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Applied Strength & Conditioning - Higher Cert

Course Code: LC468


Level

6

Duration

2 Years

Department

Sport & Early Childhood Studies


CAO Points

Course Type

Direct Entry

Location

Thurles

The Higher Certificate in Applied Strength and Conditioning offers an in-depth education on this growing area of interest, both in Ireland and internationally. The Strength and Conditioning Coach is becoming a central and key figure in preparing and advancing the fitness and performance status of the individual athlete and team both in professional sport and also in amateur and recreational sport.  

The Thurles campus houses an elite, state-of-the-art sports strength and conditioning facility – the ‘SportsLab’. Among its facilities are a 45m, six lane sprint track especially designed to improve speed; a Paralympic area; cable machines; a range of sport technology systems; including micro electro mechanical systems and GPS systems; Olympic lifting platforms; functional screening kits; weights and a full range of exercise machines. The facility greatly enhances students’ practical learning on the programme.

What are the entry requirements?

Applicants must have 5 O6/H7 grades or higher at Ordinary Level in 5 Leaving Certificate subjects. Two of these subjects must include Mathematics and a Language (English or Irish). 

Applicants presenting QQI FET/FETAC qualifications must hold a Full Level 5 Award totalling 120 Credits. 

Applicants presenting qualifications other than those mentioned above will be assessed on an individual basis. 

Mature Applicants (i.e. over 23) are exempt from the normal entry requirements. 

Who can I contact?

“This course provides students with all the skills to work with athletes and teams from underage to inter county to National level." - Michael Fennelly, TUS S&C Lecturer and 8 time All Ireland winner.

What modules will I study?

  • Year 1 - Semester 1

    Title: Athlete Preparation & Coaching Skills

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is to provide the student with a foundational understanding of the principles and concepts of fitness, training and physical conditioning and to prepare students in the coaching of these principles within both a sporting and recreational setting.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Definition of fitness, conditioning, health
    • The principles of training
    • The scientific support for the principles of training
    • The principles of coaching
    • The scientific support for the principles of coaching
    • Player needs analysis
    • Fundamental skills and their determination
    • Long-Term Player Development pathway
    • Flexibility, Warm-up and cool-down

    Title: Fundamentals of Human Anatomy

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for the student to gain a foundational knowledge of the human anatomical structures and systems.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Planes of motion
    • The Skeletal System
    • The Neuromuscular system
    • Cardiovascular system
    • The Respiratory System
    • The Digestive System
    • The Nervous System 

    Title: Introduction to Psychology

    Credits: 5

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    To acquire knowledge, relating to the concepts of psychology while developing critical thinking and reflective practice

    The following topics are covered:

    • Evolution & Genetics
    • Neuroscience
    • Health Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Child Psychology
    • Adolescent Psychology
    • Industrial & Organisational Psychology
    • Intelligence
    • The Self

    Title: Nutrition Macronutrients & Energy Balance

    Credits: 5

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    This module introduces the fundamental aspects of macronutrients. Sources, structure, functions and metabolism of macronutrients, together with basic concepts of energy balance will be explored

    The following topics are covered:

    • Carbohydrates: Structure, functions and sources
    • Lipids: Structure, functions and sources.
    • Protein: Structure, functions and sources.
    • Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and protein.
    • Energy Intake, energy expenditure, energy balance.
       

    Title: Physical Activity & Movement Development

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for the learner to understand the development of movement patterns through the life cycle and how these principles inform athletic development and planning.

    The following topics are covered:

    • The Stages of Development
    • Rudimentary Movement Skills
    • Types of Motor Skills
    • Physical Activity Guidelines
    • Physical Activity Programmes

    Title: Resistance Training Practices

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with an introduction to the basic concepts of weight training theory and practice that will provide the basis for their planning and management of strength and conditioning programmes for athlete and team performance. Students on completion of this module, will be competent an ability to coach a variety of resistance training exercises with an understanding of the basic programming needs for resistance training.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Resistance training systems and methods
    • Coaching of the general resistance training exercises
    • Adaptations to resistance training
    • Progressions of building exercise techniques for resistance training
    • Programme design and Planning for resistance training
    • Introduction to plyometrics
    • Planning and implementing plyometrics

  • Year 1 - Semester 2

    Title: Fundamental Movement Skills

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for the learner to understand the principles and practices of fundamental movement skills and how these skills relate to athletic development

    The following topics are covered:

    • Stability Skills
    • Locomotion Skills
    • Manipulation Skills
    • Fundamental movement skills for child, youth and adult
    • Methods to assess movement skills 

    Title: Introduction to Exercise Physiology

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is to provide students with a basic understanding of human physiology and physiological responses to exercise.

