Award Type and NFQ level : UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE (8)

CAO/PAC code : MH221

CAO Points : 000

Closing Date : 01 July 2024

View QQI details

New degree in 2024

This programme is based on the core scientific disciplines of sport and exercise science - physiology and biomechanics. It considers three core questions. How does the human body respond to the different types of exercise, how can we maximise the effects of training on sport and exercise performance, and how can physical activity reduce and prevent disease?

The sports, exercise and well-being sectors are some of the largest service industries in Ireland and globally - ranging from small to large enterprises. In addition, professional and amateur sporting bodies are some of the largest community based activities in any region. Each of these activities benefit from scientists who understand the science of sport, exercise, and physical activity to improve health and performance, and develop new products and services to support athletes.

This programme supports students who wish to understand how to achieve maximum performance for the high performing athlete, and those who are looking to support exercise and physical activity for the health of the wider population, of all ages and capabilities.

  • Why choose this degree?
    Follow your passion: Many people interested in sporting activities are inspired to learn the scientific basis of performance and how the body reacts and adapts to exercise and physical activity. This programme allows that passion to be combined with a strong foundation in the core life sciences, providing students opportunities both in Sport Science and in the broader life science sector.
  • This programme focusses on the value of exercise and sport for the enhancement of health, in the case of the general population, but also to help with specific health concerns for the ill, the aging, or recovering from injury. With the future of exercise as a clinical treatment, this programme provides a strong scientific foundation for career development in this area.
  • You will develop a strong scientific basis in the area of life sciences, nutrition, and the sport sciences. It provides an excellent foundation for a career in the sport sciences in addition to opportunities in the broader life sciences sector.
  • Data is increasingly being used in sport science, enabling personalized exercise interventions to improve health and performance. This programme provides a strong data science component, including data analytic techniques, to equip our students with the skills needed to use data fully for group training and personalized exercise interventions.
  • Work placement: The opportunity to undertake a 6-month work placement (subject to availability), in Ireland or abroad, as an integral part of your degree that gives you the opportunity to put your learning into practice in a professional setting and significantly improves your employability upon graduation.

Duration: 4 years

1st year  

  • Sport Science
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • 1 other Science subject e.g. Chemistry, Data Science, Engineering Science, Experimental Physics, Mathematical Physics (Computer Science is not available)

2nd year

  • Concentrate on Sport Science and Biology
  • Optional 10 credit Elective or Critical Skills 

3rd year 

  • Focus mainly on Sport Science and Health
  • Second semester includes work placement (subject to availability) or other opportunities for experiential learning

Final year

  • Concentrate on advanced topics in Sport Science and Health
  • Capstone Project
Course Duration: 4 years

Options after graduation?

  • Graduates will be suitably qualified to gain employment in the sports, exercise, health, and well-being sectors, which may include:
  • High performance coach
  • Health promotion
  • Product and service development in sports and exercise
  • Sport science data analyst
  • Community health and fitness professional
  • Sports coach with a club or within the community
  • Sport Science and Health graduates may also be interested in further study in the area of healthcare, such as physiotherapy and sports psychology.
  • With the strong scientific foundation, students will also be highly employable in other careers in the life sciences and health sector.
  • Careers in research are also possible for Sport Science graduates who may pursue research opportunities at Master’s and PhD level.

Visit the Graduate Studies website for more information about postgraduate options.

This table displays the requirements for Leaving Certificate applicants.
Subject Required Ordinary Level Grade Higher Level Grade
Irish Yes O6 H7
English Yes O6 H7
Language No N/A N/A
Math Yes O4 H7
Science Yes O6 H7

International & EU/EFTA Entry Requirements

Mature Students

Mature Applicants

Mature applicants are assessed separately to school-leavers. Mature applicants are 23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University. For part-time/flexible degrees the mature age is 21.

Click here to be taken to our mature applicant information page - tab 3 on that page outlines application steps for this degree.

Mature applicants who have a disability 

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia), and require examination support for any written tests that may be required, please submit supporting documentation by 15 March 2024 to the Access Office. 

Unfortunately we are unable to consider applications for alternative examination accommodation after this deadline. 

For further information on the supporting documentation required, as well as examination and other supports visit the Access Office website.

01 February 2024

Additional Information

Leaving Certificate Applicants

Required to present (as a minimum): 2H5 & 4O6/H7, Irish, English & O4/H7 Mathematics & O6/H7 Science subject (one of Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics or Physics with Chemistry). New degree in 2024.


DARE: The Disability Access Route to Education is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.

HEAR: The Higher Education Access Route is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Contact the Access Office for more information about these access routes.

The Maynooth Education

Click here for details about optional Critical Skills courses, Electives and degree pathways. 



The application process depends on the type of applicant you are. Click here for all information about how to apply.

Categories of applicant:

  • School-leavers (Leaving Certificate students)
  • Mature students (23 years or older by 1st January in the year of entry to the University/part-time degrees the mature age is 21)
  • EU/EFTA/UK students
  • International students (outside the EU)
  • QQI students
  • Transferring students
  • Deferring students
Back to top