September full-time start, course structure and options:
Block 1: International Sport: Events, Governance, and Ethics
This module introduces students to the contemporary landscape in global sport, focusing on mega-events, governance and ethics. It uses historical and contemporary approaches and, while teaching students about structures, governance, management, and commercial aspects, encourages critical thinking on political, social, cultural, and economic lines. Ongoing crises in international and national sport, ranging from doping and match-fixing to alleged corruption in governing bodies, mean that no individual within the sport industry can ignore the issue of ethics. It will take as its starting point the creation of national and international sport structures and the boom in major sporting events. The module addresses the historical perspective on how these events have emerged and how they link to the different contexts in which they have flourished before moving into critical contemporary analysis of existing events.
The module considers events through the bidding and hosting processes, infrastructure, security, advertising and marketing, media rights, volunteering, and legacies while also examining the legal and organisational frameworks for sport and exploring a range of thematic case studies of problematic areas in sport, such as doping, violence, discrimination, child protection, the environment, and transgender and human rights. By exploring these issues in a critical academic way, informed by historical and contemporary perspectives, students will develop a clear sense of the challenges facing contemporary sport and an agenda for maintaining excellence and reforming problematic areas. This module will include visits, e.g., to the London Olympic Park.
Students will work in pairs to create a bid book from the perspective of a city and sporting event organiser hoping to host the world championships in a specified sport. The bid book should be 3000-4000 words and incorporate relevant images and designs. Students will also write a 2000-word essay on a different topic.
Block 2: Marketing Principles in Sport and Cultural Event Contexts
This module provides students with knowledge and understanding of key marketing principles and how to apply them to sport and cultural events in national and global contexts. Students will begin to explore, understand and debate key marketing concepts and relate them both to global sport and cultural event organisations and future opportunities.
Specifically, the module covers a variety of traditional marketing concepts, such as the marketing environment, segmentation, targeting and positioning, the marketing mix, marketing communications, sponsorship and branding, and consumer and audience behaviour. It also provides students with programme-specific content related to marketing in sporting and cultural event contexts within national and global contexts to allow specialist exploration of programme areas. Examples from both international and local sport and cultural event organisations are drawn upon to help students understand the industries.
Assessment is through a Group Marketing Report (1,500 words per student) and an Essay with Infographic (2,000 words, plus Infographic).
Block 3 and 4:
Sporting heritage and legacy is a growing phenomenon. Increasing numbers of sport organisations and clubs are developing ways of showcasing their history and heritage, through such avenues as halls of fame, museums, stadium tours, and heritage-based merchandise. In addition, the non-sporting heritage industry at local and national levels is increasingly taking note of sport, and is promoting sporting heritage through museum displays, commemorative plaques, and sports-themed tourist activities. This module critically explores the development of this phenomenon, linking it to the diversification of the heritage industry, and to sports' and clubs' quest for legacy as part of their identity and brand. It begins by asking what sport heritage is, and by examining the legal, academic, cultural, commercial, and political frameworks within which sport heritage functions. This includes comparisons and contrasts between British and international models. The module will then consider various themes in sport heritage, including museums and halls of fame, heritage tourism, heritage-based merchandise, and heritage strategies. The module will include visits to key sport sites and museums so that students can experience hands-on the ways in which heritage is presented and promoted, while an international trip (where feasible) will allow students to see how other countries fit sport venues into their historical contexts and how their heritage is promoted.
Students will conduct heritage research to develop material from the perspective of a sport organisation using archival materials and photographs, and design and create this assignment using Adobe Creative Cloud (1000 words). Students will also write a 2,000-word essay.
In addition, students will select one of the following modules during:
Block 3 and 4: Fieldwork (with permission of academic team)
The fieldwork experience module entails students gaining at least 250 hours of experience with a relevant organisation. Fieldwork experiences may be organised by the Programme Leader or by the students themselves with a reputable organisation or business. All fieldwork experiences will require approval by the module leader.
The module requires individual work, for which each student will be assigned a supervisor for meetings and support. These could be face-to-face or video-conferencing calls. Students will be required to attend a 2-hour workshop, during which they will learn about professionalism and conduct at work, getting the most out of the fieldwork experience, and writing a reflective journal. Additional class time will address mentorship and developing professional skills.
Assessment is through a Reflective Journal (3,500 words) and a presentation.
Block 4: Events Leadership
This module provides students with the tools to make a critical investigation of the context in which cultural, sporting and commercial events operate in contemporary Britain and globally, alongside issues of leadership and development support that are required for an evolving sector. It explores the needs of individuals leading events management organisations, and the skills required to motivate, manage and organise staff and other stakeholders to create excellent events. The module also incorporates the study of some operational elements of event leadership in practice such as business planning.
Students will write an essay (3,000 words) in which they critically evaluate contemporary events leadership issues and either give a 15-minute presentation or produce a digital Professional Portfolio.
Blocks 5 and 6: Consultancy Project, OR Heritage Project
The Consultancy Project offers students an opportunity to complete a practical, business-focused project relating to their chosen industry. In completing the project, students will apply theoretical knowledge gained on their course from discipline-specific modules and link theory with real life practical issues and decisions. The Consultancy Project allows students, when applicable, to engage with parties external to the University and assists the development of skills relevant to future career enhancement.
Consultancy Projects may be proposed by any kind of organisation, including companies of various sizes, not-for-profit organisations, and clubs. Students will prepare a report in the form of a consultancy report, complete with an explanation of the problem they addressed in the project, the methods used, and theories applied to analyse the problem, the results of research undertaken, and key recommendations for the organisation.
Each student will be allocated an academic tutor to assist them through the project, helping with each of the assessment elements and giving guidance on the academic content.
Students will submit a Project Plan, a 3,000-word summary of strategy, methodologies and tactics for the project; and a Final Report, including the research, analysis, recommendations, and critical review of the techniques used.
With this option, students focus on a heritage-based project, understanding “heritage” in its broader sense. This can include major projects such as exhibitions, cataloguing or digitising collections, creating databases, etc.
Students will be expected to develop a heritage project in conjunction with an existing organisation. The heritage project needs have a clear outcome achievable by the deadline. Therefore, the heritage project needs to go beyond the planning stage and achieve a clear output that exists in the world and can be, potentially, accessed by others.
Students will submit a Proposal, a formal proposal about the intended heritage project, including the concept, structure, and format; the Heritage Project itself, in an appropriate format; and a Report, a critical evaluation and analysis of the project.
The January start does NOT have the option to take the fieldwork module. Students will take the other four modules listed in blocks 1-4. January start students will have the summer to gain experience volunteering at a variety of sporting events. For more information about the January or part-time course structure and options, please contact the course leader noted above.
Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.