Sports Marketing and Business Management MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Sports Marketing and Business Management MSc/PGDip/PGCert

School of Sport and Wellbeing


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    This course is delivered on campus and online. Full-time: One Year, Part-time: Two to three Years.

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


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Why study this programme?

The MSc Sports Marketing and Business Management programme offers you the opportunity to study core sport management disciplines of finance, enterprise, global sports business and strategy, while specialising in the area of sports marketing. The course is suitable both for professionals working within the sports industry and those with an appropriate undergraduate qualification who aspire to work in management and marketing roles within this sector. There is a dual focus on the marketing of sport and marketing through sport, with sports marketing being examined from the perspective of both rights holders (sports organisations) and sponsors. As the sports industry grows in size and complexity, there is increasing demand for qualified sports marketers and managers. Through a series of taught modules, a consultancy project and a dissertation, the course equips you with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills and understanding necessary to undertake a managerial career in the dynamic global sports market.  

Entry Requirements

An Honours Degree from a British University (or overseas equivalent). It would normally be expected that this degree be awarded at the level of lower second class or above (or overseas equivalent). The programme is designed for graduates who have not previously studied sports business/management or marketing, including those who have gained a non-related degree but have some experience in the sport industry.

Programme at a Glance

  • Principles and Practice of Sports Marketing
  • Sports Finance and Economics
  • The Sports Business
  • Personal and Professional Development in Sport
  • Marketing Through Sport

  •  Integrated Marketing Communications for Sports Brands
  • Consultancy Project
  • Strategic Thinking for Sports Managers
  • Research Methods for Sport
  • Dissertation 

Postgraduate Advice Event

Find out more about Postgraduate courses at our Postgraduate Advice Event on 9 November 2017

Further Information

Sport is now a multi-billion dollar global industry and the content of the taught modules is reflective of the global context in which sports organisations operate, with use made of a range of international case studies. The module 'The Sports Industry' explicitly examines the global business context of sport, while Principles and Practice of Sports Marketing incorporates international sports marketing as a key theme. Students will be given flexibility in assessments to draw on international materials, such as case studies of global and/or non-UK sports brands. Depending on the availability of suitable partners, students may be able to work on live international sports marketing consultancy projects, with either UK or non-UK-based organisations.

An integral part of the course is the Consultancy Project, which is an opportunity for students to work on a “live” sports marketing and business management project for an external client, agreed using a project specification negotiated between the student, client and academic supervisor. The Consultancy Project offers students the opportunity to apply the theoretical and practical knowledge that they have developed within the programme in a relevant, practical context. Previous students have worked on projects with a range of sports organisations, including professional sports teams, facilities, local authority and private sector providers and grassroots sports clubs.


This is a 12 month course comprising three parts. The first two parts are the taught element and the final part is the research element. The taught element focuses on key aspects of sports marketing and management. In addition, students will have the opportunity to engage in a sports marketing consultancy project, working on live projects with sports organisations.

For full-time students, the taught element is normally completed over a nine month period starting in late September. For full-time students, modules are delivered two days a week. Part-time students will normally attend one day a week and complete the taught element in two years. Students who complete the taught element of the programme, in part or in its entirety, may graduate with either a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma in Sports Marketing and Business Management.

Students wishing to complete the Masters of Science in Sports Marketing and Business Management must complete the research element, which comprises a dissertation. Full-time students will normally complete this in the three months that follow the taught element, whilst part-time students complete this during the course of an academic year.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Equip you with the ability to critically analyse the theories and concepts underpinning sports business management and their application to practice within the national and international sport industry
  • Develop your abilities to critically analyse generic and sports-specific marketing theories and their application in the dynamic 21st century sports business marketplace
  • Enable you to critically evaluate sports business management and marketing practice
  • Develop your critical awareness of the key issues and trends within the national and international sports industry
  • Enable you  to reflect on and develop your personal and professional attributes in order to enhance your employability within the national and international sports industry
  • Develop your ability to conduct independent research in the area of sports marketing and management

The thing that struck me the most about UCLan was the amount of time lecturers had for students outside of lectures and seminars. This offered a great opportunity to clear up any issues I had over the content of lectures, which very often only become clear when you try to utilise theories within work at a later date. Also, the amount of first-hand industry experience within the sports department meant a great insight into the practical workings of organisations could be gained. 

Sam Hopkinson

Course Staff

We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions. All our dedicated staff are current practitioners, coach / teacher educators and research active. Please take a look at our staff profiles.

The learning outcomes for the programme are as follows and on completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • Contextualise theories of business and management within the broad area of sport business management and critically apply to the current practices within sport organisations
  • Critically evaluate the relevance of a range of marketing theories within sports and recreation markets and deploy strategic and tactical sports marketing solutions in a range of scenarios and opportunities
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of generic and sports-specific marketing theories to the practice of both the marketing of sport and marketing through sport
  • Critically evaluate the importance of financial analysis to management decision-making within the sports industry
  • Critically evaluate the role of integrated marketing communications in building sports brands, and their application in a range of sports marketing contexts
  • Critically analyse the key issues and trends within the global sports industry
  • Display a critical understanding of the range of research philosophies, the research process and methods used within sport related research
  • Appraise a range of strategies for the determination, implementation and control of business policies, structures and plans at a strategic level in sport
  • Display a critically understanding of reflective learning and personal development with regard to professional development within the sport industry
  • Employ a critical perspective to problem solving and management decision making in complex situations within the sports industry
  • Undertake a business environmental analysis
  • Develop a business plan
  • Critically evaluate the theoretical aspects of sports marketing and management and their application to the sports industry
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the contexts in which management decisions are made within the sports industry
  • Utilise the theories and concepts underpinning sports marketing and management to develop creative but credible solutions to issues within the sport and recreation industry
  • Appraise their personal and career development needs through self-reflection, action planning and implementation
  • Display mastery of a specialised area of knowledge within the sports industry through an independent study

The course team who teach on the MSc Sports Marketing and Business Management have a wealth of experience both within academia and in the sports industry. Therefore, you will be taught by academics who are actively researching and publishing in the area. Equally, many of our staff have experience working in management roles within sport, so you can learn from their practical experience as well as academic expertise.

