About the Department

The Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS) department is a vibrant and rapidly growing department in the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences. The Department has developed a clear mission with abundant potential to expand the scope and quality of its activities. Its core aims are leadership in the field within Ireland and a raising of the international profile as a research-led centre of excellence in Physical Education (PE) and Sport & Exercise Sciences (SES). The department's strength lie in the expertise of its staff, the quality of its academic programmes and the applied nature and relevance of these programmes. The Head of the PESS department is Prof. Giles Warrington.  PESS was the highest ranked Department in UL in the recently published 2022 QS World University Rankings for ‘Sport-Related Subjects’ and is currently the only department in the top 100 (51-100). This comes on the back of our top 50 (48th) in the 2021 Shanghai Global Ranking for ‘Sport Science Departments/Schools’


The PESS department currently has over 450 students registered on its two Bachelor of Science programmes, Physical Education (PE) and Sport and Exercise Sciences (SES)  Exercise and Health Fitness Management. Strong links with a number of student exchange programmes (Erasmus and Study Abroad) have also been established. The department delivers a Professional Masters in Education/Physical Education, a Masters in Sport Performance, and a Masters in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology,  a Masters in Mental Skills and Mental Health in Sports and Exercise, a Masters in Applied Sports Coaching and a Professional Doctorate in Human Performance and Innovation.

The department has a growing research programme with five priority research areas of Food and Health, Sport and Human Performance, Sport Pedagogy, Physical Activity and Health and Golf Performance. High quality research occurs in areas of exercise physiology, exercise biochemistry, sport biomechanics, physical activity and health, ethnography and sociology of physical activity and physical education, motor skills and sport psychology. The department currently has 2 research centres, Sport and Human Performance Research Centre (SHPRC) and PE PAYS and  several research groups. 

The PESS department has developed strategic and research links with a number of organisations such as Coaching Ireland formerly known as the National Coaching and Training Centre (NCTC), the Physical Education Association of Ireland (PEAI), the Exercise and Sport Sciences Association of Ireland (ESSAI), Health Service Executive (HSE),  the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), Munster Rugby, and Limerick Sports Partnership.