Course Details

Portobello’s Institute’s BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science has been designed, in collaboration with Liverpool John Moore’s University,  a leading university globally in the field of Sport Science. This broad based degree gives you the opportunity to learn from a range of experts who are all working in the field of sports science with a wide and varied career path upon completion.



Start Date
2nd October 2023
Honours Degree
Portobello Institute
Course Duration
3 years


This is a 3 year BSc (Honours) programme that is designed to develop sports and exercise science graduates with excellent practical skills and theoretical knowledge. Sports scientists work either in the sports industries with athletes, coaches and governing bodies to help improve elite performance or in communities promoting healthy lifestyles.

An honours degree from a recognised global leading sports science university

This honours degree is designed to professionally develop practitioners for a career in sport. Awarded by Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU), graduates will hold an instantly recognised degree from one of the world’s leading universities for sports science and performance analysis.

Preparation for a rewarding career in sport

Through the multi-disciplinary study of the behavioural, physical and life sciences, this degree prepares you for a highly rewarding career in sports or exercise contexts – including scientific support, rehabilitation, exercise training and health promotion.

Sports science is an exciting and constantly evolving specialism. This programme is an applied, skills based degree pathway that allow students to learn from our academic team who have extensive experience in elite sport science, exercise science and health promotion. Our academic team take a mentorship approach to supporting students to take the first steps in their career.

Gain exposure to cutting edge technology

We are dedicated to supporting our graduates to progress along their desired career path after graduation. Students gain exposure to cutting edge technology and are encouraged to explore their own personal specialist interests through placement and research opportunities. We have excellent links with industry that offers you the opportunity to gain first hand experience in the real world setting of elite sport and exercise science.

Sports Science and the importance of understanding the role of a scout

As Sports Science Students, it is important to understand the multi disciplines that form successful teams within Elite Sport.  Understanding athletes, coaches and management staff are crucial to offering valued Sports Science support, but there are other disciplines that Sport Science can be applied to.  Typically sitting within a recruitment department are members of staff who work within Scouting and Talent Identification.  As a Sports Scientist it may not be an obvious connection to understand why this link is important but the insight on offer from both a Sports Scientist and a Scout can be mutually beneficial, especially when it comes to identifying, testing and acquiring the right talent for your team.  It is therefore important to develop an understanding of a Scout’s role and how this knowledge can assist you in becoming a better Sports Scientist.

The Professional Football Scouting Association (PFSA)

The PFSA is an established CPD provider whose reputation reaches all corners of the globe.  Their impressive portfolio offers courses in Performance Analysis, Opposition Analysis, Talent Identification, Data Analysis, Report Writing and Analysis and Recruitment in Women’s Football.  In addition to offering these courses which have been produced by experts working within elite football, they also offer monthly webinars and access to a PFSA membership which allows those registered to have access to live games to either scout players or produce reports for the respected clubs.  The PFSA and Portobello Institute have entered into a partnership to offer all students studying Sport Science the opportunity to obtain all Level 1 qualifications, plus all level 2 qualifications that are offered as pre recorded courses.  As a Portobello Sport student you will also have access to the monthly webinars which take place online on the first Wednesday of each month.

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 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.

Gain employment through our strong network of connections

Gaining employment as a sports scientist is the objective of this degree and it is important students have the opportunity to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts within the sector.

Portobello Institute has an established network of connections. The work experience programme for this programme affords students the opportunity to gain practical working experience and engage with some of the leading sporting clubs in Ireland and the UK and to leverage those connections to advance their careers. Companies participating in our work experience programme invest considerable time in our students and recruit directly from this placement programme.

Accessible, affordable, achievable

There is an easy payment plan designed to make this degree affordable for you. These factors, together with the one to one tutorial support, offer you the opportunity to access a career in performance analysis, with a qualification that is accessible, affordable and achievable.

Why should I study this course?

Here are some reasons to choose to study with Portobello Institute:

  • Accelerated programme completing your honours undergraduate degree in three years, getting you out into the world of work faster.
  • Career focused qualifications – our courses lead to awards that offer you the opportunity of immediate employment upon graduation.
  • Notable university partners – our university partners are among the top-ranking universities in the UK offering you access to a qualification from a renowned university.
  • Reputable placements – our work experience placements are with prominent organisations, connecting you with respected employers to build your future career network.
  • Realistic entry requirements – our entry requirements are reflective of the academic ability needed to successfully complete this course. These are clearly stated and remain static regardless of demand for places.
  • Individualised support – we fit your learning model with support available when you need it throughout your learning journey.
  • SMART assessments – we use a range of assessments for each module designed to support a broad range of learning styles, giving you the opportunity to excel.
  • Industry expert tutors – our tutors are all industry practitioners connecting research and theory with industry practice throughout their lectures.
  • Condensed scheduling – we value your time by ensuring your timetable is optimised for delivery 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.

