Course Details

Studying this BSc (Hons) Health Care and Management Studies degree offers you the opportunity to join the healthcare workforce as a competent professional, trained to improve and support the health of others. There are multiple options with direct pathways to graduate medicine and pre-reg masters programmes, in a variety of healthcare disciplines.

€5,195.00 Per year
Start Date
2nd October 2023
Honours Degree
Portobello Institute
Course Duration
3 years


The health sector is the third largest employer in Ireland and the demand for qualified staff is strong. The shortage of staff is particularly evident in the health therapy professions. At the same time the number of training places leading to qualifications in allied health professions is very limited. This BSc (Hons) Health Care and Management Studies  has been developed to meet the entry requirements for all major post-graduate healthcare qualifications, enabling students to achieve a desired qualification and career in their chosen profession in Ireland.

Healthcare managerial skills are also in high demand and employment growth for managers was above the national average and those employed in the administrative roles had the greatest overall increase (28%) over 5 years (Solas, 2021).

This full-time health care practice and management degree programme encompasses the skills and knowledge that are necessary to work as part of a multi-disciplinary healthcare team, to advance to a management role and/or to advance your studies to a postgraduate healthcare qualification.

A gateway to specialised healthcare

This BSc (Hons) Health Care & Management programme prepares graduates to enter the healthcare workforce and obtain employment in roles supporting the health of others. The shortage of qualified nurses and doctors has augmented the position of healthcare assistants and as a result there is significant demand for this type of roles in the sector.

Advanced entry to upskill

Additionally, if you are already employed in the health sector in a support role, you can use this degree to upskill to progress and advance your career. There are advanced entry options available for holders of QQI level 6 major award in Health Service Skills or Healthcare Support.

A number of modules fostering managing and leadership skills, will enable you to fill administrative and managerial positions in the healthcare sector.

Providing a Direct Pathway to Postgraduate Health Studies

This programme also acts as a gateway degree if you wish to pursue applied and technical roles in general health services. It provides the requisite undergraduate requirements to support you to pursue  a specialised healthcare related professions at graduate level, including the following.

  • Nursing,
  • Medicine,
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Occupational Therapy,
  • Speech and Language Therapy,
  • Nutrition and Dietetics.

Portobello Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AECC University College. We are currently working through the validation processes towards delivering the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-reg) programme in Dublin, with a start date of autumn ’24. An MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Reg) and MSc Speech and Language (Pre-Reg) will be available to study in Dublin from autumn ’25.

Alternatively, with the points ever increasing for undergraduate entry to most health therapy courses, many Universities have opened graduate entry professional qualifications for students who have graduated with a level 8 BSc degree with the requisite modules completed at undergraduate level. This BSc (Hons) Health Care and Management Studies meets the requirements for post graduate studies as listed above in all major universities – if you are interested in pursuing a particular programme in a specific university,  and are seeking to use this programme for entry, please check the specific requirements as they can vary. We provide individual support to each student who is hoping to pursue graduate healthcare qualifications in preparing their applications and for interview to ensure students chances of success are optimized. Many of our graduates have pursued this path and you can read about their journey in our student success section.

Develop Practical Skills and Techniques

The emphasis is put on the value of applied practice, analysis of case studies and real-life scenarios across the curriculum, followed by consolidation through reflection and application of skills in the placement context.  Sessions with guest lecturers will contribute to preparing you to deal with complexities and challenges of the world of work.

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.
  • Pathway to postgraduate study – this course is designed to meet the entry requirements of postgraduate study for all major universities offering you the opportunity to access a healthcare qualification.
  • 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 over the same 2 – 3 days, helping you maintain a part-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) Health Care & Management Studies gives you the opportunity to attain an honours degree with the option to immediately join the workforce or to pursue postgraduate study.

Gain employment through our strong network of connections

Gaining employment as a health care professional, for many is the objective of this degree and during this programme, you have the opportunity to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts within the sector.  Companies participating in our work experience programme invest considerable time in our students and recruit directly from this placement programme.

Progress to Postgraduate Healthcare Studies

For some students, the opportunity to access postgraduate study in the areas of medicine, nursing or one of the health therapies, is their objective. This degree offers you wide and varied opportunities for post graduate study in many of the major universities.

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 healthcare, with a qualification that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Who will recognise my qualification?

