UCC Undergraduate courses

Physical Education, Sports Studies & Arts

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Physical Education, Sports Studies & Arts

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    4 Years

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications

    BEd (Hons)

  • Fees

    €3,138 See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    2 x H5, 4 x O6/H7; O6/H7 in another language. See Requirements for full details.

  • CAO Points

    2022: 532

  • CAO Points Range


Course Outline

Our Physical Education, Sports Studies and Arts degree is a dynamic course that aims to produce creative educators in physical education, sport and physical activity settings. As well as qualifying to teach physical education, students will also graduate in a chosen specialist arts subject from one of the following: English, Gaeilge/Irish, Mathematics, French, or History.

Graduates from this programme display independent, innovative thinking, and are agents of change in the areas of physical education, sport, and physical activity settings. Our staff are experts and research-informed practitioners in their discipline.

Teaching, coaching and community placements are available throughout the degree, and the programmes works in partnership with schools, clubs, and the community, allowing students to immerse themselves in teaching and coaching from the beginning.

The Physical Education, Sports Studies and Arts degree also operates a comprehensive well-being mentoring programme involving buddy mentoring, tutor mentoring, and teacher/coach mentors.


Year 1

  • ED1308 Sport Psychology: Fundamentals & Application
  • ED1309 Motor Development and Learning for Skill Competence
  • ED1310 Introduction to Exercise Physiology, Diet, and Nutrition 
  • ED1314 Curriculum-Based Physical Activities 1
  • ED1323 Curriculum-Based Physical Activities 2
  • ED1324 Pedagogical Foundations 
  • ED1325 Curriculum and Pedagogical Coherence in Junior Cycles
  • AN1063 Anatomy of Exercise
  • DH1001 Digital Humanities: Theories & Concepts 1


One Arts subject (15 credits) from the following: English, French, (a student will not normally be allowed to select French unless they have attained a pass standard in French in the Leaving Certificate examination [or equivalent]), Gaeilge/ Irish, History and Mathematics.

Please go to the individual subject pages for a list of first-year modules to find out more details.

Year 2

  • Exercise Prescription
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Practical Areas
  • Curriculum and Pedagogical Coherence 2
  • Placement
  • Creativity & Innovation in Physical Education
  • Sport and Physical Activity


Arts subject continued from Year 1

Practical modules include dance, gymnastics, G.A.A., and rugby. Students will also complete their second placement in a school setting where they will observe, plan and teach physical education, under the guidance of a mentor (co-operating teacher).

Year 3

  • Skill Acquisition & Analysis
  • Sports Medicine
  • Curriculum & Assessment
  • Placement
  • Research Project Design
  • Inclusion: Policy and Practice in PE, Sport and Physical Activity
  • Disability: Pedagogical Approaches to Physical Education


Coaching Science or Health

Students will also complete their third placement in a school setting where they will observe, plan and teach their chosen Arts subject, under the guidance of a mentor (co-operating teacher).

Year 4

  • Philosophy & History of Education
  • Professional Issues in Education
  • Approaches to Teaching & Assessment in Physical Education
  • Research Project; Placements
  • Historical & Philosophical Aspects of Physical Education


Coaching Science or Health and one of the following:

  • The Teaching of Irish
  • The Teaching of English
  • Second Language Education - French
  • The Teaching of History
  • The Teaching of Mathematics

A large proportion of Year 4 will comprise school placement for the student, specifically teaching physical education and the selected specialist Arts subject for an entire school year. Students will then return to university for lectures, practicals and workshops in the afternoons.

Prospective students can search the College Calendar for detailed information on the programme, and the Book of Modules for more precise individual module specifics.

Course Practicalities

As part of the degree’s semesterisation format, some written exams will take place before Christmas (semester one), and in May (semester two).  Not all modules will have formal written summative-type examinations.  Many modules use continuous and formative types of assessment, including in-class tests, oral presentations, end-of-semester assessments, digital portfolios, online learning tasks, reflections and micro-teaching/micro-coaching etc. You will develop invaluable transferable skills of independent, critical thinking by completing these wide-ranging assessments.

Who teaches on this programme?

Why Choose This Course

the Quercus Scholarship Programme also gives me much valued support with physiotherapy and advice on nutrition.”

