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Undergraduate course

Sports Business Management BA (Hons)

Do you want to join one of the most exciting, competitive and profitable industries?

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The sports industry is a multi-billion pound industry and arguably one of the most exciting sectors in the world economy. This programme is designed to give you the skills and expertise you need to compete in this sector and related businesses and organisations.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – N889 | With Placement Year N887 | With Foundation Year N888
  • Duration – 3 years full-time
  • Start date – September 2020, September 2021
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

York Business School

Course overview

Through this course, you'll learn how marketing is applied to the sports business, considering the unique nature of the industry. You'll evaluate marketing strategies of sporting organisations and learn how this aids competitive advantage. You will gain an understanding of the way sports organisations work in the differing sectors of the sports industry and be exposed to the legal, social, economic, political, technological, and ethical issues facing all sports organisations operating in a global environment.

Your studies will include focus on a variety of the core functions of sports management including: marketing principals and practice, sponsorship, events, managing people, finance, business planning and strategic management in sports business.

We offer you a balanced mix of academic and practical challenges, providing you with highly desirable professional skills that give you a strong advantage when you graduate.

The course delivery includes content from industry specialists through guest lectures, site visits and you will be given the chance to work on live briefs.

Special features

  • A focus on the management of organisations which will provide the knowledge and skills you will need as a manager in the sports industry. This includes the management of people, resources and business activities
  • Accreditation by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) giving you a professionally recognised qualification (Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership) alongside your degree
  • Throughout the course there is regular opportunity to engage with a range of practising managers, organisations, employers and entrepreneurs and take part in work related experiences and internships

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

View Foundation Year Courses 


Year in industry

All of our business students have the option of adding in a year in industry and / or a semester of studying abroad with one of our partners to their course. A year in industry gives students fantastic experience and is attractive to potential employers. This normally takes place after the second year of the course and extends the course duration by one year (15% of the standard tuition fee is chargeable). Study Abroad normally takes place for a semester of the second year of the course and doesn’t extend the course duration as credits achieved abroad count towards your degree.

You don’t need to decide whether you would like to take either of these options until after you have started the course with us.

Course structure

Level 1

At level 1 (year one), the modules are designed to give you a grounding in the key theoretical areas of Sports Business. You will study six modules each worth 20 credits and will be introduced to a range of specialist subject areas. 


The Global Sports Business

This module provides students with knowledge of the key underpinning concepts within the sports business environment. Students will consider the wider sports industry; the Sports Business Ecosystem will be used to frame understanding. The module will identify professional and amateur clubs and association, sports and leisure centres, venues and sports events. Students will gain an understanding of the way sports organisations work in the differing sectors of the sports industry and will be exposed to the legal, social, economic, political, technological, and ethical issues facing all sports organisations operating in a global environment. Students will gain insights into what skills, knowledge, and competencies are required in order to find work or operate effectively within any of these sectors.

The Dynamics of Sports Marketing

This module introduces students to the study of marketing and its application in sports business. It explores the unique nature of the industry and it explores the principals and techniques used. Students will evaluate marketing strategies of sporting organisations and how this aids competitive advantage

Financial Concepts and Control

This module aims to develop students understanding of the financial environment.

It will look at key sources of information for decision makers and look at the decision maker’s needs. Students will gain an understanding of the key statements in published financial accounts and how to analyse and interpret the information presented. It will also look at key information for financial decision makers inside organisations. This will include budgetary control, short term and long-term decision making.

Events Planning and Development

This module will introduce students to event planning and advance these skills to investigate planning a small-scale event. Students will research and plan for an event to a specified budget. The module will explore event planning models and the processes behind planning and staging a successful event. Health, Safety and risk implications on events will be explored and solutions discussed.

Business analytics and the Blockchain

The aim of this module is to give you a practical grounding in the skills and techniques necessary to conduct data analytics and anticipate the effects of the blockchain on both short- and long-term strategy. The module introduces the blockchain and the scope of the blockchain industry. Basic statistical models are introduced in this module. As future business leaders, students will learn to understand blockchain, explore blockchain trends, investigate the market disruptions caused by technology and the impact of blockchain in industries worldwide. The module is designed to get you over the basic hurdles you will face when beginning to learn the data analytics and management techniques, and will cover some of the basic tasks that you face as a data analyst and will put you in a position to extend your knowledge of applying your analytical techniques.

Practising Responsible Business Behaviours

This module examines the nature of business enterprise and its relationship with wider society, seeking answers to the question: what does it mean for businesses to behave responsibly? There is an ongoing debate regarding this question, with answers ranging from ‘just maximize shareholder value’ to ‘consider everyone who is affected, including unborn future generations’, with many variations in between. In this ongoing debate we encounter ideas regarding, for example, stakeholder theory, the triple bottom line, corporate social responsibility, business ethics, the role of the state or of supra-national organizations, and so on.

