Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy. You will have the opportunity to qualify and work as a professional sports therapist with the option to progress to a Masters in Physiotherapy and become a qualified physiotherapist.
Start Date1st October 2022
QualificationLevel 8 Honours Degree
Course Duration3 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. 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 giving an excellent preparation for interview process when applying to an MSc in Physiotherapy.
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.
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 – Starts Oct ’22 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.
Who will I learn from?
Dr Susan Giblin
‘Sports students are passionate, determined and motivated people. They bring an energy to the classroom that is infectious. They are a joy to mentor and our academic team are invaluable in providing that mentorship to our students.’
I have been passionate about sport from a young age, I decided to pursue my passion academically when I had the opportunity to and completed my BSc in Health and Performance Science in UCD. I was part of the first graduating class in Health and Performance Science, the concept of sports science was very new in Ireland at the time and opportunities to gain applied experience were rare. On graduating, I was determined to gain as much hands-on practical experience as possible and I was very fortunate to work as a Sports Scientist at Sports Med Ireland where I gained invaluable insight into the world of supporting elite athletes. Notably, there were no practical or applied experience elements as part of my degree, we worked in the lab but not on the field with coaches or athletes which meant really learning on your feet, trying to gain practical competence when starting to work in applied settings. This was something I knew I wanted to try and change if I ever found myself back in academia. It didn’t make sense to me why the applied and academic aspects of sport were so separate, really to change performance both need to be intertwined. Since then, I have endeavoured to combine applied and academic work.
During my early applied work, I became fascinated with the interplay between physical and psychological performance. I left for the UK to pursue a MSc in Performance Psychology, based in the UK I gained valuable opportunities to work in applied, elite sports settings (largely focused in soccer, motorsport and golf). From there, I completed my psychology accreditation and pursued my PhD and post-doctoral research focusing on the use of technology to assess physical and psychological parameters of development. I returned to Ireland to work with the international data sports science company Kitman Labs as Head of Research and I gained fantastic experiences working with innovative international sports organisations. On completion of my post-doctoral research I began lecturing in sports science and sports psychology. In doing so, I quickly realised that not much had changed in terms of academic qualifications in sport, despite the applied sports industry having developed light years ahead with integration of performance technology. Throughout my career development to date, mentors have been an incredibly important asset to me in terms of personal and professional growth. I wanted to be able to provide similar support to individuals who were passionate about pursuing a career in sport. Portobello institute provided the perfect opportunity to address the frustrating limitations of current educational practices in sport by developing innovative, applied degree programmes that ingrain practical skill competence, personal and professional development for students and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Portobello Sports Team since arriving here as a lecturer in 2016.
Why did you choose to work in education?
Education has always been a big part of my life (despite hating school!!). The value of education and the privilege of being able to pursue third level education was instilled from a very young age. I firmly believe that education is an incredible tool that can be used to build a fulfilling life and education should be accessible and individual. Accessible, individual education is something I am very passionate about; from personal experience I understand that one size rarely fits all in terms of education. Unfortunately, primary and secondary (and in many cases tertiary) education comes in a very generic form and that can be very damaging. In fact, it can lead to individuals not pursing their full potential, or not even recognising the potential that they have to pursue. I am dedicated to ensuring that teaching/lecturing is recognised as a role of great responsibility that goes beyond delivering curricular content and focuses on promoting confident learners who are eager to pursue their dull potential after completing their primary degree.
Your experience as a Programme Manager.
My experience as Programme Manager to date has been an incredibly rewarding one. As Programme Manager I am privileged to support our students from the day arrive to the day they graduate and beyond. The most fulfilling part of my role is being able to work with and get to know the person behind the student number, understanding what their ambitions are and guiding them on to the next step of their journey. That next step may be to postgraduation education or to employment as a practitioner. Whatever it is, my role is to support our students in figuring out their path and providing individual support to ensure that students’ personal, academic and professional development is optimised during their time at Portobello Institute.
