Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent work experience

Months of entry


Course content

The Leadership in Sport MA, a masters course co-delivered by the Institute of Sports Humanities and Loughborough University London, is designed to nurture and support sport’s current and future leaders – both on and off the pitch, from the sharp end of high performance to the wider perspectives required to understand sport as a whole and its influence on society.

The Leadership in Sport MA blends theory and practice, each informing the other: the programme combines access to sport’s leading academics alongside seminars and masterclasses by world-class practitioners, and students benefit from studying ‘best practice’ as well as gaining behind-the-scenes access.

How do effective leaders balance data (ever richer and more plentiful) alongside their own intuition and judgement? With the advance of AI, where will the human factor continue to add most value? Sport is both fiercely local and also increasingly global – a tension that both informs the industry and explains sport’s continued ascent as an aspect of wider culture. And as sport becomes a central forum for debating values and ethics, understanding the social and historical context becomes more vital than ever. Why do nations continue to seek sport as a projection of nationhood? How should the international community hold them to account as they do so?

Leaders in sport have to make difficult decisions – often based on incomplete and quickly-changing information – and the quality of those decisions will determine their success and failure. Crucially, most important decisions draw on different kinds of evidence, demanding an inter-disciplinary lens. That’s why this programme is anchored in the wider perspective of the humanities. The best leaders in sport are rarely found in a narrow silo: they are broad thinkers, comfortable dealing with – and benefitting from – differing approaches and kinds of expertise. Today’s sports leaders need ‘smarts’ and they also need breadth.

The programme will interrogate different leadership models, helping each student to understand their unique leadership ‘voice’. The programme develops the skills students require to improve as decision-makers – both in making judgements, and also in communicating effectively to build consensus and effect change. Students will be introduced to the various influences – from paternalist institutions (predicated on the idea that sport is a social good) to market forces (which have commoditized sport as entertainment) – that have driven sport to become the world’s third biggest industry. Graduates of the programme will understand how technology has shaped the evolution of sport (for protagonists and spectators alike), and how sport has become a central agent as well as beneficiary of globalization. The programme will interrogate the social function and value of the sporting event, exploring sport’s reach and power. The programme shows how sport not only reflects but also influences social attitudes and behaviours. Graduates of the programme will be able to see how the sports event is always in flux: from the spectator in the stadium, to the fan listening on the radio or watching on television, to the ‘digital native’ who interacts with sport primarily through social media and its derivatives.

A student who graduates with a broad knowledge of sport’s scope and breadth, whose critical thinking and well-trained judgment informs sound decision-making, who communicates with the verve that a top player shows on the field, and who can move easily between widely diverging kinds of challenges – such a graduate will add great value across the industry, and will help drive sport to become an even richer and more important aspect of modern life.

ISH’s mission is to nurture and inspire sport’s current and future leaders around the world – smart thinking leading to better decisions and braver leadership.

Information for international students

International students are not eligible for this programme.

Fees and funding

UK students
£17,000 for the 2 years.
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

London Admissions