BA Hons Sports Business Management

Sports Business Management

BA (Hons)

Immerse yourself in the business side of sport, studying events, sponsorship, entrepreneurship, and more. Benefit from an applied degree, strengthening your knowledge, understanding and experience in different business sectors. 

You’ll graduate industry-ready thanks to work placements, and top additional qualifications, including the CIM Level 3 Award in Marketing Principles.

Key Information

Course Duration: 3 or 4 years full time; part-time available
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Undergraduate Degrees
Placement Year: Optional
Typical Offer: 112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent

Course information

Focus on gaining practical experience, with everything from your modules to your assessments designed in line with industry, to ensure you hit the ground running once you graduate. You could find yourself leading an assessment centre on campus, or pitching an idea for a new start-up with the help of our innovation, careers and enterprise team. You’ll develop the business skills and experience that employers are looking for. 

Everything you’ll study has been informed by industry. You'll learn how to succeed in a broad, resilient and exciting industry. Whether that’s in events, marketing, and facility management, or even as an app developer or a business-leader, career opportunities are diverse. 


This programme is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), and aligned to ‘General Manager’ (Exercise and Fitness, Sport Development and Leisure Operations Specialisms) professional standards.

Following enrolment, Hartpury University will pay for you to have Student Membership of CIMSPA. Depending on your selected modules, you could also gain Professional Certification as a CIMSPA endorsed General Manager.

  • UCAS tariff points | 112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent.

  • GCSE | A minimum of five GCSEs at grade 9 to 4, (or A* to C grades if relevant) or equivalent, to include English Language and Mathematics.

  • A-level | Typical offer is BBC or equivalent. This must include a minimum of two A-levels.

  • Vocational award | Typical offer is a DMM in an Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • Access Programme | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

  • IB |Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in an IB Diploma, to include a minimum of two Highers at H3 or above.

    This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Standard Level S3 if equivalent GCSEs have not been obtained.

  • Scottish Highers | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in Scottish Highers. This must include a minimum of one Advanced Higher and one Higher.

  • Irish Leaving certificate | Typical offer is 112 UCAS tariff points in the Irish Leaving Certificate. This must include a minimum of two Highers. This must also include Maths and English Language at a minimum of Ordinary Level.

  • OCR Cambridge Technical | Typical offer is a DMM in a Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in a relevant subject.

  • T Level |  Typical offer is Merit in your T Level overall grade in a relevant subject.

We welcome students with equivalent qualifications. Please contact us to discuss.

We may interview mature applicants and those with non-traditional qualifications to ensure this is the right course for you.

The minimum offer for this course is:

UCAS tariff points | 72 UCAS tariff points or equivalent, providing this is combined with relevant experience.

Please contact us for further information:

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Your career

Industry opportunities on this course are diverse to ensure you develop the skills, experience and connections needed for your graduate career. Many of our students secure graduate roles with their work placement employers.

Enterprise opportunities

You could also have the opportunity to pitch new business ideas to professional consultants from ‘The Business Kitchen’. They specialise in courses and workshops tackling the challenges faced by small enterprises and sole traders. Our Innovation, Careers and Enterprise Centre is also on hand to help business-savvy students put their innovative ideas into action. If you’re a budding entrepreneur this could be an ideal opportunity. 

Work placements 

Through the placement module leader and Innovation, Careers and Enterprise department we’ll support you to secure a placement with a UK-based or international employer, to match your interests and career goals. Placements can be paid or unpaid, depending on position. Students have worked with organisations such Major League Rugby in the USA, as well as APT Marketing and PR, among others. 

Professional industry qualifications

During your degree you’ll have the opportunity to complete the CIM Level 3 Award in Marketing Principles, as well as the Project Fundamentals qualification by the Association for Project Management.

Work experience

Our performance sports teams offer opportunities for students to gain industry experience on site. You could get involved in performance analysis and management roles to boost your CV. You’ll also have opportunities to work with some of our partner sports clubs and organisations, with many students going on to gain graduate roles with these employers.

Field trips and guest lecturers

Field trips and industry professionals in lectures form an important part of your learning, enabling you to experience different businesses, careers and best practices. Recent field trips have included places such as Gloucester Rugby Club and Cheltenham Racecourse. 

Guest lectures have included Dr Roland Hegarty regarding PRISMA.  This framework provides a step-by-step guide to analysing data, useful for research in professional practice.

Sports Business Hub

The Hartpury Sports Business Hub is a community of practice and service provider that offers students with industry connections and opportunities to engage in real world projects, placements and community development.

Graduate destinations

As a business graduate the employment options are broad and varied with the range of transferable skills developed through the course. Our careers team can support you to find, prepare and secure your perfect role. Recent graduate destinations have included:

  • Sports Marketing Agent, Pitch International LLP
  • Sponsorship Co-ordinator, Three Counties Showgrounds
  • Rugby Player Representative, Inside Rugby
  • Events & Hospitality Manager, Sweetspot Group Ltd
  • Travel Operations Executive, Gullivers Sports Travel
  • Commercial Manager, Sahara Force India Formula One Team 
Success Stories

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one to be the best you can be. This will range from your personal tutor and specialist academic support team (our Achievement and Success Centre) to dedicated wellbeing and employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) centres.

