Postgraduate study

Strength and Conditioning MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time


Funding opportunities


Programme website: Strength and Conditioning

The wide variety of courses that are delivered on the programme help to develop a large knowledge base including up to date research and best practices to aid with the development of well-rounded coaching ability which in my opinion are some of the most important factors in the field of S&C/sports science. In addition to this, due to the expertise of the staff involved in the programme the support and guidance is second to none.

Lindsay Sillars MSc Strength and Conditioning 2016

Strength and Conditioning is a popular area within sport science, predominantly from within the discipline of physiology, often requiring knowledge of inter-disciplinary applied sport science and coaching.

The primary focus of this programme is sporting performance. However, the application of strength and conditioning principles to diverse areas including exercise, pre- and rehabilitation, youth and ageing populations, and other specific and clinical populations is becoming more commonplace.

By joining this degree, you will have the opportunity to study the application of these principles in your core and option courses, and see how they are reflected in a range of practical contexts through a voluntary internship or placement.

This programme combines both the theoretical and practical elements of strength and conditioning to identify and examine a wide range of academic and practitioner needs.

Parallel to the taught programme, we encourage and help to facilitate, where possible, excellent applied experience and professional development opportunities, using established links with local and national sports teams and governing bodies.


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 curricula.

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.

Your learning will comprise traditional lectures, tutorials and practical sessions.

The programme commences with seven taught compulsory courses as well as 20 credits of option courses. Successful performance on the taught courses will enable you to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma or progress to the Dissertation component.

To complete the MSc programme, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.

Compulsory courses

  • Conditioning Physiology
  • Environmental Factors in Sport
  • Physio-mechanical Aspects of Resistance Training
  • Professional Development in Strength and Conditioning
  • Strength and Conditioning for Specific Populations
  • Research Process
  • Understanding Research Concepts

Option courses

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 you in the management of your workload. The programme team would be happy to give you advice regarding the selection of your option course(s).

Please note that courses and course content may change each year.

Alongside your academic studies, you may choose to engage with well-established voluntary internship and placement opportunities in a variety of roles with performers at various levels.

These opportunities are not a formal or assessed part of the programme but can provide a valuable source of further development.

The programme aims to develop the ability of students to be able to critically appraise and apply scientific literature. If you progress to Master's level (MSc), your study of research methods will include learning how to plan, conduct and disseminate your own research following the established principles of rigorous scientific study.

Designed with a practical orientation towards the application and evolution of theory to practice, a major focus of the programme is on performance sport, although other areas such as exercise and rehabilitation are also covered.

Graduates gain the ability to:

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

Our graduates work around the world as strength and conditioning and physical preparation specialists for professional sports teams and clubs, for the UK and US army and air force.

Graduates are able to apply their knowledge by:

  • working with clinical populations in health settings
  • developing strategies for improving staff health and wellbeing in large organisations across a variety of industries
  • undertaking doctoral study

The qualification and skills you gain in this programme will complement the applied experience and any professional accreditation for those aspiring to be practitioners at the cutting edge of strength and conditioning.

Primary roles exist in the sports performance area, but you may also apply your skills to work in the areas of exercise and fitness, rehabilitation and the wider sports industry.

The Master's degree is also a springboard for further research, either within academia or the private sector. The highly transferable skills you gain in areas such as communication and project management can be applied to roles in any field.

Students gain access to high-quality resources, labs and research facilities as well as a dedicated strength and conditioning gym on campus and a range of resources at nearby Sport & Exercise.

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a sport and exercise science subject area.

We may also consider your application if you have other academic or professional qualifications or considerable relevant experience in strength and conditioning. We will consider:

  • Strengths and weaknesses in grade profiles related to the programme.
  • Applied stength and conditining experience as an athlete or coach.
  • Applied experience working with other athletes and coaches in the strength and conditioning domain.
  • Professional training or accreditation in strength and conditioning.
  • References.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fees

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer five £10,000 scholarships to study a Master’s degree programme commencing in September 2023. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from eligible countries.

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups which are underrepresented in our School.

(Revised 1 February 2023 to add funding opportunities)

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline, when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2023/24:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 13 January 2023 28 February 2023
2 15 March 2023 18 May 2023
3 04 July 2023 31 July 2023

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