Pro:Direct Academy

Full-time education and sports development programme

No tuition fees for 16-18-year olds

Centres across the United Kingdom


Join a Pro:Direct Academy football education programme and compete like a pro while studying full-time. PDA players take part in regular showcase games against Pro teams & experience exclusive Pro:Direct brand events.Pro:Direct teams have played fixtures against international youth squads and pro club academies.

Four players have signed for professional clubs since season 17/18. Benefit from an outstanding learning and teaching experience which will push you to achieve your best and set you on the path to establishing yourself with the football or sports industry.

September 2021

NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Sport 
Individual offers may vary; however, you’ll normally need 4 GCSEs Level 1 - 9, including English and maths.

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport 
Individual offers may vary; however, you’ll normally need 4 GCSEs Level 4-9, preferably one being English or maths.

NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport 
Individual offers may vary; however, you’ll normally need 5 GCSEs Level 4-9, including English and maths.

Up to 168 UCAS points* available (equivalent to 3 A-Levels)
*Request a prospectus below for full breakdown of UCAS tariff points.

This programme is government funded.
You will not need to pay tuition fees but other costs may be applicable.




Your Education

You will study a nationally recognised qualification in sport, delivered by SCL. Where required, you will also study maths and/or English GCSE or Functional Skills.

Complete an NCFE Level 2 Diploma in Sport or an NCFE Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity*

*Qualification studied will be dependent on GCSE grades achieved by learner.

Request a prospectus below for 2020/21 course information.

SCL Education & Training are the UK’s leading independent provider of education through sport.

  • We are a government funded education provider
  • We are experts in sport and education delivery with over 20 years’ experience
  • We are creating the next generation of sports professionals
  • We are working in partnership with 70+ football, rugby and cricket clubs nationwide
  • We are nationally recognised for high quality information, advice and guidance

NCFE Diploma

What is an NCFE Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity?

Developed with employers in mind, your NCFE qualification will combine a mix of practical and theoretical learning.

This qualification is designed to be taken by those wishing to progress to a career in the sport and physical activity sector and aims to provide you with the specialist knowledge, skills and understanding relating to the sport and physical activity sector.

Your NCFE Diploma will:

  • Use a range of delivery methods across all units
  • Provide you with realistic insights into the world of work and opportunities to improve your performance
  • Provide you with a range of learning resources to support with your studies
  • Provide optional units to complete, depending on your personal interest or career aspirations
  • Offer a variety of progression routes and help towards entry criteria for university application


Your Football

During your time at Pro:Direct Academy, you will benefit from:

  • Training from current and ex-professionals at UEFA A and B coaching levels and FA Level 2 & 3
  • Train at one of the many PDA centres across the UK, many having access to 3G pitches
  • Expert coaching from full time professional coaches
  • Up to 6 hours a week of development on your game
  • Football sessions built into timetable
  • Every area of the game covered
  • Train as a squad
  • Strength & Conditioning testing and regular fitness training
  • Selected centres offer GPS performance (PLAYR) and video analysis to maximise understanding & development
  • Individual training programmes and 1:1 time to help you reach your potential
  • Injury physiotherapy and post match recovery tuition on offer
  • Outdoor training and matches during the summer terms
  • Competitive fixtures in College leagues or Select Squad matches vs pro club academies
  • Pro:Direct Academy Tournaments
  • Brand events including product tests and meet and greets with pro or ex-pro players
  • Discount codes for
  • Players will be involved in all aspects of developing their own games. Each player will have his or her own player development programme to which they will be working over the 2 years of the course.

Your Future

Successful completion of your Study Programme will provide you with the option to apply for a Foundation or BA Honours Degree at University in a Sports Related Discipline. As part of the tutorial system, you will receive guidance on how to apply to University, however further information can be found on the UCAS website -

If you decide to combine further study with employment, you will be eligible for an apprenticeship within the sport and leisure industry.

Upon successful completion of your study programme, you will receive information, support and guidance on a variety of aspects, which will support you in securing either full or part time employment in Football, coaching and the leisure industry.

Studying with SCL provides you with an opportunity to play professional or non-professional sport, as well as a pathway to coaching opportunities, in the UK or Abroad, especially the USA.

Your Application

A member of our SCL Student Services Team will then be in touch to provide more information about the programme and book you onto an education interview, if eligible.

Your telephone interview is your chance to find out more information about the programme and ask any questions that you may have.
An SCL Tutor will be using this time to find out more information about you and collect important information in preparation for your enrolment onto the programme.

Following your telephone interview, if eligible, you will receive a conditional offer to start the programme in September 2021.

We will be in touch with you to arrange your next steps, which will give you the chance to find out more about the sport element of the programme.
This will be either a phone call with the Academy Manager or Coach or a training session, dependent on government restrictions being lifted.

We will review your qualifications and work with the club to confirm your acceptance onto the programme.
You will then be enrolled onto the programme, and we will look forward to seeing you in September!

Course Location

Pro:Direct Academy Hitchin, The Arena, Norton Road, Baldock, SG7 5AU

Eduction Provider

SCL Education Group

Football Provider


  • SCL are pleased to announce that they are Finalists for the Apprenticeship Provider of the Year!

  • SCL are an Ofsted registered Childcare provider.

  • SCL have partnered with De Montfort University to launch a Sports Coaching Degree programme,

  • The Flame Awards are the largest celebration of innovation and excellence from across the sector.

  • SCL are strategic partners with UKactive.

  • EU EFS

  • Matrix

  • Traineeships are a stepping stone to future success for young people, businesses and the wider economy.

  • Our Saturday Soccer Coaches are FA qualified, Level 2 and above

  • SCL's School Sport Apprenticeship programme has been designed specifically to give those wanting a career in coaching and physical education the skills, knowledge and qualifications to help make it happen.

  • SCL is an employer partner of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

  • SCL were awarded an Ofsted outstanding in 2015 for their Holiday Activities.

  • HITZ is Premiership Rugby’s award-winning education and employability programme.