Project Description

BSc in Strength & Conditioning

(Traditional Delivery)

Completing Your Leaving Cert? Apply Now for Sept. 2021!

Download Brochure
Apply Now

Course Overview

Course Background

Sport in Ireland and across the world has undergone a performance revolution in the last decade, with a growing demand for highly qualified strength & conditioning practitioners. Delivered at the Setanta College campus in Limerick, the Bachelor of Science in Strength & Conditioning has grown into the single largest undergraduate degree in the area of sports science.

This programme contains a primary focus on the practical application of your studies and is designed to produce specialist coaching professionals with the knowledge and expertise to work in strength & conditioning, health & fitness and physical activity-related fields. It will also equip the student with the knowledge and skills to lead long term sport, health and fitness, physical activity and strength and conditioning programme development.

What sets the Setanta College BSc in Strength & Conditioning apart is that you gain industry-recognised qualifications at each stage of the course. These qualifications allow you to begin your career alongside your studies and are outlined below:

  • Year 1: Level 6 Certificate in Fitness & Conditioning | Level 6 Certificate in Strength & Conditioning | REPs Ireland Diploma in Personal Training | REPs Ireland QualIfication in Gym Instructing
  • Year 2: Level 6 Certificate in Youth Athletic Development | Level 6 Higher Certificate in S&C | REPs qualification in Spin Instructing | Level 6 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training
  • Year 3: Level 7 BSc in Strength & Conditioning | NSCA Accreditation | CSCS Accreditation

The next intake for the BSc in Strength & Conditioning is September 2021, with enrolment now open.

The Setanta College Experience

In choosing Setanta College, you will join over 60,000 graduates that have forged a career in the strength & conditioning and sports performance industry. Across the world, Setanta College graduates are leading the charge in S&C from amateur to elite-level, including in professional Rugby, the Premier League, the MLB, Athletics, and more.

During your time in college, you will learn from world-renowned practitioners and educators in the field. Led by Dr. Liam Hennessy, our lecturers are educated to highest level and have extensive practical experience at elite level. You will be exposed to world-class facilities throughout your studies, ensuring you have access to the most up-to-date and innovative technology in the industry.

Course Content

The BSc in Strength & Conditioning provides students with in-depth knowledge and practical expertise in Strength & Conditioning, with industry-recognised qualifications achieved at each stage of the programme.

Course Outline:

      1. Year 1: Modules Covered & Qualifications Gained
      2. Year 2: Modules Covered & Qualifications Gained
      3. Year 3: Modules Covered & Qualifications Gained

What is the Application Process?

Entry to this course is by direct application to Setanta College. If you are completing the Leaving Certificate in 2021, you may begin the application process and receive a preliminary offer (subject to achievement of LC requirements). The application process consists of

  • Application submission,
  • Applicant interview,
  • Preliminary Offer
  • Offer Acceptance and Deposit Payment

For all other applications, please see the ‘Entry Requirements’ tab lower down this page.

Looking for More Information? Speak to a Member of the Team

Choosing a college course can be a difficult process. The Setanta College team is on-hand to provide you with all of the information you need before making your decision. To speak to a Student Adviser, you can book a call with us a time that suits you here.

Download Course Brochure

Enter your details below to download a copy of the course brochure:

Download Brochure - BSc in Strength & Conditioning (FT)

  • From time to time we’d like to send you details on Setanta College’s upcoming course enrolments & news, jobs, internships, events and other opportunities. Read our full Privacy Policy here. Please let us know if you would like us to contact you by selecting one of the options below:

What You Will Study

Qualifications Gained:

  • Level 6 Certificate in Fitness & Conditioning,
  • Level 6 Certificate in Strength & Conditioning
  • REPs Ireland Diploma in Personal Training,
  • REPs Ireland Qualfication in Gym Instructing


Module 1: Functional Screening

This module introduces the coach to functional screening. It examines different approaches or schools of thought in this area. It traces the development of the area through to current and what may be considered state-of-the-art concepts and then introduces a range of basic screens – showing the learner how to set-up, conduct, and interpret the screens. It discusses the issues of compensations, weak links and several other aspects of this fascinating area. In addition, it examines the scientific support for functional screening and training. By the end of the module the learner will:

