Delivered over 3 years, the BA (Hons) Physical Education programme aims to develop your critical understanding of physical education, through theoretical, practical and work-based learning experiences. You will have the opportunity to qualify and work in professional sports coaching and the option to study a Professional Masters in Education to become a qualified PE teacher
Start Date12th February 2022
QualificationLevel 8 Honours Degree
Course Duration3 years
We are proud to partner with Liverpool John Moores University to deliver this BA (Hons) Physical Education programme.
With the introduction of Physical Education as a state exam subject, this course is equipped to meet the demands of the growing market for specialist trained PE teachers in Ireland. This BA (Hons) Physical Education course has been co-developed by Portobello Institute and the expert academic team in LJMU who have an international reputation for the delivery of physical education degrees. This PE degree combines practical and theoretical aspects of physical education and provides work experience opportunities at each level of study within the school and local community settings.
Designed for those students considering entering the teaching profession, the content of this degree will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of physical education. You will study a range of modules considering learning and teaching alongside the main sports science disciplines. Modules such as Psychology and Introduction to Skills Acquisition in year 1 right through to Contemporary Issues in PE provide you with strong foundations to build a career in physical education. You will learn practical skills relating to work as a physical education teacher and a sports coach. This is course is delivered efficiently over online and on-site over weekends for 3 academic years. You will complete an education-based placement as part of their course.
There is an easy payment plan designed to make this programme affordable. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Why should I study this course?
Portobello Institute’s BA Hons in Physical Education gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts whom bring their insight, depth of experience and passion for teaching to this degree programme. You will have career opportunities as professional sports coach working with professional athletes and teams. You will also have the option, like many of our past pupils, to study a Professional Masters in Education and become a qualified PE teacher.
Visit our Graduates Success Stories to understand the opportunities they availed of, the further studies they have undertaken and their unique learning journeys.
If you are interested in health and physical activity promotion in community settings, this course provides you with the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in community based physical activity and health promotion.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Liverpool John Moores University are the awarding body for this degree – subject to validation.
This degree award is equivalent to a level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications.
The degree provides the required credits to be eligible to apply for post-graduate qualifications in teaching for PE.
Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK
The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement. Further guidance on this framework is available here.
What will I study during this BA (Hons) Physical Education – Starts Feb ’22 course?
This degree has been designed and developed in 2021 and includes relevant and up to date content that reflects the context of physical education in modern society eg the module Contemporary Issues in PE covers topics such as race, technology, social media, gender, historical and philosophical concepts.
You will also learn about the underpinning principles of sports science as well as practical learning and teaching skills relating to work as a physical education teacher or sports coach. You will learn how to facilitate the enhancement of physical education through effective teaching. You will understand principles and limitations of measurement and assessment strategies in sport, exercise and physical education.
The fundamental components of the revised and updated PE curriculum in Ireland (e.g. gymnastics, dance, games athletics, aquatics and adventure activities) are taught . You will develop critical consideration on national and international policy and curriculum design in PE. The degree provides you with strong foundation in motor development, psychology, sociology and physiology.
You will develop your applied teaching, lesson planning, communication, assessment and reflective practice skills through extensive work-based learning and work-related learning activities.
Who will I learn from?
Dr Liam Clohessy
“I aim to support students, exposing them to different ideas and helping them to
identify things that would be aligned to their beliefs and values. Highlighting that
there are lots of different areas, different approaches and different ways of going
about it and helping them to come up with their own teaching philosophy and their
own beliefs about what is quality PE.” – Liam Clohessy, Programme Lead BA (Hons)
Physical Education, Portobello Institute.
As a child, Liam Clohessy wanted to grow up to be a sports commentator. With an
innate interest in sports, getting into coaching and summer camps as a teenager
gave him the buzz for helping others to progress, leading him to a career that
perfectly combines teaching, PE and leadership.
Liam holds a Bachelor of Education in Primary Teaching specialising in PE, a PhD in
the area of Leadership in Physical Education as well as experience as the former
Chairperson of the Irish Primary PE Association (IPPEA) and PE Advisor for the
Department of Education Professional Development Service for Teachers Health and
Well-being team (PDST).
Liam brings this wealth of experience and passion for educating others who want to
pass the baton in developing the role of PE throughout education in Ireland to
Portobello Institute’s sports department as the Programme Lead for the LJMU BA (Hons) Physical Education.
“Having worked as a teacher and worked in a variety of different settings I have the
experience to share with people. I also really enjoy teaching and working with people
and supporting them to develop themselves, to facilitate and point them in the
direction they want to go.
“It’s great to see people going on and flourishing and getting into something that
they really enjoy working at,” he said.
As a passionate educator, Liam values the one-to-one student support
provided at Portobello Institute.
“The biggest highlights include working with teachers, and maybe you are working
with somebody who is not that confident with a particular topic or maybe struggling
with a particular class or issue and working together and helping them to come up
with solutions is probably the most satisfying thing and seeing the positive outcome
for the students involved.