Upon completing this honours degree, you will hold a BSc (Hons) Health Care & Management Studies awarded by University of Essex (UoE).

During your studies, you will be registered as a student of the University of Essex.

This BSc (Hons) Health Care & Management Studies is recognised by AECC University College. for the purposes of applying to progress to one of their pre-registration masters programmes in health therapy. We are currently working through the validation processes towards delivering these programmes in Dublin, with an expected start date of autumn ’24 and ’25.

This degree carries the credits and modules required by many universities for entry to postgraduate study in the area of medicine and healthcare. AS these can vary and change over time, please check the specific requirements if you have a programme and university in mind.

What will I study during this BSc (Hons) Health Care and Management Studies – Starts October ’23 course?

In year 1, you will be supported to develop academic, enquiry and study skills necessary for successful transition to higher education. You will take modules focusing on the fundamental knowledge about the human body and its systems, the major operational aspects of  the healthcare sector, concept of quality-of-care provision, legal and ethical aspects of practice. You will develop competence and confidence to use essential medical terminology in communication with other health professionals and will learn to apply major psychological and sociological theories to understand underpinnings of policy and practice in health.

In year 2, you will further your knowledge about quality of care and provision in specific contexts of caring for older people, people with disabilities and mental health issues and will reflect on barriers and enablers for provision of effective services considering all stakeholders. You will learn about the value of working in diverse teams and will explore major leadership and management theories. You will have an opportunity to make links between theory and practice during the placement module.

In year 3, you will focus on more advanced and strategic aspects of practice which will provide you with knowledge, skills and competence to make informed decisions about practice, contribute to planning, implementation and evaluation of health programmes and policy initiatives, and act as agents of change in their organisations. You will undertake a piece of research to pursue your academic and professional interests and will complete a placement. You will have an option to take a health-science focused module if you wish to enrol on a post-graduate course in specific areas of healthcare, or choose a management-focused module if your professional interests lies in healthcare management.

  • Foundations of Healthcare Services

    This module provides an introduction to the Irish healthcare system and an overview of a range of healthcare settings. The module explains structures, operations and funding models of healthcare organisations, identifies stakeholders, and considers policies which influence the system performance from a historical perspective while identifying trends for future development.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Develop understanding of the Irish healthcare sector
    • Identify types of provision and differentiate between funding models
    • Learn about basic operational aspects of healthcare setting
    • Understand the historical perspective of the health sector development and forecast trends
    • Foster critical thinking skills by comparing healthcare models in national and international contexts.


  • Fundamentals of Patient Care

    This module will foster knowledge; skills and attitudes for care delivery in both general and specialist practice settings and develop a systematic approach to the provision of person-centred practice to patients. The students will be introduced to the major  medical and healthcare terminology and language used by the health care professionals related to procedures, diseases and body systems. The module will explore essential aspects of healthcare practice such as patient safety, risk management, error reporting and analysis, explain the process of the  care plan implementation, and introduce the concept of quality of provision and its improvement in relation to healthcare practice. The emphasis will be put on the role of effective communication and teamwork in or risk management and adhering to quality standards.


    The module aims to instil amongst students

    • To understand and use major medical terminology necessary for communication in a healthcare setting.
    • To appreciate the role of a healthcare practitioner in development and implementation of a patient care plan.
    • To recognise the safety issues encountered in healthcare settings worldwide and appreciate the importance of human factors.
    • To be able to identify hazards that are potentially threatening to the safety of the patient/client in the health care setting and discuss prevention.
    • To understand operational aspects of processes of error reporting, analysis, reflection and learning from errors.
    • To develop an awareness of complexity of the concept of quality with regard to evaluation and improvement of practice and provision.
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology

    This module introduces students to the anatomy and physiology of the human body. The module will cover appendicular and axial anatomy, cardio-vascular-pulmonary anatomy and physiology, integumentary, peripheral and central nervous system anatomy and physiology. Common pathophysiological disorders associated with the systems will be considered.

    The module aims to instil amongst students

    • An understanding of fundamental human anatomy and physiology.
    • An understanding of basic pathophysiological processes.
    • Ability to use appropriate terminology to communicate about human body and physiological processes with healthcare professionals and healthcare service users.
  • Psychology and Sociology for Healthcare

    This module will enable students to relate and apply sociological and psychological theories and concepts to the area of health and well-being. This module aims to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of the major theories and research in the field of health psychology and to introduce the student to the ways in which biopsychosocial processes can influence health and illness. Students will explore sociocultural factors that influence access, engagement and experience in healthcare. Students will be familiarised with the theories, models and core areas of health psychology, including changing health behaviours, stress and coping, health- and illness-related cognitions, quality of life, and psychological aspects of illness.


