Adapted Physical Activity Leadership

The MSc in Adapted Physical Activity Leadership (APAL) has been developed to respond to an increase in demand for highly skilled professionals who can take a leadership role in developing this emerging discipline and become transformational leaders ensuring universal access to physical activity. This aim echoes the long held vision of the APA movement and is in line with the aim of the United Nations (UN) convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (2006) - ensuring the equal rights of persons with disabilities.

The taught level 9 programme has been developed in line with the European Standards in Adapted Physical Activity (2010) and builds on the strong health and leisure undergraduate honours degree programmes. The overall aim of this masters degree is to develop an opportunity for professionals and graduates in the areas of health, education, care and leisure to develop their capacity to ensure universal access to physical activity programmes.

The Health and Leisure Department at the Institute of Technology Tralee and its associated programmes have a local, national and international reputation for excellence and innovation.

Locally, the undergraduate BSc (Hons) in Health and Leisure Links with disability service providers and health professionals to deliver an extensive programme to over 250 people with disabilities each year.

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 Chair in 'Transforming the lives of people with disabilities, their families and communities, through Physical Education, Sport, Fitness and Recreation in January 2013.

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.

Entry requirements

Applicants to the MSc in Adapted Physical Activity Leadership and its embedded awards must meet the following minimum entry requirements:

• Bachelor (honours degree) 2:2 or higher in physical education, health and leisure, sports science, physiotherapy or related fields;

• The applicant's undergraduate programme must include attainment in the discipline areas of anatomy, physiology and adapted physical activity;

• Sufficient conversational and written English language skills - an IELTS requirement of 6.5;

• There are additional prerequisite knowledge requirements for some of the elective choices. Please see graduate for more information on entry requirements.


1 year.


2016/17 fees as a guideline
The total programme cost including the Student Contribution Charge per year is €3,365. Fees can be paid in instalments if required.

Please visit for details of tax relief opportunities

Enrolment dates

Apply directly to IT Tralee.

Post Course Info

PhD through research.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type


  • Apply to

    Course provider