Course Details

Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study this Level 8 Certificate of Higher Education in Sports & Health Studies. If you are already holding a degree in Sport, this certificate will provide you with the additional modules required to gain access to a professional masters in PE and begin your journey to becoming a PE teacher.

Start Date
2nd October 2021
Level 8 Honours Degree
Portobello Institute
Course Duration
8 months


Have you have completed a sports degree and are interested in becoming a PE teacher? These modules will supplement your original BSc degree credits to meet the curricular subjects’ requirements for gaining access to a Professional Masters in PE and becoming a registered PE teacher. This pathway is ideal for students who have completed a BSc sports science, BSc exercise and leisure management or a B.Ed in another subject specialism. This 8-month course is designed for those students wishing to enter the PE teaching profession and will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of physical education.

These modules have been designed by Portobello Institute for blended learning so you can study in your own time. This blended learning option gives mature students and those working or training full-time, the opportunity to access this degree qualification that can lead to a career in physical education or coaching. Seminars are delivered over the weekend with one to one support available to you throughout your learning journey. There is an easy payment plan designed to make this programme affordable. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you a course that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Why should I study this course?

Portobello Institute’s Certificate in Higher Education in Sports and Health studies gives you the opportunity to study alongside your working and family life. You will have the opportunity to learn from a range of experts in the field of sport and physical education.  You will have the option, like many of our past pupils, to use this qualification to supplement your degree in sport and gain entry to a Professional Masters in PE. Visit our Graduates Success Stories here to understand the opportunities they availed of, the further studies they have undertaken and their unique learning journeys.

Who will recognise my qualification?

Certificate of Higher Education in Sports & Health Studies awarded at level 8.

There are 120 credits awarded with this Certificate.

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 Certificate in Higher Education – PE Top Up for Sports graduates (Starts Oct ’21) course?

During this programme, you will study a range of modules considering learning and teaching alongside practical skills relating to work as a physical education teacher. You will learn how to facilitate the enhancement of physical education through effective teaching. You will understand principles and limitations of measurement and assessment strategies in sport, exercise and physical education.

  • Introduction to Athletics & Games for Physical Education – 30 Credits

    The module aims to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical teaching ability, understanding of coaching techniques and improved personal competency in the skills involved in athletics.

    The module aims to: provide students with fundamental knowledge of physical, psychological and behavioral development through fundamental movement skills, locomotion, object manipulation, interceptive timing, speed, agility and coordination. Understanding of invasion style games, perceptual skills, communication skills and group dynamics developed through teaching games for understanding. Provide students with knowledge and instructional/demonstration skills required in the delivery of athletics and games curriculum for both educational and club environments including lesson design, communication, teaching methods, instruction and feedback.


  • Introduction to Gymnastics & Dance for Physical Education – 30 Credits

    This module aims to enable students to perform, choreograph, disseminate and criticize Contemporary and Folk Dance. The module is directed towards Contemporary and Folk Dance in Physical Education Syllabi at Junior/ Senior Level and also as a dance form within Leaving Certificate Applied Dance modules. This module aims to provide students with theoretical plus practical teaching acumen, enhancement of coaching techniques and improved personal competency in the skills involved in gymnastics. The module also aims to provide students with knowledge and instructional/demonstrational skills required in the delivery of Educational and Olympic gymnastics curricula for school and club environs.

  • Applied Principles and Teaching for Adventure Activities – 15 Credits

    The focus of this module is the role of adventure activities in physical education. The module will cover different adventure activities and the role adventure activities can play in developing confidence, communication, team building, reflection and planning, coping and problem-solving skills for students.

    The module aims to provide: theoretical knowledge about adventure activities for holistic physical education, the development of complex physical skills for life-long transferable skills development, pedagogical issues in adventure activity delivery, group dynamics and activity planning, principles of health and safety, environmental and individual learning and physical needs assessment and planning, principles of instruction, evaluation and teaching methods in adventure activities.

  • Applied Principles and Teaching for Aquatics – 15 Credits

    The aim of this module is to develop students’ life-saving, water safety and aquatics theoretical and practical knowledge through small group practical’s and lecture delivery. The module will provide in depth theory of biomechanics, anatomy and physiology of swimming for speed and endurance. In addition to the theoretical concepts, practical considerations for applying these concepts to practical teaching will be explored. Challenges and constraints of aquatics during physical education will be identified and clearly elaborated on to ensure learning of key factors influencing safety and effectiveness of teaching.

    The module will develop students’ ability to teach and instruct skill for various phases of stroke technical development using appropriate feedback and analysis based on their theoretical knowledge.

