Will Biggs

Sports Management

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate

The role of a successful sports manager is changing, as new technologies, organisational cultures and social trends influence best practice. This degree has been designed to meet modern industry demands, focusing on the application of theory to practice across a range of sports management and business settings.  

Key Information

Course Duration: 1 year full-time; part-time options available
Part or Full Time: Full Time / Part Time
Level of Study: Master's and PhDs
Typical Offer: 2:1 honours degree (2:2 applicants considered individually)

Course information

A professional learning environment

You’ll benefit from our professional sporting focus – we have successful sports businesses on site including our Championship Hartpury University RFC team, performance Sports Academies and an international equestrian events centre. As part of our Hartpury Sports Business Hub we have outstanding partnerships with professional sports clubs and organisations across the world.

Your sports business consultancy project

You’ll have unique access to leading academic and industry experts within the Hartpury Sports Business Hub; students on the MSc will also be supported to deliver their own sports consultancy project in collaboration with one of our industry partners or their own workplace, enabling them to find a solution to a pressing industry challenge. Partners include the likes of Cheltenham Racecourse, England Rugby, Cheltenham Town FC and more.

A flexible management qualification

This course is ideal for those wanting to pursue a management-level career in a range of different sectors – from sports marketing and consultancy agencies to national governing bodies, leisure providers and charitable sectors. With both full and part-time learning options, you could study alongside existing employment or other commitments. As a graduate, you'll be equipped to meet the skills demands of the sports industry.

Accreditations and endorsements

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA). Students enrolled on the MSc Sports Management degree are entitled to Senior Manager membership of CIMSPA.

Students who successfully complete and pass the Digital Media and Marketing in Sports Business module as part of this course will achieve Associate level certification and become members of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI). The DMI is the global certification body that sets the standard in education for digital marketing, operating in more than 100 countries.


2:1 honours degree in a relevant subject. Students with 2:2 and relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis.


Students with non-relevant academic qualifications but with work experience or professional experience will be considered on an individual basis.


In addition to the academic qualification an IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required.

Please contact us for further information.

Email us

This degree is focused on developing your employability skills; you’ll apply theory to practice in real-world settings at every opportunity to inform your own sports management practice or future career.

Your Sports Business Consultancy Project

As an MSc student, your contribution to the Hartpury Sports Business Hub will enable you to develop professional relationships with external business as part of your project.

Alongside our own Championship rugby team and performance Sports Academies, which run in a similar way to professional clubs, you’ll have access to a diverse range of high profile organisations, such as Cheltenham Racecourse, England Rugby, Cheltenham Town Football Club, GB Rowing, Pentathlon GB and Olympic champion equestrian coaches and athletes.

Field trips and guest lecturers

You'll hear from professionals in lectures to broaden your knowledge and networks.

Graduate destinations

As a graduate, you'll be ready to progress directly into the field of sports management in the following fields:

  • Professional agencies
  • Sports development
  • Charitable sports sector
  • National Governing Bodies of Sport
  • Leisure centres / providers
  • Business owner
  • Education
  • Events
  • Marketing and sponsorship

The Hartpury Sports Business Hub

Boost your employability, expand learning and networks, and gain real-world experience in the sports industry.

Managed out of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, the Sports Business Hub provides students and staff the opportunity to engage with key local and regional sports organisations to complete live briefs and real-world research consultancy. The Hub provides access to a range of organisations including Active Gloucester, Sport Wales, Bream RFC and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club as well as multinational corporations and independent businesses.

Find out more

We're committed to supporting you to fulfil your unique potential while you're here so that you can achieve your personal and professional goals.


One year, full-time

You can study each of these qualifications full-time and subsequently complete each within one year.

Two-three years, part-time

Alternatively, we offer flexible part-time options to help students to manage their studies alongside other commitments. These options can be tailored to suit your own needs, enabling you to complete your qualification in two or three years. Please enquire for further details.

Your support network

You'll benefit from a strong support network from day one. This will range from your lecturers, supervisors and personal tutor to our specialist academic (Achievement and Success Centre), employability (Innovation, Careers and Enterprise) and wellbeing teams.

Your learning experiences

You'll experience a range of teaching methods to strengthen your understanding of topics, including lectures, workshops and practical sessions.

Qualifications and modules

This applied master’s degree focuses on the application of sports management theories and concepts in real-world settings. Your projects could be focused on your own career or completed in partnership with our own business partners via the Hartpury Sports Business Hub.

Below are some of the skills and knowledge you’ll gain, helping to set you apart from your competition:

  • Ability to navigate the competitive sports industry as an agile professional
  • Creating innovative solutions to emerging challenges in your field of choice
  • Knowledge of essential sport management focuses including marketing, evaluation and leadership
  • Understanding of topical issues such as de-regulation, entrepreneurialism, sustainability and asset-based community management

You’ll also carry out your own sports business consultancy project – our Hartpury Sports Business Hub boasts a diverse range of high-profile links with key sports management organisations, many of which our business experts work with as part of consultancy contracts.

Studying a postgraduate certificate or diploma is ideal for those who want to complete a specific part of this master’s degree, without the Sports Business Consultancy Project. Please view the specific module breakdown for further details.

Below you’ll find the modules for this course.

