BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning
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 address all 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.
CIMSPA qualifications as Gym Instructor, Strength and Conditioning Trainer, and Strength and Conditioning Graduate, are embedded in the course, which will enhance your employability. These qualifications, which are offered free to our students, meet the health and fitness industry’s standards and are highly valued by employers.
Top in Wales for assessment in Sport Science (Guardian University Guide 2024)
Sport Science is rated top in Wales for Teaching Quality and Student Experience (Times Good University Guide 2024)
Get a glimpse of what it's like to study at USW before you apply
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 - Module lead: Nathan Evans
The module will focus on the theoretical basis of resistance training but at its core will be the effective delivery of resistance training to a range of athletes.
Athletic Development - Module lead: Nathan Evans
The module outlines the scientific basis of periodisation and long-term athlete development. It explores the fundamental movement patterns and motor skills required for effective performance.
Exercise Physiology* - Module lead: Pip Laugharne
The module provides an overview of the major physiological systems including Musculo-skeletal, neuromuscular, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems
Coaching Speed, Agility and Endurance Development - Module lead: Paul Bunce
The module will start with an understanding of the potential constraints to speed, agility and endurance performance, and the specific requirements of each component in a variety of sporting contexts.
Coaching the Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning - Module lead: Peter Ashcroft
The module is designed to provide an introductory understanding of the scientific principles underpinning strength and conditioning.
Introduction to Screening, Prevention and Recovery - Module lead: Dr Kate Williams
An introduction to the theory and practice of movement screening, sports injury prevention and recovery modalities.
*This module is available to study fully in Welsh
Year Two: Strength and Conditioning course
Designing and Administering Strength and Conditioning Programmes - Module lead: Paul Bunce
The module will consider the need to plan and manage programmes and the underpinning philosophies required to carry this out effectively.
Weightlifting - Module lead: Nathan Evans
The module allows for the development of practical performance in all the lifts, along with the development of effective coaching progressions. Supporting this will be effective analysis and monitoring of performance, and the effective programming of weightlifting training.
Sports Nutrition - Module lead: George Rose
The module will investigate the use of popular and emerging nutritional strategies that aim to improve exercise and sports performance.
Monitoring, Testing and Evaluation in Team Sports - Module lead: Dr Morgan Williams
This module develops the knowledge gained during their first year, providing the opportunity to critically examine the scientific basis of testing and monitoring team sport athletes.
Research Methods - Module lead: Dr Morgan Williams
To highlight the importance of research within both an academic and professional context. Raise students’ appreciation of the range of approaches to research utilising qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method designs.
Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries - Module lead: Dr Kate Williams
You will develop a knowledge and critical understanding of the early and intermediate rehabilitation of common musculoskeletal injuries and illness sustained in the sports and exercise environment.
Sport Placement* - Module lead: Huw Wilcox
The overall aim of this module is to enable the learner to engage in reflection of their learning through their work experience.
Exercise for Special Populations
The module introduces the concept of participation in regular physical activity for a range of targeted special populations discussing the ways in which exercise may benefit these individuals. This encompasses athletes with disabilities, including Paralympic and Disability Sport.
*This module is available to study fully in Welsh
Year Three: Strength and Conditioning course
Advanced Methods in Strength and Conditioning - Module lead: Nathan Evans
The module will examine a wider range of training approaches and encourage an integrated and specific approach to training which is both athlete and sport specific.
Applied Science in Strength and Conditioning - Module lead: 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. Its aim it to develop the students’ capacity to synthesise applied knowledge, skill, and competence within these domains into the planning and evaluation of effective training programmes.
Coaching Special Populations - Module lead: Nathan Evans
The module examines the key constraints to performance of a range of special populations including adolescent athletes, the elderly, Paralympic athletes, the military, and Blue light services.
Applied Professional Project (Online) - Module lead: Chris Emsley
This module will allow students to gain experience and develop vocational skills that are required to conduct specific roles and responsibilities within the sports industry.
Dissertation - Module lead: Dr Stuart Jarvis
Students will design and conduct an independent study and will critically evaluate scientific data and literature.
Work Based Learning* - Module lead: 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.
Advanced Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries - Module lead: Anthony Carter
The module looks to develop practical skills in late to pre-discharge rehabilitation, return to play decision making and injury reduction strategies.
*This module is available to study fully in Welsh
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
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 to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BB to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 112 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma in Sport/Science with a minimum of 112 UCAS tariff points
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.
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 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £15260
Part-time UK: £740 per 20 credits
August 2025 - July 2026 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
Part-time UK: TBC
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.
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.
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service *
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 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.
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.
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.