Master of Science
Ulster University Business School
Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing
This course is designed for those of any academic or work background who seek to pursue a career in business or management within the sports industry.
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The MSc Sport Management course is designed for aspiring graduates who wish to develop a career in the sports industry, focusing on the business of sport. Such students recognise the need to gain business and management knowledge to complement their undergraduate study before embarking on their chosen career. The course aims to equip you with the essential academic knowledge in business and management alongside the personal skills which are applicable to all industries and the more specific knowledge of the sports industry which will help you launch your career.
The course is regularly ranked within the top courses of its kind worldwide and thus should provide applicants with an assurance as to the relevance and value of its content.
The MSc Sport Management is one of the few Master's courses which gives its students the opportunity to put theory into practice through an internship. This helps you to build your CV and work experience which should also place you at an advantage in the job market.
The course has an excellent track record of success, its graduates occupy managerial positions across a number of organisations both locally and internationally and as such it is a much sought after qualification.
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The course was introduced to meet an increasing demand from students and employers who recognise the need for highly skilled managers in the area of sport. It aims to give students an introduction to the key areas of business, management and sports management which are essential to build a successful career in the sports industry.
The course combines the expertise of two of the University’s Schools: the Ulster University Business School and the Ulster University School of Sport, and is suitable for aspiring graduates from any academic discipline.
This MSc is designed for those who recognise the need to progress their academic study in order to embark on a successful career in sports management. The modules on the course offer a comprehensive introduction to the essential areas of business and management. In addition to the taught modules, the course places a substantial emphasis on developing students’ employability skills. You will also take advantage of our Internship Programme which gives you the opportunity to work alongside an organisation in the summer semester.
During the course, guest speakers are invited in to talk to students about how business and management theory is applied in various organisations. Students will also be invited to attend business and networking events, providing an opportunity for them to build up their network of contacts.
The modules on the MSc course will provide students with a thorough grounding in business and management principles. In semester 3, two modules are studied and students are then required to complete their Internship and associated Management Project.
The modules are intended to provide students with a thorough grounding in the business of sport along with the management principles and opportunities to develop and apply management related skills.
Those who teach on the course are experts in their subject area, many are engaged in related research and some staff also have experience of working in industry before taking up post at Ulster University.
We also bring in guest lecturers from industry to further enhance the classroom experience and provide practitioner input.
All modules are delivered 'executive style' in a flexible three-day block format and can be paced to individual needs.
The full-time MSc is completed in one year. Full-time participants can also exit with a PgCert after successful completion of one semester (three modules) or alternatively exit with a PgDip after successful completion of two semesters (six modules).
The course is taught by experts from Ulster University, and we will also invite guest speakers from industry to come and present to students.
We try to ensure that the content of modules and their assessment is as practical and work focused as possible, Assessment is via coursework, both group and individual, with presentations forming part of the criteria in some modules.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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The aim of the module is to provide participants with an introduction to the financial issues and techniques involved in managerial decision-making and control. Financial decisions and their implications are required to be considered by all organisations. The accounting function cannot be viewed in isolation from the other key functional areas of management and it is important therefore, that managers understand the integrative nature of financial decision making both at an operational and strategic level.
Good managers are not only effective in their use of economic and technical resources, but also in their management of people. This module aims to enable students to acquire knowledge and an understanding of the core areas of Human Resource Management (HRM) and the factors which influence behaviour within organisations. This knowledge and understanding is essential for effective and efficient management practice, in particular, effectively managing, leading and developing people. Learning will be by teaching, discussion and independent study.
This module will examine a range of theoretical and practical issues surrounding business model innovation. This will be important to understanding the concepts of innovation, creativity, value creation and value capture. The development of business model by student teams will immerse students in key methods of innovation and value propositions, that are relevant for contemporary managers as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. This module will combine real world research and applications in the form of several case studies from major EC projects carried out in the Ulster Business School, video and live guest speakers. This will be combined with key theoretical concepts and relevant empirical research studies, concrete business model and innovation methods.
Strategy and innovation consists of the analysis and decisions an organisation undertakes in order to create and sustain competitive advantage. Understanding these interrelated processes is crucial for creating and developing organisations. This module explores these decision areas from a range of contemporary perspectives and contexts.
All business activities occur within an organisational context, and all organisations require effective and efficient management. This module introduces students to the subject of management, organisational structures and strategy. Students will develop a framework of knowledge from which they can understand and critically analyse the strategic goals of management, appropriate organisational structures and management's role in delivering strategic goals, as well as identify suitable strategies to enable future organisational growth.
This module will provide students with an opportunity to critically and conceptually engage with issues related to the strategic sport marketing of organisations. The module is designed to ensure the students gain the underpinning knowledge and competencies to serve as managers in the fastest growing global industry of the 21st Century.
This module enables participants to examine a range of aspects of law which specifically affect the organization of sport. It will familiarise participants with a range of legal principles and then apply these to a range of sporting situations. Participants will engage through a block series of lectures, seminars and group activities and make ideally links between these aspects and their own organizational situations.
This module is designed to enhance the employability of the student, whilst giving them experience of a workplace environment. In considering this they produce both reflective reports which help aid skills development, and also an internship project in which they review the theoretical concepts encountered on the course to their live management issue.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Students should have normally obtained a good second class Honours degree from a recognised institution. The degree can be in any discipline as the MSc Sport Management course is designed for graduates of all disciplines.
Students on the MSc Sport Management course have a truly international flavour and in recent years students have come from across five continents to study the course. Students also typically come from a wide range of academic backgrounds including the arts, humanities, engineering and sciences.
