Programme information

This programme is designed for individuals looking for leadership and management positions within the sport business industry. You will visit a number of influential sport leadership environments, and receive guidance from top leaders in the field.

You will be immersed in the business of sport, and will enhance your professional leadership capacity and business acumen in relation to a global sport business environment. You will also be exposed to some of the latest opportunities and challenges confronting sport organisations at a global, national and local level.

As the world’s number one university for sport subjects (QS World Rankings by Subject 2018), the Institute for Sport Business maintains partnerships with a number of industry leaders in sport, including BT Sport, West Ham United Foundation, Populous, Global Sports Jobs, EY, Chelsea Football Club, Foundation for Leadership through Sport, and the Sport Industry Group. Our partnerships with industry will provide opportunities to experience and understand leadership in various different contexts, and gain first-hand perspectives of effective leadership from top leaders in the field. 

Did you know?

Loughborough University has been named the top university in the world for sports subjects two years in a row!

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Sport Industry Group partnership

The Institute for Sport Business works in partnership with Sport Industry Group to host an executive leadership training programe for Sport Industry Group's NextGen Leaders.

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Entry requirements

An honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent overseas qualification from a wide range of subjects/disciplines. Overseas qualification equivalencies can be found here.

Overseas qualification equivalencies

English Language requirements

All applicants for admission to Loughborough University must have a qualification in English Language before they can be admitted to any course or programme, whether their first language is English or not.

More on the Loughborough University website

Fees and funding

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. The standard tuition fees for 2019-20 entry are as follows:

  • £10,550 (UK/EU)
  • £24,750 (International)

University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.


View scholarships for 2019 entry

Programme aims

  • Analyse and evaluate leadership and business challenges and responses facing sport business professionals
  • Develop students as leaders in sport through practical application and team work, analysing and evaluating problems and responding to sport leadership and business challenges in real time
  • Develop a critical understanding of the social, environmental and economic issues that are essential to leadership and management in the sport industry
  • Develop students’ critical thinking to assess the development, evaluation and implementation of innovation as a process and its application to sport leadership and business
  • Develop leaders in sport who have the leadership and business skills that have specific application to the challenges confronting sport organisatIons at the global, national and local level

Programme modules

This programme covers a wide range of topics; to give you a taster we have expanded on some of the core modules affiliated with this programme and the specific assessment methods associated with each module.

To complete the MSc Sport Leadership, students must complete 8 x 15 credit modules. Students must choose 1 of the 3 optional modules in semester 2. All students must complete a Dissertation worth 60 credits. Students will pick a second subject from the list of nominated second subject modules offered by the other Loughborough University London Institutes in the first semester.

Core modules

Collaborative Project

With a multi-talented group of students, you will work on a brief from a real company looking to solve a real social or business problem.
Together with your student team, you will research and build solutions to a business problem, supported by our project tutors, clients and staff. Previous clients include Foster + Partners, Speedo, The London Legacy Development Corporation as well as many other companies, start-ups and charities.
The Collaborative Project provides a means for you to engage in critical enquiry and to be exposed to project-based teamwork in multicultural and interdisciplinary settings. By undertaking this module, you will strengthen your cooperative and collaborative working skills and competencies, whilst raising your awareness and appreciation of cultural and disciplinary diversity and differences.
The Collaborative Project aims to provide you with a hands-on experience of identifying, framing and resolving practice-oriented and real-world based challenges and problems, using creativity and appropriate tools to achieve valuable and relevant solutions. Alongside the collaborative elements of the module, you will be provided with opportunities to network with stakeholders, organisations and corporations, which will give you the experience and skills needed to connect to relevant parties and potentially develop future employment opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:
  • Work effectively in diverse and interdisciplinary teams
  • Undertake and contribute towards a project-based development process
  • Apply critical enquiry, reflection, and creative methods to identify, frame, and resolve issues and problems at hand
  • Identify user and stakeholder needs and value creation opportunities, whilst collecting and applying evidence-based information and knowledge to develop appropriate insights, practices and solutions
  • Identify, structure, reflect on key issues and propose solutions to problems in creative ways
  • Enhance your appreciation for diversity and divergent individual and disciplinary perspectives
  • Be able to provide structured, reflective and critical feedback to peers and other stakeholders
  • Plan and execute a project plan including scope, resources and timing
  • Effectively communicate ideas, methods and results to a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Use multiple, state-of-the-art date media and technologies to communicate with collaborators
  • Make informed, critical and reflective decisions in time-limited situations.


