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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.
Study Sport Management at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.
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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About this course
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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.
Sport Policy, Planning & Implementation examines the development of policy and planning for sport within the mixed economy of leisure. Managers must have a critical understanding of the policy process and how this impacts on European, National and Local levels of operation. Students will learn how to design capital management opportunities for sporting organisations and, as a result, be better equipped to add value to organisations to which they seek employment.
Enterprise and New Venture Creationenables students to develop an understanding of business from an entrepreneur's perspective. Students will experience the consequences of decision making in all aspects of a small business (such as sales and marketing, finance and operations) by creating, and actively trading with, their own business start-up.
Finance provides students with an introduction to the financial issues and techniques involved in managerial decision-making and control. It is important that managers understand the integrative nature of financial decision making both at an operational and strategic level.
Strategic Sports Marketing provides students with an opportunity to critically and conceptually engage with issues related to the strategic sport marketing of organisations. Managers need to be able to understand, develop and implement the strategic marketing process to achieve competitive advantage.
Managing and Leading People: Good managers are not only effective in their use of economic and technical resources, but also in their management of people. This module equips students with the knowledge and understanding essential for effective and efficient management practice, in particular, effectively managing, leading and developing people.
Operations and Supply Chain Managementis the planning, design, organisation, and control of the transformation process (inputs - people/materials, to outputs - goods and services). Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of key principles and techniques of supply chain management including topics such as inventory management, demand and capacity management, supply chain partnerships and IT.
Business Model Innovation examines a range of theoretical and practical issues surrounding business model innovation and will help students better understand the concepts of innovation, creativity, value creation and value capture. Students will work with real organisations in the assessment and development of innovative business models.
TheInternship and Management Projectenables students to apply knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme to an organisational issue or problem, and develop workplace skills and experience which will enhance their future career prospects. The Internships last for approximately 12 weeks.
The MSc Sport Management course is offered on a full-time basis and is one year in duration, starting in the Autumn Semester (September). The modules on the course will provide students with a thorough grounding in general business and management principles as well asthe specifics relating to the area of sports management. Students begin the course by studying for the Postgraduate Diploma in semesters 1 and 2. On successful completion of this they then progress on to semester 3 and the full Master's qualification.
The course begins with a residential in September and is taught (usually) over two days each week in semesters 1 and 2 with two block taught modules in semester 3 followed by an internship.
The duration of the course is normally one academic year of three semesters (full-time) or two academic years of six semesters (part-time). The course is modular in design with students undertaking 8 modules in total to obtain the MSc Sport Management qualification.
- September 2017
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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Enterprise and New Venture Creation
This module enables students to develop an understanding of business from an entrepreneur's perspective. Students will develop an awareness of the role of the entrepreneur in the new venture creation process and the capabilities to recognise, plan, set up and run new venture opportunities. Students will understand, and experience, the consequences of decision making in all aspects of a small business (such as sales and marketing, finance and operations) by creating, and actively trading with, their own business start-up.
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.
Managing and Leading People
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.
Operations and Supply Chain Management
Organisations must carefully manage their operations and supply chains in order to survive and prosper. This module seeks to develop a number of frameworks/techniques for assessing and improving operations and supply chain processes.
Business Model Innovation
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.
Strategic Sports Marketing
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.
Sports Policy, Planning and Implementation
This module will provide students with an opportunity to critically and conceptually engage with issues related to sport management and policy and their implementation. This will allow future managers to understand the policy and planning systems and be aware of how to capitalise on opportunities for sporting organisations. As a result of this module, students will be better equipped to add value to organisations to which they seek employment from.
Internship and Management Project
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 apply the theoretical concepts encountered on the course to a ?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
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.
Teaching and learning assessment
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.
Exemptions and transferability
Those who have equivalent level qualifications or significant work experience may apply for exemptions under the University's APCEL policy.
Careers & opportunities
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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.
Work placement / study abroad
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.
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.
Fees and funding
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Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Scholarships, awards and prizes
There are a number of sponsored prizes awarded each year on the course to mark the outstanding achievements of students.
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.
“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."