Niall Carr, BSc (Hons) in Health Science and Physical Activity

Name: Niall Carr

From: Donegal

School: Magh Ene College, Bundoran

I chose this course as I have a huge interest in promoting health, physical activity and clinical exercise. I was not quite sure about what exactly I wanted to study when finishing up the Leaving Cert, but knew that a career in the health industry was the direction to go. After a few months studying the course I knew I had made the right choice. There is huge diversity in the course. When you graduate, you can go straight into a career in a wide range of health related areas or continue your studies in areas such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, radiography or speech and language therapy.

When studying the course I really enjoyed health promotion and public health, physical activity, exercise physiology, nutrition sciences and research methods. I love that after four years of study, I feel equipped with a unique blend of practical skills and knowledge in a broad range of health-related fields. Now that I have graduated, I have options to get a career in a favoured area or further my studies as mentioned above. The options at then end of the degree are amazing!

I thoroughly enjoyed completing modules such as Kinesiology and Exercise Instruction, Resistance Training and Programme Design, Physical Activity Project Management and Personal Training. All these modules had real life practical experience working in labs and there were key learnings in how to instruct clients carefully when using gym equipment effectively and efficiently. Working on programmes and projects related to physical activity was another very interesting part of these modules. Not only did I develop my health skills and knowledge, I also developed my intrapersonal, communication, active listening, and IT Skills through various modules. These are really important skills to have too and ones I know employers look out for.

This degree also includes Fitness Instruction, Personal Training, and Exercise for Health Specialist awards from the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) Ireland. The International Union for Health Promotion has also given the degree its approval (IUHPE). This has opened up a would of opportunities for me – literally!

Since graduating from, I have continued my studies. I am now in University College Cork studying their Masters in Diagnostic Radiography. Another of my classmates from ATU Sligo, Ben Treanor, is also in UCC studying the MSc in Diagnostic Radiography. There are very limited places on this Masters, so to have two of us from ATU Sligo shows the quality of their Health Science programmes.

My advice to CAO applicants is – do something that makes you happy and that you have a real interest in. I chose to study this degree as I have always had an interest in human health. If you have an interest in health and want to be part of saving lives in the future, I highly recommend Health Science and Physical Activity at ATU Sligo. Don’t wait to figure out your life after college – start now. Spend time thinking about who you are and what you eventually want out of life. Do something ambitious and difficult before you even feel ready – don’t put it off just because the career world seems too far away. Keep the head down and work hard and it will all fall into place!

Looking back, it has been a great four years studying in ATU Sligo. I was part of various clubs and societies, I have made friends for life and studied a degree which will now allow me to pursue a career I will be happy in. There has always had a friendly environment and having lecturers, classmates, coaches, and friends helping me along the way made it an unforgettable experience. I couldn’t have asked for more.

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