Swim England Artistic Swimming

The home of artistic swimming in England

Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) for Artistic Swimming

The Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) is a unique and industry-leading programme delivered by Swim England in conjunction with Loughborough College.

This government-funded programme is fully integrated into all Swim England talent pathways and offers the perfect environment for athletes to harmoniously combine their sport and education. An extensive list of DiSE alumni have gone on to enjoy continued international success on the world stage.

To find out more information about more information about the DiSE programme, click here. To find out about how to apply for DiSE if you’re a swimmer, keep reading.

Where DiSE falls on the Swim England Artistic Swimming Talent Pathway

What does your learner journey for year one look like?

Criteria to apply

DiSE Department for Education Learner Eligibility

NGBs can only select learners/athletes who meet the Department for Education student eligibility criteria below.

1. To be eligible for DiSE programme funding, a student must meet the following criteria:

a. Be aged 16 to 18 (or aged 19 to 24 if they have an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan), when they start the programme.

b. Subject to paragraph 2 below, be enrolled on a state funded study programme and be studying towards an academic (e.g., A levels) or technical qualification (e.g., NVQs or City and Guilds).

c. Be on a talent pathway managed by their sport’s National Governing Body (NGB).

d. Must not be employed by their sport body or club on a professional contract.

2. The requirement in paragraph 1b. “be enrolled on a state funded study programme”, does not apply to students who attend a fee-paying school for their main study programme in the following circumstances:

a. The student is in receipt of the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission; or

b. The student is in receipt of a talent / ability-based scholarship of at least 50% but were this not to be the case then they would have otherwise qualified for the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission; or

c. At least 50% of the student’s fees are being paid by a third sector organisation but were this not to be the case then they would have otherwise qualified for the school’s means-tested bursary of at least 50% fee remission.

Athletes must also meet the following funding criteria:

  • Athletes must remain in full-time further education for the duration of the DiSE programme (Sports Apprenticeships not eligible)
  • Registered home address in England or Wales.
Swim England athlete performance criteria

Learners/athletes must meet the Swim England criteria below:

  • Born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007
  • Member of an English club and eligible to represent England
  • Cat 2 Swim England member
  • Based within an appropriate training environment and be undertaking in the region of 16 hours per week of pool/land-based training.
Artistic Swimming criteria
  • Hold Figure Grade 4 Silver or above.
  • Participated in either the 2023 National Age Group or England Championship event.
  • Currently part of the Talent Pathway (national/regional level).

Discretionary Selections

All selections are made at the absolute discretion of the Swim England Artistic Swimming Manager.

How to apply

The closing date is Friday 14th July 2023 and we encourage anyone interested to apply by this date, however for Swimming, we may still consider applications until the end of the DiSE selection window.

If you have any questions, please email rachel.weston@swimming.org

Past alumni

Past alumni of athletes to obtain the DiSE qualification include:

  • Isabelle Thorpe – Olympian Tokyo 2020, British Duet Champion and World Series Team medallist x 2
  • Daniella Lloyd – World Series Team Medallist x 2
  • Cerys Hughes – World Series Team Medallist x 2
  • Millie Costello – World Series Team Medallist x 2
  • Cerys Larsen – World Series Team Medallist
  • Daisy Gunn – World Series Team Medallist
  • Laura Turberville – World Series Team Medallist
  • Isobel Blinkhorn – World Series Team Medallist
  • Katie Clark – Double Olympian
  • Olivia Federici – Triple Olympian
  • Greta Hampson – World Series Team Medallist
  • Victoria Usher – World Series Team Medallist
  • Robyn Swatman – World Series Medallist


Cerys Hughes

“I really enjoyed the DiSE programme and definitely feel that it has aided my development both within my sport and my studies. The programme picked up on aspects of artistic swimming that as an athlete I had never really thought about before, such as the purpose of different training types as well as tailoring routines to what the judges may be looking for to gain the best results. One of the areas that I feel has become the most useful is understanding how to create SMART goals. Training during the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult at times and goals were a good source of motivation, so having the knowledge to create appropriate ones that I could see myself achieving in the period of time I set definitely enabled me to get the most out of my training as a senior GB team athlete, even without a pool. I now even learn about SMART goals as part of my degree course so DiSE gave me a good head start!

“I felt the programme was very manageable alongside my A Level studies and it prompted me to improve my organisation skills further which was useful when it came to scheduling revision around competitions and travelling abroad. The DiSE assessors were so supportive and very understanding of how busy an athlete’s life is so I definitely don’t think I could have completed the programme without them! I would 100% recommend that anyone who is given the opportunity to take part in the programme should go for it because DiSE builds a solid skill base that can be taken forwards into the future.’

If diving isn’t your sport, you can apply to be on the DiSE programme for one of our other sports, to find out more information, click on your sport below.