Mode of StudyFull-time, Part-time
Duration1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start dateSeptember 2023
If you're interested in a career helping athletes achieve their performance goals, prevent and accelerate recovery from injury, and improve their overall health, this Master's in Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation is ideal.
You'll focus on using prescriptive exercise to improve their performance, and learn through practice with the specialist equipment you'll use in your career.
When you graduate, you'll be equipped with the technical knowledge and professional skills to succeed in this growing industry, whether as part of an organisation or as a freelance practitioner. You'll be ready to confidently and effectively develop and rehabilitate athletes of all abilities and backgrounds.
MSc Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation Master's degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- An upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation MSc, you'll:
- Study the fundamental science underlying athletic health and performance from a strength and conditioning perspective
- Learn how to design and structure of training programmes, complementing them with the periodisation of various training methodologies
- Complete a work placement module, where you'll get 200–300 hours of practical on-the-job experience over duration of the course
- Learn about multi-disciplinary fundamentals of strength, conditioning and rehabilitation, including physiology and biomechanics
- Study in an applied environment, with a focus on advanced strength and power assessments, as well as lifting techniques
- Learn how to work with athletes with diverse needs, such as young or ageing athletes
You'll get experience with the techniques and equipment you'll use in your career, such as:
- GymAware and PUSH bands, used for velocity-based training
- Force plates, which assess the individual total force and rate of force in single leg training
- Isokinetic dynamometer for strength capability and asymmetries
- OptoJump for assessment of reactive strength capabilities
- Electromyography (EMG) to better understand how muscles activate and fatigue during sport
- Infrared motion analysis, which records and studies body movement
- Polar Team Pro and GPS to monitor an athlete's training load
- Gym and fitness testing equipment, allowing you to coach athletes on using equipment
You'll also develop the following professional skills:
- Effective communication with clients and patients
- Presentation skills
- Team working ability
Careers and opportunities
Strength and conditioning is a growing profession and the ability to offer rehabilitation to athletes is becoming a requirement for many positions in the sporting and fitness industries. So you're likely to have a lot of employment options when you graduate.
You could work as a strength and conditioner or rehabilitation, strength and conditioner at all levels, including in club, national, international organisations, as a self-employed practitioner or within a club or sporting organisation.
You could also go on to gain further vocational qualifications with organisations such as the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).
What you'll study on this MSc Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation degree course
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits to achieve your MSc. If you don't complete your dissertation project, you'll graduate with a PGDip (120 credits).
Core modules in this year include:
- Biomechanics of Strength and Conditioning – 30 credits
- Msc Research Development and Practice (dissertation module) – 60 credits
- Rehabilitation in Strength and Conditioning – 30 credits
- Strength and Conditioning Development (placement module) – 30 credits
- Strength and Conditioning Practice – 30 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
The placement module totals 300 hours over the duration of the course. 100 hours of this is a blend of mentorship, taught lectures and independent work. The remaining 200 hours consist of time on placement.
Possible placement destinations include:
- University of Portsmouth Sports Scholars and Athletics Union clubs
- Rugby clubs such as Harlequins Ladies, Worthing Rugby Club, Petersfield Rugby Club
- Football clubs such as Portsmouth FC, Southampton FC, AC Bournemouth
- Swimming Associations such as Northsea Swimming
- Tennis clubs such as Portsmouth Tennis Academy
- Cricket clubs such as Sussex Cricket Club and Middlesex Cricket Club
- Sailing clubs such as Ben Ainsley Racing
During the placement module, a member of staff from your placement destination will mentor you. University teaching staff will also visit you regularly and be contactable throughout the placement.
We check all placement locations to make sure a suitable mentor is available.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Teaching on this course includes:
- Practical experience in the lab and gym
- Independent learning
- Learning from a mentor on industry placement
You'll learn from staff who are practising strength and conditioning coaches. Some members of teaching staff also hold specific strength and conditioning qualifications, such as National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS).
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- Practical assessments – such as testing an injured athlete
- Client reports – generating reports for athletes and coaching staff based on tests run on athletes
- Video submissions
All assessments focus on gathering data through practical work, followed by delivering a training/rehabilitation recommendation, based on the situations you'll encounter professionally.
Placement module assessment
On the placement module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio and oral presentation.
Dissertation module assessment
On the dissertation module, you'll be assessed through a thesis and poster presentation.
You can test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments, so you can improve in the future.
How you'll spend your time
A typical week
We recommend you spend around 35 hours a week studying for your Master's degree. Some weeks will be more intensive than others, depending on your workload.
Most timetabled teaching takes place from 9.00am–1.00pm on Thursdays. There are also 2 block modules, where you'll do practical study in a lab or gym from 9.00am–5.00pm, 5 days a week for 2 weeks.
The rest of the time you’ll do independent study and attend your work placement.
Working hours on placement will depend on your role and may include some evening and weekend working.
The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
While there's no teaching over summer, you'll submit your dissertation in late August, and complete your final assessment, a poster presentation, in September.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your Master's degree might be less than what you're used to in your previous studies, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.
Learning support tutors
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
Academic skills support
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2023 start)
UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full-time: £11,400
- Part-time: £5,700 a year
(including Transition Scholarship)
- Full-time: £11,400
- Part-time: £5,700 a year
- Full-time: £19,200
- Part-time: £9,600 a year
Fees are subject to annual increase.
Funding your studies
If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government postgraduate loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need to cover the cost of travel to your placement. Most placements will take place around Portsmouth, meaning travel costs should be around £500 over the course of your placement.
How can I prepare for a Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation Master's?
An undergraduate degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Science or BSc Strength and Conditioning is ideal preparation for this course, but prior experience alongside another undergraduate degree would also be suitable.
Enthusiasm for fitness and training is key, and a pre-existing knowledge of the fundamentals of sports, health and exercise is also important.
What skills and qualities do I need for this Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation Master's?
As well as meeting the course entry requirements, you'll need a solid understanding of the principles of sports, health and exercise science, as well as enthusiasm towards training and a willingness to participate in necessary training activities.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.