Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Sport Policy, Management and International Development MSc

Awards: MSc

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 include a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • case studies
  • industry visits
  • discussions

Compulsory Courses:

  • Sport and Culture Industry
  • 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

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 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

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

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

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component. We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 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 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 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 five years old* at the beginning of your programme of study. (*Revised 05 March 2024 to extend degree validity to five years.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition 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 2024. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from eligible countries.

Moray House Access Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer a scholarship covering tuition fees and living costs for one student. The scholarship is for UK nationals domiciled in the UK, from backgrounds or groups underrepresented in our School.

GREAT scholarship: Mexico

One GREAT scholarship will be available to applicants from Mexico who apply for 2024 entry. This award is for £10,000 towards postgraduate taught (Masters) degree tuition. Further details on eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found on the GREAT scholarship website.

India Merit Scholarship

The University is offering a new international scholarship for the most academically gifted Postgraduate Taught (PGT) Masters students applying from India. These awards cover £5,000 towards tuition fees for PGT Masters students studying on campus during the 2024/25 academic year. The Scholarships will be tenable for the first year of study only and will be automatically deducted from your student tuition fee balance. 

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.

(Updated 15 May 2024 to include India Merit Scholarship information)

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

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.

Please be aware that applications must be submitted and be complete, i.e. all required documents uploaded, by the relevant application deadline in order to be considered in that round. Your application will still be considered if you have not yet met the English language requirement for the programme.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2024/25:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 01 November 2023 19 December 2023
2 11 December 2023 28 February 2024
3 04 March 2024 16 May 2024
4 06 June 2024 30 July 2024

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