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Course content

Delivered by experts with extensive experience in sports research, this programme prepares you for a career as a coach, strength and
conditioner, and for a career in sport science support.

About the programme

You will develop your conceptual and theoretical understanding in the field of sports coaching and learn practical skills in a range of scientific disciplines to enhance the coaching process. You will critically reflect upon contemporary principles and practices in sports coaching with an emphasis on students becoming effective and reflective practitioners. A significant proportion of the programme is vocationally focused and student driven.

Lectures normally account for 50% of class contact time with the remainder consisting of seminars, practical sessions, laboratory sessions, oral presentations, case studies and poster presentations. You will also have the opportunity to gain experience observing and participating in the service delivery of high performance sport with organisations including St. Mirren FC and The Scottish Institute of Sport.

Practical experience

Practical sessions are supervised and take place in our exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and sports analysis laboratories. Classes involve observation, demonstration, participation, problem-solving and reporting while others are field-based,
providing necessary practical skills to successfully intervene in an athlete’s physical development. All programme units are explicitly devised to address the optimisation of performance.

Your learning

Modules include:
• Coaching Process
• Peak Performance
• Research Process in Sport
• Data Analysis in Exercise Science
• Applied Strength and Conditioning
• Instructional Issues for Coaches


Upon successful completion of the taught modules, students will undertake a project which leads to the MSc award.

Our Careers Adviser says

Graduates are equipped to collaborate with performers as a coach, strength and conditioner, or in sport science support. The MSc can prepare elite performers to study their own performance and to develop the necessary skills to help their future performance, or prepare them for work opportunities after retirement from sport.

Professional accreditation

The programme provides the necessary foundation knowledge and skills for professional accreditation with a number of bodies including the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) or appropriate higher coaching awards (Level 3 or above).

Note: To obtain the MSc, students will usually take 9 months to gain the Postgraduate Diploma and then normally an additional 3 months of study to gain the MSc, from the date of commencement of the project.

Industry expertise

UWS School of Science and Sport academics are experts in their field, many with international profiles in science, health and sport and experience with organisations such as the Olympic and Commonwealth bodies, the Scottish Football Association and the Welsh Rugby Union. We also work with a range of partners including Glasgow School of Sport, the Scottish Football Association and we have links with organisations such as Sport Scotland, BASES, UK Sport and many more.

First-class facilities

Our Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science provides the underpinning science for our sport programmes. Newly developed
facilities, spanning four floors of the Almada Building at Lanarkshire Campus, are equipped to carry out cutting-edge research and deliver state-of-the-art instruction.

Labs and learning areas include an exercise physiology laboratory, strength and conditioning laboratory, exercise biochemistry laboratory, blood analysis laboratory, EMG-ECGUltrasound laboratory, biomechanics laboratory, social psychology laboratory, a computer laboratory equipped with the latest in student research and learning software,
along with a traditional sports hall.

Students can have supervised access and experience with:
• health assessment
• ergometric fitness assessment
• protein analysis in blood and tissues
• RNA and DNA analysis
• electromyography, electrocardiography, and ultrasonography
• sports event management
• commercial fitness practice
• community fitness intervention
• sport performance analysis
• social and psychological analysis
• coaching practice

Visit the Sports Coaching (MSc) page on the University of the West of Scotland website for more details!






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Recipient: University of the West of Scotland

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