As sport becomes an ever more powerful industry in the global market place, there has never been a better time to consider a career in sport management. Choose our honours degree with a foundation year to keep ahead of the game.
Select our four-year course to smooth your academic progress and gain all the support and guidance you need
Realise your potential: a course with a foundation year is ideal if you are contemplating a career change or want to immerse yourself in a new subject
Take your first steps towards a dream career: you could go on to work behind-the-scenes with professional sports clubs or at major international sporting events
Build wide-ranging skills in strategy, leadership, enterprise, marketing, media, PR, finance, events and operations – all with a focus on the sports business environment
Apply theory to practice through placement opportunities with the likes of Derby County FC, Utoxeter Race Course, Derby Arena, Team Derby and other sport businesses
Assist with the organisation of major sporting events – from football and cricket to basketball and half marathons
Distinctive and dynamic, this course will appeal to anyone with an enthusiasm for sport and a thirst for business and management knowledge. It provides a compelling mix of skills to put you at the forefront of what is one of the most lucrative and high-profile business sectors of all.
100%overall student satisfaction - BA (Hons) Sport Management**National Student Survey 2020
Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
Why our degree is the business
The career scope is limitless when you think of the momentous developments transforming sport today – from the multi-million pound sponsorship deals to the unprecedented sums generated by broadcasting rights, from the media clamour surrounding sports stars to the way our growing appetite for sport is harnessed to bolster economic growth in local communities.
Sports event management, marketing, media relations, business development, sport policy and planning, sport finance and international sport business – all will form a crucial part of your studies on this hugely varied degree. You’ll also build broader skills in research methods, strategy and professional practice.
Learning in a real-world context
You will see the business of sport up close. We take you beyond the classroom so that you can develop your management and leadership know-how in real professional scenarios.
Our BA (Hons) Sport Management broke new ground by becoming the first course of its kind in the country to guarantee every student a sport business work placement during each year of their studies. Our students have gained invaluable insights through working directly with names such as Derby County Football Club, Derbyshire County Cricket Club, Derby Arena, Derby City Council, Sport-80, Team Raleigh, Team Derby and Sporting Futures.
In just one example, our partnership with Derby County FC has seen our students attend live press conferences; get involved with commercial hospitality and retail management; take part in crowd management on match days; learn about sophisticated ticketing systems; explore legal and HR issues surrounding staff contracts; and undertake consultancy and research projects on behalf of the club.
You’ll also assist with the delivery and organisation of sports events locally and nationally. Recent examples – to name but a few – have included Championship and FA Cup football matches, T20 cricket matches, National Badminton League matches and the Derby Half Marathon.
An engaging and inspirational experience
Our contacts book includes leading industry professionals from around the world, so you will have every chance to build your own networks. We offer an exciting range of guest lectures to broaden your perspectives, including masterclasses delivered online from overseas.
Our lecturing staff are enthusiastic, approachable and committed to making your learning experience lively and stimulating from the outset. An unusual induction week exercise, for instance, saw our students team up with their counterparts from Derby Business School to take part in a Dragons’ Den style exercise. As part of the three-day challenge, they met Derby County FC owner Mel Morris to discuss everything from player recruitment strategy to club finance and commercial issues.
Join Team Derby
If you enjoy a challenge and would like to make the most of your own sporting passion and prowess, you could become involved with Team Derby which is the focal point for the University’s sporting community. It encompasses all aspects of sport, including courses, numerous sports clubs, the Athletics Union and sport development activities.
This module aims to develop an understanding of why and how research is conducted within science disciplines. Students will develop a working knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative data handling skills through the use of Excel and other appropriate software. Introductions to formulating and operationalising research questions and hypotheses will be included along with an exploration of the rationale behind applying different research methods for different purposes and the ethical considerations linked to these.
The module will be taught through a series of lectures introducing the theoretical background to research. These will be supplemented by workshops in which students will begin to apply the concepts they have heard about, developing their own research understanding in a practical way. Indicative content will include consideration of independent and dependent variables, research questions, hypotheses, ethics, quantitative and qualitative data, handling and recording data and report writing.
This module aims to develop the study skills essential for study at university and facilitate the transition into Higher Education. The module will help student understand university systems and processes, the study skills they require to succeed and the role they have in their own learning.
The module will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials, and workshop sessions. The module will cover three broad themes linked to individual awareness / personal development, digital literacy and study skills. Topics will be delivered by a range of academic and specialist support staff. Indicative content includes: learning styles, student wellbeing, employability, scientific writing, oral communication, teamwork, note-taking, exam preparedness, information location and retrieval and plagiarism and referencing.
This module provides an overview of business and management and how recent developments have helped shape current perspectives.. Students will gain an understanding of the broad range of subject disciplines attributed to the world of business and begin to develop an appreciation of the theoretical knowledge and skills required to undertake future study and develop a career path in this area
This module provides an introduction to the fundamental ‘art’ of sport and exercise disciplines. Students will gain an understanding of the broad range of qualitative based subject disciplines attributed to sport and exercise and begin to develop an appreciation of the skills required to work within the diverse sport and exercise field.
This module focusses on the ‘art’ of sport and exercise to ensure a grounding knowledge for all. Students will learn of the different roles a sport and exercise professional may take on and the skills attributed to each in order to be successful.
This module will introduce students to psychology as an integrated and multi-faceted discipline. Students will explore both classic and contemporary aspects of psychology from a position of little or no knowledge. They will gain an understanding of the breadth of psychology and the ways in which the topic areas included can be approached from a number of different theoretical perspectives using a variety of methodological approaches.
This module provides you with an introduction to the study of sociology. It is intended to encourage an understanding of core sociological theories, and to foster an awareness of sociological issues and phenomena. It is designed to develop your appreciation of how we evaluate the social world
The module emphasises core sociological theoretical perspectives, which include Marxism, feminism and functionalism. Theoretical perspectives are compared in their application to, and interpretation of, various social phenomena. The module aims to provide you with a basic of understanding of how we evaluate the lived experience and covers a range of topics in relation to the research process including; statistics, data gathering methods and how evidence is presented.
Academic and Research Skills for Sport and Exercise
This module is taught in two parts: Academic skills and research skills. The academic skills component provides students with grounding in the key skills needed to be successful at undergraduate study; including, literature searching, literature review, academic writing, referencing, and presentation skills. The research skills component gives students an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods, including descriptive statistics.
Students will learn how to collect and interpret data using a range of approaches including questionnaires, interviews and experimental methods. The emphasis on the module is to develop student’s confidence in engaging with academic literature including the associated terminology.
Personal Development Planning (PDP) will be embedded into the program with a series of “step-to-success” workshops which will support students in their professional development . Students will be required to engage with the PDP programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.
Most of the delivery will be based on seminar sessions wherein students will be given structured tasks which will be completed individually or in groups. Delivery and assessment will provide students with the opportunity to engage and explore their own area of interest with respect to the associated academic literature.
The growth of both private and public sector investment in sport has seen the continued professionalisation of both its administration and management. Indeed, with greater investment comes greater accountability to key stakeholders such as shareholders or public bodies. This module therefore begins the process of equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary to become the professional managers of sport organisations in the future.
This module introduces students to the process of sports development planning and investigates the links that this has with local and national government policies within the UK.
Students will consider the issues and approaches which are employed in order to develop new and existing sites for sport and recreation purposes. Sport’s evolution is closely associated with patterns of work and leisure, prevailing religious beliefs and class divisions. By understanding the development and formulation of sport policy and its articulation through sport development students will appreciate sport’s position in the 21st century as a driver for social change.
The international sport business market is a rapidly evolving concern. For example the staging of the industry termed ‘mega’ sports events and the proximal relationship which such events possess with the equally burgeoning digital media industry has led to the creation of a number of novel concepts, theories and practices. Elements such as this are becoming the foundation layer of the international sports business market and represent the both the stimulus and response to developing global trends.
