Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme structure

Studying Strength and Conditioning at Edinburgh will allow you to access the latest research in evidence-based practice along with high-quality internship opportunities.

This programme places a strong focus on developing not only your knowledge but also how to apply it in your practice.  This is achieved through high-quality teaching and assessment in contemporary areas of strength and conditioning that is based on the latest research, and well-established voluntary internship and placement opportunities.  Many of the courses you will study include input from highly experienced practitioners in a variety of fields, affording you valuable opportunities to gain insight and advice that will help you in your preparation for employment. All of these opportunities will support you in working towards the goals of the programme:

  • To understand and evaluate current research and thinking in strength and conditioning
  • To inform the design and delivery of appropriate training interventions
  • To provide knowledge of theoretical and practical aspects of strength and conditioning interventions
  • To provide the skills to enable students to operate as a practitioner in a sports performance environment

Initially designed and delivered by the internationally-renowned Professor Mike Stone (formerly of the US Olympic Medical Centre), this programme continues to be taught by academics actively researching in the field, who all have experience of working with sports people at all levels up to international standard, such as consultant providers to the Scottish Institute of Sport and international motorsport schemes.

Programme structure

Masters degrees at the University of Edinburgh comprise 180 credits.  

The programme commences with 7 core taught courses and 20 credits of option courses, which make up a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits). These courses are designed to balance the study of areas pertinent to strength and conditioning and encouraging students to consider wider professional skills and issues associated with the application of scientific principles.

Successful performance on the taught courses will enable you to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma or progress to the Dissertation component (60 credits).

Successful completion of all 180 credits leads to the award of MSc.  

The Master's degree can be taken full-time in one year, or part-time in up to six years. The Postgraduate Diploma can be completed in 9 months full-time or up to 4 years part-time. 

Compulsory courses

You complete 7 core courses. Your learning will comprise traditional lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. 

Option courses

Additionally, you will select a total of 20 credits of courses at level 10 (year 3 and 4 undergraduate) and/or level 11 (postgraduate) from across the University, subject to approval by the Programme Director and the relevant course organiser. These credits should comprise courses running in semester 2, in order to assist in the management of your workload.  

The programme team are happy to offer advice regarding the selection of your option course(s). Please note that courses and course content may change each year.

N.B. If taking the programme on an intermittent basis, courses from outside the School may have different fees. 

Course descriptions (2024-25)


Successful performance on the taught courses will enable you to progress to the dissertation component (60 credits). Successful completion of the 180 credits leads to the award of MSc

Sample schedule

An indicative calendar is included here to give a flavour of the programme schedule. 

Semester 1

Conditioning Physiology (20 credits)

Environmental Factors in Sport (10 credits)

Strength and Conditioning for Specific Populations (20 credits)

Understanding Research Concepts (10 credits)

Semester 2

Physio-mechanical Aspects of Resistance Training (20 credits)

Professional Development in Strength and Conditioning - (10 credits)

Research Process (10 credits)

Option Course(s) (20 credits)

Summer Dissertation (60 credits)



The diverse assessment methods used on this programme are designed to test you academically as well as develop skills and attributes that you can apply in your future career.  Some examples include: written critical reviews, examinations, oral presentations, reflective accounts, infographics and continuing professional development plans.

Each taught course includes:

  • 10 weeks with weekly contact followed by an assessment period
  • assessment, exam and/or assignments (equivalent to a 4000-5000 word assignment for each course)
  • one core module (Physio-Mechanical Aspects of Resistance Training) to be delivered in one week of condensed teaching, as led by experienced strength & conditioning practitioners.

Part-time students will be able to complete the MSc Strength and Conditioning by attending only evening sessions over two years followed by the dissertation, with the exception of the Physio-Mechanical module. Please contact the Programme Director to discuss part-time study programme structure and courses. 

Internships and Placement

Video: Graduates talk about their internship and placement experiences

Video: MSc Strength and Conditioning - Internships
MSc Strength and Conditioning students work hard both in and out of the classroom, and internships with local sports organisations are a valuable way to apply theory learned in the classroom to a practical professional setting. Recent graduates recount their internship experience and advice, and describe how this has directly influenced their success in their current careers.

Alongside your academic studies, the programme can help you to engage with well-established voluntary internship and placement opportunities in a variety of roles, working in organisations such as professional rugby and football clubs, and with a range of performers including at elite level in sports such as athletics, rowing, swimming, cycling, basketball, hockey, fencing and tennis.

These opportunities are not a formal or assessed part of the programme but can provide a valuable source of further development. There may also be an opportunity to link your dissertation with an internship, contingent on discussions with the Programme Director and internship provider.  We apply governing body codes of conduct for internships and placements in strength and conditioning to help ensure that you have the opportunity to develop your skills and gain career-relevant experience.  A number of our graduates have gone on to employment with their placement providers.  It should be noted that placement opportunities change yearly, and we cannot guarantee any aspect of placement provision. 

We also hold practical workshops in a bid to give students the opportunity to apply for accreditation with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA).


Video: Graduates talk about the facilities and resources at Moray House

Video: MSc Strength and Conditioning facilities video
MSc Strength and Conditioning students gain access to premium lab and practical facilities to apply theory gained in lecture to practical settings in the lab or on work placements.

Teaching will take place at Moray House School of Education and Sport's Institute for Sport, Physical Education & Health Sciences at St Leonard’s Land. Students gain access to high-quality resources, labs and research facilities as well as a dedicated strength and conditioning gym within the School, and a range of resources at Sport & Exercise.

Sport and Exercise

NSCA education recognition program logo


The MSc Strength and Conditioning programme is formally recognised by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognition Programme. This recognition distinguishes the programme as having a standardised, approved strength and conditioning curriculum.