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Applied Sports Coaching MSc

Course Details


Available: Part- Time

Duration: 2 Years

Faculty: Education and Health Sciences

Course Type: Taught Professional/Flexible

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Dr Philip Kearney
Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences
+353 (0)61 202844
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Brief Description

QS Ranked Top 100 worldwide (Sport related programmes)

This innovative part-time two-year postgraduate programme will give experienced coaches the opportunity to enhance their practice through engagement with practitioner leaders and pioneering researchers in the field of sport coaching. The programme is offered by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) in the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, and is being considered for alignment with the higher levels of coaching qualifications, as part of the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland (a partnership between Sport Ireland Coaching and National Governing Bodies of sport). 

For frequently asked questions please click here

Coaches on the programme will form a community of practice, interacting with both practitioner leaders in the field of sports coaching and recognised experts within the UL community. If you attend this programme, your coaching will form the basis for the curriculum: your plans (for sessions; for seasons; for club culture; for long term athlete development), your behaviours (during training sessions and during competitions), your reflections, your philosophy of practice, will all be examined in light of case studies from our external speakers, and the latest research in coaching science and sport science.

Objectives: The objectives of this programme reflect our commitment to the development of insightful, competent, critical and reflective sports coaches. We aim to develop graduates who:

  • Possess extensive knowledge of the coaching process and innovative applied practice in sport coaching.
  • Display originality and insight in the design, delivery and evaluation of coaching practice.
  • Possess enhanced practical skills in applied coaching practice, management, leadership, video analysis, planning, and the capacity to work, develop skills, and promote professional practice.
  • Possess the skills for conducting bespoke applied research on sports coaching to evidence and enhance their own practice and that of other coaches.
  • Are proactive in identifying and critically evaluating current research in domains such as sport and business, and drawing implications for their own context.

Programme Content

Year 1
Semester 1 (Autumn) Semester 2 (Spring) Semester 3 (Summer)
  • The Coaching Process & Practice (2642) (12 ECTS credits)
  • Reflective Practice for Sports Coaches (2644) (12 ECTS Credits)
  • Performance Analysis in Coaching (2647) (6 ECTS credits)
  • Athlete & Coach Development (2648) (12 ECTS credits)
 Year 2 
 Semester 5 (Autumn)  Semester 6 (Spring) Semester 7 (Summer)
  • Management & Leadership in Coaching (2645) (12 ECTS credits)
  • Research Project Development (2649) (6 ECTS credits)

Alternative Exit Route Graduate Diploma

Research Project 1 Sports Coaching (2923) (12 ECTS credits) Research Project 2 Sports Coaching (2652) (18 ECTS credits)

Generic Entry Requirements: Applicants for a Master’s programme must normally have a first or second class Level 8 honours degree (NFQ or other internationally recognised equivalent) in a relevant or appropriate subject (e.g. Sport Science, Sports Coaching, Physical Education), or equivalent prior learning that is recognised by the University as meeting this requirement. Applicants without a relevant degree may apply via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), if they can demonstrate significant coaching experience. Specifically, prospective candidates require a minimum of 5 years coaching experience along with appropriate sport-specific coaching awards (preferably minimum Level 2). An application via RPL requires a supporting statement uploaded with the application.

Applicants must also satisfy the English Language Requirements of the University. The University reserves the right to shortlist and interview applicants as deemed necessary.

Garda Clerance is also required for this programme.

Specific Programme Entry Requirements: Applicants must:

  • Hold a sports National Governing Body Level 1 Coaching Award (minimum)
  • Show evidence of previous experience in sports coaching and must be practicing coaches for the programme duration.
  • Obtain Garda Vetting as a requirement of this Master's programme.

What to include with your application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • Completed Additional Application Documentation form -  please click here for link to form
  • A copy of your birth certificate (long document)
  • If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
  • If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
    • English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
    • English language competency certificate

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For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

As this two year part time programme took in its first cohort in 2019, there are no graduates as yet. Current students are drawn from multiple team and individual sports, and working with populations ranging from children to professional high performance athletes, in both full time and part time capacities.

 Richard Connolly, athletics coach “The course has helped me to remove myself from my day-to-day coaching in order to consider and document why I coach; it is introducing the means by which I can reflect on and improve my practice. Our discussions in class and the coffee dock have also thrown up some excellent nuggets on how other coaches and sports approach common scenarios from a different direction.” 


Liam Clancy (GAA Coach) “The investigation into my own unique coaching process with the invaluable input of my classmates and staff at UL has led to a much greater understanding of what it is I do, and indeed, why I do it. The fluid nature of submissions has allowed me to be creative and build my portfolio in a way that best suits the presentation of my work. Such structure allows me to strike a balance between study, work and my own coaching.  I’m excited to continue collaborating with my classmates and the staff at UL who all play such a vital part in providing a well-rounded experience.”