    The module aims to instil amongst students:

    • An understanding of the relevance of sociology and health psychology to health care.
    • An understanding  how the principles, theories, and models can be applied to practice in  healthcare
    • Develop sociological thinking to understand historical, cultural, political factors which shape healthcare policies and practice at local, national and internationals levels.
    • Develop critical thinking through ability to identify and discuss salient issues from a theoretical perspective.
  • Advocacy, Legal and Ethical Aspects in Healthcare
  • Study Skills and Enquiry in Health Education

    The module aims to

    • Enable students to understand complexities of studying at a degree level and acknowledge challenges of transitioning to higher education.
    • Provide learners who are new to higher education with a range of skills and techniques designed to support their learning and on-going development as part of a broad, diverse student community and as independent learners.
    • Foster a sense of inquisitiveness in students and enable them to prepare for lifelong learning through the development of independent learning techniques.
    • Introduce the students to conventions of academic study and academic writing.
    • Provide support for the use of digital tools for learning and assessment.
    • Provide tools for development of realistic strategies in terms of time management and target setting.
    • Introduce students to the principle of enquiry and academic research as underpinning of evidence-based practice.
  • Care of the Older Person

    This module introduces students to key concepts of aging, the aging process and the care needs of the older person. Students will develop an understanding of good work practices in the provision of care for the older person in a variety of care settings. Students will explore biopsychosocial aspects of aging to understand how to enhance quality of life in the elderly. Key concepts of advocacy, capacity and consent will be explored.


    The module aims to instil amongst students

    • An understanding of the concept of frailty and  its impact on the management of complex needs in older people.
    • An understanding of how the relationship between co-morbidity, polypharmacy and ageing impacts on the older person’s health.
    • An understanding of the evidence base underpinning the tools used to assess frailty
    • The ability to identify and manage complex care needs and provide possible solutions to improve outcomes for older people.
    • An understanding of the principal theories, concepts, policies and practices that influence delivery of health and social care for the older person.


  • Disability in Healthcare

    This module  examines theoretical underpinnings of disability  while utilizing key examples and real life scenarios. Students will have an opportunity to critique and respond to the current trends in caring for people with disabilities across the lifespan in a variety of settings. The concept of assistive technology is explored, in particular its use to support the person with a disability or illness pursuing self-care, educational, vocational and recreational independence.


    The module aims to instil amongst students:

    • An understanding of the theory underpinning the healthcare practitioner’s role in assisting patients/clients with additional needs
    • An ability to understand and support the general and specific health needs of people with disabilities, including those with mental health conditions.
    • Knowledge and understanding of the safety issues encountered in a healthcare setting particular to working with individuals who have additional needs
    • An understanding of the principles of effective professional written and verbal communication with specific consideration of consent and capacity assessment for individuals with additional needs .


  • Human Health and Disease

    This module furthers the knowledge gained in  the level 4 module Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology. This module introduces students to human health, infectious diseases and immune response. This module examines advanced physiology and the pathophysiological disruptions of normal body functioning in a variety of conditions across the lifespan. Students will explore screening, risk factors and pathophysiology and epidemiology underlying acute and chronic health problems. Students will examine disease states from cellular level and their associated clinical manifestations. Students will study the epidemiology of disease and the determinants of health. It is intended to describe the pathophysiological variations in diverse populations and diagnostic evaluation methods, which aid selection of the rational therapies for optimum health outcomes.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Develop knowledge and understanding of the key pathophysiological process affecting body systems.
    • Foster understanding of the principles of effective disease identification, prevention and management
    • Understand differential diagnoses to assist with various aspects of development and  implementation of  care plans
    • Draw on current practice guidelines
    • Foster awareness of the impact of lifestyle management, pharmacotherapeutics and alternative therapies on optimization of health outcomes.


  • Leading and Managing Diverse Organisations

    The module encourages an understanding of the importance of leadership and management within organisations and explores the core theoretical underpinning of the theories of leadership and management. Students learn how various leadership and management styles can be adopted for different scenarios in healthcare organisations while being challenged and equipped to look at personal traits, values, and ethical judgements to prepare for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments.

