MSc Athletic Development and Peak Performance

Push your knowledge of athletic development to the highest level

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Do you want to further your knowledge of sport science and athletic development? Southampton Solent’s athletic development and peak performance master’s degree has been designed in partnership with industry experts to help equip students with skills, experience and knowledge precisely tailored to industry requirements.

  • The course has a practical focus, combining hands-on experience with master’s theory to teach students how to apply learning to a professional sporting environment.
  • Gaining practical experience is a key element of the programme and students are expected to undertake work placements alongside their studies for the duration of the course.
  • Students have full access to the University’s leading sports science facilities, including a BASES-accredited physiology lab. Many of these facilities are regularly used by professional athletes.
  • The course team has strong industry links from which students can benefit.
  • Past students have benefitted from a programme of regular guest lectures.

The industry

The UK health and fitness industry is experiencing continued growth. Fitness membership in the UK has risen by 4.5% and now exceeds 8 million (2014 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report). Despite this, industry commentators have urged the sector not to become complacent and to continue to promote a healthy lifestyle to the nation.

This course can help graduates tap into a number of good career opportunities in sport and exercise science across a number of specialist fields, from developing programmes for elite athletes to working with schools and colleges to encourage the next generation of athletes to excel.

The programme

Built on a successful and popular undergraduate programme, this high-level master’s degree helps to prepare students for a career in the sports industry by delivering hands-on professional skills and adopting an interdisciplinary approach to coaching.

During the course, students will explore key areas such as talent identification, long-term athlete development, performance analysis, strength and conditioning, peak performance, technical and tactical development, marginal gains, and injury prevention and management.

To complement their studies, students are expected to undertake work placements relevant to the course within professional sport and exercise organisations. Working at all levels, from elite athletes to schools or rehabilitation patients, students will gain valuable ‘real-world’ experience working alongside leading experts. Work placements are expected to have been organised prior to joining the course; if students have been unable to organise a placement, the University will support them in finding a suitable opportunity.

Students have full access to the University’s leading, fully-equipped sports science facilities, which boast a BASES-accredited physiology laboratory, as well as biomechanics, health and exercise, and psychology laboratories. Many of these facilities are regularly used by professional athletes, including players from Southampton FC.

Past students have benefitted from a guest speaker programme which has featured lectures from professionals from the highest level of a variety of sports, who have shared their advice, knowledge and experience of the industry.

The course team has strong industry links and the University is a partner of Southampton FC. The University also works with other top sports organisations, including Reed’s High Performance Academy, British Swimming, Hampshire Rugby, Crystal Palace FC, London Irish RFC and GB Wheelchair Rugby.

Next steps

Think you’ve got what it takes to succeed in sport and exercise science? By combining practical experience with advanced academic theory, Southampton Solent’s athletic development and peak performance master’s degree will help you to take your sport science or coaching career to the next level.

Have you got a question about applying?

Email: ask@solent.ac.uk

Don't just take our word for it...

Ben Rosen
Jon Dalzell PhD
Ali Mohammadi Rad
Tom Clark
Tom Daniel
Yiannis Fleming
"The MSc looks set to become integral in bridging the gap between undergraduate degree and full time work in professional sport"
  More from Ben
"An essential MSc that bridges the gap between academic knowledge and hands on experience"
  More from Jon
"I would recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about expanding their knowledge in this chosen academic area"
  More from Ali
"The MSc Athletic Development and Peak Performance encourages further learning"
  More from Tom
"I certainly feel that it has given me the best chance of success in future employment and development."
  More from Tom
"With the help of knowledgeable and experienced lecturers"
  More from Yiannis

Full-time

  • 1 Year Standard entry

Typical entry requirements

A first degree, at 2:1 or above

Technical Development in Sport: On this unit you will critically analyse coaching methods and how skill is acquired, building your understanding and use of technology for developing, monitoring and testing athletic performance.

Psycho-Social Development in Sport: The aim of this unit is to analyse the theories underpinning talent identification and long-term athlete development, and to examine the psycho-social factors affecting performance throughout an athlete’s career.

Physical Preparation in Sport and Exercise: This unit examines the science behind effective training, injury prevention and rehabilitation in a practical setting. You will focus on physical and mental loading, and on the key fitness components of strength, speed, endurance and flexibility.

