Sport and Exercise Management

By Aedín Dunne - Last update

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Do you have excellent communication skills? Are you confident, a good leader and want to develop and gain strong management skills in the health and fitness industry among others? A course in Sports and Exercise Management could be the perfect course for you. 

What is Sport and Exercise Management?

Sports and exercise management combines areas from management, marketing, event planning, HR, economics, finance, sports development and coaching. It is a broad area that hits multiple different industries and working areas. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and college in Ireland are offering course in the following areas:

  • Sports and Exercise Management – University College Dublin 
  • Sports and Exercise Management – CIT

Studying Sport and Exercise Management in college

There are a number of courses available in Sports and Exercise Management. Undergraduate courses are generally 3 years long in this area while there may also be PLC courses that are relevant to Sports and Exercise Management. All courses will allow you to gain skills and knowledge in the area as well as developing your managerial skills. 

Like any course, your first year in Sports and Exercise Management will act as a foundation year. You will gain familiarity in the relevant modules and subject areas and gain an insight as to what you will cover throughout your course. Modules you will cover in your first year include basic principles from Sports Development, Theory of Coaching, Sports Legislation and Sports Marketing to Financial Management, Sports Management and Introduction to Exercise Science.

Your second year will look at more in-depth and complex subjects and focus on applying your knowledge. Such modules you will cover include Event Management, Economics of Sport, Sport/Health Psychology, Strategic Planning, Human Resource Management and Digital Sport Marketing. Students will have the opportunity to specialise in a module picked from the options provided as well as carry out a 10-week work placement during the summer at the end of your second year in order to apply your knowledge practically. 

In third year, the main focus is to develop your experience. You will cover subjects such as Exercise and Public Health, Research Methods for Sport, Professional Skills for Sport Managers and Communication and Media in Sport. A major part of your course is your research project that you will complete in your final year. 

The above information is based on the Sports and Exercise Management course available in UCD. Different courses in different colleges and universities may differ in their exact course layout and module titles. 

Career options

There are a number of areas you can work in with a degree in Sports and Exercise Management. The main role would be to work as a sports and exercise manager in the fitness, hospitality and health sectors. Examples of jobs in the area you can work in can be found below.

You may also continue your studies at postgraduate level and specialise in an area of your interest. After gaining some experience in the field you could also move into the education or research area. 

Skills and qualities important in this area include excellent communication skills, leadership skills, confidence, ability to delegate work and give clear instructions, the ability to work well with others, time management skills, organization skills, attention to detail and the ability to motivate others and remain calm under pressure. Report writing skills and effective problem solving skills are also important. 

Related Jobs

  • Sports and Exercise Manager
  • Leisure centre manager
  • Hotel manager
  • Gym manager
  • Spa manager
  • Personal trainer
  • Sports Manager
  • Sports Therapist
  • Sports Psychologist
  • Outdoor sports leader

Further Study

Many people want to specialise in a specific area at a master’s level. 

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

Certain QQI Awards in a relevant area may also be accepted. These change from course to course so be sure to research further. 

The points needed to study Sports and Exercise Management in UCD were 445 points last year. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • Scientific studies show that music can improve workout performance
  • A pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat
  • Exercise can improve brain performance and releases hormones called endorphins which enhance your mood and how you are feeling


Student Grant Scheme 

Sports Manager Job description 

Fitness manager job description 

Aedín Dunne

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