Academic support

You’ll have your own personal tutor while you’re here who will support you to succeed in your studies. You’ll also have access to our academic and wellbeing support teams who run regular workshops and one-to-one sessions on campus and online.

Alongside this, we have a comprehensive bank of online study skills resources to help you make the most of your qualification.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your digestion of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions, as well as supported work placement learning as part of many courses.

Your career

Each year of your course will be made up of two semesters, within which you’ll study compulsory and optional modules on different industry-focused topics, enabling you to develop your own unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and experience, ready for your career. The course is taught in English.


What you'll study

This course covers a broad range of fundamental business and management topics through core modules, in finance, economics, and marketing.

This course is comprised of both compulsory and optional modules, which you'll be able to choose from to suit your interests and career goals.

Optional modules change each year in line with student, industry and research demands - you'll find recent topics studied below. You can attend introductory sessions for optional modules before deciding which ones to study.

Module credits

On successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain in your second and final years may contribute towards your final degree classification.

This year will provide you with core business skills and knowledge, covering finance, economics, and marketing. You’ll also be introduced to the sports industry, studying contemporary issues linked to the business and management of sport.

Compulsory Modules 

Personal and Management Development

Develop a knowledge and understanding of leadership styles, delegation, motivation, conflict resolution, negotiation and influence.

Introduction to the Sports Industry

Analyse the role and nature of public provision for sport and leisure, and the way in which government policy is decided and implemented.

Understanding the Business and Economic Environment

Analyse external factors and how they contribute to fluctuations in business economics.

Contemporary Issues in Sport Management

Demonstrate knowledge of emerging trends and recommend future improvements relevant to the sports management industry.

Introduction to Technology in Sport

Understand and evaluate the impact of technology in sport in relation to improved athletic performance.

Introduction to the Principles of Marketing

Understand the importance of market orientation as a cross-functional activity relating to business operations.

Understanding Business and Financial Information

Study various financial statements and their use.

In the second year you’ll gain advanced business knowledge and experience by designing and running a pilot research project, as well as engaging in a professional work placement for a minimum of 150 hours. You’ll also have the chance to select optional modules linked to your interests. You could explore entrepreneurship, consumer behaviour, human resources and accounting.

Compulsory Modules 

Research in Professional Practice

Analyse the various stages of the research process demonstrating practical application of an appropriately reasoned research model.

Professional Placement Experience

Identify and undertake a suitable industry work placement for a minimum of 150 hours.


Optional Modules 

Accounting Information for Business

This module is designed to help undergraduate appreciate the role of management accounting within organisations, it majors upon capital investment, product and service costing, budgeting and working capital management.

Human Resource Management

This module enables students to explore the holistic human resource process of recruitment within organisations. As part of the assessment students will have the opportunity to develop and engage in ‘real life’ assessment centre activities, creating vital preparation for future employment opportunities.

International Sports Development

The international sports development module offers a critical gaze into the global affairs of sport, considering the roles of local, national, regional and international players in a variety of contexts. This module enables critical thinking about sports development programmes and their impact across policy and practice.

New Venture Creation

This module allows students to the explore the principles and practices faced by entrepreneurs whilst working through the process of developing a new commercial venture. The assessment offers students the chance to engage with their own new business idea and present to both business professionals and academic staff in a ‘dragon’s den’ style pitch.

Sports Facilities and Hospitality Management

Sports facilities and hospitality management is a key and growing area within the sports business industry. This module allows students creative freedom to audit and review a sports facility of their choice, before making recommendations and providing a strategic direction. The students are also challenged to identify a secondary income stream associate with sports tourism for a major sporting venue.

The Sport Service Environment

This module allows students to explore the evolving concept of service quality within the sports industry. They have the opportunity to investigate different fan typologies and analyse how these influence typical consumption behaviours. The assessment creates a ‘live brief’ situation where students will research a specific sports context and conceptualise a new consumer experience utilising a range of digital technologies.

An optional integrated placement year between your second and final years gives you the opportunity to put your skills and knowledge into practice and gain valuable industry experience through an approved placement provider.

Your final year allows you to focus on the areas that interest you most and will support you with your career. One module is dissertation, a substantial research project that enables you to experience being responsible for planning, implementing and reporting on a specialist topic. In addition, you’ll be exposed to contemporary challenges and more advanced business theory. You’ll also gain an insight into strategy, project management, sponsorship and social media.

Compulsory Modules

Sport Research and Knowledge Exchange Project

Independent research and analysis in a related area of your choice.

Optional Modules

People, Leadership and Change

Exploring the structure, diversity and culture of organisations in relation to leadership and change management.

