• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2019 and February 2020

Course Overview

The role of a strength and conditioning coach is fundamentally to enhance the physical performance of athletes and minimise the likelihood of injury. Indeed, the modern strength and conditioning coach is a vital member of the team, behind the team, in most professional sports. Our strength and conditioning degree has been closely mapped to the United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) core competencies and developed in line with the requirements of National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) stringent Education Recognition Program (ERP). As such, if your ambition is to pursue a career in performance sport or work as a personal trainer then our course will equip you with scientific knowledge and practical coaching skills, you need to succeed.


Using our state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facilities and Human Performance Laboratory (HPL), you will learn to apply a multi-disciplinary understanding of physiology, biomechanics, sports coaching, applied strength and conditioning, performance analysis, training programme design, and sports injury rehabilitation. In addition, you will also be given the opportunity to develop your practical coaching skills via work placements with clubs and organisations from a variety of sports.

What will this course cover?

Strength and conditioning coaches need to be able to draw on knowledge and expertise across a wide range of disciplines and subject areas. During this course you will learn about anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, coaching theory and practice, weightlifting for sports performance, speed, agility and plyometric training, performance analysis, training programme design, and sports injury rehabilitation.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to identify the key theories which underpin effective strength and conditioning and use this knowledge to design and deliver effective training programmes with the goals of optimising an athlete’s performance and minimising the likelihood of injury.

You'll learn through a range of methods including practical sessions, debates and observations, as well as formal lectures and interactive seminars. You'll have opportunities to work on small group projects which will help develop your problem-solving skills, and you'll also be encouraged to take part in independent learning, so you keep up-to-date with the latest research. Whatever your learning style, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, ensuring you're able to develop your skills in different areas.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


This course has been designed in consultation with industry bodies and employers, including the UKSCA, NSCA, the British Association of Sports and Exercises Sciences (BASES) and Wycombe Wanderers Football Club.  This ensures our teaching meets the needs of employers in industry, making you more employable when you graduate.

State-of-the-art  facilities
The University has invested in a state-of-the-art Human Performance, Exercise and Wellbeing Centre which comprises of our Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) and our Sports and Wellbeing Clinic.

In addition, you will also have access to cutting-edge weightlifting equipment and a three-lane indoor running track with motion capture technology and integrated force-plates, enhance teaching and research in the fields of strength and conditioning, sports science, and sports therapy.

Work-based / placement learning
During this course you will have the opportunity to take part in practical learning sessions to enhance your professional development. This could include working with individuals and teams, gaining practical coaching experience in a variety of settings, for example assisting with the coaching of the University’s weightlifting society. During your third year with us, you'll be encouraged to take part in a more formal work-based learning module, working with clients.

Coaching certifications
During your third year, you will undertake the UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach (ASCC) assessment. In addition, the course will help to prepare you to sit the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam upon graduation.

Teaching and Learning

Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning. The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.

Overall workload

Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will be a UCAS Tariff score of 80. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.

Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Introduction to Coaching Theory and Practice
  • Data Analysis in Sport and Exercise
  • Foundations of Biomechanics
  • Human Sciences for Physical Education (optional)
  • Functional Anatomy and Kinanthropometry
  • Foundations of Exercise Physiology
  • Weightlifting for Sports Performance

Year 2 Modules

  • Research in Sport and Exercise
  • Applied Exercise Physiology
  • Biomechanics and Kinesiology
  • Coaching and Athlete Development
  • Performance Analysis (optional)
  • Periodization and Programming for Sports Performance
  • Principles of Training for Speed and Agility
  • Sports Nutrition (optional)

Year 3 Modules

  • Research Dissertation
  • Applied Performance Analysis (optional)
  • Contemporary Coaching Issues (optional)
  • Skill Acquisition and Learning in Sport and Physical Education
  • Sports Injury and Rehabilitation (optional)
  • Working With a Client


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, September 2019: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, September 2019: £12,000 per year

Full Time Home and EU, February 2020: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, February 2020: £12,000 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks

Student Testimonials

Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.

Image of Alexander Cotton

Alexander Cotton

The course is very enjoyable and involving and lecturers keep the course light-hearted and engaging and make the learning material very easy to digest. The lecturers themselves are very down to earth and encourage student / lecturer interaction.

The best bits of the course are the practical aspects. This is where our lecturer will break down a theoretical part and encourage us to not only apply it in practice but to think about how we would use the theory in a real world setting, discussing what would work best for specific sports and how to adapt our knowledge to best fit real-life situations. We also benefit from hands-on experience with a range of high-tech equipment.

The University’s 24 hour library provides access to any reading material of my choice, with very approachable staff helpful with any issues or problems I come across.

I also find the University provides for a lot of things that at other universities I would have to pay for, including, subsidising the majority of sporting costs, while travelling to and from University is straightforward as the main campus is in close proximity to the student accommodation.

Image of Akash Gurung

Akash Gurung

I attended an Open Day, found out more about the course and then looked it up online and so far it has fulfilled my expectations. The lecturers have been good and I am being taught the basics well. It’s enjoyable so far and we are doing what I’m comfortable with right now. We are covering the basics and we will be looking at how to get the form right in the second semester. I’m impressed with the facilities here and the Gateway Gym too.


What are my career prospects

We have a strong focus on the employability of our students. To ensure you’re well prepared for employment, you’ll be offered optional work placements in your second and third years. We've got well-established links with sports organisations, including Wycombe Wanderers Football Club, Watford Football Club, London Irish Rugby Club and FAB academy. These partnerships will enhance your course experience while you are a student with us, as well as provide experience and practical based learning. Your placements may initially involve observing or shadowing professionals working in strength and conditioning functions. You’ll then progress to more hands-on roles as your level of experience grows.

In your third year you will undertake the UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach (ASCC) assessment. In addition, the course will help to prepare you to sit the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam upon graduation.  These qualifications will support you when progressing to work in a range of environments within the field of strength and conditioning. You could choose to work with national governing bodies of sport, professional sports teams, national institutes of sport, further and higher education providers, private practice (e.g. personal training), and private sport science service providers both in the UK and overseas.

As a Bucks graduate, you can also make use of our Careers and Employability Service for up to two years after you graduate. We can help you to get started in the world of work through CV writing, interview techniques, or job searches.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.