    The following topics are covered:

    • The cell
    • Muscle tissue biology and function
    • The Endocrine System
    • Energy Systems
    • The fluid system
    • Skeletal muscle during exercise
    • Cardiovascular responses to exercise
    • Respiratory responses to exercise
    • Testing metabolic rates at rest and during exercise

    Title: Management and Communication Skills

    Credits: 5

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    This module will introduce the learner to fundamental management and communications skills for the sports industry. It will equip the learner with the practical know-how to communicate effectively for sporting and academic pursuits through the use of IT. This module will also develop students' independent learning skills.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Management concepts and the strength and conditioning industry
    • The S&C coach as a manager and leader in the independent and team environment
    • The role of the S&C manager's job – key management functions and skills
    • Planning for S&C
    • Leading
    • Controlling and motivation
    • Effective Communication Skills
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Listening skills
    • Assertive, passive and aggressive communication
    • Spreadsheets for basic S&C data analysis
    • Personal development for self direction
    • Professional development plan
    • Presentation Skills
    • Writing aims and objectives
    • Deciding on content and structuring a presentation
    • Practice/feedback and managing nerves

    Title: Nutrition Micronutrients & Hydration

    Credits: 5

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    This module aims to further develop the fundamental aspects of human nutrition. The sources and functions of vitamins, minerals together with recommended intakes will be introduced. The roles and effects of fluids on nutrition will also be addressed.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Function and Source of Vitamins
    • Function and Source of Minerals
    • Role and Effect of Fluids
    • Reading and Interpretation of Food labels
    • Introduction to Functional Foods

    Title: Resistance Training Principles

    Credits: 5

    read more »

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an introduction to the basic concepts of weight training theory and practice that will provide the basis for their planning and management of strength and conditioning programmes for athlete and team performance. Students on completion of this module, will be competent an ability to coach a variety of resistance training exercises with an understanding of the basic programming needs for resistance training.

    The following topics are covered:

    • History of strength training concentrating on resistance training
    • Health and safety issues related to resistance training
    • Types and functions of resistance training
    • Exercises instruction and resistance testing
    • Introduction to the LTPD pathway
    • Acute training variables for resistance training

    Title: Sports Philosophy & Ethics

    Credits: 5

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    To acquire the knowledge, skills and competence to establish his or her own personal philosophy and ethical framework within his or her role as a coach.

    The following topics are covered:

    • The Philosophy of Coaching
    • The Philosophy of Sport
    • Coaching Theories
    • Ethics in Sport
    • Personal Philosophy
    • Amateur v Professional Sport
    • Character in Sport
    • Sportsmanship
    • Athlete-Coach Relationship
    • Anti-Doping
    • Cultural Differences 

  • Year 2 - Semester 1

    Title: Concepts in Functional Biomechanics

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for the student to gain a foundational knowledge of the human biomechanics and responses as they relate to exercise and activity. The student will understand basic principles of human biomechanics as they apply to kinetic and kinematic movement.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Administration of common human movement assessment techniques and screens
    • Biomechanical concepts and principles to training methodology
    • Identification of key faults related to common assessment techniques
    • Rationale and reasons for poor movements
    • Posture in sport
    • Application of biomechanical principles to training methodology
    • Reliability when testing.

    Title: Performance Measurement & Testing

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for students to gain a thorough understanding and competencies in sports performance testing of athletes and how such methods are used to measure performance within Strength and Conditioning.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Reasons for fitness testing
    • Validity and reliability
    • Key statistical methods
    • Selection and standardisation
    • Functional, Field & Laboratory testing
    • Sport-specific and team testing
    • Recording and monitoring
    • Interpretation of test results 

    Title: Speed & Agility Development

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for students to understand the key physical elements, principles and concepts and methods required for linear speed development, agility and change of direction and the relevant energy systems in use. On completion of this module, the student will possess the coaching skills for speed and agility development combined with the scientific knowledge of the detailed physiological and biomechanical aspects.

    The following topics are covered:

    • History of the 100m
    • Characteristics of Sprinters
    • Speed & the LPAD
    • Biomechanics of Running & Sprinting
    • Speed Development
    • The Components of Speed
    • Methods of Speed development
    • Periodisation and planning of Training
    • Recovery
    • Injury preventive practices

    Title: Sports Nutrition

    Credits: 5

    read more »

    This module will introduce the relationship between nutrition and exercise and sports performance. The effect of nutritional strategies on strength, power, speed and endurance performance will be discussed and assessed.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Nutrition for the recreational exerciser
    • Nutrition for endurance athletes
    • Nutrition for speed, strength & power athletes
    • Designing & implementing nutritional strategies
    • Evaluating nutritional strategies 
       

    Title: Statistics for Sport

    Credits: 5

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    Statistics for sport and conditioning provides the student with an understanding of statistical concepts and computational skills, their practical application in relevant sport and conditioning situations, and develops a systematic approach to dealing with statistical data.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Tabulating and graphing data
    • Frequencies
    • Central tendency and dispersion
    • Sampling
    • Probability and the normal distribution
    • Correlation and Regression analysis
       

    Title: Weightlifting

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for students to understand the science behind weightlifting for strength, power and conditioning. To develop a basic level of competency and coaching in the classic lifts, barbell weight training and its accessory movements. The student will be able to devise and implement a training plan.