    • Display a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the principles underpinning Functional Screening
    • Conduct functional screening tests for one or more athletes/players
    • Design effective development programmes for their athlete/players based on the screening outcomes
    • Appreciate the diverse approaches to screening for both sporting and non-sporting individuals

Module 2: Resistance Training 1

This module introduces the coach to the area of Resistance Training in general. It features a historical description of the development of the field of study. It then examines the key principles upon which Resistance Training is based. The many and varied methods used in stability, strength, power and muscle mass development are described. The student will also acquire a range of skills including knowledge, know-how and competence within the area of Resistance Training so as to become a specialist coach of Strength and Conditioning. The practical areas covered are many and varied and include traditional circuit training, core stability, kettlebell, medicine ball, chain and other Resistance Training modes. By the end of the module the learner will:

    • Display a broad understanding of the Principles of Resistance Training
    • Appreciate the many and varied methods used to build stability, strength, power and speed-strength
    • Demonstrate an ability to coach a variety of resistance training methods
    • Understand and apply the concept of Periodisation in planning

Module 3: Resistance Training 2

This module introduces the coach to weight training and weight lifting. It places particular emphasis on establishing excellent coaching skills. The content looks at the health and safety issues relating to weight training while the student is exposed to a detailed understanding of the practical coaching skills in weightlifting and weight training for sport. The module covers the many methods of introducing and teaching weightlifting and weight training to participants at the recreational level through to the elite level. Additionally, both the theory and practice of weight lifting and weight training for children is considered. By the end of this module the learner will:

    • Develop practical coaching skills in delivering weightlifting and weight training to the beginner and elite player or athlete.
    • Become proficient in the application of the principles of weightlifting and weight training when planning and implementing conditioning programmes.
    • Be proficient in organisation and planning weightlifting and weight training programmes of development for their chosen sport.
    • Exercise creativity in delivering a programme of development within their training environment.

Module 4: Advanced Resistance Training

This module aims to build upon the comprehensive knowledge gained in the previous two ‘Resistance Training’ modules . This module will cover a wide variety of topics related to advanced resistance training. The module will cover a number of training methods and modes such as power training methods, kettlebell training, blood flow restriction training, and many more. The module will also examine resistance training for special populations such as the youth, the elderly and people with chronic health conditions like obesity. Finally this module will provide some nutritional information around resistance training performance and adaptation from resistance training. By the end of this module the learner will:

  • Display a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Advanced Resistance Training methods, fitness and conditioning
  • Apply the Principles of Coaching and Training in their chosen sport
  • Critically evaluate the needs of his or her player or athlete

Module 5: Speed Development

This module introduces the coach to the multi-faceted area of speed development and in particular to the various components of speed. It ensures that the learner has a deep understanding of all the components and elements related to speed. The methods used to develop and advance speed using a variety of approaches are described and discussed. The practical coaching of speed is also a key feature of this module’s work. At the end of this module the learner will:

  • Screen/evaluate the athlete or player and interpret and present the findings and implications.
  • Outline and explain the background and principles in planning and preparing speed training programmes.
  • Demonstrate practical coaching competency in administering a speed training programme.
  • Exercise appropriate judgement in planning, design and supervisory functions.

Module 6: Endurance Development

This module introduces the coach to endurance development. It considers the various components of endurance and examines the principles underpinning endurance development. The module will also describe the physiological basis for the development of endurance and the impact of concurrent training for other fitness components. The student will also study best practice for developing various types of endurance in general but specifically how to develop endurance for their own sport. At the end of this module the learner will:

  • Outline and explain the background and principles in planning and preparing endurance training programmes.
  • Critically evaluate the different modes used for endurance development.
  • Display specialised knowledge and competence in administering a practical endurance-based programme.
  • Recognise the limitation of current knowledge in endurance training.

