Course length: One year (full-time) and two year (part-time) options available

Degree overview

This degree is designed for graduates and industry practitioners with an interest in sport, and those with a particular interest in, or experience of communications and marketing. The programme covers key themes such as sports marketing, sports media management, sports media content creation, global sports leadership and options including customer relationship management, sports sponsorship, and brand management and contemporary issues in sport.

Teaching locations & learning options
Distance Learning (online)

Our Distance Learing degrees are taught by the same leading industry experts who teach our on-campus degrees with teaching delivered online via our dedicated Online Hub which can be accessed anytime making this a flexible study option that fits around your existing commitments.

Each module typically has 6 live teaching sessions for you to attend, enabling you to interact and collaborate with academics and your peers. These sessions are also recorded. 

Click here for our full list of Distance Learning degree FAQs

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Degree content

This programme will give participants a rounded and specific oversight of one of the most exciting yet challenging sectors in front line sport. Modules such as Global Sports Marketing & Digital Communications and Customer Relationship Management will enable students to engage in some of the core elements of senior marketing and media roles within the sports industry.

While the programme will concentrate on digital elements of the industry – an ever growing trend – traditional marketing and communication methods will be explored to give participants complete oversight of their potential future career opportunities.

Guillembalague Portrait

Versatility is everything. It's about smelling the opportunity and developing your career, not staying still and constantly moving.

Guillem BalagueSky Sports pundit
Course Leader, MSc Sports Marketing and Media Richard Clarke

Richard Clarke is a content, communications, social media, digital and marketing expert with unique, global experience in the sports industry.

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Richard Clarke


Degree specification documents and information

The Global Institute of Sport is an embedded college of the University of East London. All GIS graduates will receive a degree from the University of East London.

Click here for a full programme specification.

Degree modules
Sports Media Management

Successful media relations and solid communication strategies are vital for all sport organisations. Media managers must understand how the media works and have a toolbox of skills to be able to manage and deliver successful communications. Media managers who combine strategic planning, relationship building, creative thinking and outstanding organisational skills – and who have the ability to work under pressure – can help navigate clients through the trials and potential pitfalls of a career in sports media, as well as maintaining and enhancing the brand image of an organisation through effective communications. An effective media manager should possess a keen interest in shaping the brand image and reputation of individuals and organisations through insightful and powerful communications, and be able to not only cope in a crisis situation, but have the ability to develop a strategy that can mitigate reputational damage and rebuild the client’s corporate and social identity

Global Sports Marketing and Digital Communications

Globalisation is profoundly impacting the sports industry as a direct result of increased exposure through broadcasting and social media. Many sports brands are increasingly targeting overseas markets to reach new fans and customers, develop new revenue streams and gain competitive advantage. However,
navigating such opportunities and threats posed by new international markets calls for an acute understanding of national culture and the effective use of both traditional and digital marketing techniques. This course explores the key principles and practices involved with identifying new markets and creating
a winning marketing strategy for successful new market entry. It also addresses how digital and social media communications strategies have revolutionised the connection and conversation between sports brands and consumers.

Sports Media Content Creation

This module will examine the key roles and responsibilities of sports journalists and media content creators, while developing the knowledge and some of the practical skills required to work within an ever expanding and maturing industry. It will prepare you to explore the potential of multi-platform news within a legal and ethical framework while examining the role and impact of sports journalism in society. You will be encouraged to create written and audio/visual content for a number of different platforms in order to
develop a professional portfolio and personal profile to help you make strides in a competitive industry.

Global Sports Leadership

Leadership is a fundamental element of both sport and business operating in a dynamic global arena. On this module you will review and conceptualise different approaches to leadership from both an applied and theoretical perspective to allow you to analyse critical incidents in order to judge organisational leadership performance. You will be able to apply leadership theory to examples from industry professionals who have experience of leading teams in a sporting setting. Cross-cultural leadership underpins many of the behaviours and skills discussed within the leadership framework, alongside diversity and inclusion, strategic leadership, communication and reflection. The module allows you to take responsibility for your own leadership development and effectiveness through the development of an e-portfolio and skills audit, alongside exposure to sports leaders from the global network of partners contributing to the live case studies.

Applied Professional Project

This module will advance your research and critical thinking skills, and support you in applying these to the sport industry and its associated workplace environments. This module aims to prepare you for research, reflective, and evidence-based development, important for your future career and higher study where applicable. The undertaking of an applied project will give you the opportunity to develop your problem-solving skills regarding topical issues in your area of interest, whilst also allowing you to evidence your academic ability and knowledge. By completing this project and consulting with your tutor, you will establish expertise in an applied area of interest, aiming to have real impact on the relevant industry.

This module will give you a live insight into sport business issues. You will gain a thorough practice-based understanding of project design, conduct and action. As a result, you will be able to design and manage an applied project, and show potential to contribute to academic knowledge and industry practice – making
you highly desirable for potential employers.

Branding and Sports Sponsorship

Knowing how to value your brand, measure brand awareness and create powerful messages in support of your brand are critical. Sports sponsorship accounts for a significant percentage of the revenue of clubs and organisations and understanding how to measure its effectiveness is key. Sponsorship is also important in helping a company develop its brand image and in the positioning of that brand in the market. The key to developing sponsorship plans is knowing how to evaluate the effectiveness of sponsorship activities and working in collaboration with the sponsor, through the development of a sponsorship plan. Sporting organisations who understand their brand value are able to leverage more revenue from sponsors. The areas covered here are applicable to sporting organisations of all sizes and employers increasingly look to employ people to seek out new sponsorship opportunities.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Analytics in Sport

Faced with a rapidly changing marketplace, you will learn how to manage customer relationships using a range of techniques and identify the information needed to develop a customer-focused approach to the management of sports fans. It is important to understand how to manage relationships with current
customers, lapsed and potential. You will learn how to identify patterns of consumption and how CRM supports the overall strategic planning of a sporting organisation. The importance of pricing, social media and communicating with customers will be covered and how these are important in developing the CRM plan.

