Courses in

Sport & Exercise Science

MSc in Strength and Conditioning

NEW 18-month research masters in strength and conditioning. Applications for September 2021 now being accepted.

Discipline: Sport & Exercise Science

Location: Galway - Dublin Road

NFQ Level: 9

Programme Duration: Eighteen Months

Entry Requirements: Min 2.2 Honours degree in science or health-related discipline, or Recognised Prior Learning (RPL). See 'Other Essential Information' for details.

Places: 16

Why Study?

Strength and conditioning is the application of scientific principles in order to understand and enhance sport and exercise performance and health and well-being.

The course is designed to provide students with an evidence-based understanding of the scientific method in the context of strength and conditioning.
Key areas of study include physiology, coaching, psychology, nutrition and metabolism with a focus on the practical application of strength and conditioning.

In the past decade, there has been a marked growth in the career opportunities available for sport and exercise scientists, S&C coaches and individuals who are multi-disciplined in health, fitness and well-being.

In combination with a growing demand for S&C coaches, there is a demand for providing appropriately qualified and accredited individuals to undertake such roles.

The Master of Science in Strength & Conditioning, therefore, seeks to provide students with an opportunity to study at postgraduate level, to develop their knowledge of sport and exercise science and to increase their skills in applying such knowledge in a sport and exercise setting.

GMIT has recently been recognised as a National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) Education Recognised Program (ERP 2020-2023). 

The ERP recognises and distinguishes schools with standardised, approved strength and conditioning or personal training curricula in undergraduate and graduate settings designed to prepare students for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) certifications.

Programme Modules

Semester 1 (15 taught credits)

• Strength and Conditioning (Science and application) (5 credits)
• Psychology - Coaching and Motivation (5 credits)
• Applied Sport Technology (5 credits)

Semester 2 (15 credits, Exit Award: Certificate)

• Strength and Conditioning (Theory and Practice) (5 credits)
• Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Human Performance (5 credits)
• Research Methods (5 credits)

Semester 3 (60 credits)

• Research Project (60 credits)

Career Opportunities

Specific job opportunities for graduates have included:

  • Strength and conditioning coaches with amateur or elite teams
  • Performance analysis
  • Athlete development programmes
  • Public health improvement
  • Addressing inequalities in health
  • Developing/commissioning and implementing policies and programs
  • Monitoring, evaluation and assessment of training needs in individuals/teams
  • Education and generating research evidence linking training regimes and sport and exercise performance across a range of employers
  • Professional sports clubs and organisations (nationally and globally)
  • National sporting associations, governing bodies and other related sporting agencies
  • Private health and fitness clubs and public sports and recreation facilities
  • Entrepreneurial projects and product development (e.g. biofeedback technology)
  • Local authorities (e.g. local sports partnerships)
  • Schools, further education and higher education institutions
  • The health sector (e.g. Healthy Ireland)
  • Performance optimisation (preventative health and post-rehabilitative)
  • Advisory positions in weight management, physical activity or similar
  • Broader roles in health promotion and health improvement
  • Project delivery or advisory work with government agencies, e.g. HSE, local authorities
  • Research and data analysis at various higher education institutes
  • National health assessment groups 

The career opportunities available to strength and conditioning experts in Europe are expanding all the time, and this expansion appears likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Most sports now recognise strength and conditioning as an integral part of their sport’s development, and success and most athletes consider the application of strength and conditioning as an important part of everyday preparation for training and competition.

Examples of careers from similar programmes in the UK include:

  • Elite Performance Coach
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • High-Performance Director
  • Strength Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Lecturer in Higher Education
  • Athletic Performance Specialist
  • Researcher
  • Youth S&C Coach
  • Movement Specialist
  • Elite Player Development Officer
  • Self-employment (as a consultant, contractor or entrepreneur)

In the UK, typical employers include:

  • Sport England
  • Professional football teams
  • Professional rugby teams
  • British Paralympics
  • Sports Management
  • Government agencies (e.g. NHS)
  • Local authorities
  • Academic appointments

Similar job opportunities are available throughout Europe and the US.

Essential Information: 

Start Date:

This course is scheduled to commence in September 2021 (date to be confirmed).


How to apply

Apply online here (application type E9 and I9). 

The closing date for applications is expected to be 31 August, 2021.


Entry Requirements

Students must have a minimum of a 2.2 in an honour’s degree in any science or related health-discipline. Students with Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) may also be considered for entry, however, they may be required to complete pre-requisite assessments prior to acceptance.




Additional costs for practical UKSCA workshops (Plyometrics, Agility & Speed & Weightlifting for Sport Performance) are £500 GBP as of 30th March 2020 (subject to change)



It is expected that the programme will be delivered over 10/12 contact hours per week. (TBC)


Further Information

For further information please read the MSc Strength and Conditioning information sheet (PDF)

Contact Us

Dr Lisa Ryan
Head of Department of Natural Sciences
Tel: +353 (0)91 742556
Email: Dr Lisa Ryan


Ed Daly
Programme Coordinator
Tel: +353 (0)91 742397
Email: Ed Daly