Qualifications Gained:

  • Level 6 Certificate in Advanced Personal Training,
  • REPs qualification in Spin Instructing
  • Level 6 Certificate in Youth Athletic Development
  • Level 6 Higher Certificate in Strength & Conditioning


Module 1: Anatomy, Physiology & Biomechanics

This module ensures that the student understands and appreciates how the body is built, works and moves. It examines how energy is provided and how the muscles and nerves integrate to ensure movement in sport. It also describes the skeletal, cardiovascular and endocrine systems. The module provides an excellent A&P background to students of Strength and Conditioning studies. By the end of the module the learner will:

  • Be familiar with the systems that govern the functioning of the body
  • Display a depth of knowledge and understanding of the systems of the body during exercise
  • Apply  knowledge of the systems of the body to their training methodology
  • Demonstrate skills in assessing and monitoring posture and movement

Module 2: Youth Athletic Development

This module introduces the coach to Youth Athletic Development. It aims to describe the physical activity and movement development opportunities within society in general and specifically within a physical education, sporting and non-sport related setting. The module traces the development of the child through to adulthood in terms of rudimentary, fundamental and athletic movement skill and sport-specific skills.The coach will develop the theoretical and applied skills to devise a long term plan adapted to his or her sport. Throughout the module, the origins and principles of long-term athletic planning will be considered as well as the stages of development within a range of models. The module also aims to critique the limitations of such models in terms of the practical application of a model’s aims and outcomes. By the end of the module, the learner will:

  • Identify the opportunities and challenges that exist in enhancing and attaining a mature stage of development in physical movement patterns.
  • Assess and coach rudimentary and fundamental movement skills.
  • Construct a programme of practical progressions of formal and informal play and physical activity.

Module 3: Sport & Exercise Nutrition

This module provides the learner with key nutritional knowledge that will allow the learner to support physical performance in terms of energy and its recovery within the role as strength and conditioning coach or exercise specialist as a personal trainer. Understanding the limitation of their role the learner will become competent in describing the recommended nutritional guidelines to support performance. By the end of the module, the learner will:

  • Describe the recommended nutritional guidelines to support exercise participation and athletic performance.
  • Demonstrate specialised assessment and application skills within the area of nutritional analysis.
  • Formulate a nutritional programme for a specified athlete following a dietary assessment and activity demands assessment.

Module 4: Coaching Skills

This module introduces the coach to how athletes and players learn skills and the various approaches to teaching and coaching skills and competencies. It also examines the progression of skill learning from a young age through to adult participation. It also examines the impact of physical education and sport coaching on sport performance issues. The area of sport and participants with disabilities will also be discussed. By the end of this module the learner will:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the stages and processes of motor control and learning
  • Appreciate the issues and approaches to coaching skills in participants with disabilities
  • Apply the knowledge of Growth and Development into a practical coaching programme
  • Be familiar with physical education curricula and sporting associations coaching rationale

Module 5: Coaching Technology & Fitness Testing

The learner in this module can expect to gain a broad understanding of the issues relating to technology in sport and be able to display specialist skills in using and interpreting specific technological items that relate to the physical, physiological and biomechanical assessment of the individual athlete or team. The ability to effectively assess and monitor an athlete is a key part of the strength and conditioning process. Increasingly, this assessment utilises technological advancements in analysis. The module aims to provide students with the required knowledge and applied skills to enable them to plan and conduct effective fitness testing batteries for a range of sports and to appropriately evaluate performance. The learning outcomes are as follows:

  • Critically evaluate the efficacy of commonly used coaching technologies within the sport and exercise industries.
  • Assess the reliability of gym-based work-related instruments and applications.
  • Exhibit specialised technical and practical skills in testing and monitoring performance.
  • Evaluate fitness testing outcomes and make appropriate recommendations.

Module 6: Business of Fitness & Sport

This new module will address key concepts related to the business of sport and exercise and in particular on providing case study guidance as to effective practice in the market research, employment opportunity creation, marketing and the use of social media in the promotion of a potential business. The foundations of creating a business based on supplying services and innovative technologies that capture the ever changing and varied context of the support of sport related training, general exercise, health and fitness and personal training will be considered. At the end of this module the learner will:

  • Display a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the goals and objectives of a business in the strength and conditioning and personal training fields.
  • Display a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the regulatory laws and requirements affecting small businesses.

Qualifications Gained:

  • Level 7 BSc in Strength & Conditioning
  • CSCS Certification with the NSCA*

*Additional costs/external exam required for this certification.


