Postgraduate study

Sport Policy, Management and International Development MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time

Funding opportunities

I was attracted to the programme because of its nature in both sport and recreation. My past experiences working for non-profits and the parks and recreation field aligned well to the programme objectives and I wanted to increase my marketability in the workforce.

Joseph Cooper MSc Sport Policy, Management and International Development 2013

The increasing social, economic and political role of sport is a key feature of life in the 21st century. This Masters degree critically examines the commercialised and media-orientated world of professional sport and the increasingly important realm of community sport, recreation and physical activity. Students gain an understanding of key concepts invaluable for employment and critical engagement across all sport sectors.

Recognising that sport managers operate in a highly politicised environment, the programme reviews the role of government policy in shaping sporting opportunities and sport's contribution to social policy agendas.

The programme critically assesses sport's contribution to government social policy concerns (such as crime prevention, health improvement, education attainment, community building), and its role in conflict resolution, gender empowerment, disease prevention and poverty reduction in different parts of the world. It critically analyses a wide range of sport policy and sport management issues in the UK and compares these with experiences across a wide range of countries.

You will focus on management issues in contemporary sport organisations, the media's role in sport management debates, and sport marketing and communications concepts.

The programme also explores fundamental aspects of research methods and links these to sport management concerns. Your understanding is enhanced through the extensive involvement of local and national sport organisations.

Masters degrees at the University of Edinburgh comprise 180 credits. The first 120 credits are made up of taught courses. To graduate with the MSc degree, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation (60 credits).

You will take seven compulsory courses. These courses will consist of a combination of lectures, seminars, case studies, industry visits and discussions.

Compulsory Courses:

  • Sport and the Media
  • Sport Marketing and Communications
  • Sport Policy
  • Sport Resource Management
  • Sport, Society and International Development
  • Conceptualising research: Foundations, Assumptions and Praxis
  • Sources of knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

On successful completion of this programme you will:

  • Gain a critical appreciation of key factors influencing sport participation levels in different countries and the role of sport policy and management in improving these.
  • Gain a critical understanding of the role of sport in alleviating social and economic problems at the local, national and international level.
  • Foster a theoretically informed appreciation of the role and impact of local, national and transnational government on sport policy.
  • Have considered the contribution of management theory to efficient and effective sport management practice.
  • Gain a theoretical understanding of the role of the mass media in framing contemporary sport policy and sport management.
  • Attain the skills and knowledge necessary to identify and meet your career goals.

The programme provides the higher-order knowledge required for early-career graduates to enter employment in the sport industries, and for current sport practitioners to advance their careers.

The qualification can lead to rewarding careers in areas such as sport marketing, sport sponsorship, sport events, sport development, sport social enterprises, sport facility management, and sport and international development.

The Master's degree can also lead to PhD study.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline in sport such as sport and exercise, sport management, or social sciences such as marketing and management, public policy and administration, media and communication, politics and international relations.

Work experience (paid or voluntary) in sport management or sport industry is desirable, but not essential.

We may also consider applicants who do not hold a degree in a relevant subject but have had substantial relevant employment or experience within the sport industry; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 62 overall with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer five £10,000 scholarships to study a Master’s degree programme commencing in September 2022. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from the eligible countries.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Director, Dr Jung-Woo (Jay) Lee
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 4120
  • Contact: sportpolicy@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 22 July 2022

Due to high demand, the School operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2022-2023 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 18 October 2021 8 December 2021
2 10 December 2021 17 February 2022
3 4 March 2022 3 May 2022
4 1 June 2022 13 July 2022

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Director, Dr Jung-Woo (Jay) Lee
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 4120
  • Contact: sportpolicy@ed.ac.uk
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