A Brief History of Setanta College

Dr Liam Hennessy, Academic Director of Setanta College

Dr Liam Hennessy, Academic Director of Setanta College

Dr Liam Hennessy FRAMI is an Exercise Physiologist, Strength and Conditioning Coach and former international athlete. Liam took up the position of Director of Fitness with the IRFU in the year 2000 with a remit to create structures and embed methodologies to help Irish Rugby compete in the professional era. The role encompassed overseeing the Fitness and Strength and Conditioning of the elite squad and also recruiting staff to create and work within academies to develop younger players throughout the country.

During the process of recruiting the required 30 plus staff, it proved difficult to find professionals with both the academic and practical coaching experience required for these key roles. To implement Dr Hennessy’s philosophy and focus on long-term player development, staff needed to understand the key principles in Performance Science and Strength and Conditioning but also have the ability to apply these principles and coach.

The Solution

Dr Hennessy developed a series of training modules containing the latest thinking in Performance Science and Strength and Conditioning but also with a focus on practical application and coaching. Under the mentorship and guidance of Dr Hennessy staff were trained using these unique modules. Many of the graduates from this IRFU system have gone on to take up roles in the Premier League, NFL, World Rugby and well as many other global professional sports organisations.

Setanta College Was Founded

Using the training modules he developed and evolved whilst at the IRFU, Dr Hennessy founded Setanta College in 2006. These modules were then accredited to Certificate and Degree level for part-time blended learning via QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland), which is an internationally recognised accrediting body.

Through a partnership with World Rugby, bespoke online modules have been developed and are now used as World Rugby’s Global Gold Standard for Coaching and Strength and Conditioning. To date 40,000 participants around the world have enrolled in these programmes.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association based in Colorado U.S.A. and the Titleist Performance Institute based in California U.S.A. recognise and endorse Setanta College programmes.

Setanta College has partnered with globally established sports technology companies such as Orreco, StatSports, ForceDecks, and PUSH. Our advisory board is chaired by Padraig Harrington and consisting of world-renowned experts and practitioners.

Performance Science and Strength & Conditioning at Setanta College

Performance Science and Strength and Conditioning is becoming globally recognised as a professional pathway in the sports and general wellness industries. Our programmes cover a broad range of topics from functional screening, resistance training and fundamental movement through to nutrition, coaching skill and sport technology.

The programmes, both full time and part time (online) are designed to cover the latest academic thinking and research but with a focus on practical application. The modules are updated every two years, which is unique in the educational industry.

As well as providing online programmes Setanta College partners with universities both in Ireland and internationally to provide full time academic programmes. We also work with academic institutions and technology companies around the world conducting research and validating and testing the latest technology.

The Fire Services in Ireland have sponsored a masters student to understand how S & C principles can apply to their industry and in addition are collaborating on a research and screening project with a view to developing a national wellness programme. This and other new developments will create a much broader marketplace within which our students and graduates can contribute and gain employment.

Mission Statement

The mission of Setanta College is to provide to the undergraduate and graduate learner a quality-driven and progressive distance learning experience that leads to greater specialized knowledge, awareness and understanding with strong practical competence in strength and conditioning, sport, exercise, performance science and coaching.
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