Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences>Courses>Youth Athletic Development MSc

Youth Athletic Development - MSc/PgD/PgC

​The MSc Athletic Development postgraduate degree at Cardiff Met provides you with the underpinning knowledge and practical application within the fields of youth strength and conditioning. Throughout the programme you will explore the fundamental principles of youth development, including; growth and maturation, talent identification, and assessment and monitoring. Furthermore, students will study the science and application of developing fitness qualities in youth, covering topics such as athletic motor skill competency development, strength, power, and speed development, energy system development, and the pedagogical skills needed to deliver training programmes. There are modules dedicated to reducing injury risk in youth, and students will explore risk factor identification, and programming to reduce injury risk. These modules will combine a mix of online theory lectures and practical sessions delivered during intensive residential blocks.

Work-based learning is a key element of the programme, to enable you to apply your knowledge from the programme in real-world settings and to gain value experience to use as a foundation for future employment.

This holistic approach to youth athletic development, delivered by world-class researchers and practitioners, will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills for future employment within the youth strength and conditioning sector. 

This programme is subject to validation for September 2022 entry and the information provided may be subject to change. All new programmes at the University must undergo validation, the purpose of which is to ensure that the proposed programme is aligned to the University's Mission and its content reflects appropriate levels of academic standards and quality. 

Course Content

The modules on the MSc Youth Athletic Development are highlighted below. Specialist staff will use their research profile and applied backgrounds to deliver relevant and up-to-date theory and practical content to give students a wide knowledge base in youth athletic development. 

Alongside developing practical skills within youth athletic development, students are afforded the opportunity to develop their academic skills of critical appraisal and reflection in a range of topics.  

MSc in Youth Athletic Development – Blended Learning (180 credits)

Compulsory Modules


  • Research methods (20 credits) – Shared module 

  • Dissertation (60 credits) – Shared module

  • Fundamental principles in youth athletic development (20 credits)
    -Growth and maturation
    -Talent ID/development


  • Fitness development in youth - Online theory, on-campus practical (20 credits)


       -Strength, power, speed

       -Energy system development


       -Coaching for fitness development

• Reducing injury risk in youth - Online theory, on-campus practical (20 credits)

       -Risk factor identification

       -Programming implementation

       -Coaching expertise

Optional Modules (40 credits)

Internship (40 credits) – Shared module with MSc S&C

Training Science (20 credits) – Shared module with MSc S&C

Independent Study (20 credits) – Shared module 

Learning & Teaching

Blended learning and teaching methods that combine online theory content and on-campus practical session underpins the educational aims and the learning outcomes of all modules. Theory content will be delivered using our Virtual Learning Environment with a range of methods including pre-recorded online lectures, e-lessons, live video seminars, roundtable discussions, and Q&A sessions with experts in the field. Practical sessions will be delivered in person, during week long residential blocks and will involve developing coaching, programming, testing, monitoring and screening skills. 

Online asynchronous content will be used to introduce key topics and concepts, whilst seminars and practical sessions will focus on the application of key concepts with the aim of enhancing the student experience and engagement. The learning and teaching methods will help facilitate the development of your critical reasoning, and encourage the integration of practice and theory. While there is a considerable amount of content that is delivered through tutor-led learning, there will also be a large requirement for self-directed methods of learning, so that students can increase independence and reflection, which encourages lifelong learning. 

All students will be given a personal tutor who will help guide students through their academic life at Cardiff Met through one-to-one meetings. We work hard to provide student-centred learning opportunities that deliver a high quality and flexible learning environment. Staff will also help students secure placements, using their wide network of colleagues within applied settings to enable students to apply their knowledge into "real-life" environments. 

Our teaching and learning methods embed the Cardiff Met 'EDGE' (Ethical, Global, Digital & Entrepreneurial) skills and students will be well equipped to demonstrate graduate attributes expected of you in an increasingly competitive world of work. We aim to help you to develop into reflective professionals and critical scholars. 

Specific features of the learning experience of the learning experience on MSc Youth Athletic Development include: 

• Internationally renowned researchers and coaches that are integral to the learning package offered to students. 

• High quality on-line resources developed specifically for the MSc programme to ensure content is delivered effectively to students.