Module 1: Injuries & Rehabilitation

The module aims to provide a description of common injuries within sport. The factors associated with injury in sport and the incidence, type and severity of injury that occurs will be elucidated. The module also aims to clarify the role of the strength and conditioning specialist in injury risk reduction practices as well as their role within the sport support team in relation to injury rehabilitation practices. By the end of the module the learner will:

  • Recognise the factors associated with injuries in a variety of sports.
  • Present a sports specific profile on injuries and make recommendations for screening and training practices.
  • Reflect on the role played in injury risk reduction practice within a team support setting.
  • Construct a collaborative specific injury focused risk reduction programme.

Module 2: Strength & Conditioning for Special Populations

This module aims to evaluate the effectiveness of adapted physical activity initiatives and programmes in promoting physical activity and fitness within special populations. This module also aims to facilitate the learner’s previous learning in the application of strength and conditioning principles and methods in formulating and coaching appropriate and progressive programmes of strength and conditioning to a variety of special populations. By the end of the module the learner will:

  • Display an understanding of the programmes of physical activity that exist within society and within the health and fitness industry with respect to special populations
  • Adapt standard strength and conditioning routines to specific special population needs.
  • Formulate appropriate models of coaching, training and long term planning relevant to the target population.
  • Evaluate own learning needs in relation to the management and provision of exercise and development programmes to special populations.

Module 3: Research Methods & Data Management 

This module aims to provide learners with the required understanding of research methodologies, statistical concepts and computational skills for the practical application of this knowledge and skills in relevant strength and conditioning situations. By the end of this module the learner will:

  • Understand effective research designs and statistical concepts.
  • Analyse athlete data using quantitative and qualitative statistics.
  • Display an ability to plan and implement preventive and rehabilitative exercises to reduce the risk of injury and re-occurence.
  • 3. Create a research proposal in relation to an applied S&C project.

Module 4: Professional Practice Portfolio

The professional practice portfolio will allow the learner to both apply and evaluate their formal strength and conditioning learnings within an experiential learning environment and in so doing will gather, record, analyse and critically reflect on the coaching experience. Learners will log a significant number of hours within a sports or exercise-based S&C setting allowing them the opportunity to gain informed insight into their own personal abilities, aptitudes and coaching competencies and to reflect on their continuing coaching practice and development:

  • Work collaboratively with colleagues in delivering an effective S&C programme.
  • Synthesise previous learnings as applied to their coaching practice in their working environment.
  • 3. Critically evaluate their work performance within a real-world setting.

Module 5: Sport & Exercise Psychology

The module aims to assist the learner in evaluating the needs of their athlete/client within the broader programme in planning, delivering and evaluating a sports psychology programme. At the end of this module the learner will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the theoretical foundation of the psychological processes that influence human performance in athletic settings
  • Evaluate the needs of clients and plan interventions based on this evaluation
  • Participate in a structured team environment across a range of athlete-player support systems

Module 6: Health & Wellness

This module aims to upskill the learner through a broad set of knowledge, skills and competencies with the overall aim of enhancing the personal health and wellness of the individual athlete or client within both the training environment and the wider society, community and employment setting. The programme is designed to offer the specialist coaching professional the skills to be effective in the promotion of better health and wellness. At the end of this module the learner will:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding and knowledge of the impact and contribution of sport and exercise to the mental health of the individual athlete/client
  • Critically evaluate strategies and techniques used to maintain positive health and wellness for the individual athlete or client
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the effectiveness of interventions for the enhancement of physical and mental health within the wider community
  • Design an evidence-based health and wellness intervention for individuals participating within a sport and exercise environment

Course Details & Information

The continued growth of the strength & conditioning industry has created an increasing demand for highly qualified coaches. Globally recognised as a professional pathway into the sport and general wellness industries, strength and conditioning have become a vital element of sport – from amateur to elite level.

By choosing Setanta College, you will gain a world-leading strength & conditioning and sports performance education recognised and accredited by international bodies including the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and World Rugby.

A standout feature of studying with Setanta College is the opportunity that you have to gain qualifications as you complete each different stage of the programme. This allows students to begin building their career in the industry while continuing with their college course. For example, after completing Year 1 of the BSc in Strength & Conditioning, you will have be a fully qualified Personal Trainer and also have achieved a Certificate in Fitness and Conditioning and a Certificate in Strength & Conditioning.

