The Physical Education Department is staffed by three full-time lecturers. The three lecturers have a range of academic qualifications, teaching experiences and research interests. The department’s facilities include a multi-purpose sports hall with built-in gymnastics apparatus and traversing climbing wall, as well as a modern fitness suite. The department provides classes for the Bachelor of Education and Liberal Arts Physical Education students in a range of practical courses including games, dance, gymnastics, swimming, athletics and outdoor education; local facilities are used in the delivery of these courses. In selected practical areas provisions are made for students to acquire coaching qualifications which will enhance their professional development. The theoretical components of the courses include physiology, sociology, psychology, child development, philosophy, biomechanics and special educational needs. In addition to the theory and practical classes students engage in subject application classes where they work with children from local primary and nursery schools in a range of curricular areas.
Lecturers also provide courses at Masters level in Physical Education, which are open to graduates who have an interest in furthering their understanding of the subject at primary and post-primary levels; these run at various times during the academic year as well as during Summer School in July, and as online and blended learning options.
The Physical Education department are very proactive in the promotion of student sport and believe that participation is vital to the student experience in St Mary’s. The staff encourage all students to participate in the student clubs and are actively involved in a number of the clubs in coaching capacities.
Course Team Leaders: Dr Elaine McLaughlin (BEd Primary), Ciaran Walsh (BA Liberal Arts), Paddy Tally (M-level).