Bsc Hons Strength And Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning (with Foundation Year)

BSc (Hons)

Immerse yourself in a performance sports environment, using dedicated gyms and human performance laboratories to perfect your coaching style. Work alongside our student athletes as you develop the knowledge to improve the physical preparation of sports men and women.

This foundation year pathway provides an alternative route into a degree-level study. It’s ideal for those who need to gain subject-specific knowledge and skills in order to progress onto the full BSc Strength and Conditioning qualification.

Key Information

Course Duration: 4 or 5 years full time; part-time available
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Foundation Year Degrees
Placement Year: Optional
Typical Offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

You’ll have opportunities for placements and work experience through our performance sports academies, as well as our close industry connections locally and nationally. You could work with the likes of Gloucester Rugby and West Bromwich Albion Football Club, as well as a host of local schools and clubs.

Work alongside industry experts and practitioners, covering specialist strength and conditioning modules giving you the knowledge to prepare athletes for performance in various sporting contexts. You’ll also have access to coaches, nutritionists, and therapists, enabling you to gain knowledge and develop a skillset readying you to work in a professional, multidisciplinary environment when you graduate.

The programme follows the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) quality standards. You'll develop essential strength and conditioning knowledge, as well as learning about the other fundamental sports science disciplines including physiology, anatomy, sport psychology and biomechanics.

Make the most of our biomechanics and exercise physiology laboratories to get hands-on experience, developing your skills by undertaking analysis and assessing performance of different athletes. They contain some kit that you won’t find at any other educational institution in the UK.


This course is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). On successful completion of the course you’ll hold the professional position of ‘Graduate Strength and Conditioning Coach’. Student CIMSPA membership fees are funded by us throughout your studies, providing you with career advice and further learning opportunities. Once you obtain the ‘Graduate Strength and Conditioning Coach’ title you’ll then need to enter into a professional membership with CIMSPA in order to maintain the qualification.

  • UCAS | A typical offer for this course is 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) or equivalent, to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science.

  • A-Level | Typical offer is EE-DD or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A Levels.

  • Vocational Award | Typical offer is a PPP in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • IB | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of one Highers at H3 or above.

    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher.

  • Irish Leaving Certificate | Typical offer is 32-48 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of one Highers. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a PPP in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T level | Typical offer is Pass in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject

  • The minimum academic entry requirement for this programme is 80 UCAS tariff or equivalent providing this is combined with relevant experience.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

Previous learning towards a university-level qualification or relevant work experience may count as credit for this course.

Please contact us for further information.

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Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Work placements and experience

You’ll benefit from our strong links with professional sports teams, and industry governing bodies, as well as our own Sports Academy. You’ll have the opportunity to work with elite athletes on campus. If you choose to undertake an optional integrated placement in industry, you’ll gain great experience ready for your professional career upon graduation. Our students have completed placements with Southampton FC, Essex CCC, Gloucester Rugby, the English Institute of Sport, and our own Sports Academy.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Field trips and industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers and best practices. Recent guest lecturers have included the English Institute for Sport, as well as coaches working in professional clubs.

Graduate destinations

As a sports graduate, you will have opportunities in varied career paths. Your programme focuses on strength and conditioning, exercise physiology and coaching, so you may choose to work in those fields. Our careers team can support you to find and prepare to secure your perfect role.

Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Marlborough College
  • Dean Close School
  • Southampton Football Club
  • Gloucester Rugby
  • St Albans School
  • Hartpury University RFC
  • Bristol City FC
Success Stories

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career. The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

This course covers modules focusing on specific subjects, from exercise physiology, and sports biomechanics to rehabilitation, monitoring of athletes, and coaching. You’ll also have the flexibility to choose modules suited to your interests and career goals.

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second and final years may contribute towards your final degree classification.

Your foundation year will focus on developing academic skills, reviewing literature and more widely foundations in biological principles and sports science.

Compulsory Modules

Academic Literacy for University Studies

Understand and explore topics including the scientific method and enquiry, team working, research skills, and effective time management.

Professional Development in Practice

An opportunity to explore graduate destinations associated with your programme of study, building a portfolio of experiences aiding your professional development. 

Exploring Current Concepts

Develop understanding and knowledge of literature reviews including constructing a rationale and summarising and presenting relevant information to suit a purpose, subject and audience.

Principles of Sports Science

An introduction to central human biology, anatomy and physiology and its adaption to sport training. The module will explore the psychological and physiological factors that impact the performance of athletes.

Business Enterprise and Management

This module covers the learning and understanding of the balance of theory and practice in contemporary business practice; an appreciation of the complexity of modern organisational environments and the critical role of enterprise and innovation.

Your first year will introduce you to key topics relating to your degree. You’ll cover exercise physiology, sports psychology, and sports biomechanics, as well as the fundamental skills linked to strength and conditioning. You’ll also start to learn the key skills you require as a sport scientist, including team and leadership skills, and an introduction to data analysis and research design.

Compulsory Modules 

Introduction to Functional Anatomy and Sports Biomechanics

Study the basic anatomical structures and functions related to sports.

Introduction to Exercise Physiology

Begin to understand the biological systems used during exercise.

Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning

Cover the basic principles and methods of strength and conditioning training aimed at developing athletes’ physical qualities.

Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

Learn the key theories in sport and exercise psychology to understand behaviours.

The Sport and Exercise Professional

Work with students from other sports science courses to gain research skills. Determine professional needs in preparation for a career in sport and exercise.

Advance your knowledge gained in year one and start to specialise, choosing topics based on your interests. Modules include Applied Strength and Conditioning, Youth Physical Development, and Exercise Physiology. You’ll also discover how multidisciplinary teams work together in sport and exercise, as well as begin to develop your research design and analysis skills.

Compulsory Modules 

Applied Strength and Conditioning

Learn how strength and conditioning techniques are used within the sports industry.

Exercise Physiology

This module covers how the body adapts - acutely and chronically - to exercise.

Youth Physical Development

Gain the necessary knowledge and skills to provide strength and conditioning provision to the youth population.

The Sport and Exercise Scientist

Understand how multidisciplinary teams work together in sport and exercise. An introduction to research methods and analysis required for future projects.


Optional Modules 

Applied Biomechanics in Sport

Students problem-solve issues within sport & exercise, referring to biomechanical principles.

Health Related Exercise

Focus on the exercise techniques designed to improve health.

Independent Report

A chance to independently review an approved topic area in line with the student’s programme of study.

New Venture Creation

This module allows students to the explore the principles and practices faced by entrepreneurs whilst working through the process of developing a new commercial venture. The assessment offers students the chance to engage with their own new business idea and present to both business professionals and academic staff in a ‘dragon’s den’ style pitch.

Pedagogy in Action

This module provides students with opportunities to analyse how theoretical concepts can inform coaching and teaching by deconstructing examples from practice.

Sports Nutrition

The basics of nutritional requirements for exercise, including metabolism, carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Placement year (optional)

An optional integrated placement year between your third and final years gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into practice and gain valuable industry experience.

Level six (final year)

In your final year, you’ll investigate the demands of different sports, as well as focusing on professional practices in the strength and conditioning industry. Prepare for your career by working with athletes, developing your knowledge of screening, rehabilitation strategies, and physiology.

You’ll also complete a dissertation. It’s a substantial research project that enables you to experience being responsible for planning, implementing, and reporting on a specialist topic. In addition, you will be exposed to contemporary challenges in the subject area and more advanced theory and practice including gaining an insight into the focus of current research.

Compulsory Modules

Sport Research and Knowledge Exchange Project

Independent research and analysis in a related area of your choice.

Professional Practice in Strength and Conditioning

Critically appraise your practices and experiences in the strength and conditioning setting.

Recovery and Monitoring for Sport Performance

Assess competition data and testing techniques for injuries.

Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology

Understand the application of anatomy in sports conditioning.

Screening and Prevention

This module covers physical screening protocols and injury-prevention methods.


Optional Modules

Biomechanics in Sport Practice

Application and justification of the use of advanced biomechanical analysis within sport and exercise.

High Performing Teams

Evaluate the leadership and management of sport science support within the performance environment.

Special Populations

Students will develop a critical understanding of how exercise can be used to improve health within special populations as well as develop and implement an exercise programme for a client of their choice.

Sports Conditioning and Return-to-Play

Understanding the relationships between doctors, sports therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches, and understanding return-to-play considerations.

The foundation year includes an internship using Hartpury’s on-site facilities and industry links.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. You're expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules.

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Level three (foundation year) 24% 0% 76%
Level four (year two) 26% 0% 74%
Level five (year three) 24% 0% 76%
Placement year (optional) 1% 80% 19%
Level six (final year) 18% 0% 82%

You'll be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given via a mixture of written bullet point-style feedback and/or oral feedback.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level three (foundation year) 15% 35% 50%
Level four (year two) 38% 56% 6%
Level five (year three) 11% 53% 36%
Placement year (optional) 0% 0% 100%
Level six (final year) 13% 53% 34%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 9.30am to 8.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected
  • Timetables are available during enrolment week
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Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Below, you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Clothing and footwear (circa £150)

Students have an option to purchase sports kits which can be bought as a bundle via our online shop for approximately £150. Students are encouraged to engage in various trips and visits as part of the programme.

Performance Sports Academy membership

Find out costs and details for joining one of our performance Sports Academy teams.

Explore Sports Academies

Hartpury gym

Find out about costs and details for joining the Hartpury gym.

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Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


If you’re playing sport competitively, or you have the talent and drive to do so, you may want to join one of our Sports Academies. Over 200 international athletes have developed their talents with us over the past 10 years. You could be our next success story. We're a semi-professional sports environment offering world-class facilities and professional coaching and support services.

Hartpury College Mens Football Academy


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation


We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance


This degree programme is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

Gold Gold Gold 01

TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

NSS 2023 Academic Support

Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Ben Keen FY Sport Hartpury Rugby
“Hartpury's a unique university and I believed it would provide me with the best academic resources and be a great place to study and compete in sports.”
Ben Keen
BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning with Foundation Year

Sport matters

When you have passion, you're far more likely to achieve your goals – especially when you study that passion in a place that shares it.

We're home to top-level coaches, sport and exercise scientists, nutritionists, conditioners, medics and athletes, across our Sports Academy programmes and student-led teams. Our students graduate with valuable skills to succeed in a range of different careers.

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Sport Therapy

Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.