Postgraduate study

Sport Policy, Management and International Development MSc

Awards: MSc

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

Funding opportunities

I would recommend this programme not only because it gives a comprehensive theoretical understanding of the role of sport in society, but also because you can make friends with other students from all over the world. Moreover, the lecturers are all brilliant.

Junru Li MSc Sport Policy, Management and International Development 2019

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. You will 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 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.

You will critically analyse a wide range of sport policy and sport management issues in the UK and compare 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
  • 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
  • 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
MScSport Policy, Management and International DevelopmentUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2022/23
MScSport Policy, Management and International Development1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2022/23

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
  • sport and international development

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

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

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.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 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.

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 (non-MESC).

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:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScSport Policy, Management and International DevelopmentUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScSport Policy, Management and International Development1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

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
11 September 2023 4 May 2023

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 2023/24:

Selection deadlines

Round Application Deadline Places awarded by
1 11 October 2022 13 December 2022
2 10 January 2023 22 March 2023
3 04 May 2023 22 June 2023

Final UK only selection deadline

This final selection round is open to UK applicants only (applicants must have UK fee status). International applicants will not be considered for this round.

Round Application Deadline Places awarded by
4 04 July 2023 31 July 2023

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