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 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. 

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2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
2021
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
2022
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
  • Monitoring Growth and Long-Term Development across athletic performance
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Coaching Speed, Agility and Endurance Development
  • Coaching the Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning
  • Introduction to Screening, Prevention and Recovery

Year Two: Strength and Conditioning course

  • Designing and Administering Strength and Conditioning Programmes
  • Weightlifting
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Monitoring, Testing and Evaluation in Team Sports
  • Research Methods

Optional modules:

  • Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries
  • Sport Placement
  • Exercise for Special Populations

Year Three: Strength and Conditioning course

  • Advanced Methods in Strength and Conditioning
  • Applied Science in Strength and Conditioning
  • Coaching Special Populations

Optional modules:

  • Applied Professional Project
  • Dissertation
  • Work Based Learning
  • Advanced Rehabilitation of Sports and Exercise Injuries

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.

Lecturers

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.nsiders all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed 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.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees


  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13800 

  • Part-time UK:  £700 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £53.20
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.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU 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 students

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

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