Strength and Conditioning MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
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This exciting master’s focuses on an evidence-based approach to understanding the science of strength training and the application of strength and conditioning in enhancing human performance.

Year of entry

2024-25

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Online/Blended

Duration

1 year full-time

Course code

HLST245

Start date

September 2024


Course overview

Designed to equip you with a critical, evidence-based approach to problem-solving, you'll have the opportunity to systematically and creatively explore complex issues related to enhancing human performance in a ‘real world’ context. Furthermore, the course and module learning outcomes have been aligned to ensure you are prepared for the accreditation process with the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), as well as certification with the USA-based National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) upon graduation.

Successful completion of the Strength and Conditioning MSc course will equip you with the key underpinning scientific knowledge, skills, and professional competencies commonly required to be a Strength and Conditioning Coach.

  • Designed to enable you to evidence attainment of the professional standards required by a Graduate Strength and Conditioning Coach.
  • Aims to provide you with the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes required to enhance human performance across a range of domains (sport, occupational, health) using exercise training.
  • Aims to develop expert knowledge, understanding and practical ability to develop strength and conditioning programmes and monitor and evaluate their effectiveness on the human body.
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Why you should study this course

This course is designed to equip you with the advanced knowledge, understanding and skills to become a professional strength and conditioning coach.

  • Upon successful completion, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to apply for accreditation with the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), as well as certification with the USA-based National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) (additional fees are payable to UKSCA and NCSA for accreditation/certification)1.
  • Expert guest lecturers, which in the past have included sports medicine, health and wellness, sport psychology and sport performance complement staff expertise (subject to availability)2.
  • The current staff team teaching this course include people who provide strength and conditioning support to professional sporting organisations and/or hold positions within UKSCA and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) (staff subject to change).
  • This course has a strong practice-based element; you will have the opportunity to engage in the practical application of strength and conditioning in individual and team sport settings.

Accreditation and professional recognition

This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

This course is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). This endorsement reflects a commitment by Coventry University to equip students with the skills, knowledge and experience needed to effectively transition into roles in the sector by aligning courses with professional standards. CIMSPA-endorsed degree programmes are certified as meeting professional standards set by the most highly regarded employers in the sector. Students may also apply for discounted membership of CIMSPA.


Chartered Management Institute

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The course currently includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited1 module, Entrepreneurial Practice. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by CMI through their quality systems.



What you'll study

Core subject areas covered in the course include performance physiology, biomechanics, sports injuries, corrective exercises, recovery strategies, and strength and conditioning practice.

You will be provided with the opportunity to develop several key skills needed to be an effective strength and conditioning practitioner, including how to be an effective communicator. In addition, you will be encouraged to take an analytical and flexible approach to problem-solving.

Modules

  • This module is designed to help you to gain the knowledge and techniques needed to develop an understanding of the needs of a client based on knowledge of physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition. The module takes an interdisciplinary approach to client profiling and needs analysis as applied to strength and conditioning and sport science practitioners.

    Compulsory

  • This module focuses on those key areas of physiology, psychology, nutrition and biomechanics delivered at undergraduate level which are most relevant to the strength and conditioning practitioner. It is designed to introduce you to a body of knowledge and experiences that aim to prepare you for advanced strength and conditioning practices in sport performance. The main emphasis is placed on applied physiology and biomechanics for the exercising human. The aim of the module is to provide you with the theoretical knowledge and practical competencies required to work with a variety of populations within the field of strength and conditioning. It is designed to help you develop the skills and abilities required to perform, teach and prescribe fundamental strength and conditioning activities.

    Compulsory

  • This is an assessment-only module. It aims to encourage you to develop multi-disciplinary practice and an integrated approach to learning. You will have the opportunity to integrate knowledge and skills from the Foundation Practices in Strength and Conditioning and Profiling and Needs Analysis modules to develop a strength and conditioning programme for a defined client.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to provide a detailed understanding of the complex processes necessary to formulate, develop and test a scientific/clinical hypothesis. You will be given the opportunity to apply these to the design of your own research study with due regard to health and safety and ethical requirements. It is designed to enable you to become a critical consumer of information in the context of developing evidence-based practice. You will be supported by project review meetings with your nominated supervisor.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to build on key areas of those developed in the foundations of strength and conditioning practice. The module is designed to develop advanced skills in programming for strength, speed and power development to meet the performance needs of the elite performer.

    Compulsory

  • The emphasis of this module is on the planning, delivery and effective review of strength and conditioning coaching within a multi-disciplinary team. The module considers the roles of the strength and conditioning coach, technical sport coach, physiologist, physiotherapist, biomechanist, nutritionist, and psychologist when developing a rehabilitation programme for return to performance.

    This module aims to help you develop the theoretical knowledge and practical competencies required to work with a variety of populations within the field of strength and conditioning.

    This module content will also contribute, along with Advanced Practice in Strength and Conditioning, to an integrated course-based assessment. You will aim to apply principles of programme design learnt here to a novel scenario in a problem-based learning approach.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to allow you to reflect upon and refine your research project proposal prior to the data collection phase. You will have the opportunity to practice and develop competency in key methods to be used in the investigation, and to receive support for any other project-related concerns. You will have the opportunity to meet with your project supervisor to refine the research proposal ideas with the aim to support you to articulate these clearly.