    The following topics are covered:

    • History of Weightlifting
    • Types and Functions of weight training
    • Health and Safety
    • Correctives exercises specific to weightlifting
    • LTPD process of weightlifting and weight training
    • Exercise instruction and coaching weightlifting
    • Acute training variables
    • Principles of Training applied to Weightlifting and weight training
    • Weightlifting exercises for Sport performance
    • Weight training exercises and biomechanics
    • Powerlifting
    • Periodisation and planning
    • Monitoring, recording and evaluating

  • Year 2 - Semester 2

    Title: Clinical Biomechanics

    Credits: 5

    read more »

    The aim of this module is for students to advance their knowledge related to biomechanics and apply this knowledge to clinical situations in the field of strength and conditioning

    The following topics are covered:

    • Neuromuscular patterns related to biomechanical issues
    • Biomechanical concept and principles to training methodology
    • The Neuromuscular system
    • Movement
    • Posture in sport
    • Centre of gravity, base of support and its relationship to exercise selection
    • Torque and centre of rotation
    • Body proportions and influence of gym technique
    • Application of biomechanical principles to training methodology

    Title: Endurance Development

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for students to understand the key physical elements required for aerobic development and energy system conditioning. Students will be able to plan and deliver aerobic and endurance development programmes for both teams and individuals.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Components that make up elite endurance athletes.
    • Lactate Threshold and subsequent training zones
    • Characteristics of Endurance athletes
    • Endurance & the LPAD
    • Biomechanics of Running
    • The Components of Endurance
    • Combining Speed and Endurance
    • Methods of aerobic development
    • Periodisation and planning of Training
    • Recovery and Overtraining
    • Strength and Conditioning for Endurance athletes

    Title: Sport & Community Engagement

    Credits: 5

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    This module examines the role of sport for community engagement and development. It will discuss sports provision, initiatives and opportunities in Ireland and their importance for community development. Students will consider NGB and sectoral agencies and how sporting organisations and clubs are managed.

    The following topics are covered:

    • Introduction to Sports & Community Development
    • What is Sports Development and the Sports Development continuum
    • Roles and positions in sports development
    • Management functions in sporting organisations
    • The three sectors (Voluntary, Private and Public)
    • Commercial provision
    • Public private partnership
    • Voluntary provision of sport and Clubs
    • Sport Ireland, Active Ireland and the Federation of Irish Sport
    • Sport and the Economy
    • Sport and Health
    • Sport and Tourism
    • Sport and Community - LSE and local sports programmes
    • The Government & Irish Sport
    • Sport and Society - initiatives to improve physical activity, exercise and fitness among various populations
    • Sports governance and the NGB
    • Reviewing local, regional and national methods of monitoring and evaluating sports development
       

    Title: Sports Psychology

    Credits: 5

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    To examine the multiple psychological factors involved in sport required to achieve optimal performance and the maintenance of mental health

    The following topics are covered:

    • The Philosophy of Sport
    • Language and its effects
    • Personal Philosophy
    • Integration of Coaching methodology and philosophy
    • Coaching Theories
    • Leadership and management
    • Team dynamics
    • Sport psychology approaches
    • Mental skills training
    • Anxiety, arousal and stress
    • Exercise psychology
    • Integrating your philosophy of coaching with team management
    • Ethics in Sport

    Title: Training for Power & Force Production

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is for students to understand the force velocity science behind power development and its benefits to sporting performance. Students will gain an understanding of how strength and power training in the weight room will enhance sporting performance and the methods of increasing power

    The following topics are covered:

    • Types and Functions of power development
    • LTPD process of power development
    • Exercise instruction and coaching
    • Acute training variables
    • Principles of Training applied to power development
    • Periodisation and planning
    • Monitoring, recording and evaluating

    Title: Video and Performance Analytics

    Credits: 5

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    The aim of this module is to develop the student's creative and technical skills in producing digital material for analysing individual and team-based technical, training and gameplay movements using a varied range of technology.

    The following topics are covered:

    • The performance analysis process
    • Notational analysis
    • Using performance analysis software
    • Generating and interpreting data for coaching purposes
    • Qualitative video analysis
    • Coaching, S&C and sports performance analysis

Are there opportunities for further study?

Graduates of the programme are eligible to progress to the final year of the Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Strength and Conditioning.

What are the career prospects?

On completion of the programme, graduates are expected to gain employment in sports organisations, sports’ national governing bodies, sporting clubs and colleges, the health and fitness industry, community activity programmes and private enterprise.

More Information

Who is the programme suited to?

This programme is suited to students who wish to become members of sports training professional bodies and pursue careers as top sports strength and conditioning coaches or become entrepreneurs in the growing fitness industry.

View our Sports CAO presentation and Q&A session