Strength and Conditioning

1) CSCS course (Certifified Strength & Conditioning Specialist)


Is the NSCA’s (National Strength & Conditioning Association) original certification program that was specifically designed to assess competencies of those who strength train and condition athletes.


By becoming a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist you can:

Conduct sports specific testing sessions.

Implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs.

Provide guidance on nutrition and injury prevention. 


 What are the first steps you need to take in order to gain certification?


1. Decide on where you wish to sit the exam.

Computer based exams are only available in US.

University Of Limerick have pencil/paper exam in July 2013- already fully booked out for this year. Available to put your name down on a waiting list for this date for any cancellations. Be careful though as there will be a fee for changing locations if for example you booked London also before it too becomes fully booked out.

London on the 5th October 2013 pencil/paper exam- register before July 26th 2013 and avail of $35 deduction.  Registration MUST be complete by 9th August 2013. Places seem to fill quickly so the sooner you register the better.


2. You can become a member of NSCA online.

 This provides you with an automatic reduction of registration prices of $135 if registration is completed by the deadline dates set for each particular exam location.  Membership of NSCA for graduate students is $65 per year. Therefore you can save $70 for exam registration and benefit from:

Eligibility for grants/scholarships.

Electronic bimonthly submission to the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research and Strength and Conditioning Journal. 

Discounted registration to national, regional and local events.         

Opportunity to publish in NSCA publications.

NSCA involvement through volunteering.            


Be AWARE that there is a fee to re-sit the exams!


3. Pre-requisites

Candidates must hold a bachelors degree.         

Irish Graduates - photocopied transcript is sufficient to provide to the supplied address.        

Must be certified in CPR/AED and provide copy of certificate.        

Must receive these 2 pieces of documentation 1 year after the exam as results become void after this and exam must be re-taken.       


4. Exam Details

4 hours long including a break and consists of a scientific foundations section (90 minutes-80 scored MCQ, 10 non scored MCQ in the area of exercise science and nutrition) and a practical/applied section (2 half hours, 110 scored MCQ and 10 non scored MCQ which covers the areas of program design, exercise technique and testing, 40 of the 110 questions are based on a video which shows exercises/videos).

Exam/prep study materials may be purchased in NSCA store        

Additional information available-




2) UKSCA (UK Strength & Conditioning Association)


Is an assessment process that enables you to undertake the ASCC (Accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach) title by ensuring you meet the agreed competencies.

Competency document-



The assessment process consists of:


  • Completion of the paperwork application pack.
  • Attendance at the UKSCA assessment day which assesses you skills in 4 areas:
  • Knowledge base through MCQ
  • Practical weight lifting coaching assessment
  • Practical speed and plyometric coaching assessment
  • Presentation of a case study


Further details and information regarding prep for each part of the assessment day can be found on this link-



Assessment process prices:

£250 for members.

£310 for associates.



3) CPSEM (Chartered Physiotherapists Sports and Exercise Medicine)


An interest group of the ISCP.

Have no upcoming strength & conditioning courses as of yet but it might be helpful to keep an eye on the site- . It also gives information on how to climb the ladder in terms of Sports Medicine.



4) KG Elite Performance


This company run strength and conditioning courses here in Ireland.

It consists of a 2 Phase Course followed by a certification exam.

It is recognised both nationally and internationally.


Phase 1 Course Dates: August 17th 2013 in UCD.

Phase 1 Fees: 450 euro of 350 for full time student - must pay 4 weeks prior to course.


Phase 2 Course Dates: October 19th 2013 in UCD. September 21st 2013 in University of Limerick.

Phase 2 Fees: 550 euro or 450 euro if full time student - must pay 4 weeks prior to course.


Certification Assessment Fee: 100 euro.


More information at




5) Post Graduate Strength and Conditioning Courses in the U.K


There are 2 universities in the U.K that are still currently taking applications for the 1 year Msc Strength and Conditioning Course. 


a) University of Middlesex


Course Fees: 6,000 pounds for UK/EU students.


Entry Requirements: 2.2 degree or above.


Programme description:

The course runs full time between October and May, with research and dissertation taking pace over the summer. Alternatively you may commence in January, in which case you will study until August, completing research and dissertation between September and December.


Modules will include the assessment and evaluation of athletes and athletic performance, and the evaluation of the physiological, biomechanical, nutritional and psychological demands of sports in relation to training and the development of strength and conditioning programmes. The course will not only focus on evidence based practice, but also the application to a range of sports.


Programme structure:

Advanced Strength and Conditioning Training (30 Credits) - Compulsory

Applied Physiological and Biomechanical Assessment (30 Credits) - Compulsory

Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory

Movement Analysis and Corrective Exercise (30 Credits) - Compulsory

Research Methods (30 Credits) – Compulsory


More info at:


b) University of Edinburgh 


Course Fees: 7,450 for UK/EU students.


Entry Requirements: 2.1 degree or above.


Programme description:

You will have the chance to apply your theoretical learning through practical workshops as you examine a wide range of academic and practitioner needs. The emphasis is on sports performance, but significant focus is also given to injury prevention and issues relevant to the elderly and rehabilitation clients.


You will receive support from staff experienced in training athletes up to international standard, and will benefit from an annual visit from internationally renowned Professor Mike Stone, the innovator behind our original programme.


You will complete seven courses:

  • Understanding Research Concepts
  • Research Process
  • Professional Skills
  • Physiology of Strength & Conditioning
  • Physio-mechanical Aspects of Resistance Training
  • Nutritional Factors & Ergogenic Aids
  • Paediatric & Environmental Factors for Training

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


More info at




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