MSc Sports Management - University of Portsmouth

Sports Management

Part Time2yrs

Full Time 1yr

Take a practice placement and become a trainee sports manager

Course Overview

Why take this course?

The sports industry is an exciting, dynamic environment that requires people with ambition, expertise and management skills; people with the desire and ability to lead, plan and deliver.

The integration of theory and practice within this course will enable you to improve your knowledge specific to the sector while developing appropriate skills in a sport management context.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Gain a thorough grounding in how to manage people alongside the skills to be a confident leader
  • Develop an interdisciplinary applied to gaining expert management knowledge that can be applied to a wide range of industry sectors.
  • Conduct research investigating issues within the Sports Management sector

What opportunities might it lead to?

With an estimated worth in excess of £110 billion, the global sports industry is growing rapidly. You can expect to find a career in many specific areas such as teaching, sports development, and the health and fitness sectors.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • national governing bodies
  • sports agencies
  • local authority
  • UK sport
  • NHS
  • primary care trust
  • county sports partnership


Lucy May, MSc Sports Management student 2013

The units on offer were perfect for what I needed to be able to progress in this area and I am seeing the benefit already.

Lucy May, MSc Sports Management student 2013

Back to top

Structure & Teaching

This course can be taken either full time or part time, with good flexibility offered to part time students. In the event that you are unable to complete the180 credits for the award of MSc, there are two additional exit awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) which is obtained if you have successfully completed 60 credits.
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) which is obtained if you have successfully completed 120 credits.

You will study several key topics; however these are subject to innovation and may therefore change slightly over the years.

Here are the units you will study:

  • The Sports Business Industry: This unit enables you to evaluate the key source of uncertainty facing sports organisations and provides you with the knowledge and capacity to understand the strategic management process, the role of senior management and policy developers working with various sporting organisations.
  • Principles, Practice and Governance in Management: This unit explores the structure of sport at differing levels, from global and national organisations such as FIFA, the IOC and NGBs to local voluntary and amateur sport organisations. The unit is multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on examples, research and practice from a variety of sports and organisations
  • Applied Research Methods: This unit comprehensively prepares you for research in your chosen field. You will cover a range of research designs and approaches and will prepare you to undertake your MSc Research Project.
  • Professional Development: This unit is a work-based learning opportunity. Those students, who are already in employment, and where it is compatible with the course requirements, are able to offer this as their placement. The majority of student contact time occurs in the work placement setting and is overseen by the students agreed work place mentor.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching and learning takes place through a variety of formats including formal lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and industry-based experiences.

How are you assessed?

The varying teaching formats are reflected in the assignments. Here’s how we assess you:

  • essays
  • industry reports
  • reflective accounts
  • professional presentations
  • projects and portfolios

Tutor's view


Mike Rayner
Sport and Exercise Science

The MSc in Sports Management provides professional preparation for management or leadership positions in a variety of sport, recreation and health promotion areas. The course is taught jointly by the Department of Sport and Exercise Science and the Business School, which provides a wealth of expertise from a range of different industry sectors.

Back to top

Facilities & Features


We are one of the leading departments offering sports science-based programmes in the UK according to the National Student Survey (NSS), the Times Good University Guide, the Independent University Guide, and the Guardian University Guide league tables. You will learn in a several different environments including our biomechanics, physiology, psychology and kinanthropometry labs, home to some of the country’s finest facilities, including:

  • 3 climatic chambers for manipulating temperature, humidity and altitude
  • an immersion pool
  • a swimming flume
  • an automated tracking system
  • visual 3D software

Learning Environments

You will also benefit from plenty of indoor space for practical activities. Along with our many specialist labs, dedicated seminar spaces and interview rooms, the Department is located next to the University’s Nuffield Sports Centre and very near to the University’s St Paul’s Sports Centre. These two centres offer many facilities including sports halls, a 100-station gym, squash courts and fitness studios, all located at the heart of the University.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

For any placement activities, you will be expected to meet the cost of travel. These costs will be dependent on the type of placement and may range from £50 - £1,000 to cover travel, accommodation or subsistence.

For optional programmes of field work, cost may range from £50 - £1000+ dependent on the type of fieldwork being undertaken.

Back to top

Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

With an estimated worth in excess of £110 billion, the global sports industry is growing rapidly. You can expect to find a career in many specific areas such as teaching, sports development, and the health and fitness sectors.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • National Governing Bodies
  • Sports Agencies
  • Higher Education
  • UK Sport
  • NHS
  • Aldi Graduate Scheme
  • deVere Group
  • Fulham Football Club

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

Back to top

Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Open Evenings

Our Postgraduate Open Evenings are taking place between February and April. Lecturers and support staff will be available to discuss your options. You'll also find out more about your chosen course and subjects that interest you.

Booking will open soon but in the meantime, watch our Postgrad Live series to hear from our staff and students about what it's like studying at Portsmouth. 

Other opportunities to visit

Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University.

We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more about our self-guided walking tours.

Can't get to Portsmouth?

If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and see us at one of the events we attend around the UK.

If you would like to speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email and we will arrange this for you.

Staff from the University of Portsmouth Global office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484