Aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE)

About the DiSE programme

The aquatic Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme is delivered by Swim England, in collaboration with our educational partner, Loughborough College, and is fully integrated into all Talent pathways.

This unique, and bespoke government funded programme, overseen by SportsAid, supports a diverse cohort of young athletes in the talent system, combining their sport and education.

DiSE aims to supports athletes to develop the skills, knowledge, and competence to pursue sporting excellence alongside developing the skills and qualifications for a post athletic career, which may include a career within the sporting workforce.

DiSE provides a comprehensive syllabus to support young athletes to gain an additional qualification, and achieve their full potential within the NGB talent pathway, as well as their future career. Successful completion results in a prestigious recognised qualification worth 64 UCAS points.

DiSE vision and mission

  • Prepare athletes for a lifelong, high-performance journey in aquatics.
  • Enhance the club training environment.
  • Understand and develop the necessary skills, attributes and behaviours required to become a senior international athlete.
  • Take ownership and ensure knowledge gained impacts positively on future performance.
  • Gain skills and knowledge to receive the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Diploma in Sporting Excellence Qualification.
  • Gain sport specific experience through training camps and completion of the Diploma.

How does it work?

The DiSE programme is delivered across England by Swim England in collaboration with Loughborough College. The programme is specially designed to run alongside, and complement, the athletes’ chosen further education, A Levels or a BTEC qualification, as well as their club’s training programme.

The DiSE 2023 programme will run over two academic years from September 2023 to July 2025. Each athlete will be allocated an experienced Swim England DiSE Assessor, who is there to support the athlete through every step of their programme. Delivery will take place through Swim England workshops, camps, club visits and online one-to-one progress reviews, supported by professional coaches, specialist practitioners, talent staff and DiSE assessors.

The workshops are tailored around the qualification specification and focus on the skills, knowledge and competence to achieve sporting excellence. Each workshop has an accompanying workbook which athletes will complete with the support of their allocated DiSE assessor. Athletes will need to submit evidence or pieces of work, to demonstrate they meet the criteria set out by the qualification.

This includes race plans, nutrition diaries and analysis, career plans, lifestyle plans, goal-setting, reviews, professional discussions and training and competition hour logbooks. Each workbook will count towards their overall assessment and result.

Loughborough College

Swim England will work in partnership with industry leading
Loughborough College which has more than 10 years’ experience in delivering DiSE programmes across 16 NGBs and graded outstanding in Apprenticeships by Ofsted (July 2017).

Loughborough’s history of sporting excellence transcends the sports field and has created training programmes and pathways that have supported England captains, Olympic and Paralympic medallists and world champions. As one of the biggest and most successful sports colleges in the country, they aim to continue to develop future generations of talented athletes.


Your commitment to usOur commitment to inclusion
Every athlete is expected to attend and complete all modules and sessions and engage with learning opportunities. Consideration and flexibility will be given regarding competition calendar and training camp clashes. Athletes must be keen to learn, develop and share experiences. Swim England’s dedicated team of staff are there to support you through your programme and expect good communication.Sport England have been appointed by the Government to oversee the operating standards and governance of the DiSE programme across participating sports. Swim England’s positioning of DiSE is in line with Sport England’s investment approach in talent pathways. They have been very clear around their inclusion and diversity agenda related to Talent.

“We will also support national governing bodies to explore any cultural, structural, operational or administrative barriers within their talent pathways, which might be limiting their appeal in attracting promising talent or leading to a loss of talent through the pathway”.

Sport England Talent Plan

What topics are covered on DiSE?

Apply now

DiSE is delivered to all 4 aquatic disciplines. To find out the criteria and how to apply, click on your discipline below.

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.


How much time will an athlete require outside of planned camps and workshops to complete their workbooks?

We have designed a bespoke model of delivery with various delivery methods to complete workbooks, including camps and online workshops. The majority of athletes who use this time diligently can complete all the work in the allocated hours. There are some brief tasks such as nutrition diaries, which need to be completed in advance of camps or workshops, and revisions to work previously submitted which would be done in the athletes own time. However this shouldn’t be a significant load. Any athlete’s who needs more time should communicate this to their Assessor who will be supportive in finding a mutually agreeable solution.

Will the DiSE programme impact athletes’ academic studies?

The DiSE programme should sit alongside athletes’ academic studies and will not involve any exams. The programme requires athletes to complete a series of workbooks which will be completed during the camps and workshops. Part of the programme covers lifestyle management aiming to support athletes with their commitments and teach them effective time management.

Would there be support for individuals with dyslexia for the written pieces/ more academic side of the course?

Yes. Swim England and Loughborough College will work on an individual basis to provide any athlete with dyslexia or any other learning requirements with the support they need.