This webpage is for students who have been approved for advanced entry and are seeking to complete their registration.
This blended learning BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to qualify and work as a professional sports therapist with the option to progress to study a Masters in Physiotherapy and become a qualified physiotherapist.
Start Date2nd October 2023
Course Duration2 years
Are you interested in becoming a professionally qualified sports therapist with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy?
This blended learning sports therapy degree programme encompasses the skills and knowledge that are necessary to succeed as a therapist working to prevent and treat injury among athletes. This programme offers you a flexible learning journey to balance work, life and study.
Essential knowledge for a career in the treatment and prevention of sports injury
This degree programme develops your clinical skills and knowledge of how to work as a sports therapist. Over the course of the three years, you will develop proficiency in therapeutic skills and modalities as well as business development in health sciences to support you should you wish to set-up a private practice..
Areas of study include sports therapy techniques – from foundation to advanced, human anatomy and biomechanics, sports injury treatment and rehabilitation, to psychological factors impacting sports athletes.
Develop practical skills and techniques
Developing the practical skills and techniques of sports therapy is a particular focus of this programme . You will learn the techniques to support athletes to return to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of their age and ability. As a sports therapist student, you will learn to utilise the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes to prevent, treat and rehabilitate injury.
Progress to Physiotherapy
Many of our students use the BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy degree as an alternative entry pathway to becoming a Chartered Physiotherapist. Our BSc Sports Therapy degree provides students with supervised clinical practice hours and clinical research skills giving an excellent preparation for interview process when applying to an MSc in Physiotherapy.
Portobello Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AECC University College. We are currently working through the validation processes towards delivering the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-reg) programme in Dublin, with an expected start date of autumn ’23. This will be a natural path of progression from sports therapy for students seeking to progress their studies to physiotherapy.
Alternatively, with the points ever increasing for undergraduate entry to physiotherapy, many Universities have opened graduate entry professional qualifications for students who have graduated with a level 8 BSc honours degree in Sports Therapy or other affiliated areas.
We provide individual support to each student who is hoping to pursue graduate Physiotherapy Qualifications in preparing their applications and for interview to ensure students chances of success are optimized. Many of our graduates have pursued this path and you can read about their journey in our student success section.
Learn from the experts
This honours degree is delivered by a team of expert tutors who are all practicing clinicians and experienced educators. You will have personal one to one support from a personal academic tutor who is an experienced clinician and is there to to support you throughout your learning journey to achieve your personal best.
Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello:
- Accelerated programme completing your undergraduate degree in three years, getting you out into the world of work faster.
- Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity of immediate employment upon graduation.
- Notable university partners – our university partners are among the top-ranking universities in the UK offering you access to a qualification from a renowned university.
- Reputable placements – our work experience placements are with prominent organisations, connecting you with respected employers to build your future career network.
- Realistic entry requirements – our entry requirements are reflective of the academic ability needed to successfully complete this course. These are clearly stated and remain static regardless of demand for places.
- Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
- SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.
- Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all industry practitioners connecting research and theory with industry practice throughout their lectures.
- Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery helping you maintain a full-time job.
- Flexible delivery – we deliver theory sessions on-site, online whilst also recording the session simultaneously offering you a choice of when and how you learn.
- City Centre Location – Commuting to Portobello is very accessible – the Luas stops outside our door, and we are located within minutes from the major transport hubs.
- Affordable payment options – all our courses offer you the option to choose an easy payment plan supporting you to spread the cost out over your learning journey.
Why should I study this course?
Portobello Institute’s BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to attain a level 8 honours degree. Obtaining professional membership of the global Society of Sports Therapists has many unique benefits as detailed below.
Gain employment through our strong network of connections
Gaining employment as a sports therapist is the objective of this degree and it is important students have the opportunity to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts within the sector.
Portobello Institute has an established network of connections with many of the main sports injury treatment clinics. The work experience programme for this programme affords students the opportunity to gain practical working experience and engage with some of the leading clinicians in Ireland and to leverage those connections to advance their careers. Companies participating in our work experience programme invest considerable time in our students and recruit directly from this placement programme.
Accessible, affordable, achievable
There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable for you. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you the opportunity to access a career in the business of fashion, with a qualification that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Upon completing this level 8 honours degree, you will hold a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy awarded by University of Essex (UoE).
