Become a Fitness Professional with the National Council for Exercise & Fitness

The National Council for Exercise & Fitness (NCEF) is the largest and longest established provider of education and training for Exercise and Health Fitness Professionals in Ireland for over 30 years. An academic affiliate of the University of Limerick (UL), NCEF offer the only University accredited Health Fitness Instructor qualifications in Ireland.

Full-time and part-time course options are available on the NCEF Flexible Learning Pathway from Level 6 Certificate to Level 8 Batchelor of Science in Exercise & Health Fitness and at Levels 5 & 6 on the European Framework (EQF). The NCEF is audited and aligned to the European Industry standard, Exercise for Health Specialist (SQF Level 5).

The Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (CEHF) Level 6 is a one-year Fitness/Gym Instructor qualification available in both the University of Limerick and Dublin. This course is also offered to PE and Sport Sciences (PESS) students and graduates over an intensive period in May each year affording PESS students & graduates with an opportunity to gain additional skills and competencies to work as a Fitness Instructor whilst in college or after.

The two-year full-time Higher Certificate in Exercise & Health Fitness (HCEHF) Level 6 Major qualifies individuals as an Advanced Fitness Specialists.  In Year 1 students study the Fitness/Gym Instructor curriculum mentioned above and in Year 2 students choose to specialise in an area of interest from our Year 2 specialist modules. These include Advanced Personal Training, Strength & Conditioning for High Performance Athletes in Sport, Pilates & Corrective Exercise, Fit for Life Wellness Coaching, Children’s Fitness, Active Ageing, Studio Cycling and Facility Operations. Graduates with the CEHF may ‘step into’ Year 2 to continue their education and grow their portfolio of skills and specialisms. Specialist modules may also be taken on a ‘Link In’ occasional basis in the Autumn, Spring and Summer semesters.

Year 3 on the NCEF Flexible Learning Pathway is the Diploma in Exercise & Health Fitness (DEHF) Level 7 NFQ. Students have the option of completing Tutor Education or Advanced Practitioner. NCEF Tutors have opportunities to teach on NCEF courses nationwide, many have also secured teaching positions with Colleges of Further Education. DEHF Advanced Practitioners work in supervisory/business/management roles in the industry and have advanced competencies in a broad range of fitness related areas.

The Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Health Fitness (B.Sc.) Level 8 NFQ is Year 4 and the final year of the Flexible Learning Pathway. This course offers individuals the opportunity to research, study and practice at an advanced level in the area of Exercise & Health Fitness. Graduates of the B.Sc. are qualified to apply their knowledge, skills and competencies to provide direction, leadership and professional expertise at the highest management & promotional levels in the Exercise & Health Fitness sector. Employment varies from areas such as business management, human resources, event management and marketing in exercise & health fitness to public service areas such as health promotion and researching/developing policy for diverse populations. Modules includes financial management, public relations & marketing, health promotion, diverse populations, multimedia, event management and more.

Applications are now being accepted for courses commencing Autumn 2019.  Visit our website for more information, phone the NCEF Head Office on 00353-(0)61-202829 or email

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