Taught course

Sports History and Culture

De Montfort University · School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Entry requirements

You should have the equivalent or above of a 2:2 UK bachelor’s honours degree in a relevant subject such as history, other humanities-based subjects, sports studies or sociology.

We welcome applications from a wide sector and all non-standard applications will be carefully considered.

Months of entry


Course content

Established in 1995, our Sports History and Culture MA will give you a firm grounding in modern sports development, from traditional forms to present day practices. This is a flexible and interactive programme that, thanks to its close links with the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC), ensures your learning is at the cutting edge of research in this area.

You will investigate the origins of modern sport, examine its cultural and global significance, discover how sport can help us understand society and different communities, as well as consider how historians of sport can use primary sources. The scope of the course is global, not only analysing how modern sport spread from its British origins, but also how other nations embraced sport within their own cultural contexts.

The ICSHC has the foremost historians in the field on its staff who publish critically acclaimed books and articles, are editors of leading journals, organise international conferences, and work as consultants for a variety of projects, including the major BBC radio series Sport and the British. While you will study full-time or part-time via online lectures, you will also be invited to attend seminars and conferences organised by the ICSHC and partnership groups such as the British Society of Sports History and the European Committee for Sports History. These partnerships, coupled with our academic team’s expertise and real-world experience, will provide you with a challenging and rewarding intellectual experience. You will be encouraged to become part of our wider research community at the ICSHC, both in person and through social media.

Alongside gaining a deep understanding of the history of sport, you will develop skills in independent research by producing a sustained piece of writing and primary source analysis. As a graduate, you will be ideally placed for a career in sports writing, sport development, management, the media, teaching or to undertake PhD research.

  • You will explore and examine the process of sports development through a number of themes and lenses, including social and cultural history and the relationship between sport and politics.
  • The ICSHC is widely acknowledged as the leading centre for the study of sport history in the world, organising international conferences, working with major media outlets such as the BBC and housing sport-themed archives of national significance in DMU’s Special Collections.
  • Benefit from the ICSHC’s extensive network of sporting and cultural partnerships with local, national and global sporting bodies, including the British Society of Sports History, Musée National du Sport in France, the National Football Museum in Manchester, Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Leicester City Football Club.
  • This online distance learning programme caters for both full-time and part-time students, enabling you to study at your own pace with ongoing support from our expert academic staff.
  • You will learn from an expert teaching team, who are renowned in the field of the history of sport and who maintain links with major sporting organisations, professional associations and academic partners, ensuring that your learning is at the cutting edge of research in this area.
  • The focus on individual research means this programme provides ideal preparation for  progression to PhD study.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each band, or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website for more information about course fees and available funding.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

De Montfort University
+44 (0)116 250 60 70