Samuel Grace

Sports Studies and Physical Education, Year 2

Find Out More

Most recent 5-year trend data has indicated that 88% of our graduates successfully gain employment in the teaching and coaching sectors. To date, our graduates have found employment in Ireland, the UK, the US, Korea, Canada, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Physical Education, Sports Studies and Arts degree also provides a pathway for graduates who wish to study at postgraduate level in sports, physical activity, physical education, well-being, physical literacy, or general education.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

  • Year 2: School Placement teaching Physical Education 
  • Year 3: School Placement teaching chosen Arts subject
  • Year 4: School Placement teaching PE and Arts subject (entire school year)

Note for Irish and French students: the Teaching Council requires that students must have verifiable residential experience (in France or Gaeltacht). In order to fulfill this requirement, students may opt to register for an additional 5-credit module, ED2319, which is available to students taking this programme. The module is taken in addition to the prescribed programme requirements. Work towards this module can be undertaken in part in Semester 3 of Years 1, 2 or 3 but must be completed in full in time for examination at the Summer Examination Board in the Fourth Year of the programme. Students who wish to take this module will register for it in Year 4.

Alternatively, students who choose not to register for ED2319 will be expected to provide the Teaching Council with proof of their residency (such as a letter from their landlord/employer) upon application to register as a Newly Qualified teacher.

Skills and Careers Information

Our graduates gain a range of transferable skills in planning, implementing and assessing learning across the lifespan – whether in schools, clubs or communities – specifically in the areas of sport, physical activity and physical education. 

The course, through its school-university partnership, also provides career advice and preparation practice for interviews for all our students. Graduates are very well placed to begin a postgraduate course of study through our School of Education M.Ed, or cohort PhD routes also. 


Leaving Cert entry requirements:

At Least six subjects must be presented. Minimum grade H5 in two subjects and minimum grade O6/H7 in four other subjects. English and Irish are requirements for all programmes unless the applicant is exempt from Irish. Applicants will need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

EnglishIrishOther Language
O6/H7 O6/H7 O6/H7

Mature students: Applicants should apply directly through the CAO and you can find out more about the mature entry requirements here.

Other qualifications: EU/EFTA/UK students presenting an alternative school-leaving qualification (e.g. A-levels or International Baccalaureate) or QQI/FE course should visit our  pages for further information. 

International Students should visit the International Education website.

Fitness to Practise

The Physical Education, Sports Studies and Arts degree is subject to UCC's Fitness to Practise Policy.

Student Garda Vetting

All students in this programme will come into contact with the public and assume positions of trust through educational and training opportunities. To ensure the protection of the public, and to justify public trust and confidence, UCC is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake this programme.

Garda vetting is carried out by the Admissions Office in UCC once a student has accepted their place on the programme. It involves a police check to establish whether the individual being vetted has had criminal convictions in the past or whether any criminal proceedings are pending. The Garda Siochána provide this information for students who have resided in Ireland for a period of six months or more (including permanent residence).

All students who have resided outside Ireland for a period of six months or more must furnish a Police Clearance Certificate from their country or countries of residence. This certificate should state that the student has had no convictions recorded against them while residing there.

Non-EU Candidates

Non-EU candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to the Irish Leaving Certificate. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language they must satisfy the university of their competency in the English language.

To verify if you meet the minimum academic and language requirements visit our qualification comparison page.

Refer to our International Office page for more information on how to apply to UCC.

Fees and Costs

Course fees include a tuition fee, student contribution fee and capitation fee. The state will pay the tuition fees for EU students who are eligible under the Free Fees Scheme. The annual student Contribution and Capitation Fees are payable by the student. 

Costs may include approximately €150 for SSPE sports clothing; and €400 for the Assistant Swim Teachers Course. Other optional opportunities during the degree may include coaching qualifications, workshops, and field trips, which may incur additional costs also.

Please see Fees Office for more information.

For International Fees see our Fees Schedule page.

How Do I Apply

EU Applicants: Application to Year 1 of the degree programme is made directly through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Applicants should apply online at www.cao.ie. The normal closing date for receipt of completed applications is 1st February of the year of entry.

EU Applicants: The Central Applications Office (CAO) processes applications for undergraduate courses in Irish Higher Education Institutions. Refer to the CAO page for further information.

Mature Applicants (age 23 or over): See the CAO Mature Applicants page and the Mature Students Admissions Pathway (MSAP) page for essential information on the application process for mature students.

QQI FET: See our QQI FET Applicants page.

Non-EU Applicants: Non-EU applicants apply online via the UCC Apply portal. See our International Office page.

All Applicants: Please note that the modules listed are indicative of the current set of modules for this course and are subject to change from year to year. Please check the College Calendar for the full academic content of any given course for the current year. 

  • In UCC, we use the terms programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments. 

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact