Strength, Conditioning and Performance

MSc 

Accredited by the University of Birmingham

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Course Award

MSc

Duration

18 months FT

Placement

Opportunities available

Entry

September

Fees

View Fees

School of Sport and Creative Services
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£44m invested in flagship facilities, including sport

Extensive placement opportunities thanks to our growing links with industry and pro/semi-pro sports teams

Are you fascinated by the field of human performance? Do you want the advanced skills and knowledge that will help you make a real impact within the sports performance industry? Whether you want to work with athletes and teams, governing bodies or other organisations, our Strength, Conditioning and Performance postgraduate course will help mould you into an experienced and adaptable strength and conditioning specialist, able to help meet the demand for knowledgeable practitioners in this exciting and rapidly growing sector.

Our course will help you develop knowledge and skills in a wide range of key areas including the science of human performance, effective coaching and other essential attributes for employment in this field. Our course has been developed in collaboration with industry professionals and is aligned with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the new Graduate Strength and Conditioning professional standards developed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Putting your theory into practice, you will undertake a work-based learning module to help equip you with the skills for working in an area of your choice, while your lectures and practical sessions will be delivered using the latest technology and equipment in our state-of-the-art Human Performance Centre and Human Performance Laboratory, based at our new £44 million Moss House campus.

Why should I choose this course?

  • EXCELLENT FACILITIES – Our Human Performance Centre includes a 35m sprint track while our purpose-built Human Performance Lab features the latest equipment including an anti-gravity treadmill
  • PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Our strong industry links offer you an extensive range of placement opportunities, helping you build experience within your chosen area of the sector
  • EXPERT TEACHING – Learn from both industry and research active staff to develop your academic and practical skills
  • INDUSTRY APPROVED – We are an education partner of CIMSPA and, following their partnership work with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), we are exploring further programme accreditation on their Graduate Strength and Conditioning coach framework
  • TEAM SCOTLAND PARTNERSHIP – Our University will be the home for Team Scotland at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, offering exciting opportunities for our students to work with the team and its athletes

Our facilities

Students on our sports courses at University College Birmingham have access to a wide range of excellent facilities. Our campus features a brand new Human Performance Centre, cutting-edge gym and sports injury and massage clinics, while you also have access to the state-of-the-art facilities at nearby Avery Fields, thanks to our partnership with local rugby club Bournville RFC.

Course breakdown

  • POSTGRADUATE

Core Modules

Science of Human Performance

This module provides you with an understanding of the underpinning mechanisms related to human movement and performance with a strong link to practical concepts. You will look at neuromuscular structure and function, bioenergetics and metabolism, cardio-pulmonary function and endurance performance as well as strength and power. Much of this will take place in our brand new Human Performance Laboratory. Using a range of teaching methods, including podcasts, laboratory-based sessions, lectures and seminars, this module is designed to link components of exercise science to the field of human performance.

Coaching and Enhancing Sports Performance

Coaching and Enhancing Sports Performance builds on the underpinning concepts of human performance and applies them to key areas relating to practical application. You will look at a number of areas including effective coaching in strength and conditioning, training strength, power and endurance and working with team sports alongside nutrition for training adaptation, enhanced performance and recovery. This module will prepare you for many aspects of stepping into industry and applying the theory in a sports performance environment. You will develop your practical coaching skills while learning methods to enhance sports performance. This module will allow you to gain competence across a range of equipment used in both laboratory and field-based settings.

Applied Strength and Conditioning

An effective strength and conditioning coach needs to go beyond understanding the science of performance. This module will help you to develop a range of the ‘softer’ skills required to work in the field of strength and conditioning, such as interpersonal skills, effective communication, empathy, conflict management and resolution. Furthermore, the module introduces the concept of reflective practice, an essential skill for the applied practitioner.

Research Methods

The Research Methods module will develop your understanding of the research process, preparing you to undertake and complete a successful research project. The module will cover all aspects of the research process and provide you with the opportunity to carry out a pilot study, receiving staff and peer feedback before commencing your research project. Key stages of the module include applying for ethics approval, developing appropriate studies for hypotheses testing, research design, population sampling, data analysis (and associated software) and reporting findings.

