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Educational Trust

Dublin City University Sports Academy

DCU – A Modern Sports Campus

DCU offers a perfect platform for young people to develop their athletic interests while obtaining a third level qualification leading to a sustainable long term career. DCU is recognised as one of the leading third level sporting institutions in Ireland and has evolved into a modern hub for sporting excellence with a growing academic portfolio of sports-related degree programmes and extensive capital investment.

Alongside the state of the art sporting facilities and academic programmes, DCU prides itself on its sport development programmes, elite athlete scholarship programmes and the DCU Sports Academy.

DCU established the School of Health and Human Performance in 2001, which was a landmark development for Irish sport, focusing on delivering recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, and offering students the opportunity to follow their sporting interests through a formal education programme. Currently the School delivers three undergraduate programmes in Physical Education & Biology, Sport Science & Health and Athletic Therapy and Training. These graduates deliver key sports development skills to the Irish sports sector as well as many other industries.

The DCU Sports Academy Scholarship programme was launched in 2006. The DCU Sports Academy is Ireland’s largest elite athlete development programme dedicated to providing top Irish sportspeople with an opportunity to train and compete at the highest level while getting a top academic qualification. The DCU Sports Academy currently concentrates on the sports of Gaelic Football and Athletics.

DCU Sports Academy - Ireland’s First Elite Sports Academy

Balancing academic achievement, sports development and personal growth is a key challenge for talented athletes. In addition to providing and developing a national expertise hub, DCU offers scholarship support to elite athletes through the DCU Sports Academy. The academy rewards successful sportspeople who have invested significant time and effort into developing their sporting career during their formative years in second level school by offering adjusted entry requirements for all degree programmes, enabling Ireland’s top developing athletes the opportunity to train and study in DCU according to international best practice. DCU was the first to introduce an admissions policy to recognise excellence in sporting achievement as an entry route to all of our degree programmes.  

Both academically and athletically I couldn't have made a better choice. The DCU Athletics Academy offers all athletes the opportunities and benefits that are needed to successfully make the transition from junior ranks through the seniors. DCU provides the perfect platform to pursue my Olympic ambitions.

Fionnuala Britton (DCU Athlete – Irish Olympian 2008 and 2012)



The DCU Sports Academy provides a holistic environment which enables Ireland’s elite sportspeople to pursue their education while continuing their sports career development in a best practice high performance setting.  Each DCU Sports Academy scholar receives a range of supports ranging from academic supports to high performance coaching, all of which are coordinated by DCU Sports Academy staff.  

The DCU Sports Academy supports approx. 140 elite athletes each year. DCU is one of the leading third level sporting institutions in Ireland and has evolved into a dynamic hub for sporting excellence.  Through privately donated scholarship funds, the DCU Sports Academy aims to lead Ireland’s sporting talent to the top of their chosen fields. The academy ensures that students achieve both their academic goals and athletic dreams through world class coaching, state of the art facilities and course flexibility.

Each DCU Sports Academy student receives a range of supports such as flexible access to academic programmes, access to DCU’s high performance facilities, personal tuition and support for participation in competitions. The academy enables Ireland’s elite sportspeople to pursue their education while continuing their sports career development in a best practice/high performance setting. The DCU Sports Academy and it’s facilities also make it possible for home grown talent, who would otherwise have no choice but to go abroad to optimise their sporting prowess, to now receive world class training, coaching and facilities here at home in DCU.  To-date this has been made possible due to private support from Irish Public Bodies, Bank of Ireland, McDonalds, Paddy Power and Davey Hickey Properties. 

DCU Sporting Highlights

  • Three DCU athletes have qualified for Olympics 2012 so far:-  Fionnuala Britton, Linda Byrne and Deirdre Ryan.
  • DCU Sports Academy provided sports science support to the winning All Ireland Dublin team in 2011.  Several key Dublin players are DCU athletes.
  • DCU are GAA Men’s Sigerson Cup Champions of 2006 , 2010 & 2012.
  • DCU are Ladies Purcell Cup Champions 2012 and O’Conner Cup Champions for 2009 & 2010.
  • DCU Athletics Club Intervarsity Champions in all intervarsity events including Road Relays, Indoor Track  & Field, Cross Country , Outdoor Track & Field events from 2008 – 2011.
  • In 2012, DCU Athletes made history as the first Irish collegiate team to compete in prestigious Millrose Games in New York, one of the world's biggest indoor athletics meets, competing against the best colleges in the east coast of America.
  • Brian Gregan who is supported by a City West Sports scholarship competed in the world indoor championships in Doha 400m. He is one of Ireland’s hopes for London 2012.

For more information, please contact Jim Canavan or Claire Whelehan in the DCU Educational Trust. Ph: 01-700-5467