In addition to providing personal support, as Programme Manager I am involved in the continual review and strategic development of our academic offering in the Sports Department. I work with industry and academic collaborative partners to ensure that the qualifications we offer our students are leading the curve in the sports industry.
Portobello Institute is an agile, innovative Institute of Education. In academia Institutes tend to be slow to change or develop, as sport is such a new and evolving science having an Institute that is willing and able to change ahead of the curve is absolutely essential. Portobello Institute offers this dynamic, forward thinking environment that is focused on changing the way we educate our next generation of practitioners in Sport. Portobello Institute is bridging the gap that has previously existed between applied practice and academic research. The focus here is on developing graduates who are proficient, evidence-based practitioners who are also passionate about scientific research, that is something you just don’t find elsewhere.
- Post-doctoral fellowship – Psychomotor assessment validation (University of Central Lancashire)
- PhD Psychomotor Development (University of Central Lancashire)
- MSc Performance Psychology (University of Edinburgh)
- PGDiploma General Psychology (University of Derby)
- BSc Health & Performance Science (UCD)
Research / Industry Participation
- Accredited member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI)
- BASES Accredited Sports Psychologist
- HCPC Chartered Scientist Status (CSci)
- Former Head of Research, Kitman Labs Ltd.
Research & Publications:
- Cruickshank, A., Giblin, S., Collins, D. ‘Mental preparation for competitive sprints’ in The Science of Sprinting. Platt, G., (Eds) Routledge https://www.scribd.com/book/353165106/Science-of-Sport-Sprinting
- Ng, J., Button, C., Collins, D., Giblin, S., and Kennedy, G. (2019). Assessing the Internal Reliability and Construct Validity of the General Movement Competence Assessment for Children. Journal of Motor Learning and Development 8, 1, 87-106, available from: <https://doi.org/10.1123/jmld.2018-0047>
- MELG Funded Research in collaboration with UHL HSE and UL. An investigation of physical activity engagement and barriers to engagement in children with T1DM (2019)
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015) ‘A markerless motion capture system to enhance injury monitoring in professional sports: a single case validation study on the example of external and internal shoulder rotation’ Functional Sports & Exercise Medicine DOI:10.13140/RG.2.1.3434.5440
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015). ‘Wholebody magnetic resonance imaging enables assessment of spatial accuracy and precision of skeletal joint locations inferred from motion capture systems’ 6th Int. Conference on 3D Body Scanning Technologies October DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3105.0963
- Giblin, S., Meldrum, D., McGroarty, M., O’Brien S., Wetterling, F. (2015) ‘Bone length calibration can significantly improve the measurement accuracy of knee flexion angle when using a marker- less system to capture the motion of countermovement jump’ DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3105.0963
- Giblin, S., Collins, D., & Button, C. (2014). Physical literacy: importance, assessment and future directions. Sports Medicine, 44(9), 11771184. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0205-7
- Giblin, S., Collins, D., MacNamara, A., & Kiely, J. (2014). “Deliberate Preparation” as an Evidence-Based Focus for Primary Physical Education. Quest, 66(4), 385395. https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2014.944716
- MacNamara, Á., Collins, D., & Giblin, S. (2015). Just let them play? Deliberate preparation as the most appropriate foundation for lifelong physical activity. Frontiers in psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01548
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.
Emma McLoughlin is a Portobello Institute lecturer who worked in psychology away from sports before moving into sports education. Cathal Brady was a Portobello student before becoming a lecturer. Barry Roe underwent a late career change to become a sports lecturer.
Alan Whelan did all three.
“The big thing for me is I put off going back to full-time education. I sat in a job for six years, six out of 10 years that I knew I didn’t like it…I put off for years making that jump. And that’s always something I say to a lot of people, just go and chase what you want to do.
Even if it’s a mistake you won’t regret it.”
It wasn’t a mistake for Alan. He was 36 years of age when he first walked through the doors at Portobello Institute. Fearing that he would be the oldest student in the class, he’s familiar with how mature students feel when they now walk into his lectures.
