MSc Applied Sports Coaching, University of Limerick, Ireland

The Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences invites applicants for the MSc Applied Sports Coaching. This innovative part-time two-year postgraduate programme will give 20 experienced coaches the opportunity to enhance their practice through engagement with practitioner leaders and pioneering researchers in the field of sport coaching.  Online applications for the programme (starting in September 2021) are now open, and applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis until the places on the programme are filled.

Programme Aims

This innovative part-time two-year postgraduate programme will give 20 experienced coaches the opportunity to enhance their practice through engagement with practitioner leaders and pioneering researchers in the field of sport coaching.  The underlying aim of this MSc programme is to develop coaching expertise which can be employed by the graduates in their own context. 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 and Delivery

The 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.

Programme Outline:

Coaching Development Programme for Ireland Higher Level Coaching Qualifications

The University of Limerick is currently in discussion with Sport Ireland Coaching and representatives from National Governing Bodies of Sport to explore how successful graduates of the programme may be eligible, subject to appropriate coaching experience and Sport Ireland Coaching-National Governing Body certification at all prerequisite levels, for additional higher level coaching qualifications in the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland.

Coach’s Perspective
“The main reason I chose this course was that it is centred on & directly applicable to my coaching. The course has helped me to remove myself from my day to day coaching, consider & document why I coach and is introducing the means by which I can reflect on and improve my practice. Our discussions in class & coffee dock have also thrown up some excellent nuggets on how other coaches/ sports approach common scenarios from a different direction.” Richard Connolly (Athletics Coach)

Application & Programme Requirements

The programme invites applications from experienced coaches, ideally holding at least a Level 2 qualification from their sport. The programme is looking to attract coaches working in a variety of sports and with a diverse range of populations, including children, youth development, youth recreational, adult high performance, and adult recreational. Such a diversity of candidates will facilitate both cross-fertilization of ideas, and novel perspectives on sports coaching.

We provide two entry routes. The first route is for applicants with a first or second class Level 8 honours degree (NFQ or other internationally recognised equivalent) in a relevant or appropriate subject (e.g. Sports Coaching, Sport Science, Physical Education).

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.

For both routes, supplementary evidence (e.g., qualification transcripts, certificates, workshop attendance, details of coaching experience, & birth certificate) needs to be provided with the application. Due to the nature of the programme, all applicants must be actively coaching.

If you are not sure if you are ready to pursue an MSc, the programme also offers an exit route at postgraduate diploma (complete semesters 1-4 only).

Entry to the programme is based on the online written application with no interview:  Apply Here  

There are two decision points where applications will be reviewed and places allocated. Applications received before May 31st will be considered first and places awarded based on the calibre of application. If places remain on the programme, a second decision point will consider applications received before July 31st.

Where can I read more about the programme?

Take a look at #MScAppliedSportsCoachingUL where you will find insights such as exemplar pre-course activities and examples of the type of research we will be engaging with

If you are interested in the programme or require further information please contact:

Dr Philip Kearney PhD
Course Director – MSc Applied Sports Coaching
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences
University of Limerick
Tel: 00-353-61202844

Dr Phil Kearney is the Course Director of the MSc Applied Sports Coaching within the PESS Department here at the University of Limerick. View Phil’s profile: View Phil’s profile: Here 

study for your masters degree at the university of limerick, ireland

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