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FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport

International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) CIES - Centre International d’Etude du Sport

Full time September Masters Module 1 year

About the course

The FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport.

Organised by the International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) in partnership with three universities, De Montfort University in Leicester (England), SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), and endorsed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the FIFA Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport was created to promote management education within the sports world. It has developed to become a top graduate programme developing all-round managers who can cope with the increasingly complex world of sport.

A unique programme

The FIFA Master takes its graduates on a unique journey through three different European countries to

Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

See description for full details


CHF 25’000.-

Course Content

Where is International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES)


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Student Profile(s)

Nadia Wu

Current Position: International Business Development Manager for Juventus F.C.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

I enjoyed everything.

In terms of the personal life of the class, I enjoyed learning about the cultural differences between my classmates from every possible corner of the world. For example, I even learnt about goat racing in Tanzania! Just a very common gesture or habit in my culture may be a huge surprise to other students, and vice versa. After graduation, I grew more reflective and reminiscent about every moment we spent together as a class.

When it comes to academic experiences, I loved all the modules I was able to take during my FIFA Master studies. They all gave me different inspiration. The Sports History module has helped me to integrate myself into the international society I am now working in by better understanding social contexts from a historical perspective. Even though I had acquired some history knowledge in the past back home, it was truly different to study it in greater academic detail and within the actual environment of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture in Leicester. For the second module at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, we were able to learn the managerial and financial aspects of sport business from international big brands such as Ferrari, AC Milan and Inter. Then for the final stage of the course at the University of Neuchâtel Faculty of Law in Switzerland, we not only learnt about the legal structures of a sporting entity, but also had lots of opportunities to meet with important senior officials from international sport. These opportunities organised by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) helped to open many doors in our careers after graduation.

Federico Raviglione

Current Position: Project Officer – President’s Office at the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

When I started the course I was only 22 years old and, despite the fact I had already completed a Bachelor and a Master degree, it gave me the chance to live and study in three different countries.

Further, although I already had some work experience in the world of sport, I knew I still lacked some sport-specific knowledge. The FIFA Master was the perfect choice in order to bridge that gap.

Throughout the course, not only do you get the opportunity to live and study in three different Universities in Leicester, Milan and Neuchâtel, thereby accumulating new knowledge and experiences every day, but you also get to share unforgettable moments with fellow classmates who have come from all corners of the world. All of this happens in a sport-focussed environment. On a daily basis you talk, study, practice and breathe sport, and this makes the course unique. The mix of academic lectures, field visits, talks from experts in the industry and practical case studies is extremely helpful. However, it is probably the FIFA Master alumni network which, for me, ultimately represents the biggest strength of this programme. We are now a community of over 500 professionals around the world, working in all sectors of the industry. This, I believe, is probably the most helpful asset of the FIFA Master as the course continues to grow!

Lena Schoeps

Current Position: Mercedes-AMG F1 Team - Hospitality and Events Executive

Which aspects of the FIFA master course have helped you most in your career?

Having had the chance to study with my 28 classmates from 24 different nationalities has definitely helped me the most in my career. The unique learning environment of the course, which clearly extends beyond the classroom, facilitates working in any international company and easily adapting to its respective requirements. The structure of the FIFA Master with its split of three different modules – Humanities of Sport, Management and Law is also very helpful. These modules give FIFA Master Alumni the opportunity to develop and extend knowledge in different areas, and also provide graduates with a great base for the diverse range of jobs available in the sports industry.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

Be open minded and always curious to ensure you take in everything you learn, hear and experience during the course. Ask your professors, classmates and guest speakers any questions which come to mind. Challenge (but don´t belittle) the perspectives of your classmates and always have as many shared lunches and dinners with your classmates as possible since eating is often the best moment to get to know more about the cultural backgrounds of your class. Finally, don´t forget to use the well-connected network of the FIFA Master family when you need help or if you have been asked for help. Basically, enjoy every single moment of the FIFA Master year as it will go by in the blink of an eye!

