Sport Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy
The structure, content and focus of the course was very well balanced and gave me a strong foundation of knowledge to allow me to begin my career. The quality of lecturers and practitioners were of the highest caliber and ensured as students we not only had the educational underpinning but were able to translate that knowledge to practical application. Alongside this, the level of detail and high standards that were expected ensured that as a student I gained maximum value and was ready for life as a professional.
Following Carlow, I went on to work with Leinster Rugby for nearly eight years. Whilst working with Leinster I conducted my masters research investigating combined risk factors as predictors of athletic injury and subsequently founded Kitman Labs. Kitman Labs is a sport science technology company helping elite sports teams use data and analytics to reduce injury risk and improve performance. We are currently working with some of the biggest brands in professional sport from across the globe including NFL,NBA, MLB teams as well as all of our own home grown Irish rugby teams. I am incredibly proud to be the founder and CEO of an Irish company changing the world of sport.
The programme at Carlow assembled the building blocks of my professional career. The course gave me a well rounded and holistic knowledge that allowed me to understand what aspect of sport science and medicine I had a true passion for. This allowed me to fine tune my skills to an area that excited me and I was passionate about. The level of dedication and interaction with the lecturing team at Carlow provided me with more than just an education, it provided me with an understanding and a skillset that has shaped my professional career. I will never forget the amazing time I spent in Carlow.
Physiology & Health Science
I graduated from IT Carlow with a Higher Certificate in Physiology and Health Science in 2010. During the course, I gained experience in many health-related subjects like anatomy, dietetics and exercises physiology. Having completed this, I applied for and was accepted onto the BSc in Physiotherapy course at the University of Brighton.
I soon realised how beneficial my time at Carlow was. My first year in Brighton was a breeze. We covered many subjects that I had already done, which meant that I could spend more time focusing on other modules that were new to me. The three years flew by and I graduated with a first class honours degree. I was also awarded the Brighton Foundation Cup of Excellence for receiving the highest clinical marks of my cohort.
Since graduating, I quickly found employment with the NHS and am currently completing my clinical rotations. I also work part-time with the academy at Queen Park Ranger’s football club. I have continued with my study and am currently completing my MSc in Musculoskeletal Medicine. I cannot thank the Institute of Technology Carlow enough for providing me with an outstanding education; it developed my skills and knowledge in such a broad range of areas which has allowed me to progress with my studies and chosen career.
Sport Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy
Deciding on which third level course and college you wish to attend is confusing and daunting at the best of times. My decision in 2006 to undertake the Sports Rehabilitation & Athletic Therapy Degree at IT Carlow was no exception. However, a quick reflection on my present position justifies it as one of the best decisions I have made to date.
Since graduating in 2010, I have spent over 18 months working in the esteemed Stanford University Sports Medicine department, co-founded Stanford’s “International Affiliate Clinical Training Program”, been accepted to one of the world’s most prestigious osteopathic schools and obtained employment in a successful sports injury clinic in London. One thing is for certain though, none of the aforementioned “successes” would be possible without the knowledge, skills and contacts I made during my 4 years at IT Carlow.
Before choosing this course, it is important to understand that there are many different areas and specialisations within a health professional’s realm. This four year Degree focuses almost entirely on the neuromusculoskeletal area of practice (i.e. nerves, muscles and joints) by developing advanced assessment, diagnostic and treatment techniques for pathologies of this system.
Overall, I found the course to be a demanding mix of practical and theoretical components. It leaves students ably skilled to work in private practice, as part of a multidisciplinary team or in numerous sporting settings. Many students also choose to go on to complete Masters Degree courses in a variety of areas.
Gaining clinical experience in the on site ‘IT Carlow Sports Rehabilitation Clinic’ in the final 2 years is also a great feature of the course. This allows students to hone their newly learned skills under the guidance of clinical tutors. Overall, students leave with over 800 clinical hours upon graduation. In addition to this, a large proportion of practical classes in manual therapy, electrotherapy, musculoskeletal assessment and advanced rehabilitation leaves students with a standard of manual skills that surpasses many other health professionals.
I cannot put down on paper how much fun Carlow is as a student town. The strong clubs and societies culture in the college also provides students with many effortless opportunities to make friends and socialise with ease. I had the best 4 years of my life there and made many lifelong friends!
