Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus
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Strength and Conditioning MSc

Learn about the course below
Code
PGC600
Start
October 2020
Duration
1 year full-time
Usually 2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,200 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Chris Bishop

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

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.

Why study MSc Strength and Conditioning* at Middlesex University?

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. One of our partner organisations is Saracens Rugby Club and our facilities are housed at their nearby Barnet Copthall Stadium, home of Saracens Rugby Club, where we boast world-class performance laboratories, rehabilitation units and testing facilities. You will build invaluable industry contacts and we maintain contact with many of our graduates who have gone on to work in professional sports.

Course highlights

  • Based in London, we are surrounded by the greatest density of top sports clubs and organisations in the UK
  • We believe that all our graduates should be high achievers both practically and academically. As a result, we actively encourage students to publish their dissertation through peer-reviewed journals and conferences
  • This course will facilitate your accreditation from relevant strength and conditioning awarding bodies and provide supervised work experience with high-level athletes
  • The majority of our staff are active sports professionals involved in coaching and sport performance. Able to maintain close links with the industry, they can ensure current professional practice informs your studies
  • Small class sizes allow you to receive the personal attention required to thrive in your studies
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Listen to the course introduction

*Please note this course is subject to review.


Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Strength and Conditioning?

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.

Modules

We’ve made sure that the skills and knowledge that you’ll gain on your course will not change during the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, your module information is below.

  • Modules

    • Strength and Conditioning Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Performance Training and Corrective Exercise (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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).

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Work Placement (30 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      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.

More information about this course

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.

How will the MSc Strength and Conditioning be taught?

All of the theory based content will be pre-recorded and made available online. Attending campus will be one day per month 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.

Please note, should COVID-19 result in restrictions in our ability to attend campus, we have created a bank of online learning resources to ensure remote learning for laboratory (e.g. walk-through videos of how to use equipment and analyse data) and practical sessions (e.g. video demonstrations of all relevant exercises with online forums for discussions around coaching, progressions/regressions, and application to programming) can continue in line with all existing learning outcomes.

Assessment

We’re planning to deliver our assessment in a similar way to previous years. We will review this regularly, and let you know in advance of your assessment if we need to make any changes.

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.

Due to COVID-19, if we are unable to undertake your practical assessments on campus, these will run online using existing resources.

Teaching and learning - changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

3 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

6.5 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

3 hours

Scenario 2: Course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place 

1.

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

1.5 hours

2.

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

6.5 hours

3.

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

3 hours

4.

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week per level:

6 hours once per month

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.

Support

You’ll 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 mainly be delivered online and you’ll 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’ll 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.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Strength and Conditioning support your career?

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 Bishop
Programme Leader

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.

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