Ami Otaki

Current Position: Professional Football Player – Paris FC Féminines

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Of course, everything I learnt from the FIFA Master’s multi-disciplinary course content of sports history, management and law was new and very interesting to me. All of these modules gave me a completely new point of view and understanding of both football and sport more generally. However, now I am back playing I am currently not able to directly use much of this newly acquired knowledge. However, the challenging and diverse classroom environment of the FIFA Master gave me a chance to get out of my comfort zone. My year of studies has made me much tougher mentally than compared to before I started the course. This aspect helps me enormously right now. Also, I would never have been able to make the decision to return to football without my classmates and FMA family who were always encouraging and supportive. They gave me advice from a completely different point of view. People that I was able to meet during the year of my studies have brought me to where I am right now.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

The international experience that the FIFA master course offers over three modules, and which take place in three different countries with people from different nations, will definitely help you to deal with the multicultural nature of the global sports industry. It is not always easy to deal with people from different cultures and who often have a completely different point of view to you but this is a skill which is absolutely essential for the future leaders of sport. Also, easy access to such a diverse and wide network of course alumni and lecturers is definitely a huge advantage of the FIFA master. So, my main advice to future students on the course is just to make the most of all of these advantages. It will depend on you how fruitful this experience will be for the rest of your life. Make the most of it!

Sarah O’Shea

Current Position: Secretary General at OCI - Olympic Counsel of Ireland & Director at SOS Sports Consulting

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

At the time, there were no in-house lawyers in sport in Ireland and I saw undertaking the FIFA Master as an opportunity to change my career. I could not have achieved anything in my sports career without the FIFA Master which kick started everything so it was absolutely worthwhile. I think the people and the course alumni really are my fondest memory, combined with building a worldwide network of contacts that can be drawn upon at any time. I remember we also went to the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games and it’s funny that this trip proved important in my recent election campaign when speaking to the Irish Winter Sports Federations. So, you never know when your past experiences can come back to assist you.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

Please enjoy your time as you will work hard once it’s all over. So, do have some fun! Keep in contact with each other, as this will prove invaluable. Always stay professional but kind in your career and remember that life is about people. I believe in being open to sharing knowledge and experience with others, and in particular in helping younger people who are coming through. The best advice I could give is not to hold on to power too much and never be fearful of passing on your skills and knowledge. Those who come behind us will naturally someday pass you in their own careers, but they will never forget how you treated them and the help you provided.

Angelo Rigopoulos

Current Position: Head of National Associations Governance at the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

The FIFA Master was a key component in the development of my career. Not only did I gain a lot of experience in dealing with and understanding people with different backgrounds and cultures, but also the Management, Law and Humanities of Sport modules of the course provided me with the necessary tools in order to have a full understanding of the sports industry. In particular, the management module in Milan was for me the most beneficial with my legal background as, once this module was over, I was able to also understand the business and financial aspects of sports. Of course, the international aspect of the FIFA Master, with different modules in three different countries and with people coming from the whole world to join my class, was also very important. Indeed, I now often meet FIFA Master alumni in key football stakeholder positions as part of my daily work.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

My advice to future students of the FIFA Master is to profit from every aspect of this international course. This includes not only classes, guest speaker lectures and field visits, but also social events. Be active, listen and share opinions during the classes. This is fundamental! Sometimes we underestimate the things we can learn from our fellow students. Sharing experiences and points of view, in my opinion, is as important as studying from the books and notes given by the course professors.

John Barton

Current Position: Head of Sponsorship Sales at TEAM Marketing

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Given that I have worked in a number of very varied areas at TEAM over the years, I think the breadth of the course really helped me the most as it gives you a wide-ranging knowledge across a number of areas and helps you to appreciate the bigger picture. More specifically, without the 2 days that we spent in Neuchatel analysing the key aspects of TV contracts, I would never have got the job at TEAM in the first place!

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

Make sure that you engage fully in all areas of the course, not just the specific area that you see as your focus when you begin, as it gives you a much broader understanding of the sports industry and you never know when it may come in useful.

Shin Achiwa

Current Position: Senior Manager at the Asian Department, Sports Division, Dentsu Inc.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

The highly experienced and renowned lecturers of the ”FIFA Master” are very accessible. Also, the course alumni are always willing to help, which opens a lot of opportunities. For example, during my law module in Switzerland, I had the chance to meet with executive management at FIFA through the kind introduction of a “FIFA Master” alumni. His strong support and recommendation helped me with the opportunity I have here at Dentsu.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

The “FIFA Master” did not only change the way I now see the global sports industry, but it also shifted my entire life through the opportunities and the “FMA alumni association family” has given me. Whether a candidate is willing to work overseas or return to his/her home country after the graduation from the Master, they do it from a much higher standing, both with the new knowledge acquired from lectures and classmates, but also the diversity of networking. For me, the programme certainly gave me great contacts in the world of sport business and those connections are truly helpful in my current business role. I would recommend future students to be actively involved with the programme. Form strong relationships with your professors, and take advantage of all the opportunities presented throughout the year of meeting dynamic guest speakers and alumni.