• World-class, Strength and Conditioning facilities that include and strength and power gym with 14 lifting platforms, designated warm up and rehabilitation area, indoor 200m track, outdoor 400m track, and a strength and power diagnostic lab inclusive of motion capture and integrated force plates. 


The assessment strategies for each module vary to ensure that most appropriate method is implemented for the specific module. Modes of assessment are designed to both enhance your learning experience and to acknowledge that you have fulfilled the learning outcomes linked to each module. Assessment also ensures that you have achieved the standard required to qualify for an award (as articulated by the FHEQ and CQFW). Assessments support your learning experience by providing opportunities for you to engage in formative and summative assessments to test your knowledge, ability, skill, and critical understanding. Assessments used throughout the MSc Youth Athletic Development will include: 

  • written coursework
  • presentations
  • exams
  • practical assessments
  • other activities designed to assess, develop, and enhance academic and employability skills

You will be expected to complete a dissertation as part of your MSc, which will be a major piece of work, conducting original research.

The nature of the MSc Youth Athletic Development programme requires students to demonstrate both theory (evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning) and application (practical coaching skills), and therefore assessments within modules include both theoretical assessments and discussions alongside practical assessments in applied settings.

Employability & Careers

The MSc Youth Athletic Development will be one of the only postgraduate courses in the world that focuses on youth athletic development. Considering that a large proportion of jobs within strength and conditioning are working with youth, this course will give students the skills and knowledge to be successful in this sub-component of the strength and conditioning industry. The placement module will help students get their "foot in the door" in the industry, and the placement will teach students applied skills that build on the course content, and help them to apply their knowledge in practical settings. 

The Cardiff Met EDGE supports you to thrive in the modern world. Throughout the course, students will experience a range of opportunities to develop their ethical, digital, global and entrepreneurial competencies through problem-based learning, real-world industry case studies, and integrated work. We will ensure that you get a range of opportunities to develop transferable skills such as communication, team work and leadership.

Graduates of the programme can continue their studies and register for a research degree (MPhil/PhD) in a related subject. Other graduates will pursue careers as professional strength and conditioning coaches working with professional sports teams, National Governing Bodies, and public and private schools, or they may choose to work within the wider health and fitness industry, as self-employed strength and conditioning coaches. Graduates may also want to continue to study for a PGCE combining their knowledge of youth athletic developing with teaching. 

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

The School is committed to an Equal Opportunities Policy under which all applicants and students are treated equally regardless of gender, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexuality, age, beliefs or sporting ability. Each applicant is considered on their academic merits and their ability to demonstrate an interest and ability in the subject area. The School is committed to high standards of academic performance and involvement in sport and exercise. Each applicant must meet suitable criteria as outlined in the University criteria for the admission of students to modular Master’s Degrees (and for Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma programmes).

The policy of the Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences is to recruit students who are capable of successfully completing and benefiting from a designated Post Graduate programme offered by the School. 

Applicants should normally have one of the following:

• An honours degree (2.1 or above) in a sport or exercise related area appropriate to the programme.

• An honours degree (2.1 or above) in an alternative discipline area that is acceptable to the Programme Director. 

• Candidates with exceptional and extensive work experience in coaching, working within the health and fitness industry, sport science or exercise science will also be considered for entry to the programme

Students are normally selected on the basis of their formal application, a CV and an interview.

International Applicants:

Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Part-time fees:

Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Generally, we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the Interim Programme Director, Dr John Radnor


Key Course Information

Place of Study: 

Cyncoed Campus


Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences

Course Length:
One to two years full-time.
Two to four years part-time.

Performance Sport

Cardiff Met provides and manages a TASS accredited Dual Career Scheme environment that allows students to achieve their academic potential alongside training, playing and performing in their chosen sport.

With personal experience of competing on the international stage and undertaking world leading research, our academic and Performance Sport staff create a truly unique environment of sporting excellence. The integrated model means you can be assured our programmes are informed by the latest in coaching and support services all designed to develop you as an athlete. Coupled with our key partnerships with a variety of National Governing Bodies our programmes work alongside recognised talent pathways. Find out more

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting