Profile image of Professor Deirdre Brennan

Professor Deirdre Brennan

Professor of Physical Education and Sport

Profile image of Professor Deirdre Brennan


School of Sport


Room 15C08 Shore Road Newtownabbey Co. Antrim BT37 0QB



Deirdre Brennan is Professor of Physical Education and Sport. She graduated with a BA (Hons) Sport Studies, PGCE (Physical Education), MA Leisure Studies and a PhD in Sport Sociology from Ulster University. She joined Ulster as Lecturer in Physical Education in 1992. Deirdre teaches at undergraduate and post graduate level.

Deirdre is founder and Director of the multi-award winning Sports Outreach unit (SO) a strategic initiative of Ulster University designed to widen access to sport and physical activity to young people in areas of greatest disadvantage and develop the practical and professional skills of aspiring teachers. Sports Outreach received a THE Shortlist award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a University (2014). It won Coaching Intervention of the Year for Northern Ireland (2015), UK Coaching Intervention of the Year (2015), CUBO  Innovation Award for Excellence in Student Experience.

Deirdre also co-founded the Sport Changes Life Foundation (SCLF) ( a charity designed to raise the aspirations of young people at risk using sporting excellence, academic achievement and personal development.

She is author of ‘eHoops’ a programme using sport to target those not in education, employment or training (NEET’s) that was one of only four shortlisted as ‘Best New Project’ in 2014 by Beyond Sport.

Dr. Brennan is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the recipient of both a Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and a Fellowship in Academic Enterprise for her innovation and enterprise using sport