MSc Sports Directorship

Designed to equip sports professionals & leaders with the skills for sports organisations via the role of Sporting Director

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Enrolment closes September 25th 2023

Course Starts

October 1st 2023

Last day of enrolment is the 25th September 2023


24 Months

Blended format, delivered around your schedule in twelve blocks of two days over two years


Course Alumni

Network with other delegates from athletic and high-performance leadership role backgrounds

Course Overview

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The MSc Sports Directorship will qualify you for one of the most important roles today in modern global sport, that of Sporting Director, and critically, will provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience to equip you to sit in a strategic leadership role in a sporting organisation. This two-year part-time course teaches a unique curriculum, tailored to meet the real demands of leading sports organisations.

Covering sports leadership, personal development, masterminding innovation and change, sport governance and best practice - alongside a diverse range of hands-on extra-curricular activities - the course provides unrivalled preparation for the role of the sporting director. At the heart of the programme is the application of neuroscience. Rapidly gaining a foothold in the sporting and business world, this cognitive approach to performance is exclusive to the MSc Sports Directorship, and is simply a must-have for any sporting organisation on the lookout for a sporting director.

Designed to fit both on-campus learning and remote study around your work commitments, the MSc Sports Directorship equips you with all the skills and practical experience needed to become a sports business professional, meaning you can take your next career step with confidence.

Graduate with the MSc Sports Directorship and join an elite group with the ability to apply for the role of a sporting director with a tailored degree under your belt.

Course Alumni

Meet just a few of the many delegates of the VSI MSc Sports Directorship course, that have gone on to achieve great success in high performance leadership roles.

I certainly took the oportunity to network with like-minded people on the programme... being able to speak out in a secure environment to 25 other people and gather their thoughts and opinions on a situation you may be facing live in your work environment.

Lee Dykes

Director of Player Recruitment at Brentford FC

Masters in Sports Directorship is a great next step, and I am excited to be part of it. There are really good speakers who bring value to your environment... I would say to every girl who wants to start playing professional football, do something alongside your career because it helps you get through life and especially after football, it makes it much easier.

Marisa Ewers

Former Aston Villa WFC player & club captain

I always wanted to go into football administration, I see more longevity in that career path than coaching on the grass. The biggest thing is networking... I will gain a lot more knowledge and experience... it's key to working with different cultures and personalities. It has created a buzz that I know I am passionate about and I want to succeed in.

Joleon Lescott

Ex-Manchester City & England Footballer

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Career Prospects

The MSc Sports Directorship is the first of its kind designed to develop all the personal and commercial attributes you need to become a successful Sporting Director.

The purpose of the course is to develop learners with the knowledge and skillsets required to move into a strategic leadership role at executive level within a sports organisation or sports business.

Graduates from this programme include:

Joleon Lescott

Former England and Manchester City defender

Michael O'Neill

Stoke City Manager and former Northern Ireland Manager

Marisa Ewers

Former Aston Villa WFC midfielder and club captain

Ashley Giles

Former England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director

Beth Tweddle MBE

British Gymnastics Olympian

Kelly Sotherton MBE

British Heptathlete Olympian

Book a suitability call

Speak directly to one of our team

The easiest way to apply for the MSc Sports Directorship course, is to first book a call with one of our team.

They will be able to guide and help assess your suitability for the course. Alternatively you can email or call using the details below

0345 459 9765

Still have questions?

If you want more information before speaking to one of our team, then we've got you covered.

The Global Institute of Sport is an embedded college of the University of East London. All GIS graduates will receive a degree from the University of East London.

Click here for the course specification for this degree

Personal Leadership in a Global Sporting Environment

The module is designed to help students understand the complexities of leadership issues concerning styles, personalities and decision-making regarding all aspects of what is becoming the defined role of a Sporting Director. The module will investigate current and classic leadership theories and issues in the context of the global sporting environment using research, cases and examples from both the sporting and the broader business world.

Students will critique and evaluate the role of reflective learning and self-awareness in relation to the role of Sports Director as leader and examine the dynamics of trust, power and conflict in relational and collaborative setting of leadership practice. Critical evaluation of the contribution of theoretical models and approaches associated with leadership in a global context when applied in complex settings will support an assessment of the various approaches to the development of leaders as coach, and the practice of leadership.

Leading High Performance Sports Organisations in the Global Environment

This module is designed to help strategic leaders in sport explore the features of a high performing sporting organisation. The module will focus on high performing organisations, strategy, culture and talent management and will investigate what can be learned about high performance from both the sporting and the broader business world in order to overcome challenges. The focus of the module is on two critical questions:

  • What is a high performance organisation?
  • How do we build and sustain a high performance organisation?

Leading Innovation and Change in the Global Sports Industry

This module will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of innovation in the global sports industry context. It will explore the effects of innovation on global organisations, drivers of change, and the challenges of implementing change in the context of high performance sporting organisations in a global economy. Students will develop insight into a range of tools and techniques to develop innovative ways to solve problems. Gaining competitive advantage through analysis of neuroscience and psychology will allow students to consider and apply thinking to new situations in practice.

This two-year course is powered by UCFB's Global Institute of Sport and VSI Executive Education.

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Financial, Legal and Media Issues for the Sporting Director

Students will develop a broad knowledge and conceptual base of the foundations of the legal, financial and media issues in the global sporting industry. They will explore the duties of a sporting director with respect to financial, legal and media responsibilities and understand the similarities and differences between the issues confronting contemporary global sporting organisations. Regulatory financial, legal and media frameworks will be explored to support students to operate effectively in the role of the Sporting Director.

Applied Professional Project

This module will equip students with the research skills to undertake a rigorous and critical professional project. It will support the development of an integrated understanding of theory and practice related to the analysis of selected organisational issues within the global sports industry. Students will learn to apply both theoretical and practical knowledge gained from both the taught element of the programme and their prior management experiences to a business/organisational issue. Through the assessment, students will deploy and utilise effectively appropriate research and/or problem-solving processes throughout the planning and execution of a live business project.

It takes an ambitious person to take part in the MSc Sports Directorship. We're looking for self-starters who possess a combination of skills, experience and the desire to succeed. You may already be working in a sporting environment, for instance in a coaching, medical, finance or marketing role, and looking for the next crucial step in your sporting career. Alternatively, you may be in a business role, and seeking to make the move into sport to use your business skills in a new way.

The course also offers ex-players and sports professionals to acquire the business skills needed to take the step into the position on a sporting director. Many of our delegates spent their youth playing, not studying, and the application process takes that into account. The course is designed to build on existing talents and experience, whilst developing new leading-edge skills that are in demand throughout the sporting community.

Entry onto the course is therefore through a blend of life experience, career and reason for wanting to do the programme.

  • Strong knowledge in the field of sports management suitable for Master's level academic work
  • Evidence of engagement with professional and academic literature/publications relevant to CPD
  • Ability to manage self-learning and professional duties where applicable
  • Evidence of ability to manage work independently
  • Proven track record of dealing with complex and multidisciplinary issues relevant to their chosen subject area

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria for this programme, or for more information, please email

To apply, please set up a discovery call using this form or you can call 0345 459 9765, or email

Learning on the course takes many forms and one which our delegates find very valuable are the Masterclasses. At each taught element of the course (approx every 6 weeks) there is always at least one Masterclass from which to gain knowledge and understanding via the insights and experiences of a range of senior people from the world of sport and business.

In the first year these are mostly from the world of sport, people in board positions and those responsible for strategy, leadership and management as well as people to inspire and motivate performance and your personal leadership style.

Masterclasses on the course include inspiring speakers like Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, former director of the New Zealand Rugby Union, former chairman of USA Rugby, and co-author (with Clive Gilson and Mike Pratt) of Peak Performance: Business Lessons from the World's Top Sports Organisations.

Every year the VSI Sporting Directors Summit brings together industry experts from across sport to discuss the role of the Sporting Director. Students and graduates on this programme have free access to the Summit.

Representatives from Premier League football clubs, Super League rugby, politics, law and business descend to create a lively environment that focuses on executive leadership roles within sport.

The Global Insight Series is a thought leadership series, exclusively collated and made available for all UCFB and GIS on-campus and online students. The Global Insight Series provides unprecedented access to its elite sports network; including interviews with LMA managers and other guest speakers, and content from GIS's Global Sports Summits at New York's Red Bull Arena, Atlanta's brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Toronto FC's BMO Field and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Postgraduate Loyalty Discounts

These discounts are open to any UCFB, Buckinghamshire New University and University of East London graduate who has received and accepted an offer to study at postgraduate level with UCFB's Global Institute of Sport.

  • 20% fee tuition discount on all Master's programmes, excluding MSc Sports Directorship
  • 15% fee tuition discount on MSc Sports Directorship and CEO of a Sports Organisation
  • 25% fee tuition discount on all Professional Qualifications

GIS Alumni

If you'd like to extend your time with us, we're pleased to offer all GIS graduates:

  • 20% fee tuition discount on all Master's programmes, excluding MSc Sports Directorship
  • 15% fee tuition discount on MSc Sports Directorship and CEO of a Sports Organisation
  • 50% fee tuition discount on all Professional Qualifications (also available for GIS students)

UCFB and GIS business partners

We're pleased to offer all UCFB and GIS business partners 15% fee tuition discount on all Undergraduate, Master's and Executive Education programmes and 25% off our Professional Qualifications.