MSc Strength and Conditioning

Looking to raise your game in the field of strength, conditioning and athlete development? Graduates of our well-established Master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning have a proven track record preparing athletes and sports teams for competition, and our highly-experienced practitioner-tutors offer the knowledge and skills you need to develop your career.

Strength and Conditioning

Key information



Mode of Study:



24 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

Elite sports people need an elite support team – and expert strength and conditioning coaches are in demand world-wide to promote and guide the physical development of athletes and sports teams. Aimed at graduates with relevant academic and vocational experience, this course is designed to build on your existing knowledge, opening doors to higher levels of responsibility and professional accreditation in strength and conditioning.

Based in Bolton One, the University of Bolton’s specially designed sports and health teaching and research centre, this practically-focused Master’s degree aims to help you gain the academic and theoretical knowledge (for evidence-based practice), and professional, vocational and practical skills needed for success in this competitive industry. Our dedicated team of experienced academic practitioners, who have worked at all levels of elite and professional sport, will guide you in an exploration of the science and coaching of strength and conditioning.

We'll support you to advance your understanding and make strong links between theory and practice in areas such as biomechanics, physiology, nutrition, coaching and leadership. Our commitment is to helping you develop as a practitioner, informed by the latest research and on-going developments in the sciences of sports and human performance, so that you can become a leader in the field of strength and conditioning.

  • Specialist facilities in Bolton One include a dedicated strength and conditioning suite, sport and exercise laboratories focusing on physiology and biomechanics, fully equipped teaching clinics, a rehabilitation and exercise suite, a multi-use sports hall and climbing wall, our Sports and Spinal Injuries Clinic, and much more.
  • Bolton One is also home to our Athlete Development Centre (ADC), offering you opportunities to work alongside our professional practitioners helping athletes, sports teams and coaches at all levels improve their performance. The ADC currently has a client base that includes professional football and rugby league, GB Weightlifting, Triathlon England, Triathlon Australia, England Athletics, and professional combat sport athletes.
  • Professional experience is an essential element of the course that gives valuable, hands-on, real-life experience in a professional sports setting. Our extensive network of sports industry contacts and partners means we can offer a wide variety of placements.
  • Guest lecturers with a strong background in applied strength and conditioning contribute to the course, and have included coaches to elite athletes, book authors, internationally recognised researchers, NGB coaches, and internationally recognised strength and conditioning specialists.
  • The UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) does not accredit any university degrees. However, we believe this course exceeds the academic requirements detailed in their Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach (ASCC) Competency Document, as well as the requirements to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in the USA, meaning you can focus on meeting their experiential requirements.
Key Features
  • Our highly-qualified lecturers and staff are also experienced existing practitioners, offering strong links with industry, and expertise and applied experience in areas such as strength and conditioning, physiological testing, sport and performance psychology, biomechanics, physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation.
  • One of the longest-standing Strength & Conditioning MSc programmes in the UK, this course has a proven track record of producing graduates who are highly employable and are now leading the way across the industry; for instance, our alumni have senior roles at Premier League football clubs, Super League clubs, and in International Rugby Union, International Cricket and Boxing.
  • We’re committed to helping you develop your employability and career network. You’ll be encouraged to attend relevant masterclasses, external courses and events that enhance your learning; helping you to make contacts in the industry and contributing to your professional development.
  • Alongside specialist strength and conditioning knowledge, you’ll have the chance to further develop your skills in research, data collection and evaluation, critical reasoning and analysis, as well as in areas such as communication, presentation, team working and problem solving.
  • We offer a warm and friendly environment for your studies, with relatively small class sizes, specialist sports teaching facilities in Bolton One, and excellent IT and library services. You’ll also be able to access a great range of recreational sport and exercise facilities for when you need to exercise your body instead of your mind.

  • Normally, you should have successfully completed an Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. sport and exercise science, coaching, physiology).
  • You should also have relevant vocational experience.
  • If you don’t meet the standard entry requirements but have considerable sector-based expertise, we’ll be happy to consider your application.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • You'll be required to attend an interview as part of the application process.
  • This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and you must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting your studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

A Strength and Conditioning graduate will be equipped with strong practical skills, underpinned by a sound theoretical base. The course will also enhance your lifelong learning and transferable skills, enabling you to work with self-direction and confidence in the strength and conditioning industry. Some of the key skills you will gain include communication, ability to work both independently and collaboratively, ability and confidence to speak to individuals and large groups and attention to detail to accomplish tasks completely and accurately.

What can I do with this qualification?

Primary roles exist in the sports performance area, but you may also apply your skills to work in exercise and fitness, rehabilitation and the wider sports industry such as a physical training instructor or personal trainer. Opportunities exist working for professional sports teams too. Strength and Conditioning graduates might also wish to use their qualification to establish their own strength and conditioning consultancy.

Previous graduates have secured positions as strength and conditioners in elite sport including Premiership football, international cricket, the English Institute of Sport and professional rugby.

Alternative career options

The highly transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and project management can also be applied to roles in areas such as:

  • Health
  • Armed forces
  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • Emergency services

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

We use a wide variety of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These aim to help you develop the skills, knowledge and competencies you need to achieve the learning outcomes of this course, and more importantly, to be successful in your future career.

You can expect timetabled classes, for instance tutor-led lectures, workshops, tutorials, seminars, and practical sessions, along with other learning activities that place a larger emphasis on independent, self-directed and self-managed learning. All lectures, practical class material and recommended reading will be made available through the University’s virtual learning environment, Moodle so that you can access it online.

In addition, we offer sessions with expert guest speakers, masterclasses with key practitioners from the strength and conditioning community, and opportunities for applied work experience. These seek to enhance employability and bridge the gap between theory and professional practice.

We also use a broad range of assessment methods, including written or practical examinations, essays, case studies, practical coaching observations, oral or poster presentations, laboratory or project reports, and others. Some assessments will contribute to your final module marks and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes, while others are designed to help you identify areas that need extra attention on your part, or where you need extra support from your tutors.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Biomechanics of Strength and Conditioning
  • Training and Adaptation: the Physiology of Sports Performance
  • Critical Considerations for Preparation & Planning for Performance
  • Contemporary Issues in Strength and Conditioning
  • Scientific Enquiry and Data Analysis
  • Critical Independent Enquiry
  • Professional Experience
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 60%, Practical exams 40%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 15%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Sean Sankey
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903871

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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