  • MSc students will study all modules
  • Postgraduate diploma students can study 120 credits, made up of four modules
  • Postgraduate certificate students can study 60 credits, made up of two modules

Module credits

Upon successful completion of your modules you’ll gain academic credit that accumulates towards your award. The marks you gain may contribute towards your final master’s degree differential award (pass, merit or distinction).


Strategic Leadership in Sports Management (30 credits)

Develop strategic leadership and consultancy skills, enabling you to effectively drive and manage change’. Focus on strategic and operational engagement, supported by the development of leadership skills and a consultancy-led approach towards business improvement.

Real World Issues in Sports Management (30 credits)

Critique contemporary issues in the sports management industry. Explore and apply a wide range of models in areas such as entrepreneurship, deregulation, management, sustainability, asset-based approaches to sports management, internationalisation, globalisation, and health and wellbeing.

Digital Media and Marketing in Sports Business (30 credits)

Develop and apply innovative sports business marketing approaches, evidencing the importance of digital marketing, and understanding the processes involved in producing media, such as blogs and podcasts. Examine digital marketing trends such as search engine optimisation, pay-per-click advertising analytics, social media and content analysis.

Students who successfully complete and pass this module will become Associate members of the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), the global certification body that sets the standard in education for digital marketing, operating in more than 100 countries.

Evaluation and Learning for Sports Management Practices (30 credits)

Sports management organisations are exploring ways to evidence the impact of their provision through monitoring and evaluation approaches. Within this module, you’ll critique the current context of evidence in the contemporary climate and learn about innovative evaluation approaches to inform sports management practice.

Sports Business Consultancy Project (60 credits) MSc only

Undertake your own sports business consultancy project as part of the Hartpury Sport Business Hub, addressing needs of our sports business partners or your own workplace. Use key research skills to engage with a business partner and respond to a specific research brief that is translatable to the sports business world.

  • The modules include a mix of face-to-face campus and online sessions - lectures and workshops - alongside independent learning.
  • Students are expected to dedicate at least two to three hours of independent study per contact hour.
  • Teaching contact time and method will vary depending on the module that you are studying.
  • The course is taught in English.
  Contact learning Placement learning Independent learning
MSc degree 12% 0% 88%
Postgraduate Diploma 16% 0% 84%
Postgraduate Certificate 16% 0% 84%
Teaching contact time

Below is an approx. overview of the teaching contact time. The time and method may vary.

Onsite face to face 50%
Online face to face and pre-recorded content 50%

You’ll be assessed through a mixture of practical presentations and written assignments. Some modules will include a mixture of assessment types, whilst others will be based on one type only. Feedback will be given in written form, with the option for discussions with academic staff.

  Written exam Practical exam Coursework
MSc degree 0% 22% 78%
Postgraduate Diploma 0% 23% 77%
Postgraduate Certificate 0% 30% 70%

This course is made up of two semesters for the 30 credit modules and three semesters for the 60-credit sports business consultancy project. Semesters normally consist of 12 weeks of scheduled teaching and then assessment weeks.

  • This course is likely to include one campus day of learning each week plus online teaching sessions
  • Scheduled on-campus teaching generally takes place on one day per week between the hours of 9am-5pm (half day part-time)
  • Online delivery consists of one allocated evening each week of two hours between 6pm-8pm (one hour part-time)
  • Online sessions are delivered live; additional pre-recorded content will be made available for you to view in your own time
  • Attendance dates and timetables are available before 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.

Studentship scheme

Our Postgraduate Studentship Scheme provides a fantastic development opportunity, enabling you to complement your postgraduate study with important real-world research within a paid position at Hartpury.

Sports Business Consultancy Project

You are responsible for any travel costs for your project.

Performance Sports Academy membership

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

Explore Sports Academies

Hartpury gym

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

Discover more

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
Sport Student Working On Laptop

Book an appointment

Discuss this course with an Academic Programme Manager

Prospective students can book an online appointment with one of our programme managers to discuss our courses and options for postgraduate study at Hartpury University. 

Fees & Funding

It's a good idea to think about fees and funding around your course as early as you can. We can help you to understand and take control of your finances. Here’s everything you need to know at a glance.

Postgraduate Fees Funding Hartpuy University (1)


Our specialist facilities match our specialist nature. Students benefit from access to some of the most advanced facilities in the world at an educational institution.


Visit us

Find out more about our courses, professional learning environments and commercial industry connections. Learn about our world-class facilities and speak with our academic teams about how our qualifications could help to change or progress your career.

Postgraduate Visit Us Hartpury University


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

Surveys Logos PTES Colour PNG Large

Top 20

We're a top 20 UK university for postgraduate teaching, engagement, assessment, organisation and support (PTES 2023).

REF2021 Portrait

World leading

Our research has been recognised as 'world-leading' and 'internationally excellent' (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

Develop hands-on expertise and undertake research in our over £10 million Sports Academy, enabling our students to learn using some of the most advanced technologies in the UK.

Develop your practical skills using industry-standard equipment that’s utilised by professional coaches to enhance strength, power, speed and injury prevention qualities.

Watch via YouTube
ICE Staff Smiling Open Day

Get in touch

Whether you're looking for more details with regards to a specific course, or information on your own academic options or life at Hartpury, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable Admissions team. 

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.