Athlete Management

This module provides you with knowledge and experience of working within a multi-disciplinary team in order to provide the best support for athletes. You will learn a range of concepts including injury screening and rehabilitation, monitoring load and fatigue, performance testing and the athletic diet. By developing an appreciation of these areas you will be able to identify your roles and responsibilities in a wide range of settings. You will effectively take your ‘case studies’ through the process of training, from screening and referral to monitoring of load and fatigue and performance testing.

Experiential Learning

The Experiential Learning module provides you with a vocational opportunity to develop your personal, transferable skills and work-specific skills, therefore enhancing your future employability. By gaining real-world experience in the field of applied strength and conditioning, you will be challenged to link theory with practice. You will be supported to find suitable vocational practice placements with which to hone your skills, as well as building industry networks to support your future career aspirations. The module will also provide you with the opportunity to reflect on evidence-based practice and identify your own learning needs.

Dissertation

The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to consolidate your learning and undertake a supervised research project, with the option to seek appropriate publication (e.g. academic journal, conference etc.) You will be able to specialise in an area of interest to you, which could be based out of the Human Performance Centre/Laboratory or in the field, potentially following on from your work on the Experiential Learning placement.

The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A grade classification of 2:2 is required or international equivalent.

A subject-related UK or International honours degree from a recognised institution.

Applicants who make it through the initial selection process will be required to attend an interview, after which the evidence from the above selection procedures will be considered. Full details of this procedure will be sent to applicants who have progressed successfully to this stage.

Work-based

We also consider applicants who are currently employed and wish to apply to University College Birmingham.

To apply, you must have five years of relevant managerial work experience, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the sector for the subject matter you are interested in pursuing.

A reference detailing your roles and responsibilities from your line manager and a meeting with the programme team will usually be scheduled prior to a place being offered.

EU/international students

For academic and English entry requirements for EU and international students, please visit the Country Specific Information page.

Additional

If your degree is not related and you do not have relevant managerial work experience, please contact Admissions so that we can discuss your application on an individual basis before you apply. 

If you have any questions, please send us an email:

Home and EU applicants: pg@ucb.ac.uk

International applicants: international@ucb.ac.uk

Key information

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

The course will be delivered by a variety of methods which include attending lectures, seminar debates, workshops, interacting with guest speakers and leading entrepreneurs from industry. You will also be expected to engage with independent reading and research to ensure an interactive and personalised learning experience.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a range of methods to encourage the development of relevant skills and competencies. These include case studies, presentations, assignments and laboratory reports. Finally, you will undertake an extended research project linked to your area(s) of interest within the industry.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.

Uniform and kit costs

We highly recommend that you purchase the course-specific uniform for this postgraduate course, costing approximately £100. (Prices are subject to change each year – exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.)

Percentage
70%

of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements

Work placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Our strength and conditioning master's course features an ‘Experiential Learning’ module with a minimum of 30 hours of placement work required for your assessment. We also fully encourage and will support you in gaining further work experience to match your career aims.

Work alongside experts in your sector 

A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:

  • Wasps Rugby Academy
  • Bournville RFC
  • Gamechanger Performance
Students will benefit from brand new, bespoke facilities which are fully equipped to allow them to explore all areas of strength, conditioning and performance. Staff are experienced industry professionals who have either practised, or are still practising, in industry. Additionally, the course has been developed in collaboration with industry professionals.

Elaine Limond Assistant Dean, School of Sport and Creative Studies

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

Strength and conditioning coach

Average Salary: £25,090

Exercise physiologist (in the sports sector)

Average Salary: £26,500

Exercise physiology lecturer

Average Salary: £24,000

Head of athletic development

Variable Salary

hired@UCB

We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 

 

Find out more

 

Mark’s Story

Lecturer Mark has 25 years of elite sport performance and coaching experience. He reveals what you can gain from our master’s course.

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