FdSc Surf Science & Technology

For 2020 start - available with a Science Gateway qualification

Cornwall College Newquay LEVEL: 5 Sports & Fitness

During the programme you will study: the sport of surfing as well as surfing businesses; business planning relating to the surfing industry; event management; environmental science; human exercise science; principles of psychology and coaching; design and manufacture of surf boards; the environment and human impacts on it; the development of surfing culture and history; sport-related media and politics; the geographical and climatic influences on surfing.

The programme is based at our main Cornwall College Newquay campus and at our premises on Tolcarne Beach in Newquay.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Newquay campus!

This is an academic programme and although practical surfing is not part of the course, the location provides plenty of opportunities to surf on some of the best beaches in Europe. So, whilst a healthy interest in some aspect of surfing is helpful, you do not need to be an excellent surfer to apply.

The programme benefits from very close links with many of the major players in the surfing world. You will have the chance to design and build your own surfboard, take surf coaching, first aid and beach lifeguard qualifications, review competitions, as well as working in an industry-related environment.

There is the possibility of taking an optional field trip to the west coast of France and Spain to explore the implications of human and climatic influences on the environment. . This trip normally lasts ten days, and it gives you the chance to carry out some fieldwork and learn more about beach topography, oceanography and the different aspects of tourism and business related to the surfing industry. During this trip you will experience first-hand some of the best surf locations in Europe.

There will be a number of opportunities to engage with industry throughout the programme and also to complete a work placement in an area of your own interest. As Cornwall is the centre of the surfing industry within the UK, Cornwall College is lucky enough to have links with some of the top names from the industry. There are regular guest speakers and lecturers who help to further engage with you about the many different aspects of the surfing sector. Speakers in the past have included Rob Barber, Dave Reed, Tony Butt and Ester Spears.

Possible Progression (subject to availability) 

– BSc (Hons) Marine Sports Science final year at Newquay

– BSc (Hons) Environmental Resource Management final year at Newquay

– BSc (Hons) Sport, Health & Exercise Science (top-up) final year at Camborne

– BA (Hons) Creative Events Management final year at Falmouth University

Possible Careers 

– Surfing Industry

– Surfing Centre Manager

– Surfing Retail Industry

– Event Management

– Environmental Sustainability

– Set up your own surf-related business

– Coaching

– Teaching

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code: CF68
  • Institution codes: CORN C78
  • Awarded by: University of Plymouth
  • Fees: Fees Explained
Entry Requirements

48 UCAS points from AS and A-Levels (at least 32 points must be at A2-level) or relevant level 3 qualification, ie BTEC National Diploma / BTEC Extended Diploma - PPP Grades required (specific unit grades may be requested). Access to HE Diplomas in a relevant subject - 45 credits at level 3 (specific unit grades may be requested). Plus GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above in English Language, Science and Mathematics: alternatives at Level 2 may be considered. Mature applicants with relevant experience but without the stated qualifications will be considered individually and are encouraged to apply.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver Award

The Cornwall College Group delivers high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

Find out more about TEF


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Course Documents

FdSc Surf Science & Technology Handbook (2019-2020)
CORN Module Records Newquay (10 Sept 19)


Indicative Modules Year 1

  • Key Professional Skills
  • Culture of Surf and Sport
  • Physical and Geographical Influences on Surfing
  • Surf Practice
  • Media and Events
  • Scientific Techniques
  • Production Methods and Materials

Indicative Modules Year 2

  • Ecology and Management of the Coastal Environment
  • Sociological and Psychological Perspectives of Surfing
  • Scientific Aspects of Health, Fitness and Nutrition in Sport
  • Surf Businesses
  • Individual Research Project
  • Application of CAD in the surf industry

*Modules are subject to change and availability


Sports & Fitness
Marine & Natural Environment
Sports & Fitness
Sports & Fitness



FdSc Surf Science & Technology

Start Date





2 years full-time

FdSc Surf Science & Technology

Start Date





3 years part-time

FdSc Surf Science & Technology - with Science Gateway

Start Date





3 years full-time

Extra Information

This option includes an additional Science Gateway year which is ideal if you don’t have the right qualifications to apply for a degree programme straight away. If you are applying for the FdSc Surf Science & Technology - with Science Gateway route on UCAS you will need to use UCAS code: F902. Please note that when studying the Science Gateway programme, you will be based at Cornwall College Newquay.

*Courses listed on this website are indicative of the subject, nature and level of study. The college reserves the right to alter specific qualifications titles, awarding bodies and levels of qualification, which can change in year. Any cost may also vary, based on personal funding eligibility. The Cornwall College Group reserves the right to withdraw any course listed at any time.

Careers advice available

If you are considering an undergraduate programme with us, you may wish to access our free Careers and Employability advice service. This gives you the opportunity to talk with an advisor about career options before, during and after your study with us. To make an appointment, please e-mail: H.E.Advice@cornwall.ac.uk

If you come into the International category (non EU*) and Channel Island (inc. Isle of Man) the tuition fee may vary – click here for full fee information