“The biggest thing is actually seeing the impact for that learner,” he said.
With his PhD covering leadership in PE, Liam works to support and share the positive
impacts of PE in education in Ireland.
“When you think about leadership, I think about influencing others leading to
positive changes so basically it’s about looking at how you can work with people to
have a positive influence on other people.
“That can be with your students but perhaps if you are working in a school maybe
there are other teachers you could share new ideas with or share the things that
have worked well for you?
“It’s about sharing the ways we work whereby all the students in the school are
going to benefit from that expertise rather than maybe just the group that you are
“Are there simple ways we can share and maximise the positive impacts and
expertise of the particular person within the school context, within the club or within
the sporting organisation and look at strategies to help spread that positive impact?”
He aims to guide his students on their education journeys through Portobello
“I aim to help support the students as they are exploring the world of PE for the first
time and to help facilitate their own learning and their own exploration of it.
“Highlighting that there are lots of different areas, different approaches and
different ways of going about it and helping them to come up with their own
teaching philosophy and their own beliefs about what is quality PE.
“Supporting them around how they could help the people that they are going to be
working with in a school context or maybe in a physical activity context either and to
have really positive experiences that lead to meaningful experiences for their
“I aim to support students, exposing them to different ideas and helping them to
identify things that would be aligned to their beliefs and values in terms of working
with young people or working with people in this area,” he said.
With his academic research and publications and his roles with the IPPEA and
Department of Education, as well as teaching experience, Liam is practice-based and
research-led in his position leading the BA in PE programme.
• Mary Immaculate College, Limerick PhD PhD in the area of Leadership in
• Higher Diploma Probated by Department of Education.
• Mary Immaculate College, Limerick – Bachelor of Education – Education
Specialism: Physical Education
Publications and Selected Conference Presentations
• Clohessy, L, Bowles, R & Ní Chróinín, D (2021): Follow the leader? Generalist
primary school teachers’ experiences of informal physical education
leadership, Education 3-13, 49 (6): 661-673
• Clohessy, L, Bowles, R & NíChróinín, D (2020). “Playing to our Strengths:
Generalist Teachers’ Experiences of Class Swapping for Primary Physical
Education.” European Physical Education Review 26 (2): 571–586. Doi:
• Clohessy, L, (2020), Teaching circus skills for PE using self-paced progressions,
Irish Primary Physical Education Association Conference, Mary Immaculate
College (practical workshop)
• Clohessy, L, (2019), Teaching social skills in physical education, Irish Primary
Physical Education Association Conference, Watershed Kilkenny (practical
• Clohessy, L. & Cosgrave, C, (2017) Cooperative games, Irish Primary Physical
Education Association Conference, Croke Park Dublin (practical workshop)
• Clohessy, L. (2016). Quality Primary Physical Education. InTouch. Jan/Feb,158,
• Clohessy, L, Bowles, R & NíChróinín, D., (2016), Class swapping for Physical
Education in Irish Primary Schools: Effectively Utilising Generalist Teachers’
Talents, PEPAYS Ireland Annual Forum, Institute of Technology Tralee (Oral
• Clohessy, L, Bowles, R & NíChróinín, D., (2016), Playing to our strengths:
Leading physical education in Irish primary schools, European Conference on
Educational Research, University College Dublin from 22-26August, 2016 (Oral
• Clohessy, L, Bowles, R & NíChróinín, D (2015) Physical Education in Irish
Primary Schools: Generalist Classroom Teachers Experiences of Subject
Leadership. Oral presentation at AIESEP International Conference, Universidad
• Clohessy, L. (2014). Outdoor and Adventure Centres as Part of a PE
Programme. InTouch. Jan/Feb, 141, 63-65
Personal Academic Tutor
You will learn from a range of applied practitioners including primary and secondary school PE specialists, psychologists, sports and exercise scientists.
Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor to support you throughout your learning journey. They are available to offer you telephone and email support at any time. You can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance at a time convenient to you.
Many of our past graduates have found it is the opportunity to ask a simple question, seek direction and submit a draft of their assessment that supported them most to successful completion. Emailing your tutor at any stage during your programme to ask a query or submit a draft of your assessment supports you to achieve your personal best throughout your studies with Portobello.
This level of one to one support is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello as your Institute of choice to complete your studies.
How will I learn?
Blended learning takes the schedule of a traditional face to face learning programme and re-structures it to reduce the contact tuition time by introducing more online learning together with one to one tutor support. This mode of delivery includes contact tuition and web-based e-learning sessions. The e-learning platform is interactive including recorded sessions, webinars with weekly content and assigned tasks to themes and topics. This mode of delivery will usually include a minimum of 1 weekend seminar per month attendance required. This type of delivery is generally applied to courses with a practical skills element such as our BSc (hons) in Therapy and allows you to work full-time and balance the requirements of a lengthy programme with home and work.