Who will recognise my qualification?

Upon completion of this level 8 degree programme, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science from Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU). LJMU is recognised as one of the leading Sport Science universities in the UK and is ranked globally in the top ten.

You will be registered as a student with LJMU.

Qualifications Frameworks in Ireland and the UK

The Irish and UK qualifications authorities have collaborated on initiatives that promote the transparency, recognition and mobility of qualifications between our respective jurisdictions. The qualifications authorities in the UK and Ireland have agreed the qualifications frameworks in operation, Brexit will not impact this agreement.  Further guidance on this framework is available here.

What will I study during this BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science – Starts Oct ’23 course?

The foundations and principles underpinning sport and exercise science are covered in the first two years (i.e. anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, health and physical activity). This provides the multi-disciplinary grounding recommended by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). In the final year, there is discipline specialisation and an independent research project led by the student. With strong links with industry partners, this programme has been designed to meet the needs and expectations of employers and with your future employability in mind. 

  • Physical Activity & Health Principles
  • Sports Biomechanics
  • Research Methods and the Dissertation – 60 Credits

    This module explores key concepts in research and supports students to undertake a small-scale independent piece of research relevant to their professional discipline.

  • Sports Science Work Placement – 15 Credits

    This module extends students’ learning experience by providing them with an opportunity to reflect on, and evaluate, their personal experiences of a given employment related to their area of academic study.

    Autumn and Spring Period (15 weeks)

    Assessment: Learning log & written project report (70%), Oral presentation (30%), Satisfactory Employer Comment (0%)

    This module aims to provide the student with an opportunity to gain experience of the culture and structure of a working environment related to the student’s area of academic study. Students are encouraged to evaluate, and critically reflect on, the workplace as well as their role in it. Furthermore, it is expected that students will apply previously-learned academic knowledge to employment tasks.

  • Physical Activity & Health Interventions
  • Cardiovascular and Environmental Physiology

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.

Barry Roe

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.

Brian Spring

Brian Spring is a tutor for Portobello Institute’s sports department, working across a number of different modules including Human Physiology and Applied Principles of Strength and Conditioning.

Brian grew up in Co. Mayo, developing a strong love for sport and fitness through his playing of soccer and Brazilian jiu jitsu. He carried that love of sport right through his youth and into university.

“I decided to do Sport and Exercise Science in UL. Did my undergrad degree there for four years and loved every second of it. Ended up graduating top of my class.

“Then I went on and did a master’s in Sports Performance in UL also,” he said.

During his time doing his undergraduate, Brian was able to avail of some valuable practical experience many miles from his Mayo home.

“I worked with the West Coast Eagles in Australia for a year during my undergraduate degree.

“During their 2018 Grand Final winning season, I helped out with them on the sports science. Things like GPS, questionnaires, RPE monitoring and also their strength and conditioning side of things. In the gym with the lads every day, helping them with their gym programmes,” Brian said.

Brian’s disciplines cover a wide area of professional sports, but he says there isn’t one specific area he prefers working in.

“I enjoy everything because it all works together in terms of nutrition, psychology, physiology.

“Nothing works by itself; they all complement each other. I like looking at sport in a broader sense, trying to make the puzzle work and make everything fit together,” he says.

While on the field success was always the end goal for him and the team, Brian says there’s much more to enjoy from a backroom perspective than winning on matchday.

“Obviously seeing the team win on game day is great.

“But I also like seeing players return or if they are coming off a bad patch of performance and you’ve helped them do a bit of extra work in the gym. Whether it’s a bad patch of performance or coming back from injury, seeing them have a good game on the day is quite satisfying as well,” Brian said.

Upon returning from Down Under, and completing of his second degree with the university, Brian was offered a role as a teaching assistant with UL, discovering a passion for teaching along the way.

“After my master’s I worked as a teaching assistant in UL for a year. I taught labs and tutorials on nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, a bit of everything really, from undergraduate to postgraduate degree.

“I really enjoy seeing the students reach their goals for learning.

“From week one, their knowledge on physiology isn’t that wide and you get them to week 12 and you can have a proper discussion about exercise physiology and strength and conditioning, and they can start critically analysing what I’m saying to them and ask questions. Knowing that they can bring that information into a practical setting is quite rewarding too,” he said.

Like many practitioners who teach alongside their practical work, he likes how one can inform the other, and vice versa.

“The better understanding you have of the physiology and the strength and conditioning and all the theoretical things, the better you are able to explain these things to the athletes. That increases their buy-in, it makes them more likely to engage in the programme and what you’re telling them to do.

“And vice versa, obviously having a better understanding of how to communicate with athletes, how the theoretical knowledge is used in a practical sense, you can take that information to the students. There are times when there’s a bit of a disconnect between people who are lecturers, and who aren’t practitioners. It’s good to do both,” Brian said.