You will be registered as a student of the University of Essex.
When you begin this course you are invited to become registered as a student member of The Society of Sports Therapists. You may become a full member of the society when you complete your degree. Sports Therapists who are members of SST are recognised globally for the high standards they have attained during their training and are employed by leading clubs throughout the sporting world. Members of the Society of Sports Therapy are eligible for Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.
This BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy is recognised by AECC University College. for the purposes of applying to progress to MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-reg) . We are currently working through the validation processes towards delivering the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-reg) programme in Dublin, with an expected start date of autumn ’24.
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 BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Blended – Advanced Entry – Oct 23 course?
During this programme, you will learn to assess, treat and where appropriate refer athletes for specialist advice and intervention. You will learn to provide immediate care of injuries and basic life support in a recreational, training and competitive sporting environment. You will learn to plan and implement a unique rehabilitation programme for each athlete you treat. The practical techniques you will acquire, include sport and remedial massage for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
Advanced Entry – Bridging Programme
Students approved for advanced entry are required to complete a bridging programme to cover elements covered on the current year 1 modules to satisfy LMU academic requirements. A Certificate of Completion from Portobello Institute will be awarded for attending this programme, ahead of entry onto this degree programme.
This programme takes place over 2 weeks in September ahead of the commencement of the academic year. Attendance on this bridging programme is mandatory. It takes place in September ahead of the commencement of the academic year – there is no charge for this programme.
Year 1 – exempt
Sports and Exercise Physiology – 30 Credits
This module introduces students to the responses of tissues and organs to acute and chronic exercise training. Students are also familiarised with a variety of field and laboratory-based tests of physical performance to assess components of fitness and work capacity.
Clinical Examination and Assessment in Sports Therapy – 15 Credits
This module is focused upon the safe and effective clinical examination and assessment (E&A) of the peripheral anatomical region of the body and the clinical significance of these E&A findings. The module also develops the students’ understanding of the theory which underpins these practical elements including knowledge of common injuries and the underlying pathophysiology. This module aims to provide the students with the knowledge, understanding and ability to safely and effectively conduct a thorough examination and assessment of a peripheral joint. To link theory with practice, this module will also discuss common injuries and the use of the assessment protocol to identify these injuries whilst considering the epidemiology, aetiology and pathology. The knowledge obtained through completion of this module provides the students with essential skills which are key competencies for their future employment as a Sport Therapist. They will also gain key fundamental skills such as communication, personal responsibility and decision making, which are transferable to a wide range of employments.
Peripheral Manual Therapy – 15 Credits
Students will gain the understanding, knowledge and expertise to apply safe and effective manual therapy to the peripheral joints by introducing the students to the concepts and current philosophies of manual therapy techniques. The application of manual therapy techniques will be based on the clinical interpretation of case notes.
The module also aims to develop the ability to clinically interpret athlete information, formulate clinical decisions to develop a treatment program based on knowledge of common sporting/dancing injuries, their mechanics and their sporting demands. The knowledge obtained through completion of this module provides the students with essential skills which are key competencies for their future employment as a Sport Therapist. They will also gain key fundamental skills such as communication, personal responsibility and decision making, which are transferable to a wide range of employments.
Sport Rehabilitation – 30 Credits
This module develops students’ ability to research, plan, provide and justify an appropriate rehabilitation programme for the early, intermediate, late and pre-discharge stages of sports injuries.
This module aims to provide students with academic knowledge and understanding to plan a safe and effective rehabilitation programme suitable for the initial response, acute, sub-acute and remodelling stages of injury healing.
Students will develop critical analysis skills in an oral context and develop awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses in a rehabilitation setting. Students will gain the underpinning knowledge and practical ability to screen for injuries, interpret the findings and implement a pre-habilitation programme to help reduce the risk of injury. Students will be able to plan, implement and deliver rehabilitation and remedial programmes suitable for the early, intermediate, late and pre-discharge stages of any common sports injury.
Sports Science Research Methods – 15 credits
During this module, you will reflect on your chosen course. You will select your project within the context of the course and possible future career. You will consider and carry out the preparation necessary for a scientific dissertation proposal. In so doing, you will gain experience in devising dissertations by taking into account experimental design, feasibility in terms of costs and resources, and aspects of ethics and safety.