The Difference between Blended, Full Time and Online with Webinars Delivery Modes
There are three delivery mode options to study degree and Masters courses in Portobello Institute.
Full Time delivery offers you the opportunity to study with a more traditional schedule with lectures delivered on-site in Portobello during weekdays. Typically, those lectures are scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s lectures are delivered online, and lectures do not take place on Fridays.
This condensed scheduling offers you flexibility to study and continue working whilst also reducing your commuting time and possible accommodation costs in Dublin.
Blended Learning is essentially the same, but the on-site lectures take place at the weekends. This makes it easier for you to study while working full-time. It also makes studying a degree more accessible if you live outside of Dublin.
With both delivery modes, there will be lectures you need to attend on-site due to the nature of the content – practical skills etc. All online only lectures are recorded for you to catch-up later. Where lectures are delivered onsite – these will simultaneously be delivered online and will also be recorded so you can customise your learning journey – attend on-site, online, or catch-up later.
Online with Webinars – you will not be required to attend on-site lectures if you are enrolled on a course with this delivery mode. All lectures are delivered online and are recorded so you can catch-up later.
Having the flexibility to choose whether you attend a lecture as it is taking place or to catch up later means you can seamlessly access and fit education into your life whilst still continuing with your everyday life.
Other delivery modes available
The course is delivered over a three academic years with entry points in September and February each year.
In first year, you will complete the core modules which will introduce you to this programme of study and provide you with essential skills that will aid your study for the course of your degree.
In second year, you will complete a total of six modules, three 20 credit modules each semester.
In third year, you will complete five modules and your final year dissertation project in the area of Physical Education and your work placement.
Real Life Learning Opportunities
How will I be assessed?
A variety of assessment methods are used to support students with different learning styles. These vary from written reports to practical case studies, skills demonstrations to examinations. The final year project provides the opportunity for an extended piece of formal scientific writing preparing you for your future career and the need to keep scientific based patient notes. We encourage you to reflect on your knowledge gain with a number of assignments designed to explore your learning journey. All of these assessment methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and how to practically implement these methods into your everyday practice.
On completion of this BA (Hons) Physical Education degree, graduates will have the opportunity to pursue further education at post-graduate level as there is an emphasis on research skills to support those who wish to pursue a combined career in applied practice and academia at MSc or PhD level.
After gaining the foundations in physical education during their degree, many of our graduate’s progress to a Professional Masters in Education and begin their careers as a PE teacher.
Portobello Institute sports graduates are eligible for a huge array of post graduate courses in Ireland and the UK. Dr. Susan Giblin, head of the sports department, explains “our sports graduates are in demand for selection onto post grad courses because of the broad range of subjects in the degree programme and our focus on up to date thinking and learning in all aspects of sport”. She suggests that “our classes are small and we take a personal interest in each student … in year three, we work with them to define their career goals and help them develop a plan to achieve them”.
In addition to teaching, graduates from this programme will be eligible for a wide variety of employment opportunities within sports governing bodies, social inclusion and public health initiatives.
Who else has studied this degree?
Colm Dunne came through Portobello Institute's PE and Coaching degree to earn a place on UL's Teaching Masters in PE.
Colm Dunne – Success as a PE Teacher Through Portobello InstituteRead Full Testimonial
Matthew Bursey says that he owes much of his professional success to the guidance he received at Portobello Institute.
Matthew Bursey – PE and Coaching Helped Me from Leinster to ExeterRead Full Testimonial
Thomas Maher is a mature student who was a qualified personal trainer in his own gym. Now he has opened his own sports therapy clinic.
Thomas Maher – Sports Therapy and Stepping Forward with Portobello InstituteRead Full Testimonial
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
Johanna is Portobello Institute’s Sports Development and Admissions Advisor. Prior to working with us Johanna worked in TCD and Kingston College in the UK. Johanna completed a MPhil in Physical Activity for Health and a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science.
How long are you working in Portobello?
I started working at Portobello in August 2020.
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
I enjoy working with the other staff here at Portobello, everyone is so friendly and happy to help there are no stupid questions or ideas.
What inspires you about working in education?
I love being able to make a huge difference to so many students lives and helping them progress towards the career they want to do or didn’t know they could do before they talked to me.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
I am always touched when you meet or hear from a past student and hear all the amazing achievements they gained after completing the course you helped put them on or helped get them through.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
My role is so rewarding when you know you have helped a student get one step closer to the career they are interested in.
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be required to attend an interview with an offer of a place on the programme issued following assessment of suitability. Applicants confirm acceptance of offer by returning acceptance form.
Please note places on this course are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 30%. Balance payable in 6 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €655.08 due on 1st October 2022.
- €655.08 due on 1st November 2022.
- €655.08 due on 1st December 2022.
- €655.08 due on 1st January 2023.
- €655.08 due on 1st February 2023.
- €655.08 due on 1st March 2023.