Prestigious FIFA Master course taught at DMU named No.1 in Europe for a record 11th time

The FIFA Master course taught at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has maintained its position as the leading postgraduate sports management course in Europe for a record 11th time in the influential SportBusiness global rankings.

The one-year course, which is co-ordinated by the Centre International d’Etude du Sport (CIES) and supported by football’s world governing body FIFA, involves students dedicating a term of study at DMU’s International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) before also spending a term at both the SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy, and Switzerland’s University of Neuchâtel.


The FIFA Master cohort from 2020, who were surveyed for this award, at the National Football Museum

It is highly regarded in the sporting world and previous graduates have included the former Japan 2002 FIFA Men’s World Cup captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, former Manchester United FC midfielder Park Ji-Sung and New Zealand’s Olympic Gold Medal winning rower Emma Twigg.

Assessment criteria such as careers after graduation, student satisfaction, student diversity, networking opportunities and wider partnerships are used by SportBusiness to produce the final course ranking results, which they publish annually.

The new award for 2023 follows previous No.1 rankings in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

FIFA Master students from all over the world spend their first term at DMU to study the Humanities of Sport module, examining the birth of modern sport, its move into professionalization, gender and equality, internationalisation and ethical issues.

The Humanities of Sport module team based in the ICSHC is made up of Co-Scientific Directors Professor Martin Polley and Dr Heather Dichter, and Module Coordinator James Panter.

Professor Polley said: “The course has continued to go from strength to strength. We always enjoying working with the FIFA Master students and this latest ranking success is tremendous recognition of the hard work members of the ICSHC put into providing the best possible learning experience for the class each academic year.”

Dr Heather Dichter added, “The quality of the Humanities of Sport module reflects the leading role of sports history at DMU, and the module content prepares the students for a solid grounding in the role of sport in society and throughout history. Seeing the career paths and achievements of the FIFA Master students after graduation is always very rewarding.”

Graduates from the 20th edition of the course who were surveyed for the latest rankings are now working for organisations such as the International Olympic Committee, FIFA Women’s Football Department, Paris 2024 LOC and the Korean Olympic Committee.

FIFA WIN 2024 two

The 2020 cohort on a field trip to LCFC's King Power Stadium

Module Coordinator James Panter said: “To be named the number one course in Europe for the eleventh time is fantastic news. All of the guest speakers and field visit partners I work so closely with each academic year should also be extremely proud of this result as they make such an important contribution to the course and the knowledge gained by our students.”

Field trips to sporting institutions such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London Stadium, Wimbledon, Manchester City FC, Manchester United FC, the Professional Footballers’ Association, National Football Museum and Leicester City’s King Power Stadium are part of the course.

20th edition graduate James Cronin who is now a FIFA communications consultant based in South Africa and has previously published articles for the BBC on sport in India said: “The ICSHC DMU Leicester module was focused on the history and culture of sport, and on a personal level this was the area of most interest to me.

“We were given a full introduction to the foundations of sport in Britain and around the world. The global nature of our class and the topics discussed were also definite highlights.

“We were 32 people from 29 different nations, constantly sharing stories and experiences of sport from our own cultures”.

Digital Marketing Manager Jean Lee (South Korea and Canada) has just returned from working at the Qatar World Cup.

She said: “The course helped me to consolidate my experience with a broader perspective and gain a deeper understanding of sport. Each module offered me new knowledge and skills that are crucial to the industry, supported by various guest speakers.

“My existing knowledge was challenged with different points of view and, as a class, we would often continue to discuss themes from our lectures long after teaching had finished for the day.”

The current 24th edition of the FIFA Master will be based at DMU from September to December this year.

Posted on Tuesday 10th October 2023

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