The course is aimed at students who have undertaken a sports science, sports coaching or related undergraduate degree and who wish to continue their studies and progress to working within elite athletics.
The course aims to facilitate accreditation with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) through experiential learning on the professional enquiry placement module and key core modules such as practical applications to performance training, strength and rehabilitation science and effective coaching.
The University of Brighton’s sport and exercise laboratories at the Eastbourne campus, where the course is based, are accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). There are also extensive fitness and sport facilities on site and a brand new gym will open in 2018.
The course leader, Flo Pietzsch, was a strength and conditioning coach with the Lawn Tennis Association and previously to that at the English Institute of Sport. He is an accredited member of UKSCA and has advised and worked with UKSCA on curriculum development on their recent coaching science content.
We are a REF 2014 top 20 university for world-leading research impact in sport and exercise science, leisure and tourism.
Areas of study
The course offers varied content that brings together strength and conditioning, and applied physiology.
You will study five core modules, including your final project, plus choose two from a range of options that include Exercise Tolerance and Laboratory Skills for Sport Physiologists.
The University of Brighton is unique in offering Effective Coaching as a compulsory module. This module is aligned with curriculum guidance from UKSCA, the national governing body.
The professional enquiry module is also compulsory and provides the opportunity to undertake practical experience in a work environment and gain invaluable first-hand knowledge. It is designed to help you engage with the process of planning and delivering expertise in practice, and to reflect upon and take steps to improve your academic, personal and professional skills. Opportunities exist with a range of organisations whom we partner with.
The course is flexible in that it allows you to exit with a postgraduate certificate at the end of one semester (three 20-credit modules) or a postgraduate diploma at the end of two semesters (six 20-credit modules).
You must complete the 60-credit research project to qualify for the MSc.
You will study five core modules, including your final project plus choose two modules from a range of options. (This new course is still in development so the modules below are currently indicative and could be subject to change.)
Practical Application of Performance Training
Strength and Rehabilitation
Professional Enquiry/ placement
Critical Insights into the Study of Physiology
Laboratory Skills for Sport Physiologists
Equipment and facilities
Accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and the English Institute of Sport (EIS), our laboratories are equipped with the latest modern facilities.
You will have access to a -10 to +50°C hot-cold chamber, an altitude/hypoxic chamber that rises to the equivalent of 5500m, 3D motion analysis, ground reaction force plates, a DXA bone scanner, exercise physiology laboratories, biomechanics laboratories and three biochemistry laboratories.
Our laboratories have appeared in numerous TV productions by the BBC and Sky TV. They have also been used to test out products for exercising and weight loss and to prepare athletes for the Olympics and Paralympics.
The university’s Eastbourne campus has extensive sporting facilities, including a sports hall, climbing wall, swimming pool, three gyms, a dance studio and an artificial training pitch. Currently there is a 36 station fitness suite has a designated cardiovascular area packed with bikes, treadmills, and rowers, cross-trainers and steppers. Free weights range from 2–40kg with 15 resistance stations.
A brand new gym will be opening in 2018 purpose designed for performance strength and conditioning. We also use the outdoor environment in and around Eastbourne, such as the seafront, the South Downs and Friston Forest.
The professional enquiry module will involve a 160 hours within a quality assured placement which includes mentoring by the host supervisor and via close guidance from University of Brighton staff.
Previous hosts have included Sussex County Cricket, Brighton and Hove Albion, University of Brighton – Sport Brighton scholarship programme, Eastbourne College, Brighton College, and several other local sporting clubs.
Those already in employment within the strength and conditioning sector have the opportunity to complete this module within their own employment setting.
Careers and employability
Employment prospects for graduates are extremely good. The strength and conditioning industry has expanded considerably and many professional sports organisations employ strength and conditioning coaches. This degree is specifically designed to provide the necessary skills and knowledge bases to undertake such a role.
Since the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) was founded in 2004 there has been significant investment and development in elite sport provision. A 2015–16 annual report from UK Sport indicates an industry net expenditure of £41 million.
The University of Brighton has expert, accredited strength and conditioning staff who have an international reputation in its applied provision. A degree from Brighton will help ensure you are fully equipped for a successful career in this expanding industry.
Many of our students have gone onto work in professional sport clubs including Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace FC. Several have also worked for the English Institute of Sport or directly with a national governing sports body.