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Study information

Strength and Conditioning Physiology

Module titleStrength and Conditioning Physiology
Module codeESS2508
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Mr Oliver Whitton (Convenor)

Mr Matthew Campbell (Lecturer)

Dr Benjamin Wall (Lecturer)


Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Module description

This module seeks to provide you with the physiological knowledge and basic practical skills to make you an informed and competent practitioner of strength, conditioning and athletic training. You will cover the physiological responses to many aspects associated with strength, conditioning and athletic training and in addition cover the role of protein supplementation, the debate surrounding anabolic steroids, the science of SAQ training and overtraining. This module will also teach you the basics of functional assessment, planning and delivering of sports specific training and resistance training techniques in a safe and suitable way. ESS1006 Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry or ESS1502 Sports Training Physiology are the pre-requisite modules for ESS2508.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module content and the practical skills learnt are crucial for those looking towards a career in athletic training or coaching.  In particular you will develop the following graduate attributes

  • Perform athlete screening and design appropriate training interventions
  • Coach / perform basic training techniques
  • Applied knowledge – understand the science behind strength and conditioning exercise
  • People skills – work with others in the gym and field settings
  • Health & Safety – meet the professional standards to ensure the safety of the athlete

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Explain the underlying acute and chronic physiological responses to strength and conditioning exercise
  • 2. Demonstrate safe and suitable practice when delivering strength, conditioning and athletic training sessions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Appraise an athlete’s needs, interpret data and construct appropriate training sessions to meet these aims

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Take responsibility for your own learning and development of the key skills of evaluation and prioritisation
  • 5. Employ reasoned decision making to shape practice

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Theory Content
    • Movement Analysis
    • Anatomy for S&C
    • Resistance Training Theory - Adaptations for athlete improvement
      • Neural
      • Muscle
      • Bone
      • Collagen
    • Age related differences in Strength & Conditioning
    • Sex related differences in Strength & Conditioning
    • Recovery & Injury:
      • Myofascial release
      • Training the injured athlete
    • Monitoring the athlete
      • Advanced GPS
    • Training Techniques
      • Advanced Plyometric Physiology
    • Eccentric Training
  • ? Practical Content
    • Preparing to coach
    • An introduction to strength and conditioning and athlete needs analysis
    • Assessing the foundations – postural screening
    • Fundamental movement patterns and effective coaching techniques
    • Optimising athlete longevity – monitoring athlete status and effective prehab and recovery techniques
    • Plyometric training
    • Core training considerations and injury hotspots
    • Speed, CoD and agility training
    • Olympic weightlifting

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures/seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching16.5Practical classes
Guided Independent Study111.5Completion of set readings from book chapters and web resources and practice of practical S&C skills

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Use of ELE based formative feedback style questions throughout module 5-10 minutes2-5Oral/visual e.g., from lecturer or online through ELE

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Single Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation255 minute max video1, 3, 5Written and oral
Multi Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation 7510 minute max video1-3, 5Written and oral

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Single Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation Single Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation (25%) 1, 3, 5August/September assessment period
Multi Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation Multi Sport Athlete Case Study - video presentation (75%)1, 3, 5August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Thomas Baechle and Roger Earle. 3rd edition. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  • Comprehensive Strength and Conditioning: Physical Preparation for Sports Performance. Paul Gamble.
  • Informed: The Art of the Science of Preparing Athlete. Paul Gamble.
  • NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training. Michael Clark and Scott Lucett, Lippincott, Baltimore. 2010.
  • Designing Resistance Training Programmes.  Fleck, S., and Kraemer, W. 2014 (4th Ed).  Human Kinetics.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Athlete screening, needs analysis, resistance training, SAQ, plyometrics, applied anatomy.

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS1006 Human Anatomy and Kinanthropometry or ESS1502 Sports Training Physiology

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date