Higher Certificate in Exercise Science

An internationally portable Higher Education Programme which includes Sports Conditioning and Personal Training

Where & How to Study

(JHB) Sunninghill (JHB) Bedfordview Cape Town Durban

Higher Certificate in Exercise Science


Full Time

What is this?

Payment Terms Available


Part Time

What is this?

Payment Terms Available


Distance Learning

Distance - Weekend Workshops

What is this?

Payment Terms Available


Distance Learning - Mixed Mode

Distance - Weekday Workshops

What is this?

Payment Terms Available

Course Requirements

You will need a Grade 12 National Senior Certificate (or equivalent).

If you do not hold a level 4 NQF you can apply to study our Fitness Instructor NQF 4 Certificate. Successfully completing this will provide you access to our NQF 5 programmes

Course Description

The Higher Certificate in Exercise Science (NQF 5) is a Higher education qualification which covers Personal Training and Sports Conditioning and an introduction to Special Populations

  • This qualification leads to the Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science (NQF 6), a Higher education qualification which covers Advanced Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Exercise Specialist
  • Become a Respected Fitness Professional of the highest calibre with our Higher Education qualifications.
  • Graduates enter the workplace as multi-skilled Fitness Professionals with a broad base of expertise
  • Work internationally in Fitness, Sport or Recreation environments, or start your own business


HiiT Instructor (High Intensity Interval Training for groups) – All students
Bootcamp Instructor (exercise classes in different environments) – All students
SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness for sports) – Full Time students only

Studying personal training is a lot more than just reading the course content! All of our qualifications requires the student to complete a certain amount of hours of shadowing (work integrated learning). Not only is this required to pass the course but will also be of benefit to you as it will help you obtain real world experience before entering the fitness industry. It will also give you in-the-field experience that you won’t get in a classroom and it allows you to explore the industry before committing to it full time.

Subjects & Modules



  • The Skeletal and Muscular System
  • Joints
  • The Respiratory and Cardiovascular systems
  • Energy Systems
  • Levers



  • Screening & Testing
  • Flexibility
  • Muscle Strength, Endurance and Power
  • Periodisation and Programming
  • Sports Conditioning



  • Environmental Factors
  • Sedentary Clients
  • Injuries
  • Special Populations



  • The Fitness Industry
  • Insurance
  • Entrepreneurship



  • Digestion
  • Food groups
  • Supplements
  • Food labelling



  • Comprehensive, hands-on, practical tuition offered nationally from HFPA campuses and support centres. Practical Training is also catered for on the HFPA Online Learning Platform

Accreditations & Certifications

NQF Level: 5

Course Credits: 123

Registered by the Department of Education (DOE) and accredited by the Higher Education Quality Controls & Training Committee (HEQCTO) and the Council for Higher Education (CHE)

SAQA Registered

Recognised and registered with REPSSA (Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa). REPSSA is part of ICREPS (International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals)

Career Opportunities
  • Work as a strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer in health clubs, or in private practice
  • Travel the world working on international luxury cruise liners or at holiday clubs
  • Continue on to the Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science to grow your expertise and open doors to university level programmes
  • Work as a health and fitness blogger, online personal trainer, fitness manager or wellness director
  • Open your own business, gym or studio
  • Add sports Performance, Wellness Management and Sport Science support to your resume
  • Continue onto the Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science (ACES) NQF6 to grow your scope of practice and earning potential
Ratings & Reviews (1)

Share your thoughts!

5 out of 5 stars

1 review

Let us know what you think...

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

What others are saying

  1. Melanie Lowe-Martin

    Highly highly recommend!

    Melanie Lowe-Martin (verified owner)

    This course has been an absolute treat, from knowing exactly what’s going on, to constantly learning new things. I have enjoyed every second of my head in the books. As a strength athlete, the knowledge I have gained has been invaluable.

    The tutors are constantly reminding me to stay up to date and offering assistance wherever possible.

    Highly highly recommend!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  2. Nasreen Malik

    Nasreen Malik

    When I signed up with HFPA, I was almost 2 weeks late, but they gladly opened their doors to me and I’ll be forever grateful. My dreams just got bigger and my goals fell into place since day 1 in class. 

    Being in the full- time contact classes amongst other likeminded students encouraged one to learn and explore new spheres in the fitness industry. The practical days (although lockdown led to most of them being online) were well structured, informative and most of all fun. Having open access to the gym also played a huge role in studying as I could apply what was learnt in theory on myself, or a friend. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing real-time results to something new you’ve learnt. 

    The addition of the short courses by various professionals in the industry opened my eyes to so many new ideas and opportunities for the future. Fitness goes well beyond the gym, which is something I think a lot of us don’t initially think about. 

    I would highly recommend doing the full time course over online as there’s so much more interaction and experience when you’re physically in the learning space. 

    Apart from making new friends, the staff are all friendly and willing to assist whenever needed. Double thumbs up to HFPA!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...


Continue as a Guest

Don't have an account? Sign Up


More Information

You may also like…

NQF6 - Higher Education

More InFormation On This Course