Brian now works with Portobello Institute across multiple degree programmes. While the UL position was something offered to him, he says that his current role with Portobello that he actually went looking for.

“In UL, it was something that I was approached for. But the Portobello gig is something I sought out and got in contact with Susan about. I love the teaching so it’s definitely something I want to keep on doing going forward.

“Now I’m in Portobello, lecturing on physiology, exercise physiology and strength and conditioning modules.

“I’m loving it so far. As I mentioned, I love working with people and helping them reach their goals. But I think the part I’m enjoying the most, so far, is seeing people’s knowledge grow.

“Having them a bit confused on week one until they’re asking some really great questions come week 12. We’re able to have conversations as a class and have a debate in class on certain topics. Just seeing their understanding and confidence grow is probably my favourite bit,” he said.

While he is exploring his passion for teaching with Portobello, Brian does not rule out a future focus on a return to more practitioner work.

“I definitely would like to keep working in sport in some respect.

“I think before, I always wanted to work at the highest level of sport. I now like the idea of working at the academy levels or with youth athletes a bit more because I feel like their development is nearly more important than the elite athletes’ development, which has nearly peaked.

“You’re maintaining their levels of fitness or skill whereas in a developing age, you can see the growth a lot more.”

Sami Dowling

Position: Tutor

“In the right mindset, you can turn your weaknesses into strengths” 

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others” 

“Don’t lose the forest for the trees” 

About Sami Dowling 

Sami has over 15 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach across multiple sports from development right up to and including the elite level. He spent 10 years working with Leinster Rugby and the IRFU and has extensive experience in the world of GAA at both club and county levels. He has worked with senior intercounty teams such as Dublin, Down, Longford, and Wexford, as well as club teams St. Vincent’s, Cuala, Carbury and Ballymun Kickhams. Sami has also transferred his skill set into the world of hockey, spending the last number of years working with Hockey Ireland and Pemproke Hockey club.

Sami’s Teaching Philosophy 

After completing his Master’s in Strength in Conditioning, Sami gravitated towards tutoring, wanting to bridge the gap between evidence-based research and the art of coaching science. 


  • Masters in Sports Science, UKSCA

Research / Industry Participation 

  • Sports Science 
  • Strength & Conditioning 

Anthony Sheriff

“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


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.

There is a fully equipped gym with strength and conditioning equipment available for use as part of your course.

The Difference between Blended Learning and Full Time Delivery Modes

There are two delivery mode options for this degree available in Portobello Institute giving you the freedom to choose how you will learn and making education accessible around work and life commitments.

Full-Time delivery offers you the opportunity to study with a more traditional schedule with lectures delivered on-site in Portobello during weekdays. Typically, those lectures are generally scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday. Monday’s lectures are delivered online.

Blended Learning is essentially the same, with a blend of online and on-site lectures taking place at the weekends. This makes it easier for you to study while working full-time. It also makes studying for a degree more accessible if you live outside of Dublin.

With both delivery modes, there will be lectures you need to attend on-site due to the nature of the content – practical skills etc. All online only lectures are recorded for you to catch up later. Where lectures are delivered onsite – these will simultaneously be delivered online and will also be recorded so you can customise your learning journey – attend on-site, online, or catch-up later.

Having the flexibility to choose whether you attend a lecture as it is taking place or to catch up later means you can seamlessly access and fit education into your life whilst still continuing with your everyday life.

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.

Other delivery modes available

Blended Learning

BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science Blended – Starts Sept ’23

Portobello Institute
Start Date
30th September 2023

Course Structure

This course is delivered over three academic years with lectures scheduled mid-week – see “Delivery mode” for more details on scheduling of classes.

During your first year you will complete core modules which will introduce you to the programme of study and provide you with essential skills that will aid your study for the course of your degree.

In second year, you will complete a total of five modules, core modules which run for the duration of both semesters will be complemented by modules you will study for 1 semester only.

In third year, you will complete six modules, three core year long modules that run for the duration of both semesters, as well as an additional module each semester. The core modules include your final year dissertation project in the area of Sports Science and Exercise and your work placement. You will have the option to choose a module related to your area of interest to complete in first semester.

Academic Calendar

The first academic year of this course runs from 02/10/2023 – 25/05/2024.

Classes are generally delivered 2-3 days per week and are scheduled mid-week where possible.

The second and third academic years of this course will run on a similar schedule in 2024 and 2025

How will I be assessed?

We use a SMART assessment strategy to offer you the best opportunity to excel. This type of strategy includes a range of assessment methods to suit the many learning styles of our students. Each module typically employs a number of different assessments giving our students the opportunity to excel.

For example a module may be assessed with a multiple choice exam, a practical skills assessment and a presentation. These assessments may be equally weighted with 33% of marks allocated to each assessment.

