Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Exercise
Institute of Technology, Carlow
The three-year Level 7 degree programme is to be delivered by I.T. Carlow in partnership with the G.A.A. It will commence next September.
The programme providers are the School of Business and Humanities and the School of Science in I.T. Carlow along with the Leinster branch of the G.A.A. - otherwise known as 'Comhairle Laighean', the 'Leinster Council'.
The aim of the programme is to provide an academic qualification that combines coaching, fitness and club administration with a broadbased academic business or communications curriculum relevant to the development of the sport.
The programme will provide competencies and skills in such diverse areas as player development and coaching in all areas of G.A.A. including hurling, football, camogie and ladies' football. A key element of this course will be a work placement module within the G.A.A. environment.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Rúaidhrí Neavyn, President of the Institute of Technology, Carlow, said: 'I am delighted with the introduction of this new degree course in I. T. Carlow. We already introduced a degree course in sports and exercise in rugby in 2007 and it has proved to be a tremendous success.
'This BA in sports and exercise in G.A.A. will give an understanding of the cross-functional nature of the business/sport environment and will develop in the student a multitude of transferable business and communications skills.
'We also have the added facility for graduates of this BA degree to progress to a Level 8 degree in a relevant BBS or BA programme in the business, communications or public relations areas. Additionally, we also propose to develop a one-year add-on sports management honours degree,' concluded Dr. Neavyn.
Nickey Brennan, President of the G.A.A., expressed his delight at the introduction of this course. 'Although all codes of the G.A.A. are recreational sports organised by volunteers, there are many opportunities for individuals to develop a career in administration and coaching roles at club, county, provincial and national level.
'The G.A.A. is committed to investment in its games and view this partnership as a key opportunity for students to participate in a unique programme that is G.A.A. focused. The GA.A. consider I.T. Carlow's location as ideal as it is in the centre of a wide range of G.A.A. school-leaving players and offers the talented player the opportunity to develop as a player, coach or administrator and remain involved with their club and/or county.
'Graduates will also have the advantage of developing business and communications skills, which are intrinsically linked and relevant to the development of the sport,' he added.
Potential career paths for students include: G.A.A. games development; sports management; club development; coaching/fitness; public relations; business. Subjects that will be studied include player development; games development; exercise and fitness; sports nutrition and psychology and mandatory stream of either communications/P.R. subjects or business subjects.
Entry to the degree course is through C.A.O. (CW807) which will require applicants to provide evidence of their G.A.A. involvement. Applicants will be selected for interview based on an assessment of their portfolios, and there is sure to be big interest in the course.