units of study must be selected from the remaining list of 20. Below is an example of the units that you may choose to study on the one year programme:

Pathway 2

(Two Year Study Programme)

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport (180 Credits – Equivalent to 3 A-Levels)

The mandatory units are: Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 7, Unit 11, Unit 17, Unit 27 & Unit 28 *Ten other units of study must be selected from the remaining list of 18. Below is an example of the units that you may choose to study on the two year programme:

Additional opportunities/experiences include:

Participants on the program:

  • Complete a two-week FA Level 1 Licensed Coaching Course
  • Have 1 full-day release at Blackburn Rovers FC Academy participating in education, training and gym work
  • Participate in daily training sessions
  • Participate in daily gym-based fitness sessions, following a structured fitness programme
  • Play competitive football in the English Schools and College Football League and enter 3 cup competitions
  • Attend 15 hours of education per week
  • Gain opportunities to train and play semi-professional football
  • Have opportunities for overseas trips and training camps

Progression Routes

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport is an industry recognized qualification that will lead to further opportunities within the sports industry. Progression routes upon completion of the course include:

Why Choose Us

Some unique points to consider:

  • Established in 2016, the course is in its 3rd year in September 2018.
  • Class of 2018 will graduate with their Extended Diplomas in Sport (Level 3), many of these with honours and a grade star profile equivalent to A*, A*, A* at A-Level.
  • 100% of students are progressing onto Higher Education at Universities in the UK (such as Loughborough, Westminster, University of London) and the United States!
  • Students being taught under the tutelage of our Course Leaders, Mr Martin Jones & Mr Daniel Finch (under the Blackburn Rovers Academy Scholarship Programme) a number of players, scholars have been signed professionally to Blackburn Rovers in recent months.
  • These players include talents such as Jack Evans, Ben Paton, John Buckley, Dan Butterworth, Lewis Thompson, Hayden Carter and Jack Vale (a former Moorland School student).
  • This course is the ONLY course delivered in conjunction with a Category 1 Academy (BRFC), whereby our students have 2 days access to the state of art facilities at Brockhall.
  • All of our BTEC students are available for selection for our youth team sides and compete on a weekly basis within the British Schools & Colleges League.
  • In addition we currently we have a number of boys signed to semi-professional clubs within the North West area.
  • We have also had a high percentage of our BTEC students obtain trials with professional clubs such as Burnley, Coventry City, Bury, Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers Football Clubs respectively.
  • Our BTEC Programme is delivered in partnership with our very own renowned and thriving professional Moorland Football Academy, which is headed up by the international acclaimed Mr Charlie Jackson, current Technical Skills Development Coach for Manchester City FC.
Gregor is a first-year student on the Moorland School (Blackburn Rovers FC Shadow Squad) studying towards completing the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Qualification. During the 2016-17 season Gregor was selected to trial at Blackburn Rovers FC Category 1 Academy. As a result, Gregor undertook professional training and participated in regular matches as part of the 6-week trial period. Upon completion of the 6-week trial, Gregor was not offered a youth contract but was provided with positive feedback. Gregor signed up to our shadow squad for the 2017-18 academic year and has since also had trials at other professional football league clubs following his development with us. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year of the programme. It has allowed me to continue with my academic progress within sport but also my football development via the first-class coaching and facilities that we have access to at Blackburn Rovers FC Academy on a regular basis. I am looking forward to progressing onto the second year of the programme in September 2018.”

Gregor Sword

Daniel is a second-year student and completed the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Qualification in the 2017-18 academic year. Daniel has achieved high attainment levels and reached his overall value-added score of D*D*D As a result, Daniel has been accepted into Loughborough University to complete an honors degree in sports science from the 2018-19 academic year. “I have been studying at Moorland School on the BTEC Sport programme for the past two years and have enjoyed the opportunity to combine my studies with additional football opportunities. I am coming to the end of the course and have been accepted into a number of universities to study sports science at degree level. I appreciate the support and help the tutors at school have given me over the course programme.”

Daniel Scott

Kyle is a second-year student who completed the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Qualification in the 2017-18 academic year. Kyle is looking to progress into the area of sports physiotherapy. As a result, Kyle has sourced some work experience to allow him to have a hands on opportunity to develop his levels of knowledge and understanding with the area. As a result, Kyle is due to undertake additional A Levels in September 2018 along with additional work experience at Blackburn Rovers FC Academy where he will be shadowing their physiotherapy department. “This course has allowed me to undertake further education in an area that I would like to go into post completion. I have found that the experiences of studying at both the school and Blackburn Rovers FC Academy have helped me develop my knowledge and understanding of what is required to progress into such a field of employment. I am looking forward to completing the course in the summer of 2018 and using the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and experience by undertaking additional A Levels whilst gaining work experience as a trainee physio at the football club.”

Kyle Oliver-Davies

Life at Moorland Football Academy

Being a footballer at the Moorland Football Academy affords our students access to first-class training and technical development to develop their true potential and prepare them for the rigours of professional academies and a potential career in the game.

Students not only receive the highest level of football coaching, they are also guaranteed a comprehensive academic provision within small class sizes and a bespoke timetable unique to them.

Our pupils also have access to many unrivalled opportunities, such as working with renowned UEFA A & B licensed coaches from Category 1 academies and being regularly monitored by scouts from Category 1 Clubs, such as Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City.

The Moorland Football Academy has established a reputation for marrying an intense, stimulating, driven and focused programme with a nurturing environment, which encourages students to guide and support each other, as they live and learn within the Moorland family ethos of mutual respect.

‘Combining Education with Football Excellence’

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