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About the Wanderers Academy

Brief History of Dorking Wanderers FC

The club relocated from it’s original Big Field Brockham venue in 2007 to it’s Westhumble Community Ground home, where an enormous off the field effort saw the once derelict site transformed into a semi-professional football ground. To continue the development of football in Dorking from grassroots to senior level, Mole Valley District Council have erected the state of the art, multi million pound Meadowbank stadium in the heart of Dorking Town Centre that is now the home of DWFA.

The Dorking Wanderers Football Academy

All of our students work in a specialist environment allowing them to benefit from a unique mix of a specifically tailored curriculum and the opportunity to understand the life of a footballer. The programme aims to help all of the students develop as both players on the pitch and confident young adults away from the changing room. At Dorking Wanderers Academy we believe in developing players in a holistic environment where they can develop into the best they can possibly be as people and good members of society as well as players. We have strong beliefs and values around Hard WorkDiscipline, Respect and Humility. Our professional experienced team create a safe, inclusive and fun environment for boys and girls to learn and play. The players will follow a professional syllabus based around the 4 moments in the game; In Possession, Out of Possession, Transition to Attacking, and Transition to Defending. Our teams play attacking, effective football and we expose players to different systems to help make them tactically flexible and prepared for the modern game.

We expect 100% commitment on all aspects of the programme, and learners must realise that their educational development is as important; if not more so, than their footballing development. The Dorking Wanderers Football Academy is run by a team of professional teachers and UEFA qualified coaches. The Academy has been set up in conjunction with the construction of Meadowbank Stadium in order to link youth football and the senior management team at Dorking Wanderers FC, meaning that progression to the first team is a real possibility. Players will have the opportunity to explore further career options through many guest speakers offering an insight into several areas of sport. All football related games and sessions are conducted on an artificial surface, a short walk from the interactive classroom.

To find out what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to drop us a line, and we will arrange for you to come in and see us in action.

What qualification will I study at the DWFA?

Here at the DWFA our students study towards a Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development‍ or a Higher National Certificate & Higher National Diploma.


Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Sports Coaching and Development‍

This qualification is intended as a 2 year programme for post 16 students. It is equivalent to up to 3 A Levels and is intended for those wanting to progress directly into employment as a coach.


In addition, the breadth of content in this qualification allows learners to progress to a large variety of Higher Education and Degree level courses.

- Health,Well-being & Sport

- Applied Coaching Skills

- Sport Development

- Sports Psychology

- Self-employment in Sport

- Nutrition for Physical Performance

- Practical Sports

- Marketing Communications

5 GCSEs at grade 4 and above
(including English and Maths).

If you have grades D/3 or below you will need to continue to study on GCSE or Functional Skills, depending on the grades you have obtained.

We provide weekly taught lessons with a specialist tutor, where students are supported in how to pass the appropriate examination, provided with feedback on completed work and guidance on how to improve.

Course Structure

A typical week for a Level 3 student is made up of 16 hours of study, with the rest of the time dedicated to work experience comparable to that of a professional working and/or competing in sport.


A substantial number of students progress on to university in each year.

The most popular undergraduate courses are in Sports Science, Sports Development, PE Teaching and Sports Psychology. Our students have also used their qualification to gain entry onto Business and Management programmes.







Why Dorking Wanderers?

Alongside their football playing curriculum, all students complete work placements with our Academy, running two physical education programmes at local primary schools.

In year one, learners are given the opportunity to complete the FA Level one in coaching. This extra curricular course informs learners of the technical demands of the coach, whilst training them in safeguarding and administering first aid.

Our close working relationship with the Surrey FA has opened up numerous working opportunities for our students, such as playing on UEFA B courses and organising charitable sporting events. This has allowed them to gain valuable experience of working with a variety of different members of the local community.

Ultimately, this helps our students to better understand the demands and requirements of adult football, their chosen workplace or university.

All players offered the opportunity to join our Academy do so knowing that the programme they sign up to has been specifically designed to blend football and education in a way to aid their progression to the next level.

• State of the art 4g pitch
• 3 purpose built classrooms
• Private study area





Higher National Certificate & Higher National Diploma

The first few years after you leave College could shape the rest of your life, so it’s important to explore all the options available to you.

Whatever your sport, DWFA aims to provide a high quality, unique vocational learning experience, with practical and theoretical teaching embedded into flexible programmes.

DWFA’s undergraduate programmes are currently offering Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND), Foundation and Honours Degree.

We honour the importance of a realistic balance between the focus on both your educational development and industry experience. The work experience element of the Higher National Diploma in Sport will allow you to practice and apply the managerial skills you have learned in a realistic workplace environment.

This will give you a considerable head start on the competition, when it comes to finding your dream job in the sport of your choice. 

Course Structure

In addition to two days of lectures and seminars, students are required to undertake at least one day per week in a work placement. Our exclusive partnerships with professional sports clubs mean that we can provide a valuable advantage in these placements, and subsequently when it comes to applying for a job.

Entry Requirements

96 UCAS points plus GCSE Maths and English (grades A*-C), or equivalent, or Access to Higher Education Certificate, or ABE Certificate in Business. Applicants without the above criteria will be interviewed to assess academic suitability.


Course Description

The Higher National Certificate course is a BTEC modular course with the HNCrunning for one year looking at core units of Applied Sports Coaching, The Evolution of Sport Development and the Sport & Leisure Industry as well as topics such as Managing Resources in Sport & Leisure Management.

The Higher National Degree course either builds on the knowledge learnt on the HNC as the same modules are studied or is a two year course in its own right. The HND is a level 4 course in the first year before progressing onto a higher level of study, Level 5 in the second year. Level 5 is the equivalent of a typically second year undergraduate programme. The core modules include those of the HNC in addition to Event Management, an in depth Research Project and a Personal / Professional Development Module.

In addition, both courses will improve general study and literacy skills up to the level of the qualification


Course Content

The BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Sport is a qualification with a minimum of 120 credits (it can stand alone or act as the first year for the two year HND course).

The BTEC Level 5 HND Diploma in Sport is a qualification with a minimum of 240 credits.

- Applied Sports Coaching

- The Evolution of Sports Development

- The Sport and Leisure Industry

- Physical Activity, Lifestyle & Well Being

- Work-based Experience

- Managing Resources in Sport and Leisure Management

- Skill Acquisition in Sport

- Anatomy and Physiology for Sport and Exercise

- Research Project

- Principles of Sports Coaching

- Managing Sports Development

- Nutrition for Sport & Exercise

- Event Management in Sport and Leisure

- Field Based Fitness Testing for Sport and Exercise

- Personal & Professional Development

- Analysis of Sports Performance

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