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International Sport Management - MSc

This course has recently been updated. Please download the course specification for the up to date information. The MSc International Sport Management course will provide the academic expertise and contacts to help students develop an exciting professional future in this growing industry....

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School Birmingham City Business School
  • Faculty Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences


This course has recently been updated. Please download the course specification for the up to date information.

The MSc International Sport Management course will provide the academic expertise and contacts to help students develop an exciting professional future in this growing industry.

KPMG states that the entire global sports market – including infrastructure, events, training and sports goods – is estimated to be worth between $600-700 billion a year, and the industry growth outpaces most countries yearly GDP. Over the past decade there has been a huge increase of career opportunities in the global sport sector that require graduates with the skills, attributes and experience to thrive in such a dynamic industry.

According to Deloitte, sport business related activity will significantly outpace the average rate of growth in the wider economy well into the next decade. In terms of industries, sport now ranks among the top 15 mainstream activities in the UK economy including telecommunications, legal services and utilities.

Combining theory and practical application this course will draw heavily from executive international sport leaders, such as Manchester City Football group, Edgbaston, Birmingham City FC and ESL to name a few, to cover multiple aspects such as crisis and risk management, technology and digital innovation, marketing, events, operations and analytics.

Given the aforementioned, and input from industry, this course is designed with the scientific (MSc) nature to enhance you with the necessary numeracy and analytic skills to see you excel and progress in the global sports industry.

Professional Placement option

For our MSc International Sport Management degree, you will have the opportunity to take the Professional Placement version of the course, which is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability and transferable skills. The placement experience will allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study, with support from our Careers+ team as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Please note that placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.

For full details, please click here.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Underpinning the philosophy of the course are the following purpose and objectives:


To inspire and equip postgraduate students with further expertise to develop a high level of academic skills leading to experienced employment and career development within the fast growing ‘International Sports industry domain’


  • Technical: to furnish students with the practical skills and expertise to add high value within the Sports industry
  • Behavioural: to nurture the appropriate levels of energy and internal/external ‘customer-centric’ behaviours to create innovative products and services
  • Cognitive: to provide students with high levels of critical reasoning and problem-solving capabilities that will ensure they stand out among their competitive set
  • Be truly international: to provide students with international experiences, making this course unique in the marketplace

All modules balance a range of relevant theory and concepts with practical application and throughout the course students reflect and apply this content into real life scenarios – enabling students to enhance and critique their learning. In short, this is a course designed to be the catalyst for students to forge a hugely successful career in the international sports industry.

Why Choose Us?

  • The course provides and immerses students in the true international nature of the industry through course content, assessments and visiting out in the field (practice).
  • You will gain a professional outlook and real-world experience by interacting with a multitude of sporting professionals and international sport organisations.
  • You will learn from academic experts of BCU across the Department of Strategy Management & Marketing (SMM).
  • Birmingham will be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games and students will be ideally placed to take advantage of all the opportunities this will bring in the lead up to and during the event.
  • You will be provided with access to and support while using essential resources, such as journals and academic databases as well as training in relevant IT applications (SPSS and EXCEL).
  • Students will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus in the UK’s second city.
  • You will have the opportunity to go on a field trip, to a European destination, which will link into the course module Managing International Sport Events.*
  • Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, and the recent researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on the sports industry
  • You will be able to work on exciting projects for real-life clients through our Business Advice Centre, giving you exposure to the challenges and issues faced by businesses as well as the chance to develop successful solutions. Opportunities are available with local, regional, national and even global businesses such as BMW.
  • The Centre also offers expert support for your own entrepreneurial ideas, so you can start planning your own start-up or take your existing business to the next level. Following graduation, you will have the opportunity to apply for STEAMhouse Business Incubator membership.

*Note – Students unable to travel on the field trip will be provided with an alternative method of assessment for the module

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area from our academics.

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We require one of the following:

Essential Requirements
Essential - Entry to Stage One

An honours degree of a British University or equivalent institution (minimum 2:2)

An equivalent graduate level qualification from an overseas university or equivalent institution (minimum 2:2)

A pre-masters programme approved by Birmingham City University

A pre-masters programme with a minimum of 55% average

Other qualifications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Additional information for EU/International students

Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

English language requirements 2020/21

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

Other accepted qualifications Visit our English language page

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 Year
  • £9,000 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 Months (Professional Placement)
  • £9,900 in 2022/23
  • £1000 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 100 credits
  • Year 2 - 80 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 Year
  • £16,300 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 Months (Professional Placement)
  • £17,930 in 2022/23

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites and available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 140 credits):

This module enables you to develop a thorough understanding of marketing in the international context of sport. Students will be able to develop and apply international marketing strategies across the international sport industry. Understanding the theory and application of international marketing in a cultural context is central to marketing in the industries contemporary nature.

The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the financial objective and budget requirements of organisations within the international sport industry. The module covers topics such as financial statement analysis, budgeting, time value money, investment and sponsorship appraisal, working capital management, sources and choice of capital. You will be able to understand and apply key concepts and theories in finance and budgeting and assess these implications for a business within the international sport industry. The knowledge and skills developed in this module are essential for management careers in both the sport industry and the wider business field.

The aim of this module is to introduce the role of strategic development in an organisation. The module will cover the areas of strategic development to allow you as a manager to analyse, choose and implement sound strategic decisions within the context of international sports organisations. Furthermore, you will understand how scientific data plays a vital role on strategy formulation across organisations in the global sports context. You will learn to consider both the internal and external environments of international sport organisations in order to strategically mange organisational change and leadership.

