MSc Strength and Conditioning: January Start

Are you looking to raise your game in the field of strength and conditioning, applied sport science or athletic development? Graduates of our well-established MSc Strength and Conditioning: January Start degree have a proven track record preparing athletes and sports teams for competition. Our highly experienced practitioner-tutors offer the knowledge and skills you need to develop your career.

Strength and Conditioning: January Start

Key information



Mode of Study:



18 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

Elite sportspeople need an elite support team, and expert strength and conditioning coaches are in demand worldwide 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 in areas such as sports science, training methods and coaching. By studying for your master's degree at the University of Bolton, you can open doors to higher levels of responsibility and professional accreditation in strength and conditioning while experiencing life at our supportive, student-focused, multicultural campus in the heart of the North West of England.

Based in Bolton One, our specially designed sports and health teaching and research facility, this practically-focused postgraduate degree supports you in gaining 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 exploring 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 biomechanics, physiology, nutrition, coaching and leadership. Our commitment is to help you develop as a practitioner, informed by the latest research and ongoing developments in the sciences of sports and human performance so that you can become a leader in the field of strength and conditioning.

We also offer this course with a September start date. For details of the full-time course, please visit our full-time MSc Strength and Conditioning course search web page. Alternatively, to find out more and apply for the part-time course, please visit our part-time MSc Strength and Conditioning course search web page.

  • Specialist facilities in Bolton One include laboratory spaces focusing on strength and conditioning, biomechanics, physiology and physiotherapy, fully equipped teaching clinics, a rehabilitation and exercise suite, a multi-use sports hall and climbing wall, and our Sport and Physical Activity Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC). We take pride in offering elite-level facilities and services that are accessible to all – from established athletes to aspiring sportspeople and members of the public.
  • At the University of Bolton, we offer you opportunities to work alongside our professional practitioners, helping athletes, sports teams, and coaches at all levels improve their performance. We currently have a client base that includes professional football and rugby league, and we have previously worked with GB Weightlifting, Triathlon England, Triathlon Australia, England Athletics, and professional combat sport athletes. Recently, we were a training venue for the Rugby League World Cup, supporting the French international rugby league team.
  • Professional experience is an essential element of the course, giving 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. They 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 and 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 solid 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 MSc Strength and Conditioning 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 secured 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. We'll encourage you 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.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • Normally, you should have successfully completed an honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject; for instance, sport and exercise science, sports coaching, sports rehabilitation, physiotherapy or physical therapy.
  • You should also have relevant vocational experience.
  • We encourage you to apply if you have considerable sector-based experience but don't meet the standard entry requirements. We may ask you to undertake an additional assessment(s) to determine your suitability for the course.
  • 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.

As a graduate of the University of Bolton's MSc Strength and Conditioning degree, you'll possess strong practical skills underpinned by a sound theoretical base.

Studying this 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. We'll support you in developing communication and oratory skills, the ability to work independently and in teams, and attention to detail so you can accomplish tasks accurately.

What can I do with this qualification?

Our graduates are attracted to primary roles in the sports performance area. You'll also be well placed to seek a career in exercise and fitness, rehabilitation or the broader sports industry by working as a physical training instructor or personal trainer. Opportunities exist in professional sports teams too. Alternatively, you may choose entrepreneurship and use this MSc Strength and Conditioning qualification to establish your 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

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers, bearing in mind that postgraduate study and/or work experience may be required. Areas of employment or possible roles include:

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

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £5,664 for the academic year 2024/25.

Overseas students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Overseas fee of £15,950 for the academic year 2024/25.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 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

Thank you for your interest

In order to determine your suitability for this course as an international student and also to confirm you meet any initial eligibility criteria, we need you to answer a few short questions.


We use a wide variety of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These support you in developing the skills, knowledge, and competencies you need to achieve this course's learning outcomes 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 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, and laboratory or project reports. Some assessments will contribute to your final module marks and allow you to demonstrate that you've met the learning outcomes. In contrast, others are designed to help you identify areas that need extra attention on your part or where you need additional support from your tutors.

This programme adopts a blended style of learning and teaching, including online delivery and engagement where appropriate.


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 for Human Motion and Performance
  • Physiology of Adaptation for Human Performance
  • Training Methods and Applied Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Emerging Concepts and Challenges in Applied Practice
  • Research Methods Informing Applied Practice
  • Technical Training for Strength and Conditioning
  • Applied Professional Experience and Development
  • Major Research Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 52%, Practical exams 48%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 78%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 17%


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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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant