This degree is the ideal sports and exercise science route for students who aspire to work with elite athletes. Learn how to plan and deliver training programmes, monitor progress and deliver feedback to coaches. Being a fully recognised profession in elite sport, almost all professional clubs now employ a minimum of one strength and conditioning coach. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work with athletes in any sport and of any age.
Learn from noted academics who also work with professional athletes and clubs. This course will facilitate your accreditation from relevant strength and conditioning awarding bodies (NSCA and UKSCA) and provide supervised work experience with high-level athletes (for example, in professional football, rugby, and with Olympic and Paralympic athletes). Alongside designing and implementing evidence-based, sport-specific training programmes, you will master a number of exercise techniques, including Olympic lifting, speed agility and plyometrics. You will also develop research and data analysis skills, and the ability to present findings to a team.
You will gain experience as a strength and conditioning coach and scientist through our work-placement module. In our partnership with Saracens Rugby Club, you’ll have access to the fantastic resources at StoneX Stadium, including the brand new £23 million redevelopment project of the West Stand which offers state-of-the-art facilities as a top educational and high performance centre for teaching and research excellence. With some of the most advanced equipment in the UK, you will be able to utilise the new specialist spaces, simulation suites, specialist labs, plus much more. You will build invaluable industry contacts and we maintain contact with many of our graduates who have gone on to work in professional sports.
*Please note this course is subject to review.
Please note this course only runs in October
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As part of the course you will carry out physiological and biomechanical assessments of athletes and interpret the data so as to monitor and tailor training interventions. You will also develop research skills through both a critical review of literature and the undertaking of laboratory or field-based investigations.
The programme can be studied over one year full-time or part-time over two or three years. Lectures take be pre-recorded and online, with attendance on campus occurring during the first Wednesday of every month from 10.00am to 5.00pm, to go through laboratory and practical content.
Alternative arrangements will be put in place is social distancing requirements due to COVID-19 restricts access to specialist facilities or face-to-face interaction.
This module will provide you with a detailed understanding of the physiological and biomechanical principles that govern effective strength and conditioning training. Topics covered include strength and power development, monitoring training load and periodization. You will also learn how to analyse fitness testing data to reveal important trends in performance that can be fed back to coaches and athletes.
This module develops your practical skills essential to designing, delivering and monitoring strength and condition programmes. This includes coaching and technique demonstration across strength and power exercises, and speed, agility and plyometric training. This is preceded by analysing fundamental moving skills for muscle imbalances and providing corrective exercise solutions. Finally, this module facilitates you through the certification requirements of the UKSCA, NSCA and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
This module focuses on data analysis centred on the monitoring of training variables and fitness testing scores, used to provide coaches with a quantitative overview of programme quality.
If you are not already working in sport and fitness, then use our links within professional rugby, football and cricket for example, to gain some valuable experience and start designing and delivering training programmes for athletes.
Use this module to become a specialist in a topic that interests you within the field of strength and conditioning. Aim to have your work published, present it at conferences, or simply feed the results back to coaching staff and colleagues.
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.
All of the theory based content will be pre-recorded and made available online. Attending campus will be every other week where you will gain knowledge and skills from attending laboratory and practical sessions. This will involve group work, small discussions and directed learning towards the skill set needed to be a strength and conditioning coach.
You will be assessed by a variety of methods including seminar presentations, written assignments, laboratory reports, unseen examinations (online or on campus) and practical demonstrations.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Tutor set learning activities
Average hours per week, per level:
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
This Strength and Conditioning course is for students who would like to develop key skills, acquire a body of knowledge, and gain exposure to the frontiers of the subject. A Strength and Conditioning degree opens the doors to a number of exciting career paths, with excellent career progression opportunities.
With the ever-increasing focus for the sporting world to achieve the best results possible, sport scientists are in demand. Middlesex University has strong links with employers. Opportunities exist as a strength and conditioning coach with the governing bodies of most sporting organisations, as well as with organisations such as the English Institute of Sport. Graduates will also be capable of establishing their own consultancy business or progressing on to additional study.
Chris completed his MSc Strength and Conditioning here at Middlesex in 2011-2012 and is now pursuing a PhD investigating the effects of inter-limb asymmetries on physical performance in professional athletes. His professional background prior to starting at Middlesex includes working in professional football and in the private sector where he headed up the performance side of the business for a large healthcare company. Chris is an accredited strength and conditioning coach with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and was recently appointed as Chairman for the UKSCA, which represents the leading professional body for strength and conditioning in the UK.
You can follow Chris on twitter.
We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.
Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.
Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.
At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.
Start: October 2022, EU/INT induction: September 2022
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Code: PGC614, PGC616 (PGCert)
Start: September 2022
Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time
Code: MSc: PGC60A, PGCert: PGC60F, PGDip: PGC60E