Contemporary Issues in Sport (Distance)

When working in the dynamic sports industry, it is essential to understand the wide variety of issues that are important to the business and management of sport, without neglecting the implications of our actions as managers on the wider sports population.

This module offers an engaging, informative, yet challenging introduction to some of the most pressing contemporary issues in sport. The module aims to provide you with a critical awareness of contemporary issues in sport by examining a number of topics ranging from global issues such as corruption, gambling and commercialisation, to national issues of gender, sexuality, racism and women in sport. You will develop an understanding of these issues by being empowered to formulate personal opinion underpinned by theoretical evidence in the format of assessed seminar discussions. Listening skills, alongside verbal reasoning will also be developed in order to develop critical understanding of relatively complex themes that affect both the sports industry and society as a whole.

Global Sports Leadership

Delivered across all GIS Master’s programmes to provide a foundation of knowledge of leadership and its application in sport, the Global Sports Leadership module provides a global sporting context to underpin each degree specialism.

Covering fundamental leadership principles including culture, performance analysis, diversity and inclusion, leadership styles and innovation within a contemporary sporting context, this module allows students to develop a broad appreciation of the sports industry and become leaders in their field.

A core aspect of the module is to bring in global leaders from the pitch, the boardroom and the industry to enable students to access and reflect on real-life and current industry experiences and insight. Many of the sessions will be shared across multiple GIS degree programmes, allowing students to learn from and network with each other throughout the Global Sports Leadership module.

Requirements overview

Entry requirements
Standard entry requirements
  • Undergraduate degree - minimum 2:2 (ideally a 2:1) or international equivalent
  • Applicants with a 2:2 should have some experience of studying or working in business or sports related areas.
  • English language qualifications: Applicants from non-majority English speaking countries will be asked for an English qualification which tests Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing and will be asked to achieve an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in each section) or recognised equivalent.

Offers to applicants currently studying an undergraduate degree will be conditional on them going on to achieve the entry requirements on completion of their degree.

Flexible entry requirements

Applications that do not meet the standard entry requirements but demonstrate relevant education and/or work and/or life experience in the course subject area are welcomed.

Eligibility will be assessed on the basis of the information provided in the application – in particular the personal statement.

For more information, please contact


We strongly encourage you to submit your Masters application well before our 2 September 2024 priority application deadline (8 January 2024 for courses starting in January) to allow sufficient time for assessment of application, ensure availability on the course and enrolment in time for the beginning of your studies. Applications received after this date will only be considered on a case by case basis.

How to apply

To apply for this degree, please click here and follow the instructions to complete your application via our Learner Portal.

Applications documents
  • Application form
  • Evidence of highest academic and/or professional qualifications
  • Evidence of relevant experience, where required
  • 500 word personal statement

Applications made through the flexible entry route may require a course leader review. The course leader will determine whether a professional reference or task is required.

Career prospects

The specificity of sport, with its high media coverage and numerous stakeholders, requires managers to have uniquely honed business skills and an in-depth knowledge of the football industry. The programme has been developed for those with aspirations towards senior positions within the core media and marketing departments of football and sports clubs and similar organisations.

At GIS, we are proud that 98% of Master's graduates are in full-time employment within six months and 69% are working in sport.

UCFB and its Global Institute of Sport were ranked in the top 5 'Best Universities for Employability' in 2021.

UCFB graduate and Marketing and Partnerships Officer at Somerset FA Conor Ogilvie-Davidson

Regional football associations around the country help to make the game tick along at grassroots level by running leagues, bringing together volunteers and initiating youth projects. Working at the Somerset FA is Conor, a MSc International Sport Management graduate.

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Conor Ogilvie-Davidson
Student profile Maria Hasler

Maria Hasler has played football for Austria at two youth levels and on a scholarship at Florida Atlantic University. However, a multitude of injuries have sadly played a major role in her playing career being restricted.

Read more
Maria Hasler


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Part-time option
Part-time option

For part-time courses the tuition fee will be split accordingly per year i.e 75 credits in year 1 and 105 credits in year 2 (for a two year programme) as per below table.

Course type

Total fee 75  credits 105  credits
UK On campus (Home students) / Distance (with attendance) (residentials in the UK) £11,950.00 £4,979.50 £6,970.50
UK On Campus (International students*) £17,950.00 £7,479.50 £10,470.50
Distance (with attendance) (residentals in the US) $19,950.00 (USD) $8,312.50 $11,637.50
Distance (with attendance) (residentals in Australia) £11,950.00 (Approx $22,950 AUD) £4,979.50 £6,970.50
Distance £11,950.00 £4,979.50 £6,970.50

*International students require a visa to study on campus

Available tuition fee discount
GIS Alumni

If you’d like to extend your time with us, we’re pleased to offer all GIS graduates:

Postgraduate Loyalty Discounts

These discounts are open to any GIS, UCFB, Buckinghamshire New University and University of East London graduate who has received and accepted an offer to study at the Global Institute of Sport.

UCFB and GIS business partners

We're pleased to offer all UCFB and GIS business partners 15% fee tuition discount on all Undergraduate, Master's programmes.

Additional information about fees

Visit our dedicated page about fees and student finance.

Additional fees

In some instances, optional activities provided may carry an additional cost for participants (e.g. qualifications with external certification such as FA Coaching Badges). Any additional costs will be provided to students in advance of any such sessions running.

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