Course Details

Course Code(s):
Course Start Date:
2 Years
Masters (MSc)
NFQ Level 9 Major Award
Faculty: Education and Health Sciences
Course Type: Taught, Professional/Flexible
Fees: For Information on Fees, see section below.


Name: Dr Philip Kearney
Address: Department of Physical Education & Sport Sciences Email: Telephone: +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, a recognised partner organization of the International Council for Coaching Excellence.

We are very mindful that for people who are already working and coaching, adding studying on top needs to be carefully managed. We do this in two ways: firstly, some of your weekly coaching counts towards your hours for the course. Because we will be asking you for examples of your session plans, the activities you used, how you engaged athletes and your reflections, your time coaching each week will be part of the course commitment. Secondly, we have embraced online learning. Most of your sessions will be hosted online so that you can save on travel time. We still value in person meetings to foster connections, so we meet on campus for 3 days most semesters. But the remaining sessions are online to facilitate your joining us. For further information on scheduling, check out our FAQs.


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 (SS6121) (12 ECTS credits)
  • Reflective Practice for Sports Coaches (SS6122) (12 ECTS Credits)
  • Performance Analysis in Coaching (SS6132) (6 ECTS credits)
  • Athlete & Coach Development (SS6143) (12 ECTS credits)
 Year 2 
 Semester 5 (Autumn)  Semester 6 (Spring) Semester 7 (Summer)
  • Management & Leadership in Coaching (SS6131) (12 ECTS credits)
  • Research Project Development (SS6151) (6 ECTS credits)

Alternative Exit Route Graduate Diploma

Research Project 1 Sports Coaching (SS6142) (12 ECTS credits)

Research Project 2 Sports Coaching (SS6133) (18 ECTS credits)

 Further information on each module can be found by searching Book of Modules.

Generic Entry Requirements:

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. Completed Additional Coaching Experience Form -  please click here for link to form

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 Coaching Experience 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

    For more information Click Here

EU - €3,704 per annum

Non EU - €8,004 per annum *Note: This programme is not eligible for a study visa as it is offered on a part time basis.

Further information on fees and payment of fees is available from the Student Fees Office website. All fee related queries should be directed to the Student Fees Office (Phone: +353 61 213 007 or email

Please click here for information on funding and scholarships.





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.” 

Anna Marie McCarthy

Anna-Marie McCarthy: "The MSc has been invaluable in building my confidence in all aspects of coaching. An eye opener for me was just how important a positive coach-athlete relationship is on athlete development, team cohesion and inspiring a love and enjoyment for sport. The support from the tutors meant the assignments, although challenging, always felt achievable. That alongside the input from multi-sport guest speakers and support from my classmates  leads me to encourage anyone with a love for coaching to consider this course."