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Sports Performance - MSc

Course Details


Available: Part- Time Full- Time

Duration: 1 Year Full Time Or 2 Years Part-Time

Faculty: Education and Health Sciences

Course Type: Taught Professional/Flexible

Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Dr. Catherine Norton
Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences
+353 (0) 61 234780
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Read instructions on how to apply

Brief Description

QS Ranked Top 100 worldwide (Sport related programmes)

This is a full-time one-year or part-time two-year postgraduate programme. The programme will prepare successful graduates for a career in sports performance analysis, specialising in strength & conditioning, video analysis and nutrition. The course will increase understanding of the processes of advanced practice in sport performance analysis, by appreciating and challenging the current practice and designing innovative alternatives.

The aims and objectives of this programme, which includes a professional strength & conditioning (accredited) qualification, reflect our commitment to the development of insightful, competent, critical and reflective sports performance practitioners who have the following dispositions, skills, and content knowledge:

  • Display originality and insight in the field of strength and conditioning for team and individual sports.
  • Demonstrate the skills of utilising video notational analysis to provide feedback to individuals participating in strength sports and/or in a strength training environment.
  • Understand nutritional planning for elite sports performance.
  • Understand psychological principles underlying elite sports performance and demonstrate the application of psychological skills training to optimise sports performance
  • Construct a variety of integrated training practices combining sport-specific skills and related conditioning challenges to optimise player development and progression.
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of current research within the area of speed sports.
  • Organise and perform lab and field-based skills related to research on selected human movement activity and defend the results.
  • Graduates will develop a sound understanding of the physiology, psychology and biomechanics background behind sports performance for speed, endurance, team and strength sports.
1 Year Full Time
 Semester 1 (Spring) 30 credits  Semester 2 (Summer) 30 credits Semester 3  (Autumn)
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Speed Sports
  • Endurance Sports
  • Team Sports
  • Strength Sports
  • Professional Competencies (Problem-Based Learning)
  • Research Dissertation Development,
  • Strength & Conditioning (professional accreditation)
  • Placement
  • Research Dissertation.* (30 credits)


2 Years Part-Time
Semester 1 (Spring) 18 credits (Spring) Semester 2 (Summer)  9 credits
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Speed Sports
  • Strength Sports.
  • Research Dissertation Development
  • Strength & Conditioning (professional accreditation)
 Semester 3 - (Autumn)  Semester 4  (Spring) 12 credits
(no classes)
  • Endurance Sports
  • Team Sports.
 Semester 5 - 21 credits (Summer)  Semester 6 - 15 credits (Autumn)
  • Professional Competencies (Problem-Based Learning)
  • Placement
  • MSc Research Dissertation*
  Semester 7 15 credits (Spring)  
  • MSc Research Dissertation*

*a graduate diploma exit point is available for those students who do not wish to undertake the MSc Research Dissertation, and students who may wish to progress to a structured PhD within UL.

Module Descriptions


Classes will be block-scheduled with alternating blocks in years 1 and 2 to aid work release for part-time students. Part-time Mon/Tues year one and Thurs/Fri year two. All classes Mon-Fri between 09.00-18.00See course director for further detail. 

Content of modules can be found by using the search option on the book of modules.

An undergraduate degree, 2.2 honours (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) or higher, with preference given to applicants with related subjects such as health, sports science, physical education, nutrition, physiotherapy, anatomy or human biology. Relevant work experience in sport will also be advantageous.

Entry to the programme will be based on the result of a written application and appropriate academic references. There will be no interview.

RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) entry will be available for those without a related degree.

Garda clearance will also be required for this programme.

What to include with your application

  • Qualification transcripts and certificates
  • English language qualification(s) if English is not your first language
  • Certified English translation of your transcripts/certificates where the original transcripts are in a language other than English
  • A CV (Curriculum Vitae)
  • Scanned copy of any laboratory, sports/coaching related certification or workshop attendance
  • A copy of your birth certificate (long document)


English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

  • Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
  • Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
  • TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
  • IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5 with no less than 6 in any one component.
  • English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
  • GCE ‘O’ level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
  • Cambridge Assessment English - Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
  • GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

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For information on funding and scholarships please click here.

The MSc in Sports Performance, the first programme of its kind in Ireland, is now accredited and certifies its students in the following:

  • Certified Conditioning Coach (CCC) accreditation
  • International Society of Performance Analysis in Sports (ISPAS) Video Analysis
  • International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK)
  • 'Cardiac First Response’ (AED)

Graduate Testimonial

Cathal Sheridan (Former Munster Rugby Player and trainee Sport Psychologist): Graduated with Distinction: “During the MSc in Sports Performance I gained a wide variety of knowledge including how monitor and measure performance parameters for different athletes in different sports with sport specific demands. This enables me to develop scientific based intervention’s to an individual or team…the work placement opportunity was also an invaluable experience for me as I got to work in a professional rugby organisation in Ireland.”