Assessment consists of 100% coursework which is made up of:
  • Individual Reflective Essay (55%)
  • Team Project Report (40%)
  • Peer Evaluation (5%)

Leadership Models and Practices: Applications to a Sport Context

This module will include teaching and guidance on organisational contexts and leadership models; leadership behaviours and competing expectations; contemporary issues impacting on leadership; and the importance of leadership when shaping appropriate organisational practices.
The aim of this module is to deliver a thorough grounding in the main leadership models and the issues that impact on leadership practice in the sport environment. It is intended as an introduction to leadership and will be the theoretical foundation upon which other sport leadership units are built.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:
  • Understand contemporary models and theories of leadership and leadership development that are international, both in their derivation and in their application;
  • Highlight the key issues that impact on leadership practice in sport and other environment;
  • Discuss how different leadership models can be utilised in different contexts such as sport;
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognise the importance of communication in sport leadership practice;
  • Recognise the importance of problem solving leadership practice.


  • Presentation (40%)
  • Case Study (60%)

Sport Business and Innovation

This module is designed to equip students with an understanding of the main theoretical and empirical issues in the development of sport innovation and an appreciation of the relevant skills needed to manage sport innovation. The module also provides evidence based on applied sport innovation examples from the sport industry. Students will have the opportunity to develop an innovative business concept for the sport business industry.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify, explain and apply the theoretical underpinning of innovation and entrepreneurship as they relate to sport business
  • Identify through personal reflection key behaviours, attributes and skills required for innovation in sport business
  • Interpret the changing sport business environment using a variety of analytical tools and identify potential market opportunities within the sport business sector
  • Prepare and deliver a persuasive sport innovation proposal.


  • Essay (40%)
  • Project (40%)
  • Presentation (20%)

Sustainability and Leadership for Sport Organisations

Teaching on this module will cover teaching of the following topics: drivers of sustainability leadership; characteristics of leaders for sustainability; sustainability leadership in action; entrepreneurs as sustainability leaders; the context of sustainability in differing cultural contexts; the influence of sustainable methods; the application of sustainable practices in various global settings.
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of the relationship between sustainable business practices and leadership in sport organisations.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:
  • Critically analyse the key elements of sustainable leadership practice in sport and other environments
  • Critically analyse how sustainable leadership can shape organisational culture in sport and other environments
  • Critically analyse how sustainable leadership can create competitive advantage in sport and other environments
  • Explain the aetiology of sustainability and be able to debate the application of sustainable leadership practices
  • Evaluate the application of sustainable principles to specific areas within a specific context such as sport
  • Critically evaluate methods and results obtained in published literature
  • Plan and implement sustainable answers to problems in the sport workplace.


  • Case Study (25%)
  • Presentation (25%)
  • Essay (50%)

Analysing the Construction of Leadership for a Sport Context

This module is likely to include teaching on: constitutive leadership; leadership and power; power and politics; sources of power; and types of power.
The aim of this module is to introduce you to socio-cultural aspects of leadership and how it is applied to leadership practice in the sport context.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:
  • Explain how leadership is socially constructed in different environments such a sport
  • Explore the nature of the social construction of leadership and understand how the perceptions of others might be altered in the sport context
  • Demonstrate good communication skills to challenge individual perceptions of leadership
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness to complete a project task.


This module will be coursework based, consisting of:

  • Video Activities (15%)
  • Main Video (35%)
  • Essay (50%)

Critical Reflective Leadership and Sport Management Practice

The module includes teaching on the knowledge, skills, and values of reflective practice; leading and reflective practice; and action research and reflective practice.
The aim of this module is to create an awareness of how critical reflection can facilitate improved leadership and personal growth in sport management practice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:
  • Understand and analyse the place of critical reflection in improving leadership and sport management practice
  • Understand and analyse how critical reflection can be used to solve organisational problems in the sport environment
  • Understand and analyse the relationship between critical reflection, leadership and personal growth
  • Understand the meaning of reflective practice, reflective learning theory and related literature
  • Comprehend reflective practice in the context of leadership practice and the role of the sport leader
  • Recognise and apply self reflection for leadership development
  • Apply reflective analysis to confront and solve complex and challenging leadership problems
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on the complexity and challenges of leadership practice through the use of case studies
  • Demonstrate an awareness of leadership challenges within specific organisational contexts such as sport.