The Course Team includes:

Dr Jessica Macbeth – Senior Lecturer in Sports Studies

Jessica joined UCLan in March 2004 working as a Research Fellow in the International Football Institute and became a lecturer in 2006. Jess was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Sports Studies from Stirling University in 2004 for her thesis entitled ‘Women’s Football in Scotland: An Interpretive Analysis’ and she has developed a number of publications from this research study. Prior to joining UCLan, she also worked as a Research Assistant in the Institute for Sports Research (Stirling University) on contract research projects for Sport England, Sport Scotland and the Scottish Sports Association. Through her research activities Jess has expertise in qualitative research methods and contributes to teaching on Research Methods in Sport.

Craig Wright - Senior Lecturer and Course Leader MA Sports Coaching

Within the School Craig is responsible for leading the provisions for performance analysis and consultancy analysis via the medium of match and technique analysis. This requires him to liaise on the provision of technical and tactical game analysis for a number of clubs from a range of sports. Some of our well established partner clubs include: Blackpool Football Club, Bolton Wanders Football Academy, Blackburn Football Academy, Preston North End FC, Preston North End Ladies FC, Wigan Warriors, Ireland International Rugby League Squad, Oceania Olympic Committee, Fylde Rugby Club, Fleetwood Town FC, Springfield Hockey Club and UCLan sports teams. As part of the build up for the Olympic Games in London 2012 Craig was performance director for the team of athletes (from Oceania) based at UCLan as part of an official LOCOG pre-Olympic training camp. Craig is currently head coach for the University basketball teams and a competitive basketball player. Contact Craig on

How to Apply

You can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2018/19

Full-time: £6,500 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £3,250 per year for first 2 years (UK/EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2017/18 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

Details of the UK Government postgraduate loan scheme for students commencing a Masters Postgraduate programme for the 2017/18 academic year.

View further information

Industry Links

The School of Sport and Wellbeing has strong links with a large number of sports organisations, including professional sports teams, public and private sector sports providers and grassroots sports clubs. We regularly invite in guest speakers from industry to speak to students within the modules on this course. This represents a valuable opportunity for students to meet potential employers and learn about life in the sports industry. For example, we have had guest lectures given by representatives of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, St Helens Rugby League Club, David Lloyd Leisure and Preston City Council. Students have also visited the UK headquarters of Adidas, where they were given a lecture on the company’s marketing activities.

Learning Environment and Assessment

The teaching and learning environment will be interactive and challenging. It is organised to ensure that key concepts, theories and, where appropriate, practices relevant to marketing and management in the sports industry form a central role into your learning. Throughout the programme you will engage in a range of learning activities including lectures, seminars, debates, case studies, presentations, online activities, directed readings and group work.

Guest speakers from academia and/or the sports industry regularly contribute to modules, offering you additional practical and theoretical insight. The use of guest speakers on the course is designed to facilitate networking opportunities for students to meet with potential employers. The staff on the programme are friendly and supportive and they also have a considerable experience both within higher education and working in the sports industry.

Assessment on each of the modules is designed to maximise your learning in relation to both subject-specific knowledge and understanding and wider skills, including communication, problem solving and teamwork. Assessment types include reports, consultancy projects, essays, oral and multimedia presentations, debates and a dissertation.

Online version

This course is available entirely online, offering a very flexible part-time study option for those students who wish to combine study with employment or who are not able to relocate/travel to Preston for on-campus delivery.

In the online format the course is delivered through text-based learning materials, online video lectures/podcasts, interactive activities, discussions (synchronous and asynchronous) and direct communications, eg email, video conferencing.


The course, with its dual focus on marketing and management, opens up to graduates the possibility of pursuing a career within the public, private or voluntary sector of sport within a marketing/management role.

Graduates from this course will be equipped to pursue careers in sports marketing, for example as Marketing Executives within professional sports teams, sports marketing agencies, sports retailers and sportswear and equipment manufacturers. Equally, this course will prepare students for pursuing roles in sports marketing research, sponsorship/marketing consultancy and marketing communications.

Similarly, with its theoretical base deriving from mainstream marketing and management theory, successful students will also have the ability to take up graduate level positions in business and marketing across a range of non-sports sectors. Graduates from this course will also gain knowledge and skills required to help them set up their own sports-related businesses.

The strong theoretical and research-informed underpinning equally will prepare student for higher level study, in the field of sports marketing and management.

I would highly recommend this course to other people as my personal experience was fantastic. The lecturers on the course made the experience more enjoyable and their constant support throughout the year provided me with the encouragement and confidence I needed to take the next step in pursuing my career in Sports Marketing.

Abigail Holt