Tactical Development in Sport: This unit focuses on performance analysis techniques, providing practical opportunities to collect, assimilate and analyse tactical, technical and time motion information, with the aim of improving performance.

Marginal Gains for Peak Performance: This unit identifies past, current and future methods of obtaining potential marginal advantage in performance, with a chance to build first-hand experience via off-site learning.

Individual Project: The project provides an opportunity to undertake a sustained, intensive and independent investigation into a topic of your choosing, presenting your work in a peer-reviewed journal format.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course combines theory-led sessions with practical sessions, working individually and in groups in both the laboratory and the field. On all units you’ll work with real-life clients, in a placement either organised yourself or by members of the course team.

Work experience
Prior to starting the course you’ll be expected to have a placement organised that will last throughout your studies; this can be in more than one organisation if required. The placement should be in a role relevant to the course, and might include (but not limited to) coach, sport scientist, performance analyst, strength and conditioning coach, exercise physiologist, biomechanist, laboratory technician, etc.

If you’ve been unable to organise a placement, the course team will support you in finding a placement, potentially with university partners Southampton FC or a range of other top sports organisations, including Reed’s High Performance Academy, British Swimming, Hampshire Rugby, Crystal Palace FC, London Irish RFC, GB Wheelchair Rugby and more.

Assessment
Assessment will be a range of written coursework, viva, presentations, reports and practical tests.

Our facilities

BASES logo

You’ll have timetabled and extracurricular access to our BASES-accredited physiology laboratory, as well as the biomechanics, health and exercise and psychology laboratories.

Study abroad

Through discussion with your course leader you’ll have potential opportunities to study abroad through international placement in the industry, for example in Poland.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

Full-time

  • 1 Year Standard entry

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The skills you’ll develop on this course open up a wide range of career opportunities in sport and exercise science, across every sport imaginable. You could work with professional, elite or Olympic athletes, meeting the challenges of ensuring they maintain peak fitness in world-class competition, or work with hospitals and health organisations to develop training and recovery programmes for patients suffering injury or disability. You could work with schools and/or colleges, developing fitness programmes and encouraging the next generation of athletes to excel.

Links with industry

This MSc has been designed in conjunction with industry experts, ensuring you receive the skills and theory precisely tailored to industry requirements. Our industry partners are also integral in the provision of placement opportunities, giving you the advantage of real-world experience alongside potential employers during your master’s studies.

The course also incorporates a series of guest lecturers from the highest level of a variety of sports, to share their advice, knowledge and experience of the industry.

Transferable skills

Presentation, project and time management, leadership, communication, IT and numeracy skills are developed in both the classroom and practical placement opportunities.

Further study

You’ll have the opportunity to specialise at the highest level with Solent’s PhD programme, under the guidance of various staff members.


 

Key facts

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Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Accreditations:There are options to undertake BASES-supervised experience in physiology, UKSCA accreditation, Dartfish accreditation, ISAK accreditation and national governing body coaching awards.

Entry requirements

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  • An honours degree at 2:1 or above*
  • Acceptance is also subject to successful interview.  

*Admissions will consider applicants who do not have a degree at 2:1 or above but can provide evidence of relevant work experience.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with minimum of 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in reading, listening and speaking
  • TOEFL IBT 92 with minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 19 in reading, listening and speaking - TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a Pre-Sessional English Language Course for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved

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Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £6,695

International full-time fees: £12,380

Other costs

Compulsory BASES membership: £29

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

How to apply

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Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.

Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application.

  • Two academic references
  • Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of current visa (if applicable)
  • A personal statement
  • Employer sponsor form where appropriate

To apply please click the link below and complete the online application form.

Apply for MSc Athletic Development and Peak Performance

Solent alumni could be eligible for up to a 50% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course. The discount applied will be dependent on your undergraduate degree classification as follows:

Solent Alumni with a:
• First (1.1) will be offered a 50% discount to study at PG level
• 2.1 or 2.2 will be offered a 20% discount to study at PG level

The discount applied will be based on the most recently completed course.

If you are currently a student at Southampton Solent University and are continuing on without a break in your studies, your discount will be automatically applied on your return.

If are not following directly on from a course at Southampton Solent University, but have studied with us in previous years, you will need to register for the alumni discount.

Click here to register or to find out more. 

Student support and services

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Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

 

Full-time

  • 1 Year Standard entry



 

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