BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning

91% of our BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning students were satisfied with their course National Student Survey 2022

USW's strength and conditioning degree is designed, written and delivered by internationally renowned industry professionals.

Strength and conditioning coaches need a unique mix of scientific knowledge, practical expertise and coaching experience. This strength and conditioning course directly addresses all of these requirements.

It offers opportunities for extensive practical experience and is endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) via its ERP programme

You’ll learn practical strength and conditioning skills in our state-of-the-art-facility at USW Sport Park, using the same tools and equipment used to train and assess professional athletes.

You could also become part of the University’s coaching team, delivering strength and conditioning to its many sport teams and athletes, gaining valuable coaching experience. 

Top in Wales for course satisfaction in Sports Science. (Guardian League Table 2023)

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Get a glimpse of what it's like to study at USW before you apply

'Introduction to Strength and Conditioning' - Free Online Taster Course

UCAS Code Study Mode
2023
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
62B1 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
2024
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
62B1 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Glyntaff A

Strength and conditioning coaches require a unique mix of scientific knowledge, coaching knowledge, practical expertise and coaching experience. They therefore need to be able draw on knowledge and expertise across a wide range of disciplines and subject areas, and synthesise these areas in the design and delivery of effective training programmes.

Year One: Strength and Conditioning course

Essentials of Resistance Training - 20 credits - Nathan Evans

Resistance training is a key aspect of a strength and conditioning coach’s work. This module is designed provide the student with a range of skills knowledge and competence in the planning and coaching of resistance training to enable them to utilise this training in their strength and conditioning practice.

Monitoring Growth and Long-Term Development across athletic performance - 20 credits - Nathan Evans

The module will provide the student with a basic understanding of the periodisation process along with the prerequisite knowledge and understanding of growth, development and movement to enable the student to design and implement effective long-term player development programmes.

Exercise Physiology - 20 credits - Philippa Laugharne

This module aims to familiarise the student with the language of anatomy and to specifically establish their knowledge and understanding of human musculo-skeletal anatomy, as an underpinning subject of exercise physiology and biomechanics.

Coaching Speed, Agility and Endurance Development - 20 credits - Paul Bunce

This module aims to provide students with the underpinning knowledge and practical skills to enable them to design, implement and effectively coach speed agility and endurance development programmes.

Coaching the Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning - 20 credits - Peter Ashcroft

This module is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the foundation scientific principles underpinning the training process. Students will develop an understanding of the principles of training, components of fitness and the role of the coaching process in the delivery of strength and conditioning.

Introduction to Screening, Prevention and Recovery - 20 credits - Dr Kate Louise Williams

The module will introduce students to the theory and practice of movement screening, sports injury prevention and recovery modalities and to develop practical competency in basic first aid, and prevention and/or management of soft tissue injury.

Year Two: Strength and Conditioning course

Designing and Administering Strength and Conditioning Programmes - 20 credits –Paul Bunce

The module will provide the student with the required knowledge, skill and competence to be able to design, plan lead and manage a working strength and conditioning programme.

Weightlifting - 20 credits - Nathan Evans

This module will enable students to acquire the knowledge, skill and practical competency to become a competent beginner coach in weightlifting and basic Olympic weightlifting exercise.

Sports Nutrition - 20 credits - George Rose

This module aims to provide the student with an appreciation of how nutritional interventions influence sport and exercise performance, especially the use and purported benefits of selected dietary manipulations. 

Monitoring, Testing and Evaluation in Team Sports - 20 credits - Dr Morgan Williams

The module aims to provide the student with an introduction to contemporary issues and protocols used for athlete monitoring and testing in an applied environment and the ability to analyse data and to produce an athlete report of an assessment.

Research Methods - 20 credits - Dr Morgan Williams

This will build on the student’s understanding of research methods and broaden and deepen your appreciation of the range of approaches to research using research for both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Optional modules:

Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries - 20 credits - Dr Kate Louise Williams

This module will develop a student’s knowledge and understanding of the early and intermediate rehabilitation of common musculoskeletal injuries and illness sustained in the sports and exercise environment, such as; tissue mechanics and stress-strain curves; exercise selection and prescription.

Sport Placement - 20 credits - Huw Wilcox

Students will be provided with the opportunity to conduct their work-related experience within a number of key vocational areas related to the sports industry.

Exercise for Special Populations - 20 credits

This module will provide the student with an understanding of the physiological and medical issues associated with access to physical activity among special populations. The student will learn to design and evaluate appropriate exercise programmes that are suitable for individual needs among a diverse range of special population groups.

Year Three: Strength and Conditioning course

Advanced Methods in Strength and Conditioning - 20 credits - Nathan Evans

This module will provide the student with the required knowledge and practical competency to allow for the effective delivery, monitoring and evaluation of advanced methods and training interventions suitable for a wider range of athletes.

Applied Science in Strength and Conditioning - 20 credits - Dr Morgan Williams

This module aims to develop a higher level of knowledge and understanding regarding the anatomical, physiological and biomechanical basis of the training process and planning and evaluation of effective training programmes.

