Strength and Conditioning is a growing industry, providing opportunities for employment not just with elite athletes, but also with sports teams, the army, police force and specialist groups. This strength and conditioning course 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 qualification directly addresses all of these requirements.
Our strength and conditioning degree offers opportunities for extensive practical experience and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) via its ERP programme. Our partnership with Setanta College and its international network of professional advisers ensures that the strength and conditioning course stays at the forefront of the industry and reflects the latest thinking and methods.
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.
The strength and conditioning programme is delivered in partnership with Setanta College, a global provider of strength and conditioning education. Their close links with professional sport – such as rugby, football and golf – as well as the companies who produce the latest tech, means that our course stays at the cutting edge of the profession and our students are well informed and well connected.
The degree is available as a full time and part time strength and conditioning course. In addition the modules in year one have been designed to provide a baseline knowledge in the design and delivery of strength and Conditioning, and can be studied as a Certificate of Higher Education.
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. Students will be based in our purpose-built USW Sport Park which is designed for our elite athletes and have access to our excellent laboratories at our Glyntaff campus.
There are a range of teaching and learning methods, including formal lectures, practical workshops, and critically applied practical experience. Given the applied nature of the industry, 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.
What makes us unique is that this is a bespoke strength and conditioning course, so no modules are shared with another course, like Sport and Exercise Science, as is the case in other Universities. You are taught by in small groups by strength and conditioning experts, in a strength and conditioning environment.
Stressing the applied nature of this strength and conditioning qualification, 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 maximise employment opportunities in strength and conditioning. The BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning course has been designed to ensure that students are provided with the required knowledge and practical skills to gain accreditation through the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
The university hosts an annual NSCA, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam enabling successful students to graduate with this international accreditation. This focus on appropriate professional development and qualification again underpins the practical and employment focus of the strength and conditioning course.
The BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning degree is recognised by the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) Education Recognition Program. The NSCA recognises courses that have met, and continue to meet, their recommended educational guidelines. These are designed to ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills required to maximise their employment opportunities in strength and conditioning.
Work placements are an essential part of developing professional expertise, and coaches who excel in our strength and conditioning programme 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.
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.
Professional accreditation is crucial to employment in the profession. 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).
This balance between theory, applied knowledge and experience will ensure that students graduate with the skills required to deliver high quality strength and conditioning at multiple levels of athlete performance.
The strength and conditioning course will be primarily delivered at the USW Sport Park which has a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning centre as well as a large sports hall, teaching rooms, performance analysis suite, outdoor pitches, 3G and all weather surface. Students 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, such as the Wales national football team and Cardiff City Football Club, as well as the touring New Zealand, South Africa and Australia rugby squads. This confirms the high quality of our equipment.
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.
BCC - CDD to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD to include a Science subject or PE and to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a Science or Mathematics subject at Higher Level (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Science or Maths Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances Other: You will also need an enhanced DBS check.
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.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
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.
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service||£13||
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Other: Professional Accreditations Year 1||£80||
|Other: Professional Accreditations Year 3||£300||
|Other: Travel to Placement Costs||
Year 2 & 3. Students have to fund travel and subsistence costs when on work placements. Costs will very, depending on location.
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.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Students will be prepared for employment as a strength and conditioning coach, able to work with performers across a wide range of levels from beginners through to elite athletes. Additionally, students will be provided with the knowledge to set up their own strength and conditioning business as well as being provided with the skills to perform effectively in a wide range of fitness related industries, such as rehabilitation, personal training, health and wellness, gym instructing etc.
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.