This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of emergent theories and concepts. The principles covered in this module will establish an essential academic underpinning for students. Students will explore the key facets of international sport business: areas such as globalisation, international market strategies, ethics, entrepreneurship, corporate and social responsibility will be covered in both their traditional and contemporary formats. This module is designed so that the principles covered within this module will continue to resonate across the programme as it progresses.
The overall aim of the module is to provide directed real world learning and reflective opportunities within operations management in sport. This module introduces the linkage of core competencies, knowledge and skills required to manage a business and focuses on achieving rapid organisational goals within the sports industry.
The module provides an integrated approach to the four operational areas required in successful organisations; managing people, marketing, PR and financial operations. The key focus of the module is placed upon on the sport manager’s role in resolving concerns and developing a reflective professional. In addition to the above the module also introduces practical element of the statistical, costing and financial control techniques used to support the manager in making effective strategic decisions.
The overall aim of the module is to provide directed real world learning and reflective opportunities within operations management in a real sports organisation.
This module introduces the linkage of core competencies, knowledge and skills required to manage a business and focuses on achieving rapid organisational goals within the sports industry. It will also enable students to understand their own development within the industry through Professional Development and the creation of their own skills based portfolio. The module provides an integrated approach to the four operational areas required in successful organisations; managing people, marketing, PR and financial operations.
The key focus of the module is placed upon on the sport manager’s role in resolving concerns and developing a reflective professional. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own competencies and skills with a view to understanding their own capabilities within the working environment and plan their future professional development.
This module builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in the level 4 Research and Academic Skills module. The module is designed to prepare students for their dissertation at level 6. Students will conduct a systematic literature review in a topic area related to their degree, in order to develop a coherent research question.
Particular emphasis will be given to developing a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on a review of existing literature. Furthermore, students will propose a research methodology based on the rationale developed. The overall focus of the module is on the process of “doing research”, and this will reflect in the delivery methods used. As such, students will be encouraged to explore the suitability different methodologies with respect to the research question asked. There will be the opportunity within sessions for students to attempt to critically review literature, and peer review research proposals. In addition to developing a research rationale and design for a proposed research project, students will undertake a range of in-class assessed qualitative and quantitative data analysis tasks using appropriate software, including descriptive and inferential statistics.
The Steps-to-Success programme will be implemented in this module, in conjunction with the employability and careers office. The focus will be placed on graduate schemes, teacher training, networking, job applications and masters programmes. Students will be required to engage with the Professional Development Planning (PDP) for Sport and Exercise programme by collating hours in a Sport and Exercise based placement in addition to participation in associated activities in an area related to sport.
Module learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
Develop a coherent research question based on a review of the associated academic literature
Provide a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on academic literature
Develop a suitable research methodology for the proposed research question
Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of research methods used in sport and exercise
Demonstrate evidence of Professional Development through engagement with PDP and Sport and Exercise placement
The module will focus on the following topic areas:
Research proposal writing
Research question rational
Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
This module will enable students to continue to reflect on their own fit within the industry and aid them to gain an increased focus on their future career. It follows on from Sport Management in Practice 1 and 2. This Professional Development module gives the student the basics of recognising skills and knowledge they possess and the tools needed to continually gain, improve and develop through working life.
It will give the ability to constantly review actions and effectively monitor and evaluate personal work in both an academic and a vocational sense. It will look at use of theory in personal and professional roles in the workplace and how individuals have sought to apply it.
The focus of this module is applying information gathering to a specific project. The project will be a ‘real world’ project determined in discussion with the organisational contacts the student is working with alongside the student’s personal tutor.
One of the main aspects of any sports management operation is that of project based work. This could be assessing the impact of new advertising on potential customers, understanding the effects of the current economic climate on gate receipts or analysing the door to door experience of the customer. All of these will need different approaches to information gathering and analysis of that data.
The research must focus on an applied task that will develop results that are useful for the organisation the student is working within. It will be in conjunction with the theory developed in Sport Management Organisations and maybe stem from the year one studies in Sport Management Practice 1.
Working on projects students will develop confidence and the knowledge of applying useful information that benefit organisations. It will also enable them to apply methods developed in their research methods module. This will be directly applicable to the students personal development in that they will be given a leading role in developing the project and undertaking it thus developing their own levels of experience and responsibility.
Overall the module is intended to provide students with an integrated approach to assessing the financial performance of sport organisations, examining the business sector that the sport organisation operates within and to give the student the necessary skills to make informed management planning and control decisions.
Students will be introduced to the theoretical perspectives and develop the practical tools to maintain alignment with the changing landscape of business. Meeting corporate targets is a practice one expects to support the continuing growth and development of the business. A manager should be able to evaluate an organisation (in the context of a changing business environment), and plan appropriate strategies designed to enhance and/or protect overall business performance.
Consequently this module aims to develop students ability to evaluate performance relative to the evolving and fluctuating business environment; as a result students will be able to plan both effective and sustainable long-term business initiatives, solutions and frameworks.
This module combines two skills in great demand in the sport sector. The first ability is being able to plan ahead, taking an organised and prepared approach to business development. The module will aim to break down barriers to creativity with the use of models, and an examination of entrepreneurial behaviours. This module will also link the other business modules as the skills and theories developed in them will assist here. The module aims to provide students with the ability to develop products and services through careful planning, implementation and management.
Students will build on concepts, theories and processes learnt in the first year that are applied to different events within the sport sector. This will consider the technical planning of the sport facility/event alongside the wider perspectives and external variables.
They will assess the requirements for bi-weekly events such as football matches to one off events such as a local 10k race that may be held in the same facility. As the staging of the event approaches, integration of the activity becomes increasingly crucial. For example, as the production team coalesce the varying operational and logistical strands of the event. It is also essential to understand that this synchrony must persist during and after the event i.e. as event ‘shutdown’ takes place and monitoring and evaluation are completed. The module aims to meet this varied need and provide students with real world learning as well as helping to strengthen links with industry partners.
This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline.
During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.
Contemporary Issues in Sport Management and Development
This module’s aim is to provide students with a critical understanding of contemporary issues, and address current and topical issues, associated with the sports management and sport development sectors, whilst establishing strong links between theory and practice. Its main purpose is to enable students to reflect and appraise the sports management and development industry, in relation to their principles and practices.
This module will provide the tools to enable a critical appraisal of the complex issues surrounding the planning, co-ordinating and management of events in a global context. It provides the student with a critical understanding of not only cultural differences and how this impacts upon the sports management sector, but also theoretical underpinning of managing cultural differences and ethnicity.
The nature of the global environment requires students to have an in-depth understanding of management and leadership across cultures unfamiliar to them. In-depth issues in events management and effective leadership in a global context will also be examined in the context of globalisation and culture. It will also assess the complexities of corporate culture versus national culture and the implications of this on the event manager when undertaking both global and mega-events.
Sport service sector organisations must recognise the need to stay abreast of changes in the external environment and remain goal focused to ensure company objectives are met in both the short and long term. Increasing competition, dynamic customer demand and the pace of technology have led to a realisation that organisations need to flexible, agile and responsive to change.
To this end, businesses need to identify and critically examine future developments within the service sector, and develop appropriate management strategies and actions to facilitate change. Organisations that are risk adverse will take longer to proactively meet the changing external environment and this module seeks to develop an awareness of the organisational approach to risk by analysing appetite and maturity levels.
The module aligns with the nationally recognised need for undergraduates to have a far deeper understanding and greater knowledge of international issues and general awareness of the global agenda.
The independent studies module provides students with the opportunity to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by conducting an in-depth investigation; requiring a systematic and significant application of both acquired research skills and understanding.
The investigation may adopt a variety of frameworks, typically dependent upon a combination of both the discipline and topic in question. The rationale being to avoid limiting the students to the traditional empirical research format; instead empowering them to select an investigatory design that is best suited to the conduct, completion and presentation of the study in focus e.g. an industry report or an individually focused / institutionally targeted case study etc.
Irrespective of the study framework, all work requires students to apply critical scrutiny and analysis to a diversity of appropriate theories, concepts and procedures. Such work will inevitably relate to a field of study deemed appropriate by a specialist in the area. The module offers the opportunity to develop an in-depth critical understanding alongside the refinement of both their subject and research skills.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Campus Tours are a great way to explore our campuses, facilities and halls of residence. We’ll be running the tours in two-hour timeslots, giving you the best possible experience while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Delve deeper into the course with our Virtual Open Day, packed with subject and course information to help you make your choice, including tours of facilities, 360° views of award-winning accommodation plus advice and insight from students and academics.
You’ll learn through traditional lectures, seminars, and tutorial frameworks, combined with on-the-job learning in work placement opportunities, field based sessions, and assessments through DCFC and other professional sport organisations. You’ll benefit from international guest lecturers via online communication, UK-based guest lectures, independent study, group consultancy work for industry and ongoing professional development activities.
Areas of study include:
Marketing, Media and PR: Attend a live press conference at DCFC, with the eyes of the international media and national journalists in attendance, plus you’ll learn how press releases and social media campaigns are created and sent out to the public
Sport Sponsorship: From selling stadium naming rights to commercial partnerships for billboard branding, you will learn and experience first-hand about the number one form of income generation in sport – sponsorship
Event Management: From working on a match day supporting the DCFC staff to help 30,000 people enjoy the game, to working as part of the event team to deliver the Derby half marathon with Sporting Futures or setting up the stage for the National Badminton League for its live match on BT Sports. Event management is a key role in sport and you will be at the heart of it in Derby
Hospitality Management: Be involved with and help plan the commercial hospitality that happens within the club, such as functions, events, and match day catering
Ticketing: DCFC use a unique ticketing system that works out the price of a ticket based on the opposition, time of year, pre-season ticket sales, season ticket sales and the day of the week. The price of the ticket will change as the date of the fixture draws closer and you’ll learn about how and why this system is in place
Research and presentations: Students will get the opportunity to work on real-life consultancy and research projects on behalf of DCFC. More importantly, rather than presenting back to the lecturer you’ll get the opportunity to sit in the DCFC board room and present face to face to the club’s senior management team
How you're assessed
You will be assessed using a range of methods, including coursework, exams, group work, online discussions, presentations, and case studies. Regular feedback is provided to support assessments and develop a greater understanding of what you need to work in the sports industry.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Omari Williams is the programme leader for BA (Hons) Sport Management. Omari's role enables him to provide a commercial focus for the degree, taking lead on partnerships with Derby County Football Club, Team Derby and Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study.
6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / Audition
Alternative entry qualifications:
BTEC - MPP
Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.
Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in the behind-the-scenes business operations of sport – and with it has come an urgent need for forward-thinking and capable management professionals.
As a BA (Hons) Sport Management graduate, you can advance to a wide range of roles within the sector – such as marketing executive, facility manager, social media manager, commercial sponsorship manager or sport event manager.
The impressive skillset you develop on this course will also prove invaluable for business management careers in broader fields, including the live events industry where the popularity of concerts and festivals continues to escalate.
You could also consider progressing to postgraduate study or teacher training with a focus on sport or business.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
To welcome you to our team, you’ll receive a University of Derby, Sport and Exercise Science t-shirt
If a DBS check is needed for the purposes of a module or programme related work placement, this is included in your fee if done via the University
We will contribute to or pay the full cost of additional qualifications which are arranged by us. For other additional qualifications you’re interested in, we may contribute to or fund these but this is at the Sport department’s discretion
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
If not already owned, formal business attire is required for your placements - approximate cost is between £50-£200
Two bound copies of your Independent Study (dissertation) - approximate cost is £12
Travel to placements - Derby County, iPro stadium - cost varies depending on method of transport and location
Optional costs not included in your fees
Recommended Books - costs will vary depending on your choice
You may wish to undertake additional qualifications as part of your studies, costs will vary depending on your choice
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.