Project Management in Action

This module allows students to critically engage in the theory and practice of project management and develop an appreciation of the issues and challenges that can occur with various projects. Students will have the chance to engage in the conceptualisation of a new project making sure it aligns with the goals and objectives of their chosen organisation.

Sport and Social Media

This module allows students to explore the growing influence of social media within the sports industry. Students will also analyse athlete social media content and consider their findings within the context of relevant contemporary research.

Sports Sponsorship and Brand Development

This module allows students to explore the role and significance of sponsorship within the sports industry. They will have the opportunity to align theory with practice by developing a new sponsorship proposal for a chosen sports property.

Strategic Management

This module allows students to explore the strategic practices and principles utilised by global companies. Through an appreciation key external and internal impact factors students will put theory into practice and create a new strategic direction for an allocated organisation.

The Impact of Sports Events

The impact of sports events module provides a range of event examples to illustrate the opportunities and challenges associated with hosting a large-scale sporting event. This module enables critical thinking about the bidding, planning, hosting and evaluation of events from the perspective of multiple stakeholders.

The modules contain a mixture of scheduled learning – lectures, workshops and practical sessions – alongside independent learning. Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour. Your course may also include work placement learning as part of some modules. 

Year Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
Level four (year one) 24% 0% 76%
Level five (year two) 21% 12% 67%
Placement year (optional) 1% 80% 19%
Level six (final year) 18% 0% 82%

You will be assessed through a mixture of written exams, practical exams and written assignments. Many of the modules will be marked based on a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based solely on one type of assessment. Feedback will be given online (electronic and oral), and in some cases face to face.

Year Written exam Practical exam Coursework
Level four (year one) 13% 63% 24%
Level five (year two) 0% 25% 75%
Placement year (optional) 0% 0% 100%
Level six (final year) 0% 44% 56%

Each year of this course is taught over two semesters, normally consisting of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks, with an overview below:

  • Scheduled teaching takes place between 8:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday.
  • Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.
  • Work placements may entail different days and hours.
  • Part-time students may need to attend learning activities five days each week, depending on modules selected.
  • Timetables are available during enrolment.
View term dates

Please visit our student finance page for information on tuition fees and student loans, as well as non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, eligible to different groups, to support with study costs.

Below, you'll find extra costs associated with studying this course.

Performance Sports Academy membership

Find out costs and details for joining one of our performance Sports Academy teams.

Hartpury gym

Find out about costs and details for joining the Hartpury gym.

Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.

For further details about this course, including the programme specification and module descriptions, please visit our document library.

Resource library


If you’re playing sport competitively, or you have the talent and drive to do so, you may want to join one of our Sports Academies. Over 200 international athletes have developed their talents with us over the past 10 years. You could be our next success story. We're a semi-professional sports environment offering world-class facilities and professional coaching and support services.

Hartpury College Mens Football Academy


Settle into an accommodation option to suit your taste and budget – at Hartpury University, undergraduate students can choose to live on-campus surrounded by Gloucestershire’s beautiful countryside or off-campus in the heart of Gloucester City centre. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

Hartpury University Accommodation


We can help you understand how it all works, and what you need to do next. Find out everything you need to know about tuition fees, student loans and bursaries and scholarships. In 2021/22, we provided assistance to over 1/3 of our students through bursaries, scholarships and grants, totalling a little under £1million.

Hartpury University Finance


This degree programme is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

Gold Gold Gold 01

TEF Gold

Our undergraduate provision has been awarded Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in all aspects - Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes.

GUG 2024 Top 10 Teaching Quality Landscape

Teaching quality

Ranked in the top 10 universities for teaching quality (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024).

Graduate Outcomes 2023 97Pc

Graduate employability

97% of our graduates are in employment, further study or other purposeful activity (Graduate Outcomes, 2023). 

NSS 2023 Academic Support

Academic support

We’ve been named as the top university in England for academic support (National Student Survey, 2023).

Annie Taplin
“The course itself was fantastic, I had such a keen interest in business and such a passion for sport, so being able to contribute the two and do a practical business degree was perfect. The lecturers really cared about you and how well you did, and made it so much easier for you.”
Annie Taplin
BA (Hons) Sports Business Management

Sport matters

When you have passion, you're far more likely to achieve your goals – especially when you study that passion in a place that shares it.

We're home to top-level coaches, sport and exercise scientists, nutritionists, conditioners, medics and athletes, across our Sports Academy programmes and student-led teams. Our students graduate with valuable skills to succeed in a range of different careers.

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Meet our academic team

Get to know our dedicated and passionate teaching staff who’ll help you achieve your very best. We’re proud to have been awarded Gold in all three areas of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Overall, Student Experience, and Student Outcomes. This places Hartpury University in the top 15% of published institutions in England. Plus, we're ranked sixth in the UK for Teaching Quality, in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Important information

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are reviewed and developed regularly. Changes or cancellation of courses may be necessary to ensure alignment with emerging employment areas, to comply with accrediting body requirements, revisions to subject benchmark statements or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make necessary changes and will notify all offer-holders of changes as and when they occur.