Coaching Special Populations - 20 credits - Nathan Evans

This module will enable the student to acquire and display the knowledge, know-how, skill and competence to become a specialist in delivering varied programmes of strength and conditioning to a variety of populations.

Optional modules:

Applied Professional Project (Online) - 40 credits - Chris Emsley

This module aims to provide the student with a platform upon which they can enhance the effectiveness of their workplace experience and develop their vocational skills.

Dissertation - 40 credits - Dr Stuart Jarvis

This will enable the student to design and conduct an independent study and to be able to critically evaluate scientific data and literature.

Work Based Learning - 20 credits - Huw Wilcox

The module is designed to provide a platform upon which the learner can enhance the effectiveness of the workplace experience and reflect on these experiences. For their chosen professional activity the student will be expected to develop independent learning based on experience in the workplace.

Advanced Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries- 20 credits - Anthony Carter

This module will allow the student to develop an array of massage techniques and understand how to appropriately record and effectively implement these skills when applying various treatment strategies.

Teaching

Full time students study six modules in each year (three per semester). Each module has a two hour lecture each week with an additional two hours practical application, linked to this theory. This ensures that the learning reflects the applied nature of the industry.

This is supplemented with dedicated gym time, where students will have the opportunity to become an active coach in our sports performance programme.

There is a range of teaching and learning methods, including formal lectures, practical workshops, and critically applied practical experience.

Each aspect of the strength and conditioning course is underpinned by extensive practical experience in the hands on delivery of strength and conditioning, an essential capacity for employment in the field.

You are taught by in small groups by strength and conditioning experts, in a strength and conditioning environment. 

Your studies will be underpinned by the latest research undertaken by the University’s Sport, Health and Exercise Science Research Group which collaborates locally, nationally and internationally with partners from industry and academia to provide world-leading knowledge and impact. For you, this means you will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of their specialist field.

 

Assessment

Stressing the applied nature of this level 4 strength and conditioning course, assessment will be closely tied to the tasks strength and conditioning coaches will be required to perform as industry practitioners.

While formal exams are used to assess theoretical knowledge, the majority of assessments are in the form of practical assessments and applied portfolios of training inputs the students have designed and delivered – for example, programme design and programme management.

Accreditations

Professional accreditation is crucial to employment in the profession and the Strength and Conditioning course has been designed to provide the knowledge and practical skills to work towards professional accreditation through the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

The University will also fund 3rd year students who achieve a 2:1 or above to sit the National Strength and Conditioning (NSCA) Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam. The CSCS is seen as premier global strength and qualification and is held by professionals around the world.  

Placements

Work placements are an essential part of developing professional expertise in strength and conditioning.

Students who excel in our strength and conditioning university course have undertaken placements with a range of professional organisations, including Cardiff City FC, Swansea City AFC, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Celtic Dragons Netball, Welsh Cricket and Welsh Hockey.

 

Facilities

The strength and conditioning course is primarily delivered at the USW Sport Park which has a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning centre with 12 lifting platforms as well as a full-size indoor 3G pitch, built to the Fifa Pro and World Rugby 22 standards, performance analysis suite, outdoor pitches, 3G and all weather surface.

Students on our strength and conditioning degree can also access the specialist anatomy, physiology and biomechanics suites at the University’s Glyntaff campus.

Our facilities are regularly used by international professional teams, which confirms the high quality of our equipment. 

Featured Lecturer:
Dr Morgan Williams

Dr Morgan Williams

Dr Morgan Williams is a senior lecturer in Sport Science and Human Performance and a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (CSCS). 

Morgan’s research is predominantly in improving performance and protecting athletes from injury. The body of work has targeted the significant problem of hamstring strain injuries and their recurrences. This focus is driven from Dr Morgan's own experience of frustration as an aspiring footballer who struggled with a series of significant injuries and setbacks.

Dr Williams works in collaborative projects worldwide. He is a member of the Queensland University of Technology Hamstring Injury Group lead and actively involved in development and trialling of the Nordbord Hamstring and Groinbar Strength Testing Device which has had a global multi-sport impact of on the monitoring, training and rehabilitation of hamstring injuries. See more of USW's research into Injury, Training Load and Monitoring, and Rehabilitation.

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them.  Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.

Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. 

 

Additional Requirements:

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child Workforce and Child Barring List and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)

 

Typical A-Level Offer

BBC - CCC to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BB - CC to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Merit in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including a score of 5 in a Science subject, Mathematics, or Psychology at higher level, and 5 or above in English at standard level.

(score must be equivalent to 112-96 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma in Sport/Science with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances. 

 

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course

 

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £55.42
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
Other: Travel to Placement Costs
Year 2 and 3. Students have to fund travel and subsistence costs when on work placements. Costs will very, depending on location.

Funding

Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).

To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement

Graduates are prepared for employment as a strength and conditioning coach, able to work across a range of levels – from beginners to elite athletes. You’ll also be able to set up your own strength and conditioning business, or enter a range of fitness-related industries, such as rehabilitation, personal training, health and wellness, or gym instruction.

 

Full-time

Part-time