Fortunately for Alan, his class was diverse and he wasn’t even the oldest student in the class. He almost proudly noted that another student was six months older than him.
Many of our sports students come back to education later in life because they weren’t pushed towards a career in sports when they left school. Despite being an intelligent student and a sports-obsessed teenager, the adults in Alan’s life guided him towards a more traditional college and career choice.
Real estate and corporate finance made up most of Alan’s next 18 years.
The day-to-day monotony of going into school to study subjects he had no interest in was replaced by the day-to-day monotony of going into an office and doing the same work over and over again.
“That mundane 9-5, sitting in a desk in front of a computer in that kind of corporate world was just killing me. It was boredom, it was monotonous. It was the same thing day in day out with little gratitude.
It was my wife who pushed me. She said ‘Look, you’re clearly not happy. Go and take the risk and do it’…I completely packed in my job, I was a couple months shy of 10 years working there.”
Had Alan reached the 10-year milestone, he could have earned an extra five days off each year. That was the only thing driving him to stay in work, the opportunity to get out of work. Instead of getting that five days off, he took three years off and studied the Sports Science and Physical Education degree at Portobello Institute.
“When I gave up my full-time job, I had a little bit of savings behind me. My idea was I was going to completely stop working and I was going to focus on year one of the degree, then with the potential of getting some part-time work in year two and three to help.
But I actually ended up not working for the entire three years.
I remember I used to say to people ‘I have never been so broke in my entire life but I’ve never been as happy as I am now.’”
That happiness extended further when Alan travelled up to the University of Ulster in Belfast to do his master’s in sports psychology.
Dr. Susan Giblin had noticed Alan’s enthusiasm for his education in sports. She also noticed how impressive his dissertation was before offering him the opportunity to become a lecturer at Portobello. Alan took all of five seconds to realize it was a great idea.
“I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s more freedom [compared to my previous jobs]…Now I’m working in Portobello and I set up my own psychology business last February.
It’s night and day the difference, particularly in relation to my own happiness.”
Having followed the path from uninterested secondary school student to college dropout to staying in the wrong career for more than 10 years, Alan can empathize with all of his students. Those students who have experienced that office depression can listen to him outline what his job is now and where he works.
He is no longer chained to an office for eight hours a day. Instead, he can work from home, can work in a sports hall, a classroom, on a field, in a locker room or, if he suddenly gets the urge, he can go and work in an office.
But working in an office would now be a choice he makes rather than something he does out of necessity.
That is because of the education he received at Portobello Institute and the decisions he made to take risks in pursuit of what he wanted.
Alan himself notes that he’s a happier person now, which makes him a more effective lecturer. He loves engaging his students and guiding them towards where they want to go.
“I am a very open and approachable tutor. I believe in a student-centred approach to learning, with student engagement and discussion at the heart of every lecture.
A firm believer in the benefits of effective goal setting, engaging in reflective practice and practical application, I employ a number of sport psychology related skills into the education setting to ensure all students maximize their potential for learning.”
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.
During the final weeks of the Portobello school year, Colm Murphy is frenetically keeping track of his students and handing out grades. It’s an incredibly busy time of year after which anyone would want to take a long break.
But Colm doesn’t go and sit on a beach somewhere. Instead, he dives straight into summer camps for the children at his local tennis club.
“The youngest ones are five. It’s mostly aimed at primary schools so a few of them are 11 and 12. We split them into smaller groups within that but the smallest ones are really small. They’re very funny.”
You can sense the delight from Colm as he talks through the fun of coaching kids.
Even on this unseasonably stormy summer day where the sessions were disrupted more than once, you can sense his enthusiasm and passion. The energy he radiates personifies that delight that only comes from someone who is fully enjoying his day-to-day activities.
Colm had always wanted to be a PE teacher and a coach of some kind. There’s no doubt that he’s living out his dream but that alone isn’t enough to explain him being so content with life.
That kind of happiness comes from someone who has endured a winding and often disrupted journey to where he wanted to be.