    The concepts of power, influence and ethics are explored with a view to develop a more ethical approach to leadership. In addition, the module examines how leaders deal with conflict and change in the workplace and provides conflict resolution strategies through investigation of workplace examples and cases studies.

    The module will explore the concepts of diversity and inclusion identifying benefits and challenges of leading and managing diverse teams within the context of the fashion industry and will emphasise legal rights to equality of employees in organisations. The students will explore how they as leaders and professionals can overcome or remove barriers of inequality and foster an inclusive working environment.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • appreciate the importance of good management and leadership for organisational success.
    • examine theories of leadership and management and reflect on their own leadership style.
    • explore the underpinning theory and practical knowledge to support individual staff members and teams
    • explore the ethical dilemmas of leadership
    • harness the benefits of working in and with diverse teams
    • become familiar with the equality legislation
    • acknowledge their role as a leader and an agent of change in overcoming barriers to inclusion
    • develop a set of management skills for future employment


  • Mental Healthcare

    This module will enable students to develop a critical awareness of the nature of mental health issues and needs in a healthcare setting context and explore good practice in mental health promotion.  The module will examine  public health policy and approaches related to mental health and provide an overview of services, interventions and initiatives available to service users across various healthcare settings and outline roles of health professionals involved in mental healthcare.  The module will provide opportunities for students to develop their knowledge and skills for working with people who have mental health issues their, families and communities.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Develop detailed knowledge about the concepts of mental illness, mental health and well-being
    • Develop awareness of the relationship between mental health and physical health
    • Understand impact of mental health challenges on the individual, family and community
    • Utilize clinical reasoning to identify mental health care needs
    • Understand the scope of mental healthcare provision nationally and internationally
    • Explain how policy underpins provision of services
    • Reflect on mental healthcare challenges
    • Provide information on services, initiatives and interventions available to people suffering from mental health illness and their family members
    • Identify a range of professional roles in various healthcare settings involved in treatment and prevention of mental illness and promotions of mental health.
  • Professional Practice and Development in Healthcare

    The module focuses on personal and professional development of students in a work-based context. It will equip learners with tools to construct knowledge about themselves as health care professionals. The learners will be actively involved in portraying what they know and can do in relation to promoting quality of patient care, as well as working collaboratively with the stakeholders and other professionals.

    The module will require students to undertake placement of a minimum 72 hours. The placement can be completed in a healthcare setting, public, private or community based. Placement can be taken as a block or on a weekly basis to suit the needs of students who are combining work and studies. Students who are employed in the healthcare sector can do the placement at their place of work.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Further develop their critical reflection skills.
    • Enhance and extend their understanding of effective healthcare practice.
    • Evaluate their practice in relation to professional guidance, standards and regulation.
    • Apply theoretical knowledge to working with the stakeholders in the sector.
    • Make critical connections between learning across modules and work context.
    • Set professional goals and plan for personal growth and development.
  • Medication Management

    The module provides students with the necessary  knowledge, skills and competencies related to safe medication administration and management necessary for those working in health support roles and in administration. The  students will develop an applied basic knowledge of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Students a and will be introduced to  the major drug groups that affect different bodily systems and learn about routes of administering medications.  The module will cover the areas of prescription interpretation, dosage, adverse reactions, toxicology issues.  Specific emphasis will be put on the process of documentation.

    Additionally the discipline of Pharmacoeconomics will be introduced to develop students’ knowledge about the decision-making processes in medication purchasing/ordering practices and prepare them for administrative roles which involve management of medication orders and supplies.

    The aim of the module is to enhance the theoretical foundations of pharmacotherapy management to enable students to develop critical thinking skills to safely expand and develop as part of the comprehensive and holistic management of the patient. Issues related to medicine management, adverse drug actions and toxicology issues of compliance / concordance.


