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The Centre for Sports Studies is located within the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, which is part of the UCD College of Health Sciences. The Centre is focussed on the delivery of academic programmes and is aligned with the Institute for Sport and Health.

MISSION

To offer academic and continuing professional development programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the field of sport and exercise science and management in order to facilitate the attainment of lifespan health, fitness and sport performance within Ireland. 

GOALS

To professionally prepare students to manage sport, exercise and coaching delivery systems by providing relevant and effective Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes.

  • To carry out innovative and demand-driven sport and exercise science and management research.
  • To provide market-driven services to the Irish sport, exercise and coaching industry in accordance with the Centre's commitment to Continuing Professional Development.
  • To consolidate joint initiatives with cognate areas within the University.

HISTORY

The Centre for Sport Studies was established in December 1999 to serve as the focus within UCD of academic activity in the increasingly important area of Sports Studies through research, consultancy and the provision of multidisciplinary teaching. It was formally launched by the Minister for Sport Dr Jim McDaid and CEO of the Irish Sports Council John Treacy in 2000. The Centre was developed through Continuing Professional Education (CPE) under the auspices of the University Industry Programme. It later moved to the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies and now resides within the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science. As such it acts as the academic wing of sport in UCD and the Centre has grown so that it now has almost 300 full time and part time students and a staff of thirteen. The first Director of the Centre was Professor Conal Hooper, followed by Dr Karen Hennessy, Dr John Shuttleworth and currently Professor Giuseppe de Vito.

REPUTATION OF SPORT IN UCD

University College Dublin has a sporting tradition extending back over more than a century which is unrivalled among Irish universities. Today UCD is unique among universities in Ireland, and probably abroad, with teams participating in the premier national competitions of a number of sports including soccer, rugby and hockey. This competitive thrust is supported by innovation off the field. UCD pioneered the concept of sports scholarships in Ireland and now has the most advanced sports scholarship programme of any third level institution in the country. Outside the university, the reputation of UCD sport has been enhanced by the deep involvement of graduates and students in the administration and organisation of Irish sport through the national governing bodies of their own sports.

DEVELOPMENT OF SPORT-RELATED COURSES IN UCD

UCD’s strong academic and sporting reputation led to the development of a number of sports-related programmes, established in association with the University Industry Programme. The Certificate in Injury Management and Fitness in Sport commenced in 1995 and proved very popular among the sporting community until its cessation in 2006. This was followed in 1996 by the Diploma in Sports Management which caters for school leavers, elite sports persons and those involved in sports organisations and the sports industry. Following a review in 1999, this programme changed to a modular format the form in which it continues today. This review also clearly identified the need for a degree programme in Sports Management in contrast to the existing courses in Sports Science. The result was the establishment in UCD of the full-time BSc (Sports Management) in September 2001 and the creation of the new modularised BSc (Sport & Exercise Management) programme in 2006. The MSc Sport & Exercise Management programme was introduced in 2009 and expanded in 2011 to include streams in Exercise Management, Golf Management, Rugby Management and Sports Management. An MSc Coaching and Exercise Science programme is scheduled to begin in September 2014.