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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2021 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start dates

January, September


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Sport has become one of the world’s most lucrative and high-profile business sectors. Choose our pioneering BA (Hons) Sport Management course to launch your career in an industry which never fails to thrill.

100%overall student satisfaction - BA (Hons) Sport Management**National Student Survey 2020

Sport Management at Derby

Sport is becoming one of the world's most lucrative industries. Prepare to play your part with hands-on experience of organising sporting events and the chance to see the business of sport close up with organisations like our official partner of the course, Derby County Football Club.

This varied sports degree builds your expertise in areas such as sports event management, marketing, media and business development, sport policy and planning, sport finance, and professional development.

Business work placements in each year of study prepare you for a successful future in sport management. You could find yourself attending live press conferences, getting involved with commercial hospitality and retail management, taking part in crowd management on match days, or undertaking consultancy and research projects for clubs.

Grace Vivian and Jack Webster tell us about their time studying BA (Hons) Sport Management, and how the course's placement opportunities led to graduate employment at Derby County Football Club.

A sporting career that means business

There is no doubt that sport is big business. Just think of the global appetite for the Olympics or our own Premier League, the multi-million pound sponsorship deals, the unprecedented sums generated by broadcasting rights, and the way sport can generate economic growth in our communities. 

Our BA (Hons) Sport Management is your entrance ticket to this exciting world. You can combine your passion for sport with the business management skills it takes to succeed.

Unique learning experiences

In addition to classroom-based learning, you’ll see the business of sport in close-up, developing your management and leadership prowess in a real-world context.

At every level of study, there is the chance for you to work within a professional environment including Derby County FC, Uttoxeter Race Course, Derby Arena, Team Derby.

You’ll also get involved in delivering sports events nationwide. In the past year alone, our students have assisted in the organisation of Championship and FA Cup football matches, T20 cricket matches, National Basketball League matches and the Derby Half Marathon and 10k races.

Charlene Sharp - Image Embed
"I have been involved with a number of opportunities relevant to the course, such as working for Derby County on match days for Rams TV." Charlene Sharp, current Sport Management student

Skills to take you far

This is a hugely varied sport degree. We will develop your expertise in areas such as international sport; sports event management; marketing, media and business development; sport policy and planning; sport finance; and professional development.

In just one example, our partnership with Derby County Football Club has seen students get involved with commercial partnerships and sponsorship, corporate 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.

Be inspired by the experts

Drawing on our exceptional network of contacts, we offer you the chance to learn from leading industry professionals from around the world – with UK-based guest lectures and masterclasses delivered online from overseas.

Your studies will be engaging and inspirational. An unusual induction week exercise saw our students team up with their counterparts from Derby Business School to take part in a Dragons’ Den style exercise. As part of this three-day challenge, they were able to talk to Derby County FC owner Mel Morris about 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.

A video featuring out students experiences on the performance sport programme at University of Derby

View Performance Sport at Derby video transcript

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What you will study

Year 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Industrial Placement Year (Optional)Industrial Placement Year (Optional)Year 3Year 3

Code: 4SO500

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO503

Introduction to Sport Management

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.
20 Credits

Code: 4SO512

Sport Development Planning

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO513

Principles of International Sport Business

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO514

Sport Management in Practice 1

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 4SO515

Sport Management in Practice 2

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO502

Research Methods for Sport and Exercise

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:

  1. Develop a coherent research question based on a review of the associated academic literature
  2. Provide a robust rationale for the research question proposed based on academic literature
  3. Develop a suitable research methodology for the proposed research question
  4. Analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data gathered from a range of research methods used in sport and exercise
  5. Demonstrate evidence of Professional Development through engagement with PDP and Sport and Exercise placement

Module content

The module will focus on the following topic areas:

  • Research proposal writing
  • Literature review
  • Research question rational
  • Research methodology (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Reliability and validity
  • Thematic analysis
  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Probability and significance
  • Reporting/summarising data
More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO523

Advanced Sport Management in Practice 2

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO524

Advanced Sport Management in Practice 1

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO525

Applied Sport Business Management

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO526

Sport Business Development and Entrepreneurship

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.
20 Credits

Code: 5SO527

Sport Project Management Operations

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 5SO528

Applied Professional Practice

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.
40 Credits

Code: 5SO529

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

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.

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20 Credits

Code: 6SO519

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.
20 Credits

Code: 6SO520

Managing Sport Events

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.

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40 Credits

Code: 6SO521

Strategic Management in Sport

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.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6SO998

Independent Study for Sport and Exercise

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.

More information
40 Credits

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.

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Live Subject Chats

Join us on Saturday 28 November for a day of Live Subject Chats. You’ll be able to ask our teaching team questions about the courses we offer, speak to Admissions advisors about applying and chat to current students about their experience.

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How you will learn

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:

The main reason I chose this course is that it teaches you a lot about what the football industry looks like and what it’s like to work in a managerial position. Another attraction is the internships offered at Derby County Football Club.

Tomas Egert
Sport Management student

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.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Omari Williams
Programme leader

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.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2021 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,045 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Full-time students applying to start in January should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

Students applying to start in January should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


As a BA (Hons) Sport Management graduate, you can progress to a wide range of roles within professional sports clubs – such as marketing executive, facility manager, social media manager, commercial sponsorship manager or sport event manager.

You could also seek a business management career in broader fields including  the events industry with concerts and festivals. In addition, there is the potential to progress to postgraduate study or teacher training with a focus on sport or business.

Enhance your employability in sport at the University of Derby

How you can enhance your employability in sport at the University of Derby

What our partners say

Derby County Football Club staff members discuss what they like about their job roles and the particular challenges they can face.

Contact us

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.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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Graduate Jack Webster walking in the Pride Park tunnel

Graduates working at Derby County Football Club

We hear from five Sport Management graduates whose placements were just the start of their time at DCFC.

Find out how the course was a game changer for their careersFind out how the course was a game changer for their careers