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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Biological Sciences


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    MSc: 1 year full-time or 2-6 years part-time; PgDip: 9 months full or 1-4 years part-time

  • Course Type

    PgDip, MSc

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    02 October 2019

Programme description

Strength and Conditioning is a popular area within sport science, predominantly from within the discipline of physiology, often requiring knowledge of inter-disciplinary applied sport science and coaching.

The primary focus of this programme is sporting performance. However, the application of strength and conditioning principles to diverse areas including exercise, pre- and rehabilitation, youth and ageing populations, and other specific and clinical populations is becoming more commonplace. By joining this degree, you will have the opportunity to study the application of these principles in your core and option courses, and see how they are reflected in a range of practical contexts through a voluntary internship or placement.

This programme combines both the theoretical and practical elements of strength and conditioning to identify and examine a wide range of academic and practitioner needs. You will gain excellent applied experience and professional development opportunities in parallel with the taught programme, using established links with local and national sports teams and governing bodies.

Programme structure

Your learning will comprise traditional lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.

You will be required to complete seven compulsory courses as well as 20 credits of option courses.

To complete the MSc programme, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.

Compulsory courses

  • Conditioning Physiology
  • Environmental Factors in Sport
  • Paediatric Factors in Sport
  • Physio-mechanical Aspects of Resistance Training
  • Professional Skills in Development Environments
  • Research Process
  • Understanding Research Concepts

Option courses

You will select a total of 20 credits of courses at level 10 (year 3 and 4 undergraduate) and/or level 11 (postgraduate) from across the University, subject to approval by the Programme Director and the relevant course organiser.

These credits should comprise courses running in semester 2, in order to assist you in the management of your workload. The programme team would be happy to give you advice regarding the selection of your option course(s).

Please note that courses and course content may change each year.

Work placements/internships

Alongside your academic studies, you may choose to engage with well-established voluntary internship and placement opportunities in a variety of roles with performers at various levels. These opportunities are not a formal or assessed part of the programme but can provide a valuable source of further development.

Learning outcomes

The programme aims to develop the ability of students to be able to critically appraise and apply scientific literature. For students progressing to masters level (MSc), the study of research methods is extended to the ability to be able to plan, conduct and disseminate their own research following the established principles of rigorous scientific study.

Designed with a practical orientation towards the application and evolution of theory to practice, a major focus of the programme is on performance sport, although other areas such as exercise and rehabilitation are also covered.

Graduates gain the ability to:

  • understand and evaluate current research and thinking in strength and conditioning
  • inform design and delivery of appropriate training interventions
  • provide knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of strength and conditioning interventions
  • provide the skills to enable students to operate as a ‘practitioner’ in a sports performance environment

Career opportunities

Our graduates work around the world as strength and conditioning and physical preparation specialists for professional sports teams and clubs, for the UK and US army and air force, applying their knowledge by working with clinical populations in health settings, developing strategies for improving staff health and wellbeing in large organisations across a variety of industries, and undertaking doctoral study.

The qualification and skills you gain in this programme will complement the applied experience and any professional accreditation for those aspiring to be practitioners at the cutting edge of strength and conditioning. Primary roles exist in the sports performance area, but you may also apply your skills to work in the areas of exercise and fitness, rehabilitation and the wider sports industry.

The Master's degree is also a springboard for further research, either within academia or the private sector. The highly transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and project management can be applied to roles in any field.


Students gain access to high-quality resources, labs and research facilities as well as a dedicated strength and conditioning gym on campus and a range of resources at nearby Sport & Exercise.

Visit the Strength and Conditioning (MSc/PgDip) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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