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department of Health & Leisure Studies:

The Department of Health & Leisureis a department within the School of Health & Social Sciences. It is a dynamic and innovative department which leads and responds to the needs of the Health & Leisure sector.

Philosophy of the Health & Leisure Courses:

The Health and Leisure Department has been operational since 1993. The guiding concepts underpinning the original health and leisure programme had as its core a lifestyle focus, positive health, wellbeing and physical flourishing emphasis, adopting a holistic interdisciplinary perspective. Although a suite of programmes has evolved since 1993 the ideological basis underpinning the programmes remains.

“The guiding concepts underpinning the Health & Leisure Programme has as its core a lifestyle focus, positive health, wellbeing and physical flourishing emphasis, adopting a holistic interdisciplinary perspective focusing on the physical, mental, social and cognitive health of all citizens, from the cradle to the grave. We, as a Department, believe that physical activity plays a key role in the wellbeing, holistic health and the empowerment of citizens, and as such opportunity to participate in physical activity could be regarded as a human right.”

What are Health and Leisure Studies and Health & Leisure with Massage?

They are programmes of study delivered by the Health and Leisure Department of the Institute of Technology, Tralee. They are designed to equip graduates to engage with the Health and Leisure Sector as well-qualified professionals at Bachelor of Science Ordinary or Honours Degree levels. The programmes consist of a mix of applied theory and practice. The programmes engage significantly with local, regional, and international communities, service providers and service users to ensure core knowledge and skills are developed in realistic settings. Students achieve a number of qualifications additional to their degree such as those accredited by external bodies including Swim Ireland, EHFA/REPS, Mountaineering Ireland and Canoeing Ireland.  A 12 week placement is part of the Ordinary Degree programmes TL771 and TL772 while the completion of a research thesis is part of the Honours Degree programme TL871 and TL872.

Throughout years one and two, all students complete core modules in: Exercise Science, Activity Leadership, Health Studies, Physical Education, Professional Practice, plus one area of preference. Massage students TL772 and TL872 pursue massage theory and practice while Health & Leisure TL771 and TL871 will choose their preference from ‘Education in Aquatics’ and Outdoor and Experiential Learning but whichever they prefer they will study the other to a lesser degree. All students will pursue a common programme to the end of year three with some choosing to specialise in physical education or adapted physical activity at the end of year two.






TL771 Bachelor of Science (Ordinary) in Health and Leisure Page   includes specialisms in

Health and Leisure

Physical education,

Adapted physical Activity

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health and Leisure with Sports Development


Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Health and Leisure with Health and Wellbeing


Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Health and Leisure with Athletic Performance


Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Health and Leisure with Adapted Physical Activity (internal process only)


Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Health and Leisure with Physical Education (internal process only


TL772 Bachelor of Science (Ordinary) in Health and Leisure with Massage Page


Bachelor of Science (Honours) ) in Health and Leisure with Massage

Honours Degree

TL871 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health and Leisure Page


POSTGRADUATE Taught postgraduate masters and masters and doctorate through research

TL872 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health and Leisure with Massage Page


Taught Level 9


Taught Masters: MSc in Adapted Physical Education Leadership

Minor Awards in

Universal Physical Activity Programming

Adapted Physical Activity Communication, Policy and Provision



Masters and Doctorates through Research

ITT Bursaries

IOTI Bursaries


Programme offering

at Level 7


BA in Outdoor Learning


Course Progression Chart

Further Study: Add-on Level 8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Health & Leisure with specialisms and or the fourth year of the ab-initio TL871 and TL872

Those who choose Physical Education and Adapted Physical Activity at the end of year two will continue on in their chosen specialism for a further year to Honours degree. Those who studied Health & Leisure to the end of the Bachelor of Science Ordinary Degree may now choose from three areas of study for their Honours Bachelor of Science Degree.  The options are Health & Wellbeing, Sports Development, or Athletic Performance. However, it is important to emphasise that all the specialisms share core knowledge and skills, which contribute to the graduates of any of the specialisms having knowledge and skill beyond and in addition to their chosen specialism, so that they may work in the area of many of the specialisms. The department promotes the philosophy of human flourishing and specifically physical flourishing. It encourages students to support the population to be the best that they can be in all aspects of their lives.

The Health & Leisure (H&L) Department at the Institute of Technology, Tralee and its associated programmes have a local, national and international reputation for excellence and innovation. The location of the CARA National APA Centre at IT, Tralee is testament to the lead role of the Institute in the field nationally. Internationally IT, Tralee has led and participated in a number of European projects aimed at advancing the discipline. IT, Tralee’s expertise in the area coupled with their work in improving standards and opportunities in Ireland and abroad was recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) when they awarded the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Chair in ‘Transforming the Lives of People with Disabilities through Physical Education, Sport, Fitness and Recreation in January 2013. This award recognises IT Tralee’s expertise in the area coupled with their work in improving standards and opportunities in Ireland and abroad. Internationally IT, Tralee has working relationships with Universities, authors and organisations at the forefront of the field such as Claudine Sherrill, Lauren Lieberman, Martin Block, Martin Kudlacek, Peter Downs and James Rimmer. The location of CARA national APA centre at IT, Tralee and the close working relationship on projects such as Campabilities is testament to the lead role of ITT in the field nationally. The UNESCO  Chairs Programme seeks to advance research, training and programme development in higher education by building networks and encouraging co-operation through transfer of knowledge across borders. The IT, Tralee is already recognised internationally as a pioneer in the field of Adapted Physical Activity (APA) and this accolade further establishes the Institute as an international research hub and a world leader in APA.

The CARA Centre  is sited on the South Campus of the Institute of Technology in Tralee and is associated with the recently launched “Xcessible” Leisure Centre Training. Commenting at the launch Minister for Justice and Equality Kathleen Lynch TD said, “CARA, National Adapted Physical Activity Centre are to be commended in their efforts to promote physical activities and sports for the benefit of people with disabilities. The “Xcessible” Leisure Centre and Outdoors Initiative puts the countryside within reach of everyone all year round, not just on December 3rd, International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. The centre is also associated with running Campabilities , an Easter camp run by volunteers, for children with visual impairment. Locally, the undergraduate BSc in Health and Leisure links with disability service providers and health professionals to deliver and extensive programme to over 250 people with disabilities each year.

As part of the staff and students continuous professional development a FITTSPORT conference is run on a yearly basis by department staff wishing to keep abreast of current trends in the fitness industry. The SHaPE Centre - Sport, Health and Performance Evaluation Centre, situated on the South Campus, is a teaching facility but is also used for fitness and health evaluation of students, staff and the general public.  The Institute of Technology offers sports scholarships to athletes who are excelling in their chosen sport and wish to attain a third level qualification. The scholarships reward excellence and encourage outstanding performance in a variety of sports and are open to applications for any programmes at IT, Tralee.

The department is associated closely with the running of the President’s Civic Spirit Award and the ITT Community Engagement/ current volunteering initiatives at the Institute. Credit can be obtained for volunteering initiatives as part of course work through the Health & Leisure Department. Each programme engages with various local communities and employs industry-like environments to bring a realism and relevance to the learning process. The department has over 30 academic technical and administrative staff who organise and deliver over 12,000 tuition hours each academic year to nearly 400 students. Students will find themselves in lecture halls, smaller class rooms, the performance evaluation laboratory, aerobics studios, the gym, swimming pool, local schools and in the beautiful Kerry countryside.