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Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) for Artistic Swimming

DiSE logo

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

Criteria to apply

Athletes must meet both the DfE criteria and Swim England performance criteria to be eligible.

Department for Education (DfE) eligibility criteria

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 for the full duration of the DiSE programme, and be studying towards an academic (e.g., A levels) or technical qualification (e.g., NVQs or City and Guilds).

c. 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.

Swim England performance criteria
  • Born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008
  • Represent England (verified on Swim England membership)
  • Live in England (or Wales)
  • Hold Figure Grade 4 Silver or above
  • Participated in the 2024 National Championships in either solo, duet or team.
  • Either on the Swim England Talent Pathway (Junior or Senior National programme) or aspiring to represent the Country at International level

How to apply

Closing date: 8 July 2024

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Past alumni

Past alumni of athletes to obtain the DiSE qualification include:

  • Isabelle Thorpe – Double Olympian 2020/24, British Duet Champion and World Series Team medallist x 2, World Cup, European Championships duet medallist, World Championships silver and bronze duet medallist.
  • Olivia Federici – Triple Olympian
  • Cerys Hughes – World Series Team Medallist x 2, GB Assistant Coach
  • Laura Turberville – World Series Team Medallist, England Youth Coach
  • Cerys Larsen – World Series Team Medallist
  • Katie Clark – Double Olympian


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 artistic swimming 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.