  • Presentation (40%)
  • Essay (60%)


The Dissertation module will equip you with the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to embark on your own research project. You will have the choice of three dissertation pathways:
  • A desk based research project that could be set by an organisation or could be a subject of the student's choice
  • A project that involves collection of primary data from within an organisation or based on lab and/or field experiments
  • An Internship within an organisation during which time students will complete a project as part of their role in agreement with the organisation (subject to a suitable placement position being obtained)
  • By undertaking a dissertation at master's level, you will achieve a high level of understanding in your chosen subject area and will produce a written thesis or project report which will discuss your research in more detail.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
  • The importance of project planning
  • The importance of a clear hypothesis or research question
  • The ethical implications of research
  • The relevant empirical data and methodologies for data collection or knowledge assimilation for the subject area
  • Methods of data analysis and their suitability for the intended data
  • The areas of expertise or publications of the major individuals or organisations in the subject or business area
  • The previous research or current knowledge in the specific subject or business area
  • Theoretical perspectives relevant to your chosen topic
  • The most effective methods of presentation for data or knowledge
  • Developing a clear, coherent and original research question, hypothesis or business problem in a suitable subject area
  • Synthesising relevant sources (e.g. research literature, primary data) to construct a coherent argument in response to your research question, hypothesis or business problem
  • Analysing primary or secondary data collected by an appropriate method
  • Critically evaluating data collected in context with previously published knowledge or information
  • Engaging in critical debate and argumentation in written work
  • Applying principles of good scholarly practice to your written work
  • Performing appropriate literature searching/business information searching using library databases or other reputable sources
  • Planning a research project and producing a realistic gantt chart demonstrating your intended timelines
  • Synthesising information from appropriate sources
  • Demonstrating rational use of research method tools
  • Selecting and using appropriate investigative and research skills
  • Demonstrating effective project planning skills
  • Finding and evaluating scholarly sources
  • Engaging in critical reasoning, debate and argumentation
  • Demonstrating effective report writing skills
  • Recognising and using resources effectively
  • Successfully managing a project from idea to completion
  • Demonstrating commercial awareness or the impact of knowledge transfer in a business or research environment.


100% Coursework consisting of:
  • Research proposal (10%)
  • Dissertation report (90%)

Optional modules (choose one)

Strategic Sport Sponsorship

This module will outline the main themes that underpin sport sponsorship, and the evolution of sport sponsorship in the digital age. We will consider strategic sponsorship matching, as well as targeting and acquisition of sponsorships in the UK and beyond. By the end of the module, you will be able to identify the practices and techniques for strategic sport sponsorship, including the challenges that sponsors and sponsees encounter in a sport context.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module, you should be able to:
  • Assess the major theories, principles, and concepts surrounding sport sponsorship
  • Appraise how sponsorship can achieve business and marketing objectives
  • Apply traditional and contemporary techniques and practices involved in conceptualising and analysing strategic sport sponsorship opportunities and challenges
  • Evaluate strategic sport sponsorship ideas and concepts
  • Apply strategic sport sponsorship principles that can be utilised in different sport environments
  • Critique the relationship between strategic sport sponsorship objectives and broader sport marketing objectives
  • Generate new ideas and concepts appropriate to sport sponsorship
  • Select and use appropriate investigative and research skills to identify sport sponsorship opportunities
  • Essay (60%)
  • Report (40%)

Sport Business Statistics and Analytics

Sport Business Statistics and Analytics blends statistical analysis and data visualisation through the use of software applications to guide evidence based decisions. The module covers three areas. First, it provides a sound understanding of quantitative analysis. Second, the module introduces various data visualisation techniques (including exposure to relevant software programs) to develop skills in understanding and presenting complex data. Third, an understanding of the importance of data in identifying insights and trends in the sport sector. Recent examples from the sport industry, both in team and player performance and in commercial activities will be used to illustrate these complex concepts.
The aim of this module is to help you understand the importance of data-driven decision making and strategy formulation, and how statistical analysis and data visualisation assist in identifying sport business trends and solutions.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:
  • Apply quantitative analysis to understand and present complex data to support evidenced-based decision making
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of quantitative analysis in an emerging data driven sport business landscape
  • Analyse, interpret and make evidence-based decisions based on multi-dimensional data sources
  • Critically evaluate the place of data visualisation and its contribution to evidence-based decision making
  • Apply critical thinking skills to understand how analytical techniques can address sport business problems
  • Show proficiency in the use of various analytic software programmes used in the sport business sector
  • Apply data visualisation techniques when creating dashboards and executive reports
  • Analyse multidimensional data and evaluate their use and value in different sport scenarios
  • Apply sport business analytics to improve organisational performance
  • Recognise the value of analytics across a range of other business contexts
  • Understand the place of analytics and is application to solve complex problems.


