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Health and Fitness

The Bachelor of Science in Health and Leisure course is designed to provide the graduate with the knowledge, skills and competence to work in the health, fitness and leisure sector. Exercise Science, Health Studies, Activity Leadership, Physical Education and Professional Practice. For the sixth subject area, students study either ‘Education in Aquatics’ or ‘Outdoor and Experiential Learning’. The Level 7 degree award title will reflect this sixth subject area.

They involve the study of six major subject areas, five of which arecommon to all students: Exercise Science, Health Studies, Activity Leadership, Physical Education and Professional Practice. For the sixth subject area, students study either ‘Education in Aquatics’ or ‘Outdoor and Experiential Learning’. The Level 7 degree award title will reflect this sixth subject area.

All course material is delivered through a mix of applied theory and practice. At the end of second year, students enter the Physical Education, Adapted Physical Activity or General Health and Leisure streams which allows students to begin to specialise in specific topics in third year or continue to take the general health and leisure programme. There is also a 12-week work placement in third year, which can be completed with a local, national or international service provider.


Because both the Level 7 and Level 8 courses involve vigorous physical activity, eligiblecandidates will need medical clearance. First year students are assessed shortly after registration for their swimming ability. Swim ability is a criterion used to determine suitability for the Education in Aquatics stream. Please also note that if you sustain injuries that impact your physical engagement with the programme, this may affect your ability to continue on the programme and / or to progress. Garda vetting is also mandatory.

Our undergraduate Health and Leisure Studies programmes have been offered through the CAO for over twenty years. Throughout that time, we have continued to be innovative in our approach to teaching and learning, ensuring the programme content will equip students with the breadth of knowledge, skills and competency to perform at the highest levels. Graduates will have a bachelor of science degree and a variety of discipline-specific professional (various health-related, exercise professional-related and aquatics or outdoor education) certifications. Students are expected to become sufficiently competent practitioners to become eligible for professional fitness instructor registration in group exercise, gym instruction and personal training.

Graduates enjoy a rich variety of employment opportunities. They work in health and leisure centres, in health promotion units, in spa/ wellness centres, in coaching and team sport settings, in performance training, exercise programming, hotels, mainstream and special-needs schools, community centres, disability service providers, clinical settings, in the private/entrepreneurial area, in local sports partnerships and governing bodies of sport, in swimming pools and in the great outdoors.

ADAPTED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY specialism graduates are health and leisure professionals with a specialist knowledge and experience in working with people with disabilities. They work in health and leisure centres, in sports camps, in health promotion, in mainstream and special needs schools, in community centres, in clinical settings, in residential and day care services and outdoor education centres.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION specialism graduates work within the school environment, and also in youth work, adult education and broader community sport and leisure settings. They take on coaching roles in leisure facilities and run coaching courses for communities, schools, colleges and teams. This programme also provides an alternative pathway into a second level physical education qualification.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING specialism graduates work where physical activity, recreation and sport are used to enhance wellbeing. Their studies are especially relevant to employment settings which demand a focus on health and health promotion through physical activity, recreation and sport. These include: the HSE as health promotion officers, spa/wellness centres as wellness leaders within gyms, spas and studios, positive youth development workers, therapeutic recreation coaches, well-being coaches.

SPORTS DEVELOPMENT specialism graduates focus on advancing sport in society. Their studies enable them to plan, research, implement and evaluate sports development policy, programmes and practices to facilitate physical activity provision throughout the stages of life. This might include addressing particular groups which may not have equity of access to physical activity, sport and recreational opportunities. For example: older adult populations, females, ethnic minorities and those with special needs.

ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE specialism graduates work as strength and conditioning specialists, fitness conditioning consultants, fitness and leisure operational managers, commercial group exercise leaders, personal trainers, group exercise leaders, gym instructors/supervisors and as fitness and programming professionals for teams/athletes.





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