Studying in autumn 2020 during coronavirus
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Strength and Conditioning MSc (Online Distance Learning)

Learn about the course below
Code
PGC60S
Start
October 2020
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time or part-time via online distance learning
Fees
£8,000
Course leader
Shyam Chavda

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 course is ideal if you are currently working with athletes and are looking to develop your professional and academic skills-set. You'll gain highly employable skills such as assessing, monitoring, interpreting and presenting performance data as well as being able to engage coach and athletes.

Why study MSc Strength and Conditioning (Online Distance Learning) at Middlesex University?

This course is ideal if you are currently working with athletes and are looking to develop your professional and academic skillset. The distance education mode provides the advantage for those who have limited availability to attend classes on a regular basis.

You will learn the skills you need to construct and deliver evidence-based strength and conditioning programmes and be taught how to assess, monitor, interpret and provide feedback in relation to changes in physical performance. Content delivery and assessment will enable you to competently undergo domestic and international professional accreditations within the industry, such as the UKSCA and NSCA.

Our academics are active in coaching and research as well as currently working in the high performance sport industry.  This ensures that all content has been specifically designed to have practical relevance within the industry, meaning you'll be fully prepared to advance your career.

You will be learning from experienced academics who currently work in high performance sport and consult with professional organisations and national governing bodies such as; the UKSCA, Men’s and women’s Premiership football and rugby, and British Weightlifting, to name a few. This ensures that all content has been specifically designed to have practical relevance within the industry, meaning you'll be full prepared to advance your career.

You'll gain hands-on experience during a 10-day residential at the Barnet Copthall Stadium, home of the Saracens Rugby Club which will help contextualise the online content in our world-class performance laboratories.**

Course highlights

  • We'll actively encourage you to publish your dissertation through peer-reviewed journals and conferences
  • You will have the opportunity to make invaluable industry contacts
  • You’ll receive free electronic textbooks for every module, among other university services and benefits.

**Please note that the residential is planned for 29 March – 7 April 2021, but due to the Corona pandemic, this has been made optional for the academic year of 2020-2021. It is strongly suggested that students attend the residential where possible, providing government restriction do not hinder attendance. Should you be unable to attend the residential for the above reason it will NOT impact your ability to complete the course and meet the learning outcomes, therefore providing you with the opportunity to graduate.

What will you study on MSc Strength and Conditioning (Online Distance Learning)?

During this master's degree, you'll undertake two core modules specific to strength and conditioning:

  1. Strength and Conditioning Science
  2. Performance Training and Corrective Exercise

The core modules will cover physiological and biomechanical principles relating to developing athleticism and reducing injury. During these modules you will have an opportunity to develop your ability to critically analyse the available literature within specific topics and develop your own philosophy as to how these principles can be applied to training.

In addition to covering theoretical principles of strength and conditioning, you'll develop both inter-personal and methodological skill-sets during online seminars and residential (subject to Covid-19), which is further supported through online resources. Practical competency in the analysis and coaching of movement screening, weightlifting and speed, agility and plyometric exercises will be developed throughout this course, through various methods of interaction.

Finally, an understanding of the methodological processes behind laboratory and field-based performance testing and analysis, will also be developed.

What will you gain?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to effectively design an evidenced-based strength and conditioning program, as well as select, administer and analyse performance testing. You'll also develop a mastery of communication and delivery of a programme to varying athletic populations for gym and field-based exercises.

Modules

We’ve made temporary changes to some course modules for students starting in 2020 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. If you’re applying to start this course or progressing into year one, two or three this autumn, there’s information on these updates below.

  • Modules - changes for students in 2020

    • Strength and Conditioning Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you with a detailed understanding of the physiological mechanisms and biomechanical principles that govern strength and conditioning training. You'll develop your research skills so you can critically analyse journal articles, in order to design and justify your training programmes and remain abreast of scientific advancements. Finally, you’ll develop your data analysis skills so you’ll be able to investigate trends and differences in testing results and assess the reliability of protocols.

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

      This module will support you as you critically assess athlete movement competency, both objectively and subjectively, using these skills to develop strength and conditioning programming for athlete performance. In addition, you'll gain the ability to demonstrate and coach a range of weightlifting, agility, speed and plyometric exercises.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you the relevant knowledge and skills to undertake appropriate research in strength and conditioning. You’ll learn search strategies to identify relevant literature and methods on how to critically appraise it. You’ll also cover topics such as research design, as well as selecting and conducting suitable statistical tests appropriate to the subject area.

    • Professional Placement (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you the opportunity to learn from practical experience. You’ll gain further knowledge and comprehension of the programme content through the application of theoretical principles. This experience will also help to develop specific competencies such as using and applying specific software and to help develop interpersonal skills.

      (If you’re not already working within a field relevant to your programme of study, programme staff may be able to advise of suitable work placements, but this is not guaranteed. Should it be impossible to undertake placement due to the coronavirus, students will work towards a reflective essay aided by discussion with the mentor and theoretical learning materials which will be available on MyLearning.)

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will utilise the skills developed from the research methods module and require you to undertake a research project, appropriate to the programme and area of practice.

  • Modules – typical course content

    • Strength and Conditioning Science (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you with a detailed understanding of the physiological mechanisms and biomechanical principles that govern strength and conditioning training. You'll develop your research skills so you can critically analyse journal articles, in order to design and justify your training programmes and remain abreast of scientific advancements. Finally, you’ll develop your data analysis skills so you’ll be able to investigate trends and differences in testing results and assess the reliability of protocols.

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

      This module will support you as you critically assess athlete movement competency, both objectively and subjectively, using these skills to develop strength and conditioning programming for athlete performance. In addition, you'll gain the ability to demonstrate and coach a range of weightlifting, agility, speed and plyometric exercises.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you the relevant knowledge and skills to undertake appropriate research in strength and conditioning. You’ll learn search strategies to identify relevant literature and methods on how to critically appraise it. You’ll also cover topics such as research design, as well as selecting and conducting suitable statistical tests appropriate to the subject area.

    • Professional Placement (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you the opportunity to learn from practical experience. You’ll gain further knowledge and comprehension of the programme content through the application of theoretical principles. This experience will also help to develop specific competencies such as using and applying specific software and to help develop interpersonal skills.

      (If you’re not already working within a field relevant to your programme of study, programme staff may be able to advise of suitable work placements, but this is not guaranteed.)

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will utilise the skills developed from the research methods module and require you to undertake a research project, appropriate to the programme and area of practice.

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 is the MSc Strength and Conditioning (Online Distance Learning) taught?

As part of the course, there will be a 10 day residential at the Barnet Copthall Stadium, home of the Saracens Rugby Club. This will cover essential laboratory and field-based practical skill development.

The rest of the course is delivered through online lectures, forums and tutorials with further resources provided to assist your learning.

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 online presentations, written assignments, laboratory data reports, unseen examinations and practical demonstrations.

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 year, per level:

36 total hours teaching during residential (6 hours x 6 days)

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

How can the MSc Strength and Conditioning (Online Distance Learning) support your career?

This Strength and Conditioning master’s degree opens doors to a number of exciting career path, with excellent career progression opportunities.

With the ever-increasing focus in the sporting world on achieving the best results possible, strength and conditioning coaches are in high demand.

We take great pride in our graduates having found success at professional and elite organisations such as:

  • English Institute of Sport (EIS)
  • Arsenal FC
  • Chelsea FC
  • Saracens RFC
  • Notts Cricket Club
  • NFL Academy
  • British Weightlifting

We continue to sustain and develop our links with professional organisations to enhance the potential career opportunities for our graduates. Further to this, you'll also be capable of establishing your own consultancy business or progressing on to additional study in the form of a PhD.

Shyam Chavda
Programme leader

Dr Anthony Turner
Associate Professor

Dr Chris Bishop
Senior lecturer

  • Xiang ‘Tyler’ Yao

    PhD student and Strength and Conditioning Coach for Saracens Women's RFC

    My time during the Strength and Conditioning master’s degree has been invaluable. The lecturers were exceptional in delivering theoretical knowledge and how this can be applied in the field. Because of this I've had opportunity to present at conferences and assist in research at international sporting events. Given the up to date content and stellar reputation of the lecturers, I highly recommend this course.

  • Darren Stern

    Head of Academy Sport Science, Millwall FC

    The Strength and Conditioning Masters at Middlesex University was an invaluable learning experience. Having a full-time role within professional football it allowed me to blend the latest research in the field to my practice. All the lecturers were excellent in delivering the theory and practice behind strength and conditioning with the ability to help me apply it within a sporting environment. I could not recommend this course highly enough. Excellent.

  • Rebecca Fernandes

    Sport Rehabilitation Therapist

    As a sports therapist, I applied to the Strength and Conditioning master’s degree to help develop my knowledge in training interventions and development of athletes. I knew this was the right place for me due to the boundless knowledge and reputation of the lecturers. From the knowledge gained, I have been able to implement my skills within academy football conducting sessions, physical testing and monitoring of maturation and growth-related injuries. Furthermore, I was privileged enough to have my dissertation accepted for publication in an international journal. I would strongly recommend this course at Middlesex University.

  • Jermaine McCubbine

    U23 Strength and Conditioning Coach, PSV Eindhoven FC

    A fantastic master’s program that really gave me the confidence, theoretical and applied knowledge to progress further in my career. The course structure and content were excellent, and I loved how they placed great emphasis on developing well rounded coaches not only with the underpinning scientific knowledge, but with great presentation and interpersonal skills which are imperative when working in a high-performance environment. I would strongly recommend any practitioner to complete their education at Middlesex University.

  • Tom Bromley

    Lead Strength and Power Coach, Milton Keynes Dons FC

    Studying while working full-time presents logistical and time management challenges. At Middlesex, the course structure was perfect for getting that valuable lecturer contact as well as allowing you to continue making ends-meat. The content was a fluid mix of theory and evidence-based practice. This has helped me greatly in real world situations, from advancing on the fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning, preparing reports/presentations, expanding my knowledge base of coaching and even exploring research opportunities. All of this coupled with highly motivated and experienced staff with a strong reputation of self-development and doing everything they can to assist each student, made it a no-brainer for me to do everything I could to get enrolled.



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.

Other courses

Sport Rehabilitation MSc

Start: October 2020

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGB160

Strength and Conditioning MSc

Start: October 2020

Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time

Code: PGC600

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