Psychological Factors in Sporting Teams & Individuals – 30 Credits
This module elaborates on the key theories in sport psychology, covering a wide range of sport psychology topics and the mental skills used within those topics. The module aims to provide students with an understanding of key psychological theories which underpin sporting performance and participation itself. Students will focus initially on the psychological factors which influence an individual’s sporting behavior and later develop an understanding of group dynamics in sport.
The module encourages an appreciation of how to work effectively in a team setting and also aims to develop students’ communication and literacy skills to allow them the ability to write a scientific piece of work with confidence. Most mental skills developed in sport psychology are directly transferable therefore students are given qualities necessary to advance in many other areas of life
Advanced Sports Therapy Techniques – 30 Credits
This module allows students to integrate their knowledge gained throughout their degree and combines this with new skills and knowledge developed within their final year.
The module focuses on vertebral mobilisations and the theoretical and practical knowledge of electrotherapeutic modalities.
Guidance notes: Students must pass the practical attendance in order to successfully complete the module.
Sports Therapy Work Placement – 30 Credits
Students will gain experience in a variety of sports therapy arenas and they will continually develop in the ability to critically reason, interpret and produce treatment plans based on case notes of specific sports injuries. The module also introduces the students to aspects of sports medicine.
Business Development in Health Studies – 15 Credits
This module is an introduction to the principles of business in the specific context of health science related ventures.
More specifically, it aims to provide students with academic knowledge and understanding to implement good business practice including marketing, accounting, management, service and reflection. These topics should provide the underpinning information to allow students to harness an entrepreneurial approach to business and professional work to optimise their employability and performance. The module also seeks to develop competence in discussion, oral presentation and written work, encouraging clarity of presentation and transferable tools often used in many employment settings.
Sports Science and Therapy Dissertation – 30 Credits
This module will enable students to reinforce the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature or field work. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.
This module aims to encourage students to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research. During the course of the module they will develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic. The module gives students the opportunity to attain achievement of a high level of personal development by working independently with the minimum necessary supervision. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.
Formative feedback is provided on a weekly basis in the lecture/seminar sessions. These sessions are comprised of students working in similar areas of research which provides the opportunity for both peer and lecturer formative feedback. Students are supported by their supervisor with whom they are encouraged to facilitate regular contact. Students prepare interim reports, for which summative feedback is provided. Summative feedback is also provided on completion of the dissertation via assessment of the report, oral exam, and supervisors mark for process.
Clinical Exercise Physiology – 15 Credits
This module analyses the interactions between exercise and a variety of disease. It covers both general topics such as epidemiology and pathology, as well as specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and psychological disorders. The module aims to give students some theoretical and practical experience of describing and understanding clinical conditions.
Who will I learn from?
Cathal Brady dreamt of being a professional soccer player during his early years. He got pretty close to achieving his dreams too, spending 11 years as a semi-professional player in the League of Ireland.
Understanding that his career wasn’t going to belong fully on the pitch, Cathal found a way to stay involved in sports by becoming a sports therapist.
He has drawn on his experience of playing soccer at a high level throughout his career working as a lecturer, opening his own private clinic and working for elite professional teams.
“I wanted to be involved in sport as much as I could and an occupation that allowed me to be involved with sport as a career. I knew that from a very early age that was what I wanted to do, you’re talking 13/14 that I knew my career was going to be in sport in some shape or form.
I played League of Ireland for 11 seasons…it was high level in a semi-professional capacity…I looked at myself as a semi-pro because I always worked while I was playing.
Playing at the level of sport, in soccer, it not only opened some avenues and that sort of stuff in the soccer side of things, it also opened in GAA and that because people knew I played at a high level…that helped with me having the ability to relate with clients a little bit more. I was in their position, I knew what they were going through, I knew what they wanted to do.”
Cathal could relate to sports people very easily. He also relates to Portobello Institute students very easily, as he was one before he became a lecturer in Sports Therapy.
“I love it, really like it. To be honest I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do. I find it really good. I like having the interaction with the students. I like the whole setup I have to say I really enjoy it.”
Having worked with so many sports teams and having set up the Dunboyne Sports Injury Clinic, Cathal is in prime position to help all of Portobello’s students no matter what type of career they are pursuing in therapy.
