Male strength and conditioning student being taught to deadlift correctly in the power gym by hartpury lecturer
BSc (Hons)

Strength and Conditioning (with Foundation Year)


Typical offer: 32-48 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Duration: 4 or 5 years full time; part-time available

Placement year: Optional

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Apply for this course here:


Course overview

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.

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.

How to apply Contact us: +44 (0)1452 702244

What you'll study

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.

Level three foundation year (year one)

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

Compulsory modules

This module aims to give students an understanding of the scientific method and enquiry, team working, research skills and effective time management.

Develop the reflective, practical and transferable skills in preparation for level 4 study. This is based on an internship role at Hartpury linked to your programme of study.

The aim of this module is to develop an understanding and knowledge of literature reviews. This includes constructing a rationale, as well as summarising and presenting relevant information to suit a purpose, subject and audience.

Cover fundamental biological aspects, including how organisms function and operate for survival and performance.

An introduction to central human anatomy and physiology, its adaption to sport training, and factors that impact the performance of athletes.

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level four (year two)

This year will focus on fundamental topics and help you gain the foundation skills and knowledge you need to study at a higher level. You’ll cover topics including anatomy, sports therapy skills, the principles of strength and conditioning, as well as wider sports science topics. Alongside your studies, you’ll also complete a minimum number of hours of applied practical opportunities.

Compulsory modules

Study the basic anatomical structures and functions related to sports.

Begin to understand the biological systems used during exercise.

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

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

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

Optional modules

There are no optional modules during this year. Your learning is focused on compulsory modules to ensure you have a thorough understanding of key topics to prepare you for module choices in your subsequent years.

Level five (year three)

Advance the knowledge gained in your first and second years 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

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

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

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

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

Optional modules

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

Focus on the exercise techniques designed to improve health.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Assess competition data and testing techniques for injuries.

Understand the application of anatomy in sports conditioning.

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

Optional modules

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

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

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.

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

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

How you'll study

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential, which is why you'll receive a minimum of 15 hours of scheduled teaching time per week in your first two years - this is 25% above the UK average.

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.

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.

Further details

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.

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

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.

The course is taught in English.

YearContact learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
Level three (foundation year)30%0%70%
Level four (year two)30%0%70%
Level five (year three)24%0%76%
Placement year (optional)1%80%19%
Level six (final year)18%0%82%

You’ll receive a minimum of 15 hours of scheduled contact time per week in your first and second year. In subsequent years, scheduled contact will vary depending on the modules you select but is typically around 12 hours per week.

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.

YearWritten examPractical examCoursework
Level three (foundation year)28%44%28%
Level four (year two)38%56%6%
Level five (year three)18%40%42%
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 8.30am 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


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 year 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 you 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


World-class facilities

You’ll have access to a diverse range of facilities while you’re here, many of which are newly built and world class. Alongside lecture halls and workshop spaces, these include:


With three fully-equipped gyms on site, you won’t be short of options to put your learning into practice. There’s a power gym and a cardiovascular gym for you to choose from, as well as a dedicated gym in our Rider Performance Centre.

Sports therapy and rehabilitation suites

Our new suites include world-leading equipment for specialist and sports therapy activities. Technologies include an anti-gravity treadmill utilised for performance sport training and research, as well as a pitchside first aid centre, located next to our professional sports pitches.


Our laboratories are modern and well-equipped, providing the ideal spaces for scientific activities and research. Some are used for specialist microbiological culturing and analysis, while others are used for biochemistry and physiology.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has books, journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces. In addition, we have a Study Lounge – an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • 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:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

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)

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

Optional integrated placement year

This course offers an optional integrated placement year at a cost in the region of £925 (for students who want more experience working within the industry). The integrated placement year may incur additional costs depending on your choice of placement location and whether you choose a paid or unpaid position.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

It gives you confidence

Strength and Conditioning graduate, Chris, opened his first Pilates studio aged 24. He now has five in total, catering for everyone from local residents to professional sports men and women, as well as models and celebrities.

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Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

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.

*Reflects activities after 15 months for those who graduated in 2020.