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Sport Management and the Business of Football (MSc)

Course Description

This programme is designed to give you the skills and expertise you need to compete in the football industry and related businesses and organisations, by combining specialist teaching about the principles and practice of sport and football business management and economics with general training in management, business organisation, strategy and research methods. It covers several key areas, such as governance and regulatory issues, with emphasis on the wider sport and football sectors.

It will help you to develop a deeper understanding of management, governance and regulatory issues within the business of sport, and in the business of football in particular. It is ideally suited to the needs of executives within a variety of sport and football organisations, such as professional football clubs, sport governing bodies, media organisations, members of supporters’ organisations, and government officials with responsibilities in the sport, and specifically the football, sectors, as well as people with a general interest in the sport, football and media industries; or those seeking a broad education in the functioning of the football industry which will act as a platform for securing employment in the football industry or related sector.

Based in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, the Department of Management is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in teaching, research and consultancy in the broad field of management. Our academic staff are active researchers as well as enthusiastic teachers, and regularly publish cutting-edge articles in the world's leading journals.

We have particular research strengths in international business and strategy, the management of innovation and entrepreneurship, human resource management, corporate governance, sport management and marketing, as well as financial management and accounting.

We offer students of all ages and backgrounds a chance to study either part-time or full-time in our department and to gain an internationally recognised University of London qualification.

We also offer an MSc Sport Marketing, MSc Sport Management and Marketing, MSc Sport Management, MSc Management with Sport Management and MSc Sport Management, Governance and Policy.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

A comprehensive review of the theory and practice of the business and management of sport with particular reference to the football industry.
Visiting speakers include experts from the legal profession, football clubs and football regulatory authorities.
Linked to Birkbeck's Sport Business Centre, one of the world's leading centres for sport business and football research, teaching, training, consultancy and policy advice.
We engage in significant collaborative research and have excellent contacts with many public and private sector organisations, professional bodies and researchers at other academic institutions.
You will have access to Moodle, our online learning resource where all information and materials relating to your programme of study and modules are available. You will also have access to the Birkbeck Library and e-Library where you can obtain books and journal articles that are required for your studies.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the Sport Management and the Business of Football (MSc) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Cemal Erksun

3987.jpg 'The programme contents was very attractive, and the fact that Birkbeck is part of the University of London, which is an internationally recognised and respected university was also an important factor. As an additional bonus, I am living in London, which is an amazing city.'

'I knew about Birkbeck’s Sports Business Centre, and when I came to London for a Birkbeck Open Evening last February, the course director actually invited me to one of the seminars, which was very good.'

Birkbeck’s classes are all taught in the evening which means that students can combine their study with work or other daytime commitments. Cemal doesn’t work, but he finds the evening teaching works well for him. He says: 'Full-time study is demanding, but I have the daytime to go to the library, do the reading for my course and write my essays. I also do a lot of sports during the day, and the University of London sports centre is right next to the library.'

One of the things that Cemal hoped to gain from studying in London was new relationships with others in the sports business world: 'My relationship with my colleagues in my class is very good. It’s a big international community, with students from South America, Asia and Europe. There’s a very nice atmosphere.'

The programme of events and seminars at the Birkbeck Sports Business Centre has been an important part of Cemal’s time at Birkbeck: 'There are regular seminars in term-time and we heard from many great speakers. It was a very good experience for the students, and really broadened our horizons and gave us fresh ideas.'

'The tutors are experts in their fields. The content of the classes was very relevant to what is happening in the sports management world. You can go to the tutors at any time with any question and they will always try to help you.'

In the future, Cemal hopes to go back to Turkey and continue working in sports management. He says: 'Studying this programme has broadened my perspectives and helped me to understand the modern sports management sector. The knowledge I have gained will definitely help me achieve my career aims, and I will use it to do good things for my country.'

(Student Profile)

Nathan Ashley

4076.jpg 'I decided to study sports management because during my undergraduate course I’d been Chair of my university football team and really enjoyed helping the other students to get organised, travel to tournaments and go to matches. Until the Birkbeck course was recommended to me I hadn’t realised that there were academic programmes that could help take that experience further and get a job at the end of it.'

'Everyone on the course was really passionate about sports so it really didn’t feel like hard work. There were lots of international students and a mix of ages and backgrounds, but everyone was eager to learn. The diversity among the students meant that people were able to bring their own perspectives to sports.'

'During the course it was amazing to find out about the range of people that the director, Sean Hamil, had worked with. His knowledge of sports governance really is second to none and people come to him from around the globe for advice. There were also fortnightly lectures from guest speakers working in the sports industry. Even now that I’ve graduated I will check the calendar and go to some of those events. Being able to attend events like that, as well as on-going contact with Sean Hamil and former classmates who are now working in the industry helps me to keep up with developments, as it’s a constantly evolving field.'

'I’ve been lucky to be offered three different jobs since I graduated (including one with Arsenal Football Club), and every person that has interviewed me has said the fact I managed to study the course, fund it, and combine it with work helped to get the interview. Nowadays I don’t even know how people get into competitive industries like sports without having a Master’s.'

'Working in sports is a constant learning process and the MRes gave me the platform to be able to do that, as well as a network of people to talk to about industry developments.'

'I have already recommended Birkbeck to other people. If you’re looking for flexibility then Birkbeck is the place to go.'

(Student Profile)

Sungho Park

'Birkbeck is very open and supportive to international students; all the people who work there are very friendly. Birkbeck has a long history and tradition and it has a very good reputation.

'The facilities at Birkbeck are fantastic. I was told that in European countries it was very hard to use the internet so I was worried about that, but at Birkbeck it was fantastic. The library was brilliant; it had all the books and journals that I needed. I also used the e-library to look at journals and other resources for my studies. It was perfect.'

(Student Profile)

Sungho Park

4117.jpg 'Birkbeck is very open and supportive to international students; all the people who work there are very friendly. Birkbeck has a long history and tradition and it has a very good reputation.

'The facilities at Birkbeck are fantastic. I was told that in European countries it was very hard to use the internet so I was worried about that, but at Birkbeck it was fantastic. The library was brilliant; it had all the books and journals that I needed. I also used the e-library to look at journals and other resources for my studies. It was perfect.'


Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally at least a second-class honours degree in any subject area from a UK university or a non-UK equivalent. A professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations approved by the College. Relevant experience, supporting statements and references may be taken into consideration, especially in the case of non-standard applications.If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 5225 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 10450 pa

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