Assessments are drawn from the following types; Multiple choice exams, standard exams, individual and group coursework, presentations, reflective assessments, laboratory reports, practical skill evaluations and research projects. 

Independent project work or research dissertations are used to demonstrate the capability in a range of intellectual skills. Practical skills are developed in a co-ordinated and progressive manner throughout the three levels of the programme.

We adopt a continuous assessment strategy so that you are working towards your overall grade throughout the entire course semester and for the duration of your degree programme 


Career prospects

Graduates from the BSc (Hons) Sports and Exercise Science programme can pursue careers directly in the field of sports science working to support professional sports teams or organisations. Over the course of three years, students develop the practical analytical skills needed to work within sports organisations, teams and governing bodies in Ireland, Europe, USA and Australia. 

Further Studies

There is an opportunity to develop research skills to support those who wish to pursue a combined career in applied practice and academia at MSc or PhD level. 

Graduates of this  BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science have the opportunity to continue their studies with Portobello Institute to Masters level with four different career options as a result.

Elite Sport Performance Analysis

MSc Performance Analysis will provide you with an in-depth and relevant focus on applied and academic sports performance analysis skills that are needed for the role as a sports performance analyst in elite and professional sports environments.

Exercise Health Science

This MSc Clinical Exercise Science will provide you with an in-depth and relevant focus on applied and academic clinical exercise prescription for working in allied healthcare. This clinical exercise prescription course will enable practitioners to prescribe exercise for the purposes of disease prevention and disease management in a safe and scientific manner.

Athlete Performance – Strength & Conditioning

Portobello Institute will launch a MSc Strength and Conditioning in September ’23. This programme is designed to provide the knowledge and skills to support graduates gain employment developing athlete performance to the highest level.

PE Teaching

Graduates of this sport and exercise science degree, can with 2 years further study with Portobello Institute, qualify to become PE teachers. This involves completing Certificate in Higher Education in Physical Education, a PGCEi both currently available and a further year MSc Physical Education launching in autumn 2023.

Portobello Institute’s offers graduates of this Sport & Exercise Science degree, preferential and direct entry, to secure a place on the above Masters programmes.


What is the role of a Sports Scientist?

Sports scientists work in the sports industries with athletes, coaches and governing bodies to help improve elite performance or in communities or clinical settings on health promotion intervention, policy and strategy. Through the multi-disciplinary study of behavioural, physical and life sciences, this degree prepares you for a highly rewarding career in sports or exercise contexts - including scientific support, rehabilitation, exercise training and health promotion.

Related Courses

Full Time

BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy – Starts Oct ’23

This full-time BSc Hons in Sports Therapy gives you the opportunity to qualify and work as a professional sports therapist with the option to progress to study a Masters in Physiotherapy and become a qualified physiotherapist.

Portobello Institute
Start Date
2nd October 2023
Full Time

BA (Hons) Physical Education – Starts Oct ’23

Delivered over 3 years, the BA (Hons) Physical Education programme aims to develop your critical understanding of physical education, through theoretical, practical and work-based learning experiences. You will have the opportunity to qualify and work in professional sports coaching and the option to study a PGCEi and a MSc Physical Education.


Portobello Institute
Start Date
2nd October 2023

Speak to an expert

Choosing a course that will lead you to your career of choice is a significant decision. Understanding the delivery modes, supports available, career opportunities and further study options are all key considerations when making your choice. Our course adviser team are experts in the courses Portobello offers, the employment prospects and possible progression routes to Masters programmes – they will guide you through the detail and support you with any queries you may have.

It is important you make the right choice for you and choose the Institute and course that will best suit your needs.

Your Consultant

Shardé Sebastian

Book a consultation

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 can not be held open for applicants awaiting leaving certificate results, however should a student accept a place and then choose not to progress with this course, after first round CAO offers have been made, a refund of 75% of fees paid will be made. Refunds must be requested in writing on or before 25th August 2023

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
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, 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 Liverpool John Moore’s University

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 (€2,488.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,732.00) by 1st May 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,606.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.

    • €651.50 due on 1st October 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €651.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €651.50 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).


    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 (€2,488.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,732.00) by 1st October 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,606.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.

    • €651.50 due on 1st October 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €651.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €651.50 due on 1st March 2024.
  • 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).


    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 (€2,488.00).

    Settle final balance (€3,732.00) by 1st October 2023.

    Deposit + 6 Instalments

    Deposit payment (€2,606.00), followed by 6 scheduled payments every 1 month(s). Includes one off instalment fee of €295.00.

    • €651.50 due on 1st October 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st November 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st December 2023.
    • €651.50 due on 1st January 2024.
    • €651.50 due on 1st February 2024.
    • €651.50 due on 1st March 2024.