This module will equip you with the practical, and very important, skills required to analytically work with big data (scientific) sets, understand them, then utilise them to formulate organisational strategy within the context of international sports.

This module will specifically identify sport consumer behaviour theory to underpin the focus of the data sets. Relevant literature will be explored, with a consistent view of the importance in applying theory and planning in the practical sport setting. Students will be required to identify information requirements, design key measurement tools and techniques, collect data, analyse and process the data, into key findings in a report and presentation. All of this being in mind of ethical and integrity issues with scientific data.

The aim of this module is to provide you with an in depth knowledge into the skills and theory required to successfully manage international sporting events. These skills include; strategic planning, human resource management, leadership, sport media and performance management.

The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops in which you will be expected to contribute. Case studies from around the world and presentations will be employed to highlight current events and trends in each session and where possible, guest lectures and industry experts will be utilised.

The dissertation provides the practical and theoretical focus for your MSc and is the culmination of the programme of study that requires you to undertake a piece of independent research that links theory to practice. The research study must have an International Sport Management focus and be appropriate to your career aspirations. Through close supervision, you will develop skills in; the scope and nature of the dissertation; how to formulate an appropriate research proposal with clear aims and objectives; the practice of primary and secondary research; developing and implementing an appropriate research design and project plan; how to structure and present professionally a large scale document that presents substantive research results and Harvard referencing.

The allocation of supervisors will take place on completion of the research methods sessions. Once you have been allocated a supervisor, the supervisor will guide you in developing a research proposal. The proposal forms the basis for the dissertation and will allow you to work with your supervisors at regular one-to-one meetings.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules:

The aim of this module is to evaluate and predict the potential crisis’ that can impact upon sporting events. Furthermore, the module equips you with the tools to manage different crisis situations within a sport context. This module considers different types of crisis including technological, financial, natural, terrorism, deception, reputation and organisational misconduct.

The aim of this module is to provide you with an in depth understanding of the ever-growing importance and prevalence of corporate social responsibility and the law for international sport managers. This module will consider the skills and knowledge necessary for sport managers when developing CSR in sport, utilising the roles of staff, athletes and customers/fans alike. The key areas and theories will be considered from a international perspective highlighting cultural impacts present.

The aim of this module is to provide you with an in depth insight into the ever-growing importance and prevalence of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in international sport. This module will consider the skills and knowledge necessary for sport managers when aiming for equality, diversity and inclusion of staff, athletes and customers/fans alike. Contemporary issues within EDI will underpin this module in order to develop best practice for future positions. Key groups which will be addressed in detail include; gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and culture.

Esports has become one of the world’s most exciting entertainment trends with a recent industry report stating that the industry is expected to be worth $1.7 billion by 2021, growing at a rate of 18.4% per year.  With an online global audience in 2019 reaching just under 500 million, the sector is also regularly filling stadiums with esports fans gathering at mega events.

Spectator numbers are beginning to rival traditional sports tournaments such as the Super Bowl in the US - last year’s League Of Legends World Championship in South Korea attracted 99.6 million unique viewers for the live final for example.  The continuing commercialisation and monetisation of competitive gaming brings a number of contemporary issues that need to be addressed in order to ensure the longevity of the industry. 

This module examines the management concepts and practices related to product and service branding, specifically the detailed underpinning necessary to understand the building blocks of brand management and building brand equity. The module also provides the skills needed to critically analyse, evaluate and create an integrated marketing communications plan. It explores the importance of effective internal and external communications in building sustainable relationships and delivering customer value within an international context.

The module provides the opportunity to recognise the importance of communications planning in delivering marketing solutions. It outlines the components of the marketing communications mix and key elements of integrated marketing communications (IMC) planning and project management. As such the module is essential to developing a professional marketing competency contributing directly to the Marketing pathway and the core vision of the programme.

All core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.

Download course specification

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OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Business Advice Centre

The Business Advice Centre (BAC) is the Business School's hub that offers a range of support services to you throughout each stage of your student learning experience.

We have a range of support solutions for students as well as opportunities to enhance your employability and entrepreneurial qualities.

Whether you are considering starting your business, connecting with real companies or enhancing your graduate opportunities, the Business Advice Centre can help you.

Find out more


Welcome to the Birmingham City Business School, home to students from over 70 countries all around the world!

Birmingham City Business School is one of the UK’s largest, most established and most respected business schools. Our programmes are practice based and many have an international focus, which means your course will be entirely relevant to today’s business world. Almost all of our courses, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, are open to international students.

We also have links with universities across the world, including Europe, the USA, China, India and Malaysia.

International Services

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Facilities & Staff

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other Social Sciences, Law, Business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

The Business floors house an extensive number of IT facilities, breakout areas, and specialised rooms. The Marketing Link Agency is designed to replicate a modern marketing firm, allowing students to get real-life experience of working in the marketing sector. There is also the City Trading Room, which features state of the art stock market tracking equipment, keeping you up to date with all the financial comings and goings of the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street.

The Curzon building is also conveniently close to Birmingham’s business and financial centre, allowing for strong links between your studies and the real world.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Our staff

Shauna Kearney

Lecturer in Sports Management

Shauna Kearney is in the final stages of her PhD in which she theorizes and examines the role of ableism in the marketplace inclusion/exclusion experiences of people with disabilities, in the context of 2012(UK) and 2016 (Brazil) Paralympic Games. Full Profile

More about Shauna