BSc (Hons) in Sports Science with Exercise Physiology

Sports science investigates the science behind performance, exercise and health and gives students the opportunity to explore the movement sciences and directly apply practical skills.

AIT’s new state-of-the-art sports science equipment and facilities makes studying sports science at Athlone different from other colleges. With brand new equipment AIT provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience with the most up-to-date sports science equipment and technology. AIT places an emphasis on practical development equipping students with the skills to enter sports science employment once they complete the degree programme.

This four-year BSc (Hons) in Sports Science with Exercise Physiology will equip students with the necessary skills to meet the needs of elite athletes, as well as the health and fitness requirements of the general population. The degree combines areas such as performance testing, nutrition, exercise therapy for recovery, analytical techniques used for screening performance-enhancing drugs, and biomechanics.

Over the course of four years, you will learn how the human body operates, from the physiology of the heart, to the operation and interaction of the respiratory, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. You will also learn about the physics of sport and how mechanics can be applied to biological systems to improve performance. Furthermore, you will study the pathophysiology of injuries and diseases and the use of exercise in rehabilitation from these conditions.

You will develop expertise in testing and analysing athletes’ performance, including the physiology of the high performance athlete in a state-of-the-art sports science laboratory (featuring treadmills, exercise bikes designed for resistance training, ergometers, Douglas bags and a gas analysis system, a blood lactate analyzer, force dynamometer for vertical jumping/gait analysis and sphygmomanometers).

The degree also includes modules on sports psychology and coaching. As a student on the degree, you will be facilitated in acquiring coaching qualifications in your chosen sporting activity by liaising with the relevant national governing body and timetabling the training sessions on a specific day.

A unique part of this programme is the four-month work placement undertaken in the summer of third year. This will provide you with valuable experience of the working environment in the sports science and exercise physiology field.

Athlone Institute of Technology has invested millions of euro in its indoor and outdoor facilities. The sporting infrastructure on campus includes an IAAF-approved athletics track and a FIFA 2-star astro-turf pitch, while the new indoor sports arena opened in 2013. The indoor facilities include an athletics track, a multi-sport arena (suitable for futsal, basketball, etc.), as well as comprehensive support facilities for elite athlete training.

Minimum Entry Requirements

*Not all applicants on this point were offered a place.

Leaving Certificate

Grade C3 in two higher- level subjects, plus four other subjects at Grade D3 at ordinary level. Subjects to include Mathematics, a language English or Irish or min Foundation Level/B3 (No points awarded for Foundation Level Irish).

FETAC

FETAC applicants to this programme must hold the following award: Laboratory Techniques (CASLT) or 5M3807. They are also required to have obtained a
minimum of a pass in the module Mathematics (C20139) or 5N1833 included in their award or alternatively have Leaving Certificate Mathematics. They must also possess distinctions in three modules.

Elite Sportsperson Entry Scheme

Up to five places will be reserved each year for outstanding candidates who have reached a very high standard of sporting achievement, through performance or coaching and who are committed to further developing their sporting and academic careers. Applicants must satisfy the minimum entry requirements for Level 8 degrees. In addition, applicants must have reached a specified sports standard to be eligible for this very competitive scheme and selection of successful candidates will be based on a range of criteria, including sporting achievements and evidence of a commitment to a career in sports science.

Garda Clearance

Students on the BSc (Hons) in Sports Science with Exercise Physiology programme will be required to achieve learning outcomes in coaching various sports and sports activities. The learning process will involve the coaching of both individuals and teams in a variety of sporting areas. Inevitably, children and vulnerable adults will form a subset of those individuals requiring coaching. In order to safeguard the rights and interests of children and vulnerable adults, students registering on the BSc (Hons) in Sports Science with Exercise Physiology will be required to obtain Garda clearance through the Garda Central Vetting Unit (TGVCU).

Modules

Year 1

Fundamentals of Sports Science, Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Cell Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics for Sport and Health, Introduction to Biomechanics, Introduction to Coaching, Health BLS First Aid, Learning to Learn.

Year 2

Anatomy for Sports Science, Human Biochemistry, Introduction to Neuroscience, Clinical Testing for Sports and Health Science, Analytical Techniques in Sports Science, Human Psychology, Applied Human Physiology, Human Biochemistry, Statistics for Sport and Health Science, Kinesiology Biomechanics & Motor Control, Business Law.

Year 3

Drugs in Sport, Sports & Exercise Physiology, Nutrition in Health & Disease, Sports Injuries, Sports Psychology, Performance Analysis, Applied Coaching Science, Special Populations, Research Methods, Placement.

Year 4

Physiology of the High Performance Athlete, Strengthening & Conditioning, Advanced Psychology in Sports and Exercise, Nutrition for Performance, Business of Marketing for Exercise Professionals, Sports and Law, Research Project

plus two modules from: Exercise Therapy for Recovery, Coaching for Special Populations, Sports Injuries & Rehabilitation.

Progression

As a graduate you will be eligible to pursue research MSc/PhD programmes in sports science and related areas as well as taught master’s programmes in cognate areas. In addition, over the coming years the School of Science intends to develop in-house taught master’s programmes for sports science and exercise physiology graduates.

Professional Recognition

Career Opportunities

The scale of the sports sector can be gauged from the fact that more than 38,000 people are employed in this industry in Ireland, with 270,000 volunteers active across all sporting codes. As a graduate of this degree, you will be eligible to pursue employment in areas such as the testing and monitoring of elite performers, coaching education, sports journalism, sport and exercise consultancy, health promotion and in research.

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