Academy of Sport - Acadamaidh Spòrs Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann

Our vision

That sport is recognized for excellence in research, education and advocacy that transforms lives and makes a difference to society.

children with trophies
image courtesy of sportscotland ©2016

At the heart of an international sporting landscape the Academy of Sport provides a home for ideas, solutions, students, staff, sporting communities and organizations to meet, develop and excel.

Through research, teaching and service we strive to enhance and support Edinburgh's capacity to advance sport research, education, advocacy, practice and activity.

Two premises guide the work of the Academy: that sport has a part to play in addressing the challenges that face humanity in the 21st century and to serve as an independent think tank that addresses such challenges.

Linked to this we work to provide a climate that will enable our students, researchers, fellows and partners to thrive and develop.

Our objectives

  • Engage a critical mass of knowledge, research, strategic collaboration, influence, opportunity and access through sport.
  • Advance an understanding of sport’s contribution to addressing global, local and international challenges and issues.
  • Explore sports place in the world, past and present, and sustain a commitment to the humanities and social sciences
  • Advocate the potential of sport, physical culture and education to make a difference to people’s lives to-day.
  • Widen access to the University of Edinburgh and explore the potential of sport to reach disadvantaged communities.
  • Promote the link between research, education and advocacy.
  • Provide evidence as an independent sports observatory.

Our mission

  • To establish a vibrant gathering place for sports research, education and advocacy that strives to influence and make a difference to not just the world of sport but the challenges and issues that face humanity.
  • To be a gathering place for the exchange of ideas and sporting enlightenment.
  • To this end the work of the Academy of Sport is organized around three pillars: Impact, Study, and Dialogue.

Pillar 1: Impact

The Academy of Sport seeks to bring together the most innovative research from across the University to help tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing sport today.

The practice of sport and physical culture requires a sound grasp of evidence, analysis, the development of communities of best practice but also a commitment to change and intervention.

Policy briefs, advice papers, articles, books, reports and regular media briefings are some of the ways in which we try to provide wider access to our independent research in sport.

Our researchers are part of the University's open access initiative that means that our findings on local and global issues are open to the wider public through individual staff webpages.

Pillar 2: Study

We seek to work with, support, and develop our students, for instance with providing knowledge and opportunities for professional development from our flagship MSc in Sports Policy, Management and International Development, developing our innovative massive open online course Football: More than a Game.

We offer both credit-bearing and non-credit bearing opportunities to access education.

We also offer a summer school on the Global Impact of Sport

Pillar 3: Dialogue

We aim to create a space for dialogue about how sport can contribute to urgent questions facing people around the world.

Our public sports seminar series, the joint Edinburgh and Toronto public talks on sport and physical activity and online open access interviews, blogs and events are some of the ways in which the Academy of Sport supports a series of conversations.

We are fortunate to be supported by a range of professional fellows who add to the impact and reach of the Academy of Sport.