16 August, 2021 | Posted by Cian Fahey

Portobello Institute's Sports Psychology, Coaching and PE Degree Gives You a Broad Foundation in Education

sports psychology coaching and pe

Your experience as a student in secondary school pushes you towards business, science and some creative arts. It doesn’t push you towards a career in sport. Even as PE becomes a Leaving Certificate subject, it’s still on the backburner in the minds of those trying to build their futures.

As such, if you’re a sports enthusiast, one of the smartest things you can do after completing your Leaving Cert is attain a sports degree that is broad and opens opportunities for you in different areas.

The lack of emphasis on sports in secondary school means most sports students lack direction even after completing their leaving cert.

It’s why so many mature students figure out what they want to do in sports during their mid-twenties or early-thirties.

Unless you know you want to be a physiotherapist or you know you want to be a sports psychologist straight away, you’re probably going to enter a sports degree courses still trying to figure out where you’ll eventually fit. That’s not a bad thing. For many of our past students, it proved to be a great thing.

That’s especially true on the BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology, Coaching and PE degree. Students who study that degree are set up to work in different areas of different sports at different levels. They get a foundation in psychology, a foundation in coaching and a foundation in physical education.

Since this is a three-year degree course that covers so many topics, you can also put yourself in position to be on a specialist masters degree course in four years.

Instead of chasing one specific job route with a more specialised Level 8 degree, students who study the BSc (Hons) Sports Psychology, Coaching and PE degree can potentially have an internationally recognized Level 8 and Level 9 degree in the same time.

Having one broad degree at the BSc level with a specialised degree at MSc level not only immediately puts you into the career you want, it also makes it easier for you to continue to add specialised education qualifications in the future.

Some examples of the modules that you can study on this degree are:

  • Human Anatomy and Biomechanics

This module is specifically designed to cater to those looking to work in the sports industry after graduation. As such, the principal focus in anatomy is the musculoskeletal system with movement analysis and the isolation of specific muscle groups. The principal focus in biomechanics is the focus on basic anthropometry and kinematics of the human body.

  • Human Physiology and Training Principles

This module introduces you to exercise related physiology, the sub-discipline of sport and exercise science. It also introduces you to the principles of training and athletic preparation to ensure a bias towards the specific interests of those studying for sports-related degrees.

You will become familiar with physiology, biochemistry and cell biology as part of your grounding in exercise physiology.

  • Foundation of Sports Psychology and Coaching

This module will primarily develop an understanding of the impact that psychological state has on both performance and participation, as well as the most effective way to develop a sound coaching/teaching knowledge base and pedagogy.

  • Sports Science Research Methods

During this module you will consider and carry out the preparation necessary for a scientific dissertation proposal.

  • Principals of Effective Coaching and Teaching

This module explores the key pedagogical theories that inform sports coaching and teaching as well as covering a wide variety of themes relevant to contemporary sports education and training. It places an emphasis on experiential learning with students engaging in practical coaching and teaching sessions on a weekly basis.

  • Psychological Factors in Sporting Teams and Individuals

This module elaborates on the key theories in sport psychology, covering a wide range of sport psychology topics and the mental skills used within those topics. Students initially focus on the psychological factors which influence an individual’s sporting behaviour before later developing an understanding of group dynamics in sport.

  • Advanced Coaching Theory and Practice

This module enables students to explore the full role of a practising coach. Theoretical aspects are based on the critical appraisal of advanced coaching related theory and research, and a range of current issues, and professional developments. It promotes the refinement of advanced practical coaching skills.

In this module, each student is afforded the opportunity to enhance their critical analysis and independence of thought regarding sports coaching and develop skills of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and social skills within the context of sports coaching.

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology

This module analyses the interactions between exercise and a variety of diseases. It covers both general topics such as epidemiology and pathology, as well as specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and psychological disorders.


There are 17 modules in total over the three years of this degree. The final one listed above offers an example of the opportunities that can be taken advantage of upon graduation. Clinical Exercise Physiology directly leads into Portobello Institute’s MSc Clinical Exercise Prescription degree.

And it’s not only masters courses that can be combined with this foundational BSc degree. Some of our current and past students have added nutrition courses and personal training courses to set up diverse practices and create dynamic skill sets to fit any workplace.

Whether you hope to be a professional coach, a psychologist or work in physical education, it’s vital to see your role from every angle.

Once you specialize or even if you know you want to specialise from the start, this degree will hugely help in turning you into an effective, employable professional practitioner.


Graduates from this degree will have the option to use this qualification as a route to study a Masters in Psychology.

Portobello Institute values the one in everyone and understands that education is only a part of your life. We don’t want to take up all of your time and create stress for you. You should go to college to improve your life outside of college and after college.

We are training the sports professionals of the future. If you would like to work in sport in a professional capacity, you can find a course that will provide you with the requisite education to do so.

Our sports courses are listed here.

To read more articles like this one, you can visit the Sports section of the Knowledge Zone.

If you would prefer to have a direct conversation with Johanna, you can contact her on 01-892-0024 or you can email her at jo.shaw@portobelloinstitute.com. Meetings with Johanna can be booked through this link.




Featured in this article:
Johanna Shaw has a 2:1 in BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. She completed an MPhil Studentship in Physical Activity for Health alongside an Exercise Development role. She then went onto a Tackling Inactivity in Students role funded by Sport England within a Further Education College in London before moving back to Dublin to Portobello Institute.

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