Delivered through blended learning, you can work full-time and study for these Certificates of Higher Education in Physical Education and Sports Studies. If you are already working as a teacher, this qualification gives you the opportunity to upskill and add PE to your professional remit.
Start Date1st October 2022
QualificationLevel 8 Honours Degree
Course Duration8 months
The introduction of PE as a Leaving Certificate exam subject has increased the demand for qualified PE teachers. We recognise that there are many teachers qualified and teaching other subject specialisms who may be interested in upskilling and adding PE to their professional remit as an additional subject. This 8-month course is designed for those wishing to enter the PE teaching profession and will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of physical education.
Accessible route to PE teaching with this programme.
Our students can use these Certificates in Higher Education in Physical Education and Sports Studies as an entry pathway to becoming a PE teacher. Portobello Institute will offer, from October ’22, a Post Graduate Certificate in Continuing Education (PGCEi) with an MSc in Physical Education available from October ’23. These programmes combined are delivered over 2 academic years, offering graduates the qualifications they require to pursue a career in PE teaching. Alternatively, many of our past students have used qualifications gained from Portobello Institute to gain entry to other universities to study post-graduate qualifications for PE teaching.
Combine working full-time with study
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.
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 physical education, with a qualification that is accessible, affordable and achievable.
Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello:
- Accelerated programme completing your qualification in eight months, 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.
- 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.
- 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 Certificates in Higher Education in Physical Education and Sports Studies give 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 existing qualifications and gain entry to a Professional Masters in Education in PE (PME PE). This qualification will be available through Portobello Institute commencing October ’22.
Who will recognise my qualification?
Certificates of Higher Education in Physical Education, and Sports Studies awarded at level 8 with 180 credits awarded by London Metropolitan University (London Met).
You will be registered as a student of London Met for the duration of your studies.
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 Non-Sport Graduates – Starts in October ’22 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.
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.
“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.
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 one-weekend seminar per month attendance required. This type of delivery is generally applied to courses with a practical skills element and allows you to work full-time and balance the requirements of a lengthy programme with home and work.
This course is delivered over 8 months with supported seminars held at weekends an exact schedule is not available yet, however, you can view a similar schedule here.
During this course, you will complete eight modules. You will study four academic year long modules that run over both semesters and an additional two modules each semester.
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 offer you telephone and email support and if you need to, you can arrange to meet them for further one to one guidance. 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 to blended learning and 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 PE teachers as well as qualified and knowledgeable educators. They are available to assist you at every stage of this programme.
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 assessment.
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.
Group assignments will add another dimension to your learning experience – they will help you to learn to work in teams and will provide you with benefits of peer learning.
All these methods are seeking to support you to combine theory with scenario-based learning and encourage and guiding you for future implementation into your career as a physical education teacher.
Speak to an expert
Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.
It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.
Johanna is Portobello Institute’s Sports Development and Admissions Advisor. Prior to working with us Johanna worked in TCD and Kingston College in the UK. Johanna completed a MPhil in Physical Activity for Health and a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science.
How long are you working in Portobello?
I started working at Portobello in August 2020.
What do you enjoy about working in Portobello?
I enjoy working with the other staff here at Portobello, everyone is so friendly and happy to help there are no stupid questions or ideas.
What inspires you about working in education?
I love being able to make a huge difference to so many students lives and helping them progress towards the career they want to do or didn’t know they could do before they talked to me.
Have you a story that you recall that touched you/made you laugh/made you cry?
I am always touched when you meet or hear from a past student and hear all the amazing achievements they gained after completing the course you helped put them on or helped get them through.
How do you feel when you have helped a student reach a decision on their course choice?
My role is so rewarding when you know you have helped a student get one step closer to the career they are interested in.
How do I apply?
Entry to this course is by direct application to the college.
Entry on to this course requires you to hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant field to teaching.
If you do not meet the above requirements, please contact us and we will review on a case by case basis.
Applicants who do not meet the criteria, may be required to attend an interview with an offer of a place on the programme issued following assessment of suitability. Applicants confirm acceptance of offer by returning acceptance form.
Please note places on this course are only confirmed once tuition fees have been received.
Fees & Payment Options
Exam Body Reg. Fee
Easy Payment Plan
Deposit of 30%. Balance payable in 6 equal instalments commencing the 1st of the month after the course commences. All additional fees such as exam body registration fees are included in the easy payment plan detailed.
Deposit + 6 Instalments
- €655.08 due on 1st November 2022.
- €655.08 due on 1st December 2022.
- €655.08 due on 1st January 2023.
- €655.08 due on 1st February 2023.
- €655.08 due on 1st March 2023.
- €655.08 due on 1st April 2023.