  • Executive dashboard report (40%)
  • Group case study analysis (60%)

Organisational Behaviour in the Sport Industry

The aims of this module are to:

  • Apply organisational behaviour theory to the business and sporting context. 
  • Critically analyse the factors influencing individual and group behaviour in sport organisations. 
  • Identify and analyse trends in organisational behaviour in sport organisations. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  • Explain the nature of Organisational Behaviour and individual behaviour within the context of the sports industry.
  • Reflect on organisational behaviour theory in the sports industry
  • Take responsibility for planning and managing own learning
  • Manage their own learning
  • Express their ideas in an effective manner both in writing and orally
  • Read critically.


  • Report (60%)
  • Presentation (40%)

Optional modules (choose one)

New Media and Analytics for Sport Business

The first part of this module will demonstrate how various sport properties are leveraging new media and new technologies, specifically, the Internet and mobile technology. Areas to be discussed include ecommerce, sponsorship, social networking and online communities, streaming video, user-enhanced content, and user-generated content. The second part will use analytics to study a wide variety of issues affecting the sport industry. You will learn not only how the recent application of analytics has improved each of the above areas within the professional sport industry, but also how analytics can improve decision-making in sport business and any other field of business. You will use analytics to study a wide variety of issues affecting the sport media industry, and will examine topics such as marketing, pricing, contracts and stadium management.
The aim of this module is to demonstrate how various sport properties are leveraging new media and new technologies, specifically, the Internet and mobile technology. Through the use of analytics, you will study a wide variety of issues affecting the sport industry.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module you should be able to:
  • Display knowledge of the emergence and future applications of new media in sport and the ability to systematically apply analytical approaches to studying new media applications
  • Show knowledge and understanding of new media communications practices and strategies, in an ever-changing digital landscape
  • Understand how to analyse, interpret, and make decisions based on various new media data
  • Critically evaluate the characteristics of digital new media
  • Apply critical thinking skills to new media analytics to address sport media issues
  • Ability to analyse new media communications and evaluate their use and value in different scenarios
  • Ability to apply sport media analytics to new media practices
  • Apply new media communication practices across a range of business areas
  • Apply knowledge of sport business analytics to new media strategies and challenges in other business contexts.


  • Presentation (25%)
  • Case Study Analysis (40%)
  • Group Report (35%)

Sport Integrity

The aims of this module are to:

  1. Examine the nature of sports integrity and the threats to it presented by the manipulation of sporting outcomes and corrupt governance practices in both national and international contexts, including key legal and regulatory areas.
  2. Develop a greater awareness of ethical issues in relation to combatting sport integrity issues.
  3. Explain the role of the board, and senior management, in providing organisational leadership and implementing cultural change, with particular emphasis on composition and values-based leadership models.
  4. Consider the importance of professional conduct, athlete reputation and public confidence in sport.
  5. Critically review a range of legal and regulatory issues in sport.

This module is likely to include: defining the nature and meaning of sport integrity in sport competitions and governance, including historical and empirical perspectives; combatting corruption in sport and anti-corruption risk minimisation strategies, the criminalisation of manipulation of sporting outcomes, anti-doping; regulation and governance including regulatory measures, structure and role of investigative and enforcement bodies, powers of investigation and information sharing; ethical reasoning and its practical application to key sport industries; compositional governance and vertical leadership and good governance vs. structural governance; and analysis and evaluation of sport integrity cases.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Assess emerging and contemporary issues in the field of sports integrity
  • Critically evaluate contemporary sport governance, policy and ethical practice standards
  • Understand the measures taken by sport organisations to address threats to sports integrity
  • Address critically selected integrity and ethical issues, challenges and problems related to the sport industry
  • Appraise new developments in sports law for mandatory information sharing and monitoring arrangements
  • Identify and analyse threats to sport integrity
  • Independently examine, research and analyse ethical and legal issues relating to sports integrity
  • Demonstrate ethical reasoning processes to analyse and evaluate sport integrity practices
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of best practice principles of risk minimisation from other domains and how they may be innovatively applied in sport
  • Generate new ideas and concepts appropriate to sport integrity
  • Select and use appropriate investigative and research skills to identify sport integrity and ethical issues.