    The module aims to enable students:

    • Develop foundational knowledge of pharmacotherapies and their application to management of human disease.
    • Differentiate between routes of medication administration.
    • Appreciate risks associated with medication and understand effect of drugs in extremes of age, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
    • Be able to interpret prescription and understand the concept of safe dosage.
    • Act responsibly in line with accountability guidelines.
    • Complete relevant documentation in a clear and precise manner
    • Understand decision-making processes underpinning medication procurement and prescribing guidelines



  • Health Programme Planning and Evaluation

    This module enables students to relate previously gained knowledge about the healthcare system, public health, principles and practice of advocacy to the disciplines of public health and health promotion. The students will build further understanding of major public health issues, determinants of health and health outcomes considering their variations across the globe. Trends in public health development including meeting sustainable development goals will be explored. The module will seek to address the challenge of real-world implementation of initiatives in public health and health promotion and provide students with a practical toolkit for programme planning, implementation and evaluation.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Further their knowledge of the major concepts and principles in public health and health promotion
    • Understand the influence of local, national and global contexts on the variations of determinants of health and health outcomes.
    • Analyse examples of health promotion initiatives at different levels of society, community and individual in the national and international contexts.
    • Make links between the principles of health promotion and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to identify gaps, plan, implement and evaluate health interventions and programmes
  • Change Management and Innovation in Healthcare


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Understand innovation as a driving force for organisational change
    • Appreciate the role of innovation as a source of competitive advantage for organisations within the healthcare sector and for the society.
    • Identify principles and stages of the innovation cycle
    • Understand the relationship between organisational change, organisational culture, and organisational strategy
    • Have detailed knowledge of change management models and frameworks and understand how these can apply to work-based scenarios
    • Develop competence and confidence to address change management challenges
  • Advanced Professional Practice and Development in Healthcare

    The module focuses on further development of reflective skills and encourages students to consider how their personal and professional values influence their work with the stakeholders in the healthcare sector. The students will build relationships with their colleagues and engage in networking and developing community of practice by participating in peer discussion, providing peer feedback and benefiting from peer learning. The placement will focus on two areas: (1) provision of quality care (2) management practice and systems.

    In total, the students will be required to undertake placement of a minimum 72 hours. The placement can be completed in in a health care setting or organisation involved in health promotion (public, private or community based). Placement can be taken as a block or on a weekly basis to suit the needs of students who are combining work and studies. Students who are employed in a healthcare setting can do the placement at their place of work.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    1. Further develop their critical reflection skills.
    2. Make critical connections between learning across modules, and their work context and wider practice.
    3. Learn about approaches and work practices in different types of settings.
    4. Experience the socially constructed way of learning. Provide and learn from peer feedback.
    5. Build relationships and network with colleagues.
    6. Explore how theoretical perspectives and learning across all areas of professional knowledge underpin their personal and professional values, principles and behaviours.
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Research Methods for Healthcare

    The module focuses on facilitating the students to draw on research in their practice and contribute to development of research base for the sector. Students’ practical research skills are fostered as they learn to plan, deliver and collate an individual research project relating to an area of their particular interest.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Understand the importance of evidence based healthcare provision nationally and internationally
    • Recognise the importance of evidence for practice
    • Develop knowledge of research theory and methodology relevant to healthcare practice and management research
    • Develop an understanding of  stages involved in research

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

    • Evaluate and critique existing research evidence and draw conclusions and recommendations from secondary data.
    • Formulate research questions/ hypotheses, set realistic research aims
    • Demonstrate knowledge of major research methodologies and select appropriate research tools while considering ethical issues.



  • Nutritional Biochemistry

    The purpose of this module is to provide students with key knowledge and basic understanding of the structural characteristics associated with both macro (lipids, carbohydrates and proteins) and micro (vitamins and mineral) nutrients involved in a balanced human diet. Students will learn of the effect these structural characteristics have upon their digestion, bioavailability and biological function within the body. Students will also study the impact on human health associated with either the overconsumption or deficiency of these nutrients within the diet. As part of this module, students will complete a series of practical sessions aimed at further understanding the structure of nutrients and ability to determine their content within simulated biological samples.

    The module aims to enable students to:

    • To develop fundamental understanding of biochemistry
    • To be able to distinguish between biological functions, bioavailability and biochemistry
    • Appreciate value of the evidence base underpinning nutritional guidelines


  • Research Project (40 Credits)

    The module builds on previously gained knowledge and research skills. It fosters student’s ability to plan, deliver and collate an individual research project relating to an area of their particular interest and make a contribution to the research base of the sector.  Students identify research topics based on the threads picked up from previous modules and engage in wide reading to formulate the research questions and propose methodology and research tools for their dissertation. The project can be carried out through secondary or combination of primary and secondary research, however the students must justify their decisions about the use of methodological approaches and research tools.


