Timetables, Teaching, Assessment and Student Support
All undergraduate programmes in the Department of Sport and Exercise Science follow a similar timetable structure. Classes periods are one hour in duration, but students can be scheduled for double classes, particularly in practical modules. Students typically have 19-21 hours of class contact per week in year 1, reducing to 14-16 hours per week in year 4. These hours are spread over 4 or 5 days during the week allowing time in between classes and during free blocks for project work and independent study.
Across all programmes in the Department, students are timetabled for lectures, tutorials and practical classes.
Traditional lectures might make up 10 hours per week on a 20 hour per week timetable, the remainder of classes being smaller group practicals and tutorials. In tutorials (~24 per tutorial), the emphasis shifts to the student taking a more active part in their learning. Tutorials facilitate discussions, group work and student-led presentations. The student may have to come to a tutorial with tasks completed. Lecturers use tutorials to bring material to life, to check that learning is taking place and to give students an opportunity to ask questions in smaller groups. Tutorials can be timetabled into computer labs if it suits the subject area.
The Department places particular emphasis on the development of practical skills via the practical classes. These classes will vary across programme but will include subject areas such as strength and conditioning, group fitness instruction, coaching, sports skills pedagogy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, dietary analysis and facilitation skills. To reinforce the skillset that we are trying to develop, practical classes prioritise practical assessments.
Modules are assessed by continuous assessment and terminal examinations with an increasing emphasis on applied continuous assessment tasks related to the skillset that the module is trying to develop and a lesser emphasis on terminal examinations. Lecturers use a wide variety of assessment modes utilised including practical assessments, video submissions, blogs, vlogs, reflective journals and submissions that utilise specialist software.
The Department is part of SETU Waterford’s Peer to Peer (P2P) programme that buddies incoming first year with more senior mentors from their own programme. All programmes have course leaders and year heads who are the immediate point of contact for programme queries. Year heads get to know the first year students individually in the early weeks of their programme. SETU operate an induction programme that emphasises integration but there is an extended programme of induction activities operated at programme level also. All students receive a detailed programme handbook.