Sarah Widera

Current Position: Corporate Communications Manager at FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

I think the biggest takeaway for me was learning and growing in such a dynamic and international environment. Coming from that big island all the way down south… it was nice to be exposed to so many new and different nationalities, opinions and ways of “operating”. This has definitely helped me transition into my role in an organisation as diverse and multicultural as FIFA, as I now have a greater awareness and understanding of people and processes (quite handy when you work in communications!).

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

I know everyone says it; but enjoy the time in class and the time spent with your fellow classmates – it’s such a unique and precious experience and really is over before you know it. Maintain an open mind, listen to the opinions and perspectives of your peers – engage in healthy debate, rather than argument. Pay it forward! If someone along the way helped you either before you got into the programme, during your studies, or as a mentor on your way to finding that all-important post-Masters job, thank them, but then return the favour and help someone else in a following edition – these are the most valuable relationships you will forge.

James Kitching

Current Position: Head of Sports Legal Services, Disciplinary and Governance at AFC (Asian Football Confederation)

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

As a lawyer, the biggest academic boost was naturally in the Law module in Neuchatel. The lessons learned from industry experts are still applied on a daily basis in my work. The other main assistance to my career is the FMA network. Second-to-none globally, its quality and depth provides effective (and direct) access to every leading sports administrator and official in the world of international sport.

In my own legal field, my thesis supervisor happened to be the world's leading sports arbitration expert. FMA members include the chief external prosecutor for WADA, the General Counsel of Bayern Munich, numerous in-house lawyers at FIFA, UEFA, and other international sports federations and clubs, as well as top sports lawyers working in private practice.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

First and foremost, embrace the challenges presented by the course. Its international nature, both through the melting pot of cultures provided within class and the international living arrangements across 3 very different countries and cities, is a true reflection of the cultural diversity and transient nature of working in international sport.

Second, engage with the alumni network. The FMA grows by approximately 30 individuals every year, each with a unique perspective on the sports industry.

Jair Emanuel Bertoni

Current Position: Director Member Associations Americas at FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association)

Which aspects of the “FIFA Master” course have helped you most in your career?

The “FIFA Master” was a great experience from a professional and personal perspective. The social aspect of it was as important as the academic one. The opportunity to study in such a multicultural environment and to be surrounded by students from different countries was enriching for learning about the sporting culture, passions and idiosyncrasies of other parts of the globe. Visiting many sporting organizations and receiving lectures from sports experts provided me with a broad understanding of the different elements that strategically structure the actions and policies of the sports industry. This practical experience was also expertly complemented with the theory provided by the professors in each university in England, Italy and Switzerland, where the “FIFA Master” takes place. The “FIFA Master” provides you with all the fundamental skills, network, and knowledge needed to be fully equipped to face the challenges of the international sports industry.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

Being part of this course and extensive network of the “FIFA Master” has enabled me to really grasp the essential components and general concepts of sport management, law and history and what is essential in order to fit professionally within the sector. The Master principally encompassed innovation and strategic thinking. Interacting with so many experts from the sports industry, many of whom are former alumni of the “FIFA Master”, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It really changes the life of people, both from a professional and personal perspective. The “FIFA Master” is indeed a great school of life! You simply cannot miss it.

Anya Alderslade

Current Position: Commercial & Marketing Executive at EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby)

Which aspects of the "FIFA Master" course have helped you most in your career?

The "FIFA Master" for me was the perfect bridge into the sporting world. With a double degree in Law and Business, work experience in a law firm and a lifelong passion for sports, the Master gave me the perfect platform to enter the industry. It is difficult to pinpoint a particular aspect of the course that has helped me more than any other, each of the three complementary modules gave me a fantastic overview of the sporting sphere and insight into its numerous interconnected parts. The Master pulls together people from all corners of the world, the relations with your peers and the cultural depth that is offered is something that I think is really unique and special.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, think outside the box and take on the challenges presented. In addition to the knowledge gained, use the enriching cultural diversity of the course to develop your personal skills. Enhance your network and don’t be shy to reach out, this is a small industry and the "FIFA Master" family is continually growing!


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