    The module aims to enable students to:

    • Develop professionally by pursuing a line of enquiry arising from their personal or professional interest.
    • Develop a critical understanding of the relationship between research and practice.
    • Exercise autonomy and judgement in applying professional knowledge and skills in context of professional practice and study.
    • Develop knowledge about research theory and research methodology relevant to business research.
    • Consider ethical frameworks and challenges when designing a piece of research and apply ethics throughout the research process.
    • Gain a practical experience in designing a piece of research, selecting appropriate methodology and research tools, gathering, and analysing data.
    • Prepare for entry to post-graduate programmes.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

    • Draw on a wide range of sources to conduct a literature review into a specific area to describe, analyse and constructively critique theoretical perspectives and contexts relevant to the research question.
    • Demonstrate competence in research skills through the use of appropriate tools for data gathering consistent with the chosen methodology.
    • Draw on theory to analyse data and discuss research findings to develop credible arguments and generate appropriate conclusions/recommendations.
    • Apply ethical frameworks throughout the research process.
    • Demonstrate an ability to communicate and share knowledge by structuring and presenting content effectively

How will I learn?

Delivery Mode

This programme is delivered full-time; in third level education this means 12- 16 hours of lectures per week. Portobello ensures scheduling of course timetables is considerate of students travel and accommodation arrangements, part-time working and study-life balance. The course timetable is condensed to be delivered with onsite classes 2-3 days per week over 2 semesters. Examinations are held at the end of each semester.

Practical Placement

Placement modules constitute an integral part of the programme.

Considering some may already be employed in  healthcare settings, and some settings can be in remote locations, a flexible placement supervision model has been developed to accommodate all students.

Examples of settings where you can undertake placement:

  • public or private hospital
  • primary care setting
  • community care setting
  • GP practice
  • nursing home
  • hospice

You will take undertake work placement modules in Years 2,3. These will be formally assessed and carry 40 CATS  (20 ECTS) credits.

The placement component will be assessed through completion of an e-Portfolio in years 2,3  of the Placement which will include a Learning Journal, and stage-specific tasks detailed in the module outlines.

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.

Tutor Support

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.

Course Structure

This course is delivered over three years. During your first year you will complete six 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 six modules, two year long core modules which run for the duration of both semesters, alongside two additional modules each semester.

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  and your work placement. You will have the option to choose a module related to your area of interest to complete in the first semester.

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.

Career prospects

Employment opportunities for graduates are diverse.

Upon completion of the course, you can obtain employment in  in health support roles  across a wide range of settings, work in administrative and managerial roles in healthcare settings, community-based advocacy organizations and health promotion initiatives,  work in policy development in government departments.

This course also meets entry requirements for admission to a wide range of post-graduate courses in allied health disciplines and medicine among many others.

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

How do I apply?

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

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 2023

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 cannot 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 having received a CAO offer, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing within 48 hours after the first-round offers have been made. This will only be accepted by emailing Evidence of CAO offer acceptance must be provided along in order to apply for a refund.

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

Advanced Entry to Year 2

If you hold either of these qualifications, you are eligible for advanced entry to year 2 of this degree.

  • QQI level 6 major award in Health Service Skills or
  • QQI level 6 major award in Healthcare Support
  • Equivalent award to the above.

Please contact us directly to discuss your options.


Applicants who do not meet any of the entry 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

    Fees (Year1)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.


    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year.


    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 1).


    Easy Payment Plan

    Deposit of 40%. Balance paid in full on 1st October, or in 6 instalments commencing 1st October. All additional fees such as exam registration fees etc are included in the Easy Payment Plan.

    Deposit + 1 Instalment

    40% deposit payment, due on application of your course (€2,212.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,318.00) by 1st October 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,330.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.

    • €582.50 due on 1st October 2023.
    • €582.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €582.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €582.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €582.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €582.50 due on 1st March 2024.
  • Year 2 Fees & Payment Options

    Fees (Year2)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.


    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year.


    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 2).

  • Year 3 Fees & Payment Options

    Fees (Year3)

    Course Price

    Per academic year.


    Exam Body Reg. Fee

    Per academic year.


    Full Payment

    Total amount payable (Year 3).