In order to apply for entry students shall normally have gained:
• A second class honours degree or better from a University of the United Kingdom
or Republic of Ireland, or from another institution which has been recognised by the
Senate for this purpose; OR
• An equivalent standard in a professional or other qualification recognised by the
Senate for this purpose.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Those who have equivalent level qualifications or significant work experience may apply for exemptions under the University's APEL policy.
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There are a variety of careers available to graduates of the course. Many students take up roles within the sports industry, for example in consultancy, marketing or administration. Other graduates have made use of the more generic business and management skills that are taught on the course to gain employment with organisations such as Apple.
Many students use the opportunity of their internship to build links with employers. Over the past few years students have worked for organisations such as the Belfast Giants, Ulster Sports Academy, Sport Ireland, Adidas, Ecco and the IFA, for example.
An internship forms an essential part of this course. Students work alongside an employer in semester 3 which allows them to gain some good work experience to further apply and contextualise skill sand develop their CVs. This internship also forms the basis of the final assessment on the course - the Management Project.
Students have worked in local sport goods manufacturers and clothing organisations such as Ecco and Adidas as well as with sports clubs, teams and organisations such as the Belfast Giants, Ulster Rugby and the IFA.
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There are a number of sponsored prizes awarded each year on the course to mark the outstanding achievements of students.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
For more information on the course, your application or to have an informal chat about the course please contact:
“When I finished my degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Birmingham University I went travelling. At the end of the year I turned my thoughts to making decisions about my “future career.” I searched the internet, and found myself drawn to a Master's course in Sport Management.
“The combination of Sport and Business sounded just up my street, and I felt certain it would help my career development. I have always been passionate about sport, both the playing and the science of it, but had never learnt about the business side so vital to the industry. I compared the University of Ulster’s Sport Management Master's with similar in the UK, and was interested by the emphasis on business, rather than any focus on coaching. The course did not let me down. I had an enjoyable, but hard working, year and made many friends.
“The residential week at the beginning of the course really enabled people to get to know each other from the start, which in turn helped the collaboration in the group based projects. I learnt an enormous amount during the first two semesters and in the third semester did an internship upon which I based my dissertation focusing on brand development.
“The third semester was certainly a test; time management became key, due to the writing of a Management Project whilst doing an internship, and completing two course modules. My internship was at a new sports company called ONE1918 whose parent company is O’Neills. I learnt a lot at ONE1918, and they were very supportive in the placement. ONE1918 was set up to target sports that were not catered for by O’Neills which dominates the Gaelic sports market. I helped develop the new brand, most particularly within the hockey arena.
“The Masters helped direct me towards the areas in the sports industry that I want to pursue, and I am looking forward to making use of all the new business skills and theory that I have learnt."
"My name is Vivian Koch and I am from Germany. I studied the MSc Sport Management full time at Ulster University. After finishing my Bachelor in Sport Management in Germany and working for a sports club for two years I decided to challenge myself and study abroad. As I already graduated with a degree in Sport Management I chose to pursue further study in this subject. I opted for the course at University of Ulster because of the variety of modules but also because of good reviews in the prospectus. The advantage of finishing the course within one year including an internship was another positive aspect.
The course gave me a good insight into the different areas of organisations such as finances, human resources, quality and sports marketing... Another positive aspect of the course is the focus on coursework, individually and in groups. Writing assignments gave me the opportunity to explore a subject in depth and critically review it. Individual assignments improved my time management skills. Working in a group challenged me to work together with different characters in order achieve a good result. Another aspect of the course was conducting presentations which was a valuable experience which enhances my employability. The internship in third semester was a very good opportunity to gain experiences and find an appropriate topic for the master's thesis. I did the internship part-time during the second semester which saved me time in the summer semester.
The course prepared me very well for the international market. Especially the case studies in sports marketing which covered a variety of countries and sports. I learned a lot about the structure and characteristics of organisations. The group work prepared me for real life situations where you have to deal with different characters within a group. Individual study and time management are very important to achieve better results. In summary I enjoyed the course and the variety of modules but suggest a stronger sports focus. In the end I can confirm that Ulster University was the right choice. The people I met and things I learned (besides studies) made it an unforgettable experience."
"From a Continuous Professional Development point of view I was keen to study a Masters course related to my employment. With a background of 13 years full time experience in the Sports Development and Community Sport Sector and currently being employed as a Sports Outreach Manager I felt this particular course was best suited to me. I knew the range of modules covered had the best mix of areas I was familiar with but also areas which would challenge my comfort zone. On top of this I always felt I had never fully achieved academically to the best of my ability and saw the course as somewhat of a personal challenge to finally excel academically.
I loved and hated the course all at the same time. On a personal level, working full time and studying proved to be a challenge in terms of timetabling suitable time for reading and assignment completion. Whilst the workload is extensive the support from teaching staff is great. From a professional point of view however, I know for sure that I have been able to take knowledge from every module (without exception) and practically apply them positively at work.
There is no doubt in my mind that the course has helped me professionally. Completing assignments informed by up to date research has increased my knowledge immeasurably in areas which are critical to my work. This has helped when planning strategically in making more informed decisions and when considering operational elements of the work I do. The course was both a journey of self-discovery in terms of academic achievement but also an eye opener into many new areas which have helped me professionally. For me this is the biggest positive influence the course has had, the legacy for me is applying my learning from the course to my working life. I genuinely believe that completion of this Masters course will be of great benefit to me moving forward as I now have the Academic qualifications to back up my experience."