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MSc Football Science

Course Description

Based at UCFB's Etihad Campus, this unique programme encompasses the core activities, performance affecting understanding and overall job responsibilities for the sports science practitioner in professional football.


Football operations at professional level are becoming increasingly complex, competitive, holistic and are involving an ever growing team of applied specialists. For winning performance to be achieved and sustained it is imperative that high levels of valid application, experience, evidence and people skills are utilised. High performing teams need achievers and application specialists on, off and around the pitch able to work effectively with and for, other people.

The MSc in Football Science is suitable for high achieving graduates in Sports Science or related subjects with professional experience in the industry and the desire to reach the higher echelons of the game. The programme will be focussed around applied academic application, contemporary understanding of professional football and live scenarios from the modern game.

Students will undertake an applied professional football research project looking into performance or health interventions within the professional game.

Career prospects:

Career prospects for graduates of the MSc Football Science degree programme at UCFB include highly sought-after careers within a professional football team such as a sport scientist or a performance analyst.


Modules include:

Football Culture & Professional Practice:

This module examines the organizational structure and cultural practices within professional football and football clubs. It provides a background to and an overview of the working conditions for sports scientists operating within professional football. Students will have the opportunity to identify, consider and reflect upon the implications that the demands and stressors of professional football and its norms have for their own employability and professional development. The module considers the significance of best practice and the quest for perennial improvement, with an opportunity to reflect on how science often shows why professional practice and experience works, but does not always lead practice and innovation.

Football Analytics:

Students will consider how objective data is an integral facet of modern football and responsible for player selection, transfers in and out of clubs, training prescription, match tactics and reflective practice and are used at indicators of parameters for team success in a given environment. This informatics and analysis module for utilising applied data science will cover key concepts of data sourcing, data reduction, cognitive processing, management reporting, understanding the elite footballer and tactical and technical understanding. Students will develop the understanding and attributes to present useful, timely information to elite coaches and players in the best format. A key issue to explore and prepare for will be the time pressure to be able to make an impact on the next training session or match.

Current Issues in Football:

This module will enable students to focus upon current issues within football and applied football contexts at both academy and professional level. A range of topics such as identity, dealing with stressors and anxiety, career critical moments and boundary situations (e.g. deselection, loans, and injuries) will be examined in depth. The module will give the students an appreciation of the many challenges that making your way in the game can bring and how a sports science practitioner can best support these challenges.

Injury Prevention in Football:

This module covers a critical awareness of current problems and new insights into football related injuries particularly to the knee, ankle, foot, hip and low back, for an in depth understanding and insight into the key area of football injury prevention. Students will consider the need to help players to be available consistently for practice, training and games, and how to support them and the coaches to reduce or avoid injury. Students will study the evidence base for injury reduction and prevention with the underpinning aetiology, anatomy and biomechanics, and moreover, the associated mechanisms of injury, precursors to injury, risk assessment and intervention science will be examined. The module will develop the ability to critically evaluate the science evidence behind the principles and theories of athletic screening.

Nutrition for Training & Performance:

This module will consider the requirements of nutrition to cater for the demands of professional and academy football. Topics covered will include the support of optimal training and performance, hydration for performance in games and training including reviewing the evidence base for using of sports/energy drinks to maintain optimal performance for 90 minutes. Students will study optimal recovery post game to replenish the loss of vitamins and minerals, the basic principles of macro nutrient metabolism and the recommended portion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins a professional or academy footballer needs to intake for training and health demands. Students will explore the trend of mid game refueling, supplements for optimal performance and recovery and the issues or ergogenic aids and doping.

The Psychological Health of a Footballer:

This module aims to introduce students to the psychological issues for footballers operating in professional football, addressing mental and physical ailments, recent approaches to assessment, treatment and the complications for footballers’ performance and wellbeing. It provides students with the opportunity to consider and reflect upon their role both ethically and legally as well as their communication and practical skills in the recognition and support of these illnesses within the football context.

This module which is based on sound empirical rationale investigates the impact and treatment of issues related to long term injury, addictive behaviour, pain management, and anger management. The student will also understand the implications for recovery, management and prevention of specific conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Dissertation & Research Methods

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a degree in Sport Science and a 1st Classification is preferred. We will also consider applicants with a 2:1 degree and a strong overall profile.

If you do not meet the entry requirements but would still like to be considered, please email for further advice.

To apply for this programme please download and complete the application form, then return the completed form and relevant documents as instructed to .

Complementary Curriculum TM

In addition to the unique degree programmes, UCFB also offer a trademark Complementary CurriculumTM programme of best-in-class executive speakers and exceptional work experience opportunities to ensure UCFB students graduate as well-rounded, empowered individuals. Guest speakers in the past have include Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool footballer and Sky Sports Pundit; Peter Salmon, Director England at the BBC; Greg Dyke, Chairman of The Football Association; and Kelly Simmons, Director of The National Game and Women’s Football at The Football Association.

Visit the MSc Football Science page on the UCFB website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a degree in Sport Science and a 1st Classification is preferred. We will also consider applicants with a 2:1 degree and a strong overall profile.

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Recipient: UCFB
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