I never thought this would happen… but I’m going to be a PE Teacher!

Sports Science Graduate


Colm Dunne always wanted to become a PE teacher and after several years working in the Human Resources department of a local company, he revived his dream and enrolled on the BSc in PE and Coaching at Portobello Institute.  With the help and support of Dr. Susan Giblin, Head of Sports at Portobello Institute,  he enrolled on the Professional Masters of Education (PME) at the University of Limerick upon graduation from the PE and Coaching degree.

Colm tells us that CAO places for Physical Education teaching are very few and demand is high.  This supply/demand tension results in high points for courses and many disappointed students.  “Portobello offered me an alternative route through their degree in Sports Science with progression to a master’s degree in education.”

Dr. Susan Giblin has vast experience in sport education and she explains her approach to working with students “ each individual student comes to us with their own career aspirations in the sports industry…we work with each student to define their career goals and offer a wide range of modules to allow them to focus on their interests.”

In pursuit of his goal to become a PE teacher, Colm undertook his placement module at Firhouse Community College. Colm plays GAA football at a senior level and combined this interest with his passion for coaching and teaching in his action research thesis which focused on “ devising a plyometric programme for a football team to improve sprint speed … this required and measuring performance before and after the implementation of  programme  and delivered significant improvements.”

Susan notes that Physical Education (PE) teaching is always very popular with our students and emphasises that with PE now on the Leaving Certificate curriculum, demand for qualified teachers will increase.  Susan worked with University of Limerick to include specific modules that made Portobello students eligible for entry onto the PME.  This opened a pathway for Colm to become a PE teacher, however, he points out that there is a lot of work required to get there.  Gaining entry onto a postgraduate course is always competitive and is determined by final year results and other entry requirements such as personal essay and interview.

Colm is very thankful to Susan for helping her prepare for his application to UL and acknowledges the vital role of  his lecturers in securing a place on the PME “ all my lecturers  were exceptional – their level of knowledge and the quality of their teaching made you feel you were learning from best … they broke everything down and were always on hand to help so that nobody was left behind … it was so much more personal than any other course I have done.”

Is this a pathway to PE Teaching for you? Colm’s story shows that studying Sports Science at Portobello Institute is a route to postgraduate studies in PE education.  If you would like to discuss your career options with a course advisor, please call 01 892 0000 or come to one of our open days to meet with the lecturers from the sports department.


I never thought this would happen… but I’m going to be a PE Teacher! I never thought this would happen… but I’m going to be a PE Teacher!