To date, over 60,000 students have graduated from Setanta College and alumni operate at the highest level with some of the largest sport, fitness and wellness organisations in the world. Founded by Dr. Liam Hennessy, our faculty consists of elite-level practitioners that are educated to PhD or MSc level. Over the years, we have welcomed guest speakers to our practical workshops including Loren Landow, Jason Glass, Dave Alred, Phil Morrow, Stephen Aboud, and more.

Our internationally renowned programmes have a primary focus on the practical application of your studies. Our vast and significant elite-level partner network provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field.

Graduates of the BSc in Strength & Conditioning will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work in sport & recreation settings across a wide range of levels from beginners through to elite athletes. Students will be provided with the skills to perform effectively in a wide range of performance-related industries, such as rehabilitation, personal training, health & wellness, etc.

A key element of this course is the fact that students will achieve qualifications after each year of the programme that they complete. This allows you to begin the process of building your career in the industry while you study.

Setanta College graduates have progressed to work at the elite level of sport including GAA, Rugby, Football, Major League Baseball, Athletics and more. You can find out more about the stories and careers of our students here.

Graduates will also be eligible to continue their studies at a Postgraduate Level, including progression opportunities to the Setanta College MSc in Performance Coaching and MSc in Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology.

Setanta College has appointed a world renowned advisory board to inform and oversee our programmes and research strategy. This board, comprising of professors and practitioners from around the world, keep Setanta College at the cutting edge of Performance Science, Technology, and Strength and Conditioning.

Our lecturers are qualified to MSc or PhD level and are former high-level sportspeople, active coaches or both. We have a team of international specialists who lecture on both our online and full-time programmes. You can learn more about our lecturing faculty here.

Entry to this course is by direct application to Setanta College. If you are completing the Leaving Certificate in 2021, you may begin the application process and receive a preliminary offer (subject to achievement of LC requirements). The application process consists of

  • Application submission.
  • Applicant Interview
  • Preliminary Offer (Subject to Meeting Entry Requirements).
  • Offer Acceptance and Deposit Payment

For students considering studying with Setanta College in September 2021, we urge you to submit your application before receiving Leaving Certificate results or CAO offers to avoid the disappointment of not securing a place on the programme. Should you decide not to proceed with the programme after CAO offers have been made, any semester or fee payment made is refundable subject to Admin Fees.

  • Applications for all our undergraduate programmes must meet the minimum entry requirements for the college. A minimum of two C3’s in higher level subjects and four D3’s in ordinary level subjects (to include English & Maths) in the Leaving Certificate or equivalent, is required. All applicants may be subject to interview.
  • If you are over 23 years of age you may apply as a mature student. Mature student applications are assessed on the basis of age, coaching/playing experience, general education standard, motivation and commitment to the programme for which they are applying.
  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 or equivalent is required for non-native English speakers.

Build Your Future with Setanta College

Hear from Some of Our Graduates

Eoin Cadogan
Eoin CadoganCork GAA Player | Owner of Dark Focus | Setanta College Graduate

“Studying with Setanta College, I learned different perspectives in terms of the training I’m doing with my club, my county, and independently.”

Ed Finn
Ed FinnOwner of One Arena | Setanta College Graduate

“Studying at Setanta College helped me achieve my dream of being able to open my own gym. I wanted to give more to the clients I was working with rather than just results from their training and diet. I wanted to create an environment where people would thrive.”

Sanita Puspure
Sanita PuspureWorld & European Rowing Champion | Setanta College Student

“The quality of education that Setanta College offers has been key to my success in terms of studying and my performance as a professional rower.”

Leah Cheung
Leah CheungSetanta College Graduate

“This course opened my eyes to how much there is to learn when working with general population clients or athletes that want to excel in their sport.”

Ged McNamara
Ged McNamaraHead of Athletic Performance - Munster Rugby | Setanta College Graduate

“Setanta College has helped me develop different approaches to assisting players to become better performers not only on the day of a game but behind the scenes in areas such as the science behind it as well as the strength & conditioning aspects along the way.”

Mikey Kiely
Mikey KielyHead of S&C - Limerick Senior Hurlers | Setanta College Graduate

Fees & How To Enrol

Per Academic Year


Per Semester


Speak With a Student Officer