“In school it was all about the sport and not about the study. I came to study very late in the day. At the time the only thing I wanted was to become a PE teacher but the academic requirements for that were way out of my reach.
I certainly didn’t regard myself as any kind of student or certainly not an academic. I was enjoying sport far too much to actually apply myself to my studies.”
Needing to get a proper job, Colm forewent college and went to work straight away.
Instead of PE and coaching, he spent his days in a bank. After working his way up through entry level jobs to land in the finance department, Colm was pushed towards doing accountancy exams. A proper job.
“I was trying to basically hammer a square peg into a round hole. It didn’t want to go…I had to stop at the certificate stage, I couldn’t force myself over the line no matter how valuable it would be. I was just completely sick of it at that point.”
Having not found his fit in the bank, Colm departed to an IT Software company. He was closer to what he wanted to be here, filling a position of leadership in quality control and project management. But it still wasn’t PE or Coaching.
While it didn’t feel like it at the time, Colm was very fortunate to be forced away from that career after a couple of years.
“The dotcom bubble burst in 2002 and the company I was with just shrank and shrank and shrank…eventually [my boss] called me into the room and said ‘I have a new list [to let go] and you’re on it.'”
There were no opportunities in the sector. That forced Colm to look elsewhere, which led him back to the tennis coaching qualification that he had earned in his youth.
“Funnily, I really started to enjoy it hugely, really quickly. And I actually got quite busy really quickly as well…this was an enforced change that I wouldn’t have chosen but it was kind of opportune as well. So what else could I do? What else would I like? What else would fit with this?”
At 35 years of age with two kids and a mortgage, Colm couldn’t go back into a 9-5 college education to become a physiotherapist. He instead found a Blended Learning course that could fit into his established life that allowed him to become a qualified physical therapist.
Despite never being a good student in his youth, Colm impressed so much on his course that the Institute of Physical Therapy and Applied Science offered him an opportunity to become a lecturer.
He carried out that role while still coaching and working as a therapist himself for more than 10 years before Portobello Institute came calling.
Colm has been demystifying the course material for Portobello students for three years now. He’s an energetic lecturer with a positive outlook that helps students to build their confidence and knowledge so they can overcome the challenges they have set for themselves.
But more than just putting on a show and celebrating their development, Colm’s journey allows him to empathise with his students on a professional and personal level. Especially the mature students.
“I find the mature students to be really interesting. I suppose it’s because my pathway has been unconventional and a lot of them are in the same boat…You look back at some crunch times in your journey and you wonder how you managed to get through it.
I often end up having that conversation or conversations like that with mature students.
You say, ‘Look there are gonna be bumps in the road here. You mightn’t know yet what they are but they’re gonna pop up and you need to be prepared for the fact they’re gonna pop up. If it does pop up, come and talk to me because chances are whether it’s me or Cathal [Brady] or Barry [Roe] we’re going to have had a similar experience.’”
When Colm was a mature student, he and his wife were both working and studying while taking care of their two children. They had a third child during those years and each of them felt the heartbreak of losing a parent.
So even though students now get to work with an incredibly enthusiastic and positive lecturer who can put on a show in the classroom, the person behind that lecturer also has all the experience to empathize and understand their needs.
- MSc Applied Sport & Exercise Psychology (Waterford IT)
- Post Grad Certificate in Third Level Teaching & Learning (DIT)
- Diploma in Physical Therapy (IPTAS)
- Tennis Ireland Development Coach (Tennis Ireland)
Research / Industry Participation
- Anatomy & Analysis Tutor for 11 years with IPTAS (Institute of Physical Therapy & Applied Science). 2006 – 2017
- Physical Therapist in private practice since 2006
- Tennis Ireland Development Coach since 1994
- Sport Performance Coach since 2015
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
This course is delivered over three academic years. There are supported seminars held at weekends with an example (not exact) schedule available here.
In first year, you will complete four year long core modules which will introduce you to the 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 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.
