Third level sports courses for a career in sport

There’s now a wide range of sports-related courses available to prospective college students.
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If you’re interested in sport and think you could make a career out of it, there are a number of courses to choose from to study at third-level. You may end up studying something you didn’t expect, but which will set you on the path towards a career in sport.

What subjects are useful for sports courses?

If you’re going for any discipline of sports course, it usually helps to have some aptitude for science/biology and how the human body works.

If you’re more business minded than science-minded, there’s also a wide range of career opportunities available across a number of sporting platforms.

What kind of sport courses are available?

Below are some of the typical course titles you might find in the area of sport across different colleges in Ireland.

Sports management

This course will aim to teach you management skills and coaching techniques, but you’ll also be given an education on the business fundamentals of sports management.

Potential careers include:

  • management/marketing of athletes or teams
  • sports facility manager (eg gym, sports club, leisure centre)
  • sports/fitness entrepreneur
  • coaching
  • sports development officer

Sport and recreation

Courses such as this tend to focus on the administrative side of running a sports facility like a gym or leisure club. Course content includes modules on customer service and leisure facility administration, as well as coaching, sports development and performance analysis.

Potential careers include:

  • sports/leisure club management
  • retail management
  • coaching
  • gym instructor
  • personal trainer
  • sports development officer

Sports coaching

This can be a fairly broad topic of study, and incorporates everything from the key characteristics of successful coaching and talent identification to sports development, strength and conditioning and performance analysis. There’s also a heavy sports science influence on course content, a subject which you can find out more about below.

Potential careers include:

  • coaching
  • sports development officer
  • gym instructor
  • personal trainer

Sports psychology

If you’re interested in delving into the minds of athletes, this could be the course for you. Sports psychologists are used to develop mental skills and ultimately improve sporting performance. You’ll be studying how to identify the psychological skills important for success in sport, and the theory-based interventions that help to develop these mental skills.

Specific modules include motivation, self-confidence and mental rehearsal (visualisation).

Potential careers include:

  • sports psychologist
  • general psychology

Sports science

This course has a keen focus on core science subjects like chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, psychology and sociology, and how to apply these in a sporting context for athletic development. The theory is complemented by practical classes and sessions in sport and physical activity, and you’ll be taught how to conduct fitness assessments and communicate methods of health promotion.

Potential careers include:

  • sports consultant
  • gym instructor
  • personal trainer
  • coaching
  • sports development officer
  • physiotherapy
  • nutritionist

Sports nutrition

This course would look at examining the scientific principles of nutrition for enhancing the performance of athletes. You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills required to provide sound, scientific sports nutrition advice to a variety of athletes. You’ll also have to assess the nutritional requirements of athletes and develop nutritional strategies to enhance their performance.

Potential careers include:

  • sports nutritionist
  • general nutritionist
  • dietician
     

Need more information?

We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.

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