Working in smaller classes has allowed him to engage with his students as individuals, generating a level of pride as they work their way towards graduation and enhance their skill sets in sports therapy.
“With small classes and lots of practical interaction time, we get to know each student well over three years. So when a student gets to where they want to be, their perfect job or postgraduate position, I am delighted for them. I’m proud to be part of the team that helped them get there.”
Personal Academic Tutor
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.
“I very much took the scenic route to education.”
Anthony Sheriff isn’t joking. After leaving school in Ireland, he spent a year in Australia before returning to Ireland before then going to college in Liverpool. From there he found his way to different cities in the United Kingdom before spending two years as a teacher in Dubai.
Travelling the world may or may not have been a goal for Anthony that he was always aware of but it definitely would have been a surprise to his younger self that he was travelling as a teacher.
“When I was a teenager absolutely I was sports mad. Right back as far as I can remember as a child, my mam always says that I was kicking a football before I could walk. You’d probably struggle to find a sport that I haven’t played or competed in at one stage.
I was never the academic type. I was never the type to be massively interested in school apart from PE. When I was in school all I wanted to do was to be out playing sport really. It’s not that I hated school, I got the work done that had to be done but I think my mind was just on sport the whole time so I was never massively interested.”
Initially after leaving school, Anthony worked in different jobs. He was a greenkeeper, worked in a bar and in construction. He moved to Australia for a year on a whim when his friend asked him if he wanted to go.
Anthony openly admits that he didn’t know what he wanted to do at that stage of his life.
College didn’t become an option for him until he was 22 years of age after leaving secondary school at 18. It was all that time he spent on building sites in Australia that made him realize what he really wanted to pursue in life.
“I was doing a lot of these labouring jobs and it was a bit of craic and all on the site, it was enjoyable at times but I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do long term. That’s when I started to have a deep think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”
Since PE was the only thing he had any care for during his time in school, Anthony began searching through online courses to see what qualification he could actually earn and what career he could build. That led him to Liverpool John Moores University in England.
Once he started studying in Liverpool, Anthony no longer had to figure out what he wanted to do. His career outlined itself in front of him.
“Liverpool was where the opportunity was…an absolutely excellent college. It’s just a fantastic place. The tutors the way they worked with us so closely because going into it I was worrying you’d be going into a class of 100 people the way you see college on television and there’s these big lecture halls. It’s very impersonal.
But that wasn’t the experience at all. They focus on each individual. They’re just very, very helpful and the course they put on was excellent.”
After finishing his degree at LJMU, Anthony became a qualified PE teacher in England and earned his master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology. Working in Manchester and studying in Leeds after going to college in Liverpool, Anthony was able to broaden his connections within the sports industry.
Since then he has worked with top level athletes to help them in sports psychology while also starting his own podcast that features some big names across different sports.
The balance between his two areas of expertise, sports psychology and teaching, have helped Anthony to become a very approachable tutor who encourages discussions in lectures to maximize the time he has with his students.
“I believe strongly in working together with the students n my class and will always encourage students to share their opinions to help create interesting discussions. I am also a strong believer in reflective practice and believe that this approach will allow me to improve continuously which will then maximize the student’s potential to achieve their goals.”
The broad nature of Anthony’s skill set and the fact that he has worked internationally in different roles at high levels made him an appealing tutor for Portobello Institute.
Our students continually benefit from his ability to connect with the individual and understand their needs.
“I’m used to working with children, teenagers, adults, whatever it may be. But also when I see students coming in and they’re studying PE, I can better understand them because I’ve taken the scenic route.
A lot of people come in straight from school, straight to college and then back into a classroom teaching whereas I very much didn’t do that. I know what it’s like to finish school and not really have a clue about what you want to do.
I’m one of those people who did every job in the world and I found out what I didn’t want to do before I found out what I did want to do. That’s definitely helped me understand students coming from different areas of life.”
BA(Hons) Education Studies and Physical Education
PGCE Primary Education with PE Specialism
MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology
Barry Roe started out his career in what he calls one of the big three (Business, Medicine, Law).
“Nobody ever really entertained the possibility of a real career in sports, even though there were a lot of serious athletes involved, people who were hugely successful in their sporting lives, got scholarships and everything. They never took sport seriously in terms of seeing it as an actual career path.”