Real Life Learning Opportunities
How will I be assessed?
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.
The primary aim of the varying assessment styles is to support you to demonstrate your knowledge of theory and practical as a result of a range of assessments.
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.
Work as a sports therapist in private clinics
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.
Gain employment in Clinical Exercise 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.
Progress to MSc Physiotherapy
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.
Who else has studied this degree?
Student Feedback – Dan O’Mahony
On successful completion of his sports therapy degree, Dan O’Mahony was accepted on the RCSI master’s degree in physiotherapy.
“Portobello Institute provided me with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge for me to attain my ultimate career goal … I was also very fortunate to be given the opportunity to study with a great class of students and extremely supportive lecturers”.
Cathal Brady runs his own sports therapy clinic, lectures at Portobello and works with various sports teams across different codes.
Cathal Brady – Inspiring Sports Therapy Students to a Fulfilling CareerRead Full Testimonial
Aoife Fleming helped to save a child's life when she was younger and after that she knew she wanted to become a hydrotherapist.
Aoife Fleming – Sports Therapy Opens Opportunities in HydrotherapyRead Full Testimonial
Shannon Byrne opened her own clinic within a month of graduating and has since hired her first employee, who is a Portobello student.
Shannon Byrne – Sport Therapy Course Graduate to Clinic Owner in One MonthRead 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 Portobello Institute.
With a Leaving Certificate
Leaving Certificate requirements – Minimum of grade C or O6 in ordinary level Biology* or Physical Education, English and Maths with a pass in 3 other subjects.
Sitting the Leaving Certificate in 2022
Students may apply and be granted a “Conditional Offer” prior to completing the Leaving Certificate.
Step 1 – Submit application
Step 2 – Review of application and confirmation of eligibility criteria and entry requirements
Step 3 – Conditional Offer issued on the basis of successful achievement of LC requirements
Step 4 – Confirm acceptance of a place and pay deposit as detailed
Places can not be held open for applicants awaiting leaving certificate results, however should a student accept a place and then choose not to progress with this course, after first round CAO offers have been made, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing on or before 25th August 2022
Applicants who have previously completed the Leaving Certificate;
Minimum of grade C or O6 in ordinary level Biology* or Physical Education, English and Maths with a pass in 3 other subjects.
*Applicants who do not hold LC Biology or Physical Education, are required to undertake the QQI level 5 Anatomy & Physiology and use this award in place of LC Biology. This course is available through Portobello Institute, further information available here.
Without a Leaving Certificate
Students are accepted on to this programme without a leaving certificate however applicants must meet one of the following criteria;
- QQI level 5 major award containing a biology subject
- ITEC level 2 award containing anatomy & physiology
- An undergraduate degree in another subject
- QQI Level 5 Anatomy & Physiology – available through Portobello Institute
- Mature entry at 21 years. Mature students are reviewed on a case by case basis and entry is via interview. Those without a grounding in science and a previous academic qualification in science or biology, must complete QQI Level 5 Anatomy & Physiology or equivalent. This course is available through Portobello Institute, further information available here.
- Equivalent qualifications with biology/anatomy & physiology module
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.
Students will be registered as an undergraduate degree student with University of Essex
Fees & Payment Options
Year 1 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€325.00
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
- €467.74 due on 1st October 2022.
- €467.74 due on 1st November 2022.
- €467.74 due on 1st December 2022.
- €467.74 due on 1st January 2023.
- €467.74 due on 1st February 2023.
- €467.74 due on 1st March 2023.
- €467.74 due on 1st April 2023.
- €467.74 due on 1st May 2023.
Year 2 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€550.00
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
- €486.59 due on 1st November 2022.
- €486.59 due on 1st December 2022.
- €486.59 due on 1st January 2023.
- €486.59 due on 1st February 2023.
- €486.59 due on 1st March 2023.
- €486.59 due on 1st April 2023.
- €486.59 due on 1st May 2023.
- €486.59 due on 1st June 2023.
Year 3 Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee€325.00