Level 2

At level 2 (year two) you further develop your knowledge and managerial skills. You will study six modules (20 credits each) designed to embed key knowledge in managerial practice while at the same time developing skills that will enhance your CV, you will also have the opportunity to undertake a Professional Placement as either a full year in industry or a shorter placement within your three course.


Managing People in Service Industries

The module provides a contextualised approach to the management of people in the services industries.  By their very nature these businesses are people focussed and as a consequence the management of people is a crucial element in the achievement of business success and excellence.  Students will apply some of the relevant theories to real life scenarios in the context of a range of organisational structures and cultures.

Consumer Behaviour and Consumer Trends

Marketing is a key business function. Central to this is an in depth understanding of how customer desires and decision processes, (consumer behaviour), affect why and how purchases are made. This module introduces students to the complexities of consumer behaviour by analysing and evaluating the impact of the nature and scope of consumer and business buyer behaviour on marketing decisions.

The psychology of the decision-making processes are studied and the implications for marketers are analysed giving an insight into how to market goods more effectively. Many argue that this is the most interesting of Marketing modules due to the scrutiny of the student’s own psychological motivations.

Managing Sports Facilities

The module considers the operational management challenges relating to the management of venues and facilities for sports and leisure activities. It affords an opportunity to examine issues, principles, problems and integrated solutions for a venue or facility relating to the sports business industry. The module will explore the principals of service management, programming, diversification of income streams. 


Marketing through Digital Activity

The digital revolution changed what marketing looks like. A sizeable portion of marketing is now done online or on mobile and handheld devices. This module provides a broad understanding of digital marketing. It will focus on understanding, evaluating and developing digital marketing strategy and tactics. In particular, the module will help students develop an understanding of how different digital marketing tools and channels can be used to market products and services. The module will cover such subjects as website marketing and usability, search engine optimisation, display and search advertising, online PR and blogging, introduction to social media and content, email marketing and mobile marketing.

Global Issues in Sports Business

This module examines a range of contemporary and critical issues and challenges which face the global sports industry. It is designed to introduce students to the issues relevant in the sports business industry. Students will identify research and debate contemporary issues such as sports ethics and equality, media power and influence and the implication of technological advances for sports businesses. An emphasis is placed on observable issues and potential scenarios which are of importance to the sports business manager of the future.

Research Methods for Service Industries

Service based organisations frequently require both an understanding of how and why data is acquired, and an ability to collect, analyse and interpret it. These skills are also important if students wish to progress to postgraduate study or careers in consultancy services. This module considers the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods in subject contexts, and allows students to develop skills in the collection, analysis and reporting of relevant data. In addition, this module will develop students’ project planning and management skills as a tool to manage the research process.

Professional Placement

The overarching rational for this module is for students to begin to understand and begin plan towards their own personal transition from university into the workplace. The module will provide the student with a vocational opportunity aimed at enhancing their future work readiness. It is designed to develop skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of career-related personal, professional and key skill areas. The module specifically engages with issues such as career decision making, the recruitment cycle applying for jobs, sourcing and embarking on a placement or a group or individual project, CV writing and action planning. 


Business, Creativity and Opportunism Skills for the Workplace of Today

This module explores the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship and the behaviour and skills required to 'think out of the box' to identify and pursue opportunities. You will establish what the behaviours and skills are of an entrepreneur, define creativity and innovation, as well as ask why they are so important to entrepreneurs. We will explore idea generation and evaluation techniques and learn how to recognise enterprise opportunities.

Level 3

At level 3 (year three or four), you study four specialist management modules (each worth 20 credits) while also taking a specialist research investigation (40 credits) in a subject area of your choosing.


Research Investigation

The aim of this module is to facilitate and express independent enquiry in a substantial piece of individual self-directed research work. This module provides students with the opportunity to plan and conduct a piece of research through individual and independent activity and to present their findings in using visual aids and in written academic format that meets professional standards.  Students will develop research objectives, formulate appropriate methodologies, and apply problem solving and analytical skills in a business context of their choice. You will be able to choose between a traditional dissertation, an organisation-based project, a business research project and a business creation project.

  1. Dissertation: The aim of this module is to facilitate and express independent enquiry in a substantial piece of individual self-directed research work. This module provides students with the opportunity to plan and conduct a piece of research through individual and independent activity and to present their findings in using visual aids and in a written academic format that meets professional standards.  Students will develop research objectives, formulate appropriate methodologies, and apply problem solving and analytical skills in a business context of their choice.
  2. Business Research Project: The aim of this module is to facilitate and express independent enquiry on a small-scale substantial piece of individual self-directed research work. This module provides students with the opportunity to conduct a piece of research through individual and independent activity and to present their findings in using visual aids and in a written academic format that meets professional standards.  Students will develop research objectives, formulate appropriate methodologies, and apply problem solving and analytical skills in a business context of their choice.
  3. Consultancy Project: The aim of the consultