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.
Sport and Exercise Science - your questions answered
In the below video, Head of Discipline for Sport and Exercise Science, Andy Hooton, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
Top5Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism subject area**The Guardian University Guide 2022
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.
When Mark Faghy first arrived in Derby as a teenage undergraduate, he stated proudly that his goal was to become manager of the England football team. Now he is a respected research academic leading an international collaboration in the fight against Covid. And his students are helping.
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.
The University of Derby is a sporting hub for talented athletes and coaches. We have a track record of improving the performance of our University sports clubs and we have created an infrastructure to provide support for talented athletes. We offer a Sports Scholarship programme that aims to help talented student-athletes realise their sporting potential while supporting them through their academic studies. We offer scholarships of up to £6,000 and provide tailored athlete-support packages delivered by an experienced multi-disciplinary Performance Sport team.
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. You can also take part in the national BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) competitions.
Human Sciences Research Centre
Our Human Sciences Research Centre conducts theoretical and applied research into the prevention and treatment of diseases and into improvements to the quality of life for people of all ages.
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.
Lee is the leader of the BA (Hons) Sport Management programme. He has over 15 years experience of leading modules, programmes and other roles in the discipline area of sport at the University of Derby.
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.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2021 - August 2022 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
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.