The best thing about studying in IT Carlow is the standard of lecturing staff and how helpful and available they are. Their willingness to give their time to help their students is exemplary. The broad range of subjects covered and the standard to which they are covered makes going into the working world much easier as you leave with a well-rounded skill set and the confidence to apply those skills. Furthermore, the facilities in IT Carlow are exceptional with a top of the range physiology lab and an excellent high performance gym which are used as teaching facilities.
I am currently working as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for Leinster Rugby’s underage set up, a position which I got through my work placement module in IT Carlow. My roles and responsibilities include on-going athletic assessment and monitoring of the players and implementation of strength and condition programmes and best practice. Working with Leinster Rugby’s underage set up is challenging but as the club produces a wealth of home grown world class players is very rewarding and enjoyable.
The broad range of subjects I covered in my time studying Sport Science at IT Carlow prepared me well for the various challenges that come with a career in this field. The lecturers are all working in the field at the highest levels, so what you learn from them is all relevant to what actually happens as opposed to just being theory based. There is a lot of importance placed on practical work and this makes applying what you learn out in the working world far easier. The work placement module in the final year was a great opportunity to build confidence in my abilities in the area of Sport Science and helped me forge contacts in the industry which have been a massive help since graduation.
After finishing my degree I completed a sport science internship in the college which was an excellent opportunity as it allowed me to apply what I had learned in an excellent research facility and to further develop and learn new skills while working alongside and learning from the excellent staff.
Further to the excellent academic standards, IT Carlow has a lot to offer. From my time there I have made friends for life. Due to the smaller environment there is a great atmosphere around the college, where everyone is quite friendly and helpful. There are societies and clubs for everyone, whether it’s sports or music that you enjoy. The social scene in Carlow is amazing as well which is important with Carlow RAG week being legendary around the country for both its social and charitable activities. Nowhere in the country will you experience such a good mix of academia, sport and social.
I loved the wide variety of modules covered during the BSc Sport Science in IT Carlow. The different disciplines covered such as strength and conditioning, performance analysis and exercise physiology gave me a great feel for what area of sport science I wanted to work in after my degree. There is a great mix of practical and theory throughout the degree which I think has really prepared me for the working world. The lecturers are excellent and come from diverse backgrounds which is great to get different views and opinions. They are always on-hand to give advice and help you out which is one of the best things about the course. The facilities available for Sport Science students are top-class with an excellent physiology lab and high performance gym which adds greatly to the learning experience.
I am currently employed as an Academy Sport Scientist for Reading Football Club whilst also studying an MSc part-time in Strength and Conditioning. Having completed my final year work placement at the club, I was given the opportunity to join the academy sport science team in September of 2015 full time, once a position arose. Having also completed an internship with the FAI after my degree at IT Carlow, working in football was always going to be the path I would pursue. In my current role, I predominately work with the U9-14 age groups of the academy which has recently regained its status as a Category 1 academy in the UK, meaning we are among the top academies in the country, competing each week against the likes of Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The work placement module in my final year really prepared me for my current role as it gave me hands on experience and insight on what it takes to work in academy football. This is one of the most important modules on the degree in my opinion and I found that it inevitably got my foot in the door to where I am today. The programme also prepared me academically for further study to Masters level, learning how to write scientifically and critically has also stood me in good stead whilst completing my MSc. Overall the BSc in Sport Science has given me the necessary skills and knowledge from leading lecturers to more than prepare me for employment in a very competitive field.
Bioscience with Biopharmaceuticals
I pursued a Higher Degree in Bioscience with Biopharmaceuticals as I found science in secondary school both exciting and promising. After reading about the course offered by IT Carlow I realised it could offer me an education in an area I had a great interest in, the biological sciences.
I enjoyed the day to day structure of the lectures and laboratory practicals. In the Institute the practicals and course theory coincide. This is a very enjoyable way to learn as you get to practice what you have covered in the lecturing sessions. The opportunity to use state-of-the-art high tech scientific instruments was also a favourable aspect to the course.
Upon completing my undergraduate Level 8 Degree I decided to further my education by pursuing a Level 10 PhD degree through research here in IT Carlow. The progressive nature of the undergraduate degree programme enabled me to take on a research project. I am, as part of the project, researching plant growth-promoting bacteria.
I have really enjoyed my time here at IT Carlow. Every year has presented itself with a world of different opportunities to involve myself in various clubs and societies, meet new people and make lifelong friends. IT Carlow Students’ Union and each department work hard to ensure that not only a high level of education is provided for each student at IT Carlow but also that the student has an exciting, memorable experience here at the Institute.