  • Advanced Pedagogy for Disability PE – 15 Credits

    This module will focus on advanced pedagogical considerations for adapting and implementing physical education theory and curricular content to practice for a range of learning needs. Theoretical knowledge on learning, physical and mental disabilities will be gained. In depth content of standards and policies for disability and integrative education will be provided. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills will be developed through lectures and practical activities where students will be required to problem-solve classroom scenarios to adapt curricular content for different physical and learning disabilities with consideration of holistic education, safety and equipment considerations, social inclusion and communication.

    As part of this module, students will complete a school-based placement under the supervision of qualified second level Physical Education Teachers. Students will attend school physical education lessons and discuss the barriers to participation for students of differing abilities.

  • Advance Pedagogy for Health Promotion PE – 15 Credits

    The purpose of this module is to develop critical problem-solving skills for the promotion of physical and mental health through physical education. The module aims to provide in depth information about physical and mental health benefits of physical activity.

    The module will provide in depth information about the models of physical education and behavior change that are used for public health promotion through physical education. The module will evaluate current policies for public health promotion in school settings and barriers to implementation experienced by physical education teachers in delivery health-based promotion.

Who will I learn from?

Programme Manager

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.’

About Susan

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.

Why Portobello?

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
  • 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: <>
  • 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.
  • Giblin, S., Collins, D., MacNamara, A., & Kiely, J. (2014). “Deliberate Preparation” as an Evidence-Based Focus for Primary Physical Education. Quest, 66(4), 385395.
  • 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.

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.

How will I learn?

Delivery Mode

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. The time commitment will be greater than a blended learning programme. A blended learning programme usually has a single workshop at the start of a module whereas a flexible delivery programme will usually have a minimum of 1 weekend per month attendance required.

Course Structure

This course is delivered over 8 months with supported seminars. Classes are held on selected weekends during the period. An exact timetable of classes will be available shortly. For illustrative purposes, a copy of the spring schedule is available here.

During this course you will complete six modules. You will study two year long modules that run over both semesters and an additional two modules each semester.

Seminars & Tutor Support

The tutorial seminars held at the start and throughout each module introduce you to your tutor who will guide and support you throughout the module. These seminars lay out the module for you and support you to learn and acquire the skills you will need as a Sports Therapist. The assessment and expectations for successful completion are covered in detail as is where and how to access the information on the Moodle platform. You will meet fellow students and have the opportunity to create your study network for the duration of your learning journey.

You can email your tutor at any stage during the module to ask a simple query or submit a draft of your assessment. Our programme management team are always available to offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance.

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 a particular benefit to choosing this mode of study. Portobello Institute has invested in a team of programme managers and tutors who are experienced sports therapy practitioners as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.

Online Learning Portal – Moodle

During the induction seminar, we will show you how to navigate Moodle and find what you need with all of the information you need to complete this programme. 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 assessment. You will need basic computer skills to search the internet and type a word document to complete your assignment.

The Academic Calendar

This course is delivered between 02/10/21 – 28/05/22

Classes are delivered on scheduled Saturdays or by Webinar during this period. Webinars are recorded so you may catch up later if you are unable to attend.

The schedule of classes will be available soon. For illustrative purposes, a copy of the spring schedule is available to view by clicking the link here.

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. 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.

Career prospects

Related Courses

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.

Your Consultant

Johanna Shaw

About Johanna 

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.

Book a consultation

How do I apply?

Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.


Without a Leaving Certificate

An undergraduate degree as follows;

A BSc Sports Science, BSc Exercise and Leisure Management or a B.Ed in another subject specialism.

If you do not meet the above requirements, please contact us and we will review on a case by case basis.

Application Process

Step 1

Complete the online booking form.

Apply Now

Step 2

Applicants will be contacted for confirmation of the entry criteria.

Step 3

Confirmation of a place will be given to applicants immediately meeting the criteria.

Applicants who do not meet the criteria, maybe 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 a student  with London  Metropolitan University.

Fees & Payment Options


Course Price

Per academic year.


Exam Body Reg. Fee

Per academic year - due at start of academic year.


Full Payment

Total amount payable.


Easy Payment Plan

Deposit of 30%. Balance payable in 6 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.

Deposit Amount

30% deposit payment, due on application of your course.


Instalments Payments

Deposit payment (€1,684.50), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s).

Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00. Payments scheduled every 1 month(s).

  • €655.08 due on 1st November 2021.
  • €655.08 due on 1st December 2021.
  • €655.08 due on 1st January 2022.
  • €655.08 due on 1st February 2022.
  • €655.08 due on 1st March 2022.
  • €655.08 due on 1st April 2022.