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School of Health & Human Performance


Primary Department
School of Health & Human Performance
Associate Professor in Physical Education
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Sarahjane is an Associate Professor of Physical Education at the School of Health and Human Performance at DCU. She has previously held many roles in the School including Head of School (2019 - 2022), and Programme Chair for Physical Education (2008 - 2011, and 2016 - 2019). She teaches across a range of PE related areas, including pedagogy, curriculum and instructional models, curriculum development, and health related activity and health related fitness.

Sarahjane researches in the field of childhood physical activity and health, encompassing all related aspects from physical activity and fitness, motivation and attitudes, to fundamental movement skill abilities. Much of her work centres on developing and evaluating physical literacy and health literacy intervention programmes, from pre-school level up to post primary. She has lead on the development of many intervention programmes including Y-PATH (Youth-Physical Activity Towards Health), Kids Active, and LifeLab, and has collaborated with many national agencies in this endeavour. Sarahjane has published text books and papers in this field, and presented her work at a variety of national and international conferences. 

Sarahjane graduated with a degree is Physical Education and Maths from the University of Limerick in 2001. She taught physical education for a year in second level education (2001 - 2002) before completing a PhD in Physical Activity Measurement at the University of Limerick in 2006. Sarahjane lectured in Physical Education in St Patricks college Drumcondra from 2006 - 2007, and has lectured in Physical Education (physical education and sport pedagogy, curriculum development and evaluation) in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dublin City University from 2007 to present.

Research interests

Sarahjane’s research area centres mainly on physical literacy, physical activity and sedentary behaviour; including physical activity, screen time, physical fitness, body composition and fundamental movement skill measurement, and intervention development and trial evaluation. Her work has been concerned with understanding factors associated with physical literacy and regular physical activity participation, including global elements such as well-being, physical elements such as cardiovascular fitness and body composition, but also psychological and psycho-social factors such as barriers and motivators for physical activity, self-esteem and self efficacy, attitudes, and levels of self-determination. She has lead on, and been involved in, the development, evaluation and dissemination of many national youth school based physical literacy interventions, has published numerous peer reviewed articles in this space, and has co-authored two school textbooks currently in use for teaching PE in Irish schools.