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Strength and Conditioning Science is associated with the physical preparation and coaching of sports performers.

Strength and Conditioning Science (with a Foundation Year) video

Why study Strength and Conditioning Science (with a Foundation Year)?

St Mary's is internationally recognised as the front-runner for strength and conditioning education. The course is delivered in a 5,000 square-foot Performance Education Centre, providing you with the opportunity to practice your skills in a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility.

Developing coaching experience alongside your studies is crucial. The course has excellent links with clubs and organisations from a variety of sports, including Crystal Palace FC, Fulham FC, London Irish RFC, University London Boat Club and Sutton Tennis Academy. We also have students embedded within the world renowned Royal Ballet Company and Royal Ballet School in central London. These links enable you to obtain the necessary coaching experience needed to secure employment upon graduating.

There are eight specific strength and conditioning modules on the degree, which address the skills and knowledge required to pass the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA) accreditation. 

The degree will also prepare you for completion of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) qualification in the USA.

Why St Mary's?

Strength and Conditioning Science at St Mary’s University was the first course of its kind in the country and has evolved into a highly successful programme with a reputation of producing outstanding Strength and Conditioning coaches, delivered by accredited and highly experienced coaches.

Many elite sports performers choose to study Strength and Conditioning Science at St Mary’s; we have an excellent reputation for providing strength and conditioning support for their training and competitions whilst studying.

You are encouraged to spend a semester studying abroad during your degree. This can provide an invaluable experience on how to approach learning. Many students have also gained coaching experience in College American Football and Lacrosse, an experience which is rare in the UK.

You will also have the opportunity to take part in work placements as part of the course, both locally and in the wider London area. Previous students have worked with professional and amateur sports teams, in schools, colleges and university sports programmes, and in private and commercial gyms.

About the Foundation Year

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way.

On successful completion of the Sport Science Foundation Year pathway you will progress on to the three-year undergraduate degree in Strength and Conditioning Science.

Key facts

  • Exclusive state of the art 5,000 square-foot strength and conditioning teaching and coaching facility
  • Programme syllabus mapped to UK Strength and Conditioning Association competency document
  • Numerous partnerships with professional clubs and organisations for students to gain necessary coaching experience
  • Opportunity to study abroad for a semester in year two
  • UK Strength and Conditioning accredited staff who are experienced at coaching and hold teaching qualifications
  • Taught on our historic Strawberry Hill campus
Please note: Strength and Conditioning Science (with a Foundation Year) is subject to revalidation.

Entry requirements

48-72 UCAS points required


A Levels


BTEC Extended

View alternative requirements

Additional requirement information

Requirements for other qualifications (including BTECs, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureates and Access Courses) are also available. For more information please email

To calculate your expected UCAS points, please use the UCAS Tariff calculator.

We will make you an offer if you are within the tariff band range and you meet subject-specific requirements (where applicable).

For undergraduate programmes we will take into account subjects studied at Level 3, your GCSEs (or equivalent) profile, relevant non-academic achievements outlined in your personal statement, references and your motivation for study.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any section (or equivalent).

Course content

On successful completion of the foundation year you will be automatically enrolled on to the first year of the undergraduate degree.

Foundation year

  • Personal Learning Competencies Core
  • Taking a Professional Approach Core
  • Principles of Physics and Mathematics Core
  • The Chemistry of Nature Core
  • Foundation of Life Core
  • Individual Project Core

Year one

  • Introduction to Research Core
  • Fundamentals of Strength and Conditioning Core
  • Field Based Training Techniques Core
  • Strength Training Techniques Core
  • Physiology of Exercise Core
  • Introduction to Sport Psychology and Skill Acquisition Core

Year two

  • Research Methods Core
  • Science in Practice Core
  • Muscle Physiology Core
  • Physiology of Training Core
  • Sports Biomechanics Core
  • Skill Acquisition I Core

Year three

  • Research Project Core
  • Organisation of Training Core
  • Management of Specific Populations Core
  • Science in the Workplace Core
  • Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology Optional
  • Experimental Biomechanics Optional
  • Skill Acquisition II Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

  • Strength and conditioning (equipped to undertake UKSCA and NSCA accreditation)
  • Personal training (subject to further qualifications)
  • Exercise and health
  • Applied sport science (equipped to begin further study at MSc level and then BASES supervised experience)
  • Teaching (equipped to undertake PGCE)
  • Coaching
  • Sport development
  • Sport and recreation

The Careers Service has more information on careers and postgraduate study options available to Strength and Conditioning Science students who have started their studies at St Mary’s.

There is also the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree. The Centre for Workplace Learning offers work-related modules that can be embedded within your studies.

How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

Teaching and assessment methods are broad, varied and innovative with a strong support network from staff. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, workshops, practicals, labs, problem-solving sessions, computer based sessions and peer teaching.

Year one of the programme involves over 140 hours of practical teaching, including a module where students are coached by staff for 50 hours.

Class sizes range from 40 to 60 students per year.

Teaching breakdown

Learning on the course is made up through a combination of:

  • Contact time: 22%
  • Guided learning: 43%
  • Independent study: 35%

Independent study is a key feature of your degree and is crucial to furthering your knowledge.

You will receive your timetable a week before teaching is due to start at the latest.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods reflect the skills that are valued by employers in industry and include DVD production, excel programming, oral presentations, laboratory reports, website design, essays, practical vivas and written exams.


We adhere to the university’s policy of providing feedback on assessments within three weeks.

See how your final degree mark is calculated...

Compensated passes

Please refer to the information on compensated passes throughout your degree as outlined in the academic regulations.

Fees and funding

2020/21 fees

  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £12,250

* Please note: These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the Governments review of Higher Education Funding.

Information about tuition fees, student loans and funding your studies can be found within our fees and funding section.

The UK Government has confirmed that EU applicants starting in 2019 or 2020 remain eligible for 'home fee status' and can access financial support.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

There are a number of books which are set texts on the course. If you wanted to buy your own copies, these would come to around £300 across the duration of your degree. You can also buy them second-hand or borrow them from the library.

You may also incur costs from travelling to your placement, and have the option to buy kit such as running shoes, weightlifting shoes, and lifting straps to help with your degree.


A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to new undergraduate students. This includes:

Living costs

A guide to your living costs has been created by our Student Funding Team.

Accommodation costs vary depending on whether you opt for an en suite room and on-site catering. Take a look at our accommodation options and the prices you can expect to pay.


View all facilities

Teaching staff

Alex Bliss Alex Bliss
Programme Director for Strength and Conditioning Science BSc

Dr Phil Price Dr Phil Price
Senior Lecturer - Strength and Conditioning Science

Matt Springham Matt Springham
Senior Lecturer - Strength and Conditioning

Dr Giuseppe Cimadoro Dr Giuseppe Cimadoro
Senior Lecturer - Strength and Conditioning Science

Rik Mellor Rik Mellor
Senior Lecturer - Sport Science

Dr Jamie Tallent Dr Jamie Tallent
Senior Lecturer - Strength and Conditioning

Emily Cushion Emily Cushion
Senior Lecturer - Strength and Conditioning Science

Further information

UCAS Application Timeline