CAO CODE: AL 837
From the Heineken Cup to the Olympics, the Premiership to the All-Ireland, success in the sporting arena is dependent upon many things. Raw talent remains a crucial ingredient, but increasingly an appropriate preparation regime is central to lifting the winner’s trophy. Sports scientists are at the heart of this new approach, providing expertise in assessing the needs of athletes, designing coaching and training programmes, and measuring changes in sportsmen and women’s performance parameters.
This new four-year BSc (Hons) in Sports Science with Exercise Physiology will equip students with the necessary skills to meet the needs of elite athletes, as well as the health and fitness requirements of the general population. The degree combines areas such as performance testing, nutrition, exercise therapy for recovery, analytical techniques used for screening performance-enhancing drugs, and biomechanics.
Over the course of four years, you will learn how the human body operates, from the physiology of the heart, to the operation and interaction of the respiratory, nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. You will also learn about the physics of sport and how mechanics can be applied to biological systems to improve performance. Furthermore, you will study the pathophysiology of injuries and diseases and the use of exercise in rehabilitation from these conditions.
You will develop expertise in testing and analysing athletes’ performance, including the physiology of the high performance athlete in a state-of-the-art sports science laboratory (featuring treadmills, exercise bikes designed for resistance training, ergometers, Douglas bags and a gas analysis system, a blood lactate analyzer, force dynamometer for vertical jumping/gait analysis and sphygmomanometers).
The degree also includes modules on sports psychology and coaching. As a student on the degree, you will be facilitated in acquiring coaching qualifications in your chosen sporting activity by liaising with the relevant national governing body and timetabling the training sessions on a specific day.
A unique part of this programme is the four-month work placement undertaken in the summer of third year. This will provide you with valuable experience of the working environment in the sports science and exercise physiology field.
Athlone Institute of Technology has invested millions of euro in its indoor and outdoor facilities. The sporting infrastructure on campus includes an IAAF-approved athletics track and a FIFA 2-star astro-turf pitch, while the new indoor sports arena will be completed in 2012. The indoor facilities will include an athletics track, a multi-sport arena (suitable for futsal, basketball, etc.), as well as comprehensive support facilities for elite athlete training.