He landed that coveted corner office in a tall building managing pension funds. Barry had what most would consider a perk. His office literally overlooked the Leinster training ground. If Leinster scored a try off a set piece move on Friday night, Barry had seen it happen on Tuesday. He knew who the next superstar talent was and got to watch him everyday.
But that’s not what Barry wanted. Instead of a perk, it was only adding to his misery in his office job.
“It was only my wife really who sat me down and said ‘Look you’re obviously miserable.’
Having studied something like business and marketing, it was a great experience…but if I could go back I would definitely have just gone through the sporting route. If I could talk to my teenage self I would say what do you actually really like to do and what would you like to do with the rest of your life as opposed to what do you think you should be doing.
Forget what you think you should be doing, just go do what you like to do and you’ll succeed in it. You’ll make more successful leaps and bounds far quicker than you would slogging it out during a recession in finance.”
With a very understanding wife at his side, Barry gave up his career in finance and became a personal trainer. He earned his MSc Sports Performance from the University of Limerick before becoming a strength and conditioning coach and nutrition advisor for Munster Rugby.
“When you’re sitting there thinking ‘I’m here working in pension funds until I potentially start drawing my own pension.’ Nah, that was not happening. No. Game over.”
Having worked with elite athletes and having set up his own personal training business, Barry then sought out to satiate his desire to educate. That’s how he wound up at Portobello Institute.
“My philosophy is to always be open to new challenges and opportunities. In doing so, I feel that I will maintain a fresh perspective and continue to grow professionally and personally. My goal as an educator in the undergraduate program is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to become professionally competent in their chosen pathways.
My teaching philosophy takes a student-centric approach. I strive to create a collaborative and interactive learning environment; one that allows our diverse student body to share their own unique experiences and perspectives. My overall aim is to equip my students with the skills and confidence to make a seamless transition from their academic studies into their chosen careers.”
Becoming an educator was a natural fit for Barry as he has continually sought out education himself as a student. His initial degree in marketing wasn’t ultimately what he wanted to build his career in but it didn’t mar his passion for education. Since then he has earned his Masters from UL but also completed the National Qualifications in Suspension Training, Pre & Post Natal Exercise, Indoor Cycling and Kettlebell Training and further qualifications with the IRFU, U.K. Anti Doping, ISAK and Les Mills.
“I think the interactions with students are great. You always get different feedback off different students. You’re teaching them, but they’ll teach you a few things as well which is brilliant.”
Ciara Mulrooney is currently a lecturer on the BSc in Sports Therapy for the Portobello Institute. But her journey to becoming a qualified athletic therapist was a rather scenic one. While becoming an athletic therapist was on her radar going back to her school days, it was a different venture that kept her busy in the aftermath of her Leaving Cert.
“I had always thought that being a sports therapist or physio is what I wanted to do. But during school I used to work in sailing, I would go away on the tall ships. So, after the Leaving Cert I went away and sailed on tall ships for a while. I sailed around Ireland, the UK and northern Europe”
After her maritime adventures, Ciara then travelled down under a spent a full year in Australia before returning home to Ireland. Once back, the desire to become an athletic therapist was re-discovered, but she wanted to be sure of herself before fully pursuing that career path.
“When I came back home, I went and did a PLC course in Sports Therapy in college just to make sure that going back full time was what I wanted to do. So, after that I went to DCU as a mature student and did my Athletic Therapy and Training degree there because I was fully sure that it was something that I wanted to do.”
It would be another while before Ciara would venture into the world of academic as she returned to her native Sligo. Ciara works as Head Athletic Therapist for a number of teams in the northwest.
- Sligo Ladies football team at Senior, Minor, U16 and U14 level
- Sligo Rovers Women’s teams at U19, U17 and the incoming senior team
- IT Sligo GAA Academy in hurling, football, and the ladies’ teams
- Coolera GAA in hurling football, and the ladies’ team
In addition to her responsibilities with the teams above, Ciara also set up her own clinic, Recalibrate Sligo Injury Clinic in 2016. Her main enjoyment came from interacting with her patients but before long, she began taking on final year students for their placement.
“I started taking final year students and mentored them for their final year placement. So, I think that lead to looking more into the academic side. I went on to Trinity College then and did my Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine. Finished that at the start of 2020 after handing in my thesis. Then the opportunity in Portobello came along and I’ve been happy teaching students since then.”
Ciara has been with Portobello for almost two years and, while maintaining her field work, has really enjoyed the opportunity to teach what she learned in her career so far.
“I think the interactions with students are great. You always get different feedback off different students. You’re teaching them, but they’ll teach you a few things as well which is brilliant.
“It’s just great to see them develop, see them move and gain confidence in their skills and see how they progress through the different modules and getting confidence and competence going into the real world.”
Brian Spring is a tutor for Portobello Institute’s sports department, working across a number of different modules including Human Physiology and Applied Principles of Strength and Conditioning.
Brian grew up in Co. Mayo, developing a strong love for sport and fitness through his playing of soccer and Brazilian jiu jitsu. He carried that love of sport right through his youth and into university.
“I decided to do Sport and Exercise Science in UL. Did my undergrad degree there for four years and loved every second of it. Ended up graduating top of my class.
“Then I went on and did a master’s in Sports Performance in UL also,” he said.
During his time doing his undergraduate, Brian was able to avail of some valuable practical experience many miles from his Mayo home.
“I worked with the West Coast Eagles in Australia for a year during my undergraduate degree.
“During their 2018 Grand Final winning season, I helped out with them on the sports science. Things like GPS, questionnaires, RPE monitoring and also their strength and conditioning side of things. In the gym with the lads every day, helping them with their gym programmes,” Brian said.
Brian’s disciplines cover a wide area of professional sports, but he says there isn’t one specific area he prefers working in.
“I enjoy everything because it all works together in terms of nutrition, psychology, physiology.
“Nothing works by itself; they all complement each other. I like looking at sport in a broader sense, trying to make the puzzle work and make everything fit together,” he says.
While on the field success was always the end goal for him and the team, Brian says there’s much more to enjoy from a backroom perspective than winning on matchday.
“Obviously seeing the team win on game day is great.
“But I also like seeing players return or if they are coming off a bad patch of performance and you’ve helped them do a bit of extra work in the gym. Whether it’s a bad patch of performance or coming back from injury, seeing them have a good game on the day is quite satisfying as well,” Brian said.
Upon returning from Down Under, and completing of his second degree with the university, Brian was offered a role as a teaching assistant with UL, discovering a passion for teaching along the way.
“After my master’s I worked as a teaching assistant in UL for a year. I taught labs and tutorials on nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, a bit of everything really, from undergraduate to postgraduate degree.
“I really enjoy seeing the students reach their goals for learning.
“From week one, their knowledge on physiology isn’t that wide and you get them to week 12 and you can have a proper discussion about exercise physiology and strength and conditioning, and they can start critically analysing what I’m saying to them and ask questions. Knowing that they can bring that information into a practical setting is quite rewarding too,” he said.
Like many practitioners who teach alongside their practical work, he likes how one can inform the other, and vice versa.
“The better understanding you have of the physiology and the strength and conditioning and all the theoretical things, the better you are able to explain these things to the athletes. That increases their buy-in, it makes them more likely to engage in the programme and what you’re telling them to do.
“And vice versa, obviously having a better understanding of how to communicate with athletes, how the theoretical knowledge is used in a practical sense, you can take that information to the students. There are times when there’s a bit of a disconnect between people who are lecturers, and who aren’t practitioners. It’s good to do both,” Brian said.
Brian now works with Portobello Institute across multiple degree programmes. While the UL position was something offered to him, he says that his current role with Portobello that he actually went looking for.
“In UL, it was something that I was approached for. But the Portobello gig is something I sought out and got in contact with Susan about. I love the teaching so it’s definitely something I want to keep on doing going forward.
“Now I’m in Portobello, lecturing on physiology, exercise physiology and strength and conditioning modules.
“I’m loving it so far. As I mentioned, I love working with people and helping them reach their goals. But I think the part I’m enjoying the most, so far, is seeing people’s knowledge grow.
“Having them a bit confused on week one until they’re asking some really great questions come week 12. We’re able to have conversations as a class and have a debate in class on certain topics. Just seeing their understanding and confidence grow is probably my favourite bit,” he said.
While he is exploring his passion for teaching with Portobello, Brian does not rule out a future focus on a return to more practitioner work.
“I definitely would like to keep working in sport in some respect.
“I think before, I always wanted to work at the highest level of sport. I now like the idea of working at the academy levels or with youth athletes a bit more because I feel like their development is nearly more important than the elite athletes’ development, which has nearly peaked.
“You’re maintaining their levels of fitness or skill whereas in a developing age, you can see the growth a lot more.”
"Portobello Institute provided me with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge for me to attain my ultimate career goal"
Dan O’Mahony, BSc Sports Therapy graduate
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 this BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy and allows you to work full-time and balance the requirements of a degree programme with home and work.
Practical classes are delivered in a fully equipped therapy training room with theory classes taking place in one of the many theory rooms within Portobello Institute. There is also a fully equipped gym with strength and conditioning equipment available for use as part of your course.
The Difference between Blended Learning and Full Time Delivery Modes
There are two delivery mode options for this degree available in Portobello Institute giving you the freedom to choose how you will learn and making education accessible around work and life commitments.
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 generally scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s lectures are delivered online.
Blended Learning is essentially the same, with a blend of online and on-site lectures taking place at the weekends. This makes it easier for you to study while working full-time. It also makes studying for 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.
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.
You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query and there will be scheduled opportunities to submit a draft of your assignment. Our programme management team are always available to meet you or offer you telephone and email support. For more information about our team, click here. 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.
This level of one-to-one support is unique and is a particular benefit to choosing Portobello Institute. We have invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced sports therapists and clinicians as well as knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme and support you to achieve your personal best.
Online Learning Portal – ePortobello
During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme uploaded on to ePortobello. The content of this programme is set out in an easy to follow format with a combination of notes, articles, podcasts and other materials that will help you to understand the subject and complete your assessments.
Other delivery modes available
BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Advanced Entry
Start Date2nd October 2023
AS an advanced entry student, you will go directly into second year of this course, when you will complete a total of five modules, two year long core modules which run for the duration of both semesters, alongside two additional modules each semester. You will have a choice of certain modules to study which will be specific to your area of interest.
In third year, you will complete five modules, three core year long modules that run for the duration of both semesters, as well as an additional module each semester. The core modules include your final year dissertation project in the area of Sports Science and Therapy and your work placement. You will have the option to choose a module related to your area of interest to complete in first semester.
The Academic Calendar
The academic year of this course runs from 30/09/23 – 26/05/24
A similar schedule will run for year 3.
A schedule of classes is available here.
A FLEXIBLE LEARNING JOURNEY
Classes are delivered on scheduled Saturdays or Sundays. Theory classes are delivered online by Webinar whilst practical classes are delivered on site. There will be online activities to be completed and these can be done at your own time.
Webinars are recorded so you may catch up later if you are unable to attend offering you further flexibility during your learning journey.
Real Life Learning Opportunities
Student Sports Clinic
The Student Sports Clinic has been an invaluable part of our BSc Sports Therapy Degree training. As a Portobello Institute Sports Therapy student, you are insured to practice under the Society of Sports Therapists. Our Student Clinic runs on a Thursday evening in the College. As a therapist, practitioner-skills are typically not learned from books or lectures but from years of hands-on work. You gain early client-contact hours in our Sports Therapy clinic where you will be tasked with setting up the clinic, completing client consultations, providing sports therapy treatments and providing rehabilitation or follow-up as required. In doing so, you learn essential clinical skills and work autonomously (with guidance and support from our Clinic Supervisor).
During your final year, you will complete a module incorporating work experience. For this, you will choose an individual work placement in the field of sports therapy to complete alongside your studies. This allows you to put into practice the skills you have learnt in class. If you are interested in progressing to physiotherapy, Portobello will support you to obtain placement with a physiotherapist – graduates have found this first hand experience and insight into physiotherapy gave them advantage when preparing for interview and subsequent successful entry to Masters programmes in the area of physiotherapy.
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.
Employment opportunities for graduates in sports therapy are diverse. Many of our graduates continue to pursue careers directly in Sports Therapy, working as allied support teams for sport or as part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams specializing in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Over the course of the three years students develop proficiency in therapeutic skills and modalities as well as business development in health sciences for those wishing to pursue private practice.
Currently, many of our graduates’ work in private clinics or with sports clubs/ teams either individually or as part of a multi-disciplinary medical team. Private sector employment is offered by health and fitness organisations, including those operating leisure and fitness centres. Larger private companies and hotels, frequently offer sports and leisure facilities ‘in house’ and recruit Sports Therapists to run injury clinics. Many graduates have taken up employment or further education in clinical exercise physiology settings, working to promote safe exercise prescription and management for rehabilitation for populations with cardiovascular, respiratory or cancer.
In this course there is also a heavy emphasis on research skills to support those who wish to pursue a combined career in applied practice and academia at MSc or PhD level. Many graduates of this course have gained successful entry to Masters programmes in physiotherapy and are now working as professional physiotherapists. Our graduates also go on to teaching and tutoring in roles Sports Therapy at third level.
What is the role of a Sports Therapist?
If you are interested in working with athletes to support the prevention of injury and rehabilitate them back to peak fitness, then a role in Sports Therapy will be of interest to you. When working in this particular aspect of healthcare, you will support athletes to return to optimum levels of functional, occupational and sports specific fitness, regardless of their age and ability. As a sports therapist, you will utilise the principles of sport and exercise sciences incorporating physiological and pathological processes.
Sports Therapy as an alternative route to Physiotherapy
Many of our students use the BSc Sports Therapy degree as an alternative entry pathway to becoming a Chartered Physiotherapist. With the points ever increasing for professional degrees such as Physiotherapy, many Universities have opened graduate entry professional qualifications for students who have graduated with a level 8 BSc honours degree in Sports Therapy or other affiliated areas.
We provide individual support to each student who is hoping to pursue graduate Physiotherapy Qualifications in preparing their applications and for interview to ensure students chances of success are optimized. Our BSc Sports Therapy degree also provides students with supervised clinical practice hours and clinical research skills that are imperative for progressing to achieving the MSc in Graduate Physiotherapy.
Graduate Physiotherapy courses are accredited by CORU and by IACP, most offer the qualification over a 2-year period. The main Universities in Ireland/UK that offer graduate routes for Physiotherapy are University of Limerick, University College Cork, RSCI, University College Dublin. There are similar progression routes to Graduate Physiotherapy available in the UK.
BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Starts Oct ’23
This full-time BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to qualify and work as a professional sports therapist with the option to progress to study a Masters in Physiotherapy and become a qualified physiotherapist.
Start Date2nd October 2023
BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Starts Oct ’23
This full-time BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to qualify and work as a professional sports therapist with the option to progress to study a Masters in Physiotherapy and become a qualified physiotherapist.
Start Date2nd October 2023
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.
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.
Students seeking advanced entry must fulfil the following criteria;
- Approved qualification in Sport – these are reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact our admissions adviser for sports degrees, Sharde Sebastian for further details.
Book a consultation appointment with Sharde Sebastian to review your existing qualification and confirm eligibility for advanced entry.
Eligibility confirmed within 5 working days.
Confirmation of an offer of a place will be given to applicants immediately meeting the criteria.
Confirm acceptance of offer by booking place online and paying deposit/full fees.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be required to attend an interview with an offer of a place on year 1 of 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
Year 1 Fees & Payment Options
Per academic year.€5,395.00
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Per academic year.€600.00
Total amount payable (Year 1).€5,995.00
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 33%. Balance payable in 8 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. There is an additional fee of €365 applied to instalment plan. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees and instalment plan admin fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 8 Instalments
Deposit payment (€2,098.80), followed by 8 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €365.00.
- €532.65 due on 1st October 2023.
- €532.65 due on 1st November 2023.
- €532.65 due on 1st December 2023.
- €532.65 due on 1st January 2024.
- €532.65 due on 1st February 2024.
- €532.65 due on 1st March 2024.
- €532.65 due on 1st April 2024.
- €532.65 due on 1st May 2024.
Year 2 Fees & Payment Options
Per academic year.€5,395.00
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Per academic year.€334.00
Total amount payable (Year 2).€5,729.00
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.
Deposit + 1 Instalment
40% deposit payment, due on application of your course (€2,291.60).
Settle final balance (€3,437.40) by 1st October 2023.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
Deposit payment (€2,409.60), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.
- €602.40 due on 1st October 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st November 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st December 2023.
- €602.40 due on 1st January 2024.
- €602.40 due on 1st February 2024.
- €602.40 due on 1st March 2024.