    Compulsory

  • This is an assessment-only module, combining learnings from two modules - Professional Practice within a Multi-disciplinary Team and Advanced Practice in Strength and Conditioning. It is designed to develop multi-disciplinary practice and an integrated approach to learning. You will apply your knowledge and understanding from the two modules to a bespoke case study of an injured individual.

    Compulsory

  • The aim of this module is to give you an opportunity to assess the relationship between entrepreneurship and other domains of management, such as strategy and leadership. Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain an understanding of how entrepreneurial thinking can enhance organisational performance and leadership through the application of a more enterprising mindset.

    Entrepreneurs may work for themselves (as entrepreneurs) or be entrepreneurial in working for others (intrapreneurs). By drawing on a wide range of scenarios, tasks and debates, this module aims to explore a range of entrepreneurial archetypes to help you explore your own entrepreneurial profile and potential. Upon successful completion of the module you should gain an appreciation of entrepreneurship from multiple perspectives and subject areas. The module explores how to adopt or adapt solutions from other fields of study to find opportunities or solve problems.

    Successful completion of this module will enable you to complete the academic requirements for a Level 7 certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management from the CMI (CMI registration is subject to additional costs). Please see the Accreditation and Professional Recognition section.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will report and reflect on a period of relevant work experience2. You are required to undertake a minimum of 100 hours of appropriate experience in a strength and conditioning role. This may be accumulated through the duration of the course, and a log of work experience must be maintained. You are supported to source appropriate placements through the established course team or your own contacts. Reflection on the work experience aims to encourage you to recognise your developing competencies, mapped to the accrediting body (UKSCA).

    Compulsory

  • In this module you will have the opportunity to put into practice and report your research proposal. You will implement your project design, collect, analyse and interpret data and critically evaluate your findings with reference to published literature.

    You will be supported through the process via supervisory meetings, but you are expected to demonstrate an ability to work independently without close supervision. This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop high levels of organisational skills, practical ability, interaction with other students, engagement with supervisory meetings and professional behaviour to participants or clients.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

The aim of this course is to effectively prepare you for professional employment, so it focuses on providing enhanced practical and professional skills through a combination of methods, including:

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Practical lab work
  • Field sessions
  • Case studies.

You will also be supported through a range of online activities such as:

  • Online tutorials
  • Discussion boards
  • Online lectures
  • Online problem-based learning.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 16 contact hours per week.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 20 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Coursework assignments
  • Oral presentations
  • Video presentations
  • A practical portfolio
  • Dissertation.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science from a recognised university. Modules of study must include Exercise Physiology and/or Biomechanics in Level 6 of an undergraduate degree.

Applicants with a degree in an area cognate with Strength and Conditioning such as Human/Exercise Physiology, Coaching, Engineering (with a focus on Biomechanics), Health and Exercise, Sports Therapy or any other sport-related courses will also be considered.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications and relevant experience - speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science. Modules of study must include Exercise Physiology and/or Biomechanics in Level 6 of an undergraduate degree.

Applicants with a degree in an area cognate with Strength and Conditioning such as Human/Exercise Physiology, Coaching, Engineering (with a focus on Biomechanics), Health and Exercise, Sports Therapy or any other sport-related courses will also be considered.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with at least 5.5 in each component area

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200   Not available
EU £11,200 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

As part of the School of Life Sciences, this course will take place at our Coventry University main campus and has access to the Alison Gingell Building which features a number of innovative classrooms and facilities4.

The Alison Gingell building features an indoor running track, a custom strength and conditioning facility and extensive exercise science laboratories. 

Sports Therapy Student learning

Sports Therapy Clinic

The Sports Therapy Clinic is run by final-year undergraduate Sports Therapy students under the supervision of qualified staff, with second-year students providing a supervised massage clinic twice a week.

Strength and conditioning suite

Strength and conditioning suite

Our multi-purpose suite is equipped with multiple Olympic lifting platforms, a 20m gait analysis track, an anti-gravity treadmill and a 3D motion capture system.

Environmental Chamber

Environmental chamber

Our environmental chamber helps us to test the effects of a wide range of environmental conditions, such as temperature and barometric pressure, on the human body.


Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and critical understanding of strength and conditioning as a profession, including its theoretical scientific underpinning and limitations
  • Design, deliver, and continuously evaluate strength and conditioning programmes to enable a broad range of individuals to achieve their performance-orientated goals
  • Critically apply evidence-based practice to ‘real world’ questions, different multi-disciplinary situations, and global contexts
  • Understand the current professional context, ethical issues, and impact of diversity, as they affect current practice within the strength and conditioning industry
  • Employ evidence-based reasoning to examine practical, theoretical, and ethical issues associated with strength and conditioning
  • Find, critically analyse and present scientific information to both expert and non-expert recipients.

This course aims to equip you with knowledge and professionalism for a variety of health and fitness-related careers such as strength and conditioning coach, fitness manager for sports teams, performance manager, exercise/physical activity referral officer, health and fitness industry and health promotion.

Where our graduates work

This course aims to equip you with knowledge and professionalism for a variety of health and fitness-related careers. Previous graduates have secured a range of strength and conditioning-related careers within the sport and physical activity sector both in the UK and worldwide, including, but not limited to, professional football, professional rugby, institutes of sport, NHS Strength and Conditioning Coach, professional dance/ ballet, professional cricket and higher education.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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