100% coursework consisting of:

  • Ethical Reasoning (40%)
  • Sport Integrity Case Analysis (60%)

International and Comparative Employment Relations: Sports Industry Focus

This module will introduce you to the study of industrial and employment relations in international and comparative institutional perspective. We will explore various industrial relations systems and institutions especially those of the UK, Continental Europe, USA and China.

We will discuss the role of the state, employers, trade unions and workers when discussing matters affecting employment and industrial relations. We will address systems of collective bargaining, the employment relationship, worker participation, regulation and the role of international institutions such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and global union federations.

The module also explores contemporary issues in the development of transnational structures and processes including the development of International Framework Agreements, international labour standards, transnational works councils and social dialogue.

The module will introduce students to the field of employment relations as an academic and policy oriented discipline, including various theoretical approaches and traditions, provide students with a comparative analysis of national industrial relations systems, focuses on the UK, Europe USA and China and provide in-depth analysis of key actors in employment relations, including employers, trade unions and the state.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Explain key concepts in contemporary industrial and employment relations in comparative and international perspective
  • Identify the global, national and sectoral institutional contexts of industrial relations
  • Assess aspects of diversity and change in industrial relations in the countries and sectors studied
  • Critically analyse national / sectoral variations in employment relations systems and their interaction with transnational structures and processes
  • Critically evaluate key theories in the areas of employment relations and comparative institutional analysis
  • Assess industrial relations systems in comparative and international perspectives
  • Critically evaluate the functions, problems and benefits of collective bargaining, worker participation, regulation and international institutions
  • Reflect critically on practices of and relations between employers, workers, trade unions, the state and international institutions.


  • Two in-class assignments (80%)
  • Group presentation (20%)

New Venture Creation

The aims of this module are to equip students with background knowledge of business planning and strategy execution with simulated experience of running a company. We will look at a variety of frameworks for assessing entrepreneurs, products, markets, industries and operations to understand the importance of thorough market/product analysis and the operation of a new venture and the dynamic nature of strategy. Conceptual foundations are matched with practical training to enable students to formulate and execute their business strategies.

Learning Outcomes

  • The complexity of running a new business
  • Critical assessment of a potential product or service
  • Strategic positioning of a product
  • Analyse data and information in order to make effective decisions
  • Recognise and apply self-reflection for personal development
  • Demonstrate rational use of business tools/frameworks to analyse company performance and implement decisions
  • Demonstrate effective communication to persuade and influence stakeholders
  • Select and use appropriate investigative and research skills
  • Demonstrate effective report writing skills
  • Work effectively in a team and demonstrate recognition of an individual contributions to a group activity
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude towards a commercial opportunity
  • Successfully manage a project from idea to completion.


Assessment is made up of 1 x group report of 3,000 words (100%), which will be adjusted according to peer review feedback.

Future career prospects

An MSc in Sport Business and Leadership prepares students for careers in middle and senior leadership positions in a range of sectors, including commercial, not-for-profit and international sporting organisations.
Opportunities may include careers in commercial sporting organisations, international governing bodies of sport and the government. Students will also have access to the training and development to establish their own sport enterprise if desired.
Graduates may also wish to enhance their knowledge and career prospects further by undertaking a PhD programme with the Institute for Sport Business.

Your personal development

The careers and employability support on offer at Loughborough University London has been carefully designed to give you the best possible chance of securing your dream role.

Loughborough University London is the first of its kind to develop a suite of careers-focused activities and support that is positioned as the underpinning of every student’s programme. Opportunities include employability assessments, group projects set by a real businesses and organisations, company site visits and organisation-based dissertation opportunities.


You can expect to complete essays and reports of varying lengths, as well as presentations, proposals and case studies in some cases. For information about the assessments you will be expected to complete for each module, please see the module list for this programme online.

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