MSc / Postgraduate Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate

Sports Management

Typical offer: 2:1 honours degree (2:2 applicants considered individually)

Duration: 1-3 years; full-time or part-time options

Awarding body: Hartpury University

Delivery: Online and campus-based; flexible to fit around commitments

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Course overview

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.  

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.

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What you'll study

What you'll study


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.

Postgraduate Diploma and Certificate

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Please visit our document library for more module information.

Further module information

How you'll study

How you'll study

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.

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.

Further details

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.

Contact Admissions team

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).

  • 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 learningPlacement learningIndependent learning
MSc degree12%0%88%
Postgraduate Diploma16%0%84%
Postgraduate Certificate16%0%84%

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

Onsite face to face50%
Online face to face and pre-recorded content50%

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 examPractical examCoursework
MSc degree0%22%78%
Postgraduate Diploma0%23%77%
Postgraduate Certificate0%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


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.

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World-class facilities

You’ll have access to a diverse range of facilities while you’re here, many of which are newly built and world-class. Alongside lectures halls and workshop spaces, these include:

Equine Centre

Comprising our commercial livery yard for 230 horses and international competition arenas, our Equine Centre hosts over 200 events each year including two international competitions attracting among the world’s greatest equestrian talent.

Sports Academy teams and facilities

We offer a professional learning environment with 10 performance Sports Academy teams and world-class training facilities on campus, managed in a similar way to professional teams and clubs. From eight-times BUCS national champions to our GB Team Start Rowing programme, our competitive sports activities provide valuable insights into performance-level sport.

Hartpury University RFC

We’re the only UK university to have our own Championship rugby team. The team is student-led, and a feeder to Gloucester Rugby (one of our partners), this professional team and the related networks provide our students with access to commercial sports management best practice on campus.

Strength and Conditioning Gym

As part of our £8.8million Sports Academy developments, our Strength and Coniditoning Gym will allow you to develop your practical strength and conditioning skills using real-world equipment and technologies that are utilised by coaches to enhance strength, power, speed and injury prevention qualities.

Study spaces

Our University Learning Centre has books, journals, ebooks, computers and breakout study spaces. In addition, we have a study Lounge - an informal space with sports equipment, study booths and chill-out spaces to support both studying and relaxation. Postgraduate students also have a specially designated study area with 24-hour access.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements


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:

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees and financial support

Please visit our finance pages for information on tuition fees and student loans. This includes non-repayable grants, bursaries and scholarships, which are 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.

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Sports Business Consultancy Project

You are responsible for any travel costs for your project.

Sports or Equine Academy membership

If you have the talent and drive to develop your skills as an athlete alongside your studies, you may be eligible to join one of our Sports Academies. Find out costs and details below.

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Hartpury gym

Discover more about joining our gym.

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Accommodation and living costs

Please visit our student accommodation page for details.


We have stabling for 230 horses on campus. If you're interested in having your horse at Hartpury on DIY livery while you study, please visit our livery page for details and costs.

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you, so please get in touch. You can ask a specific question or simply pop your details in to be kept up-to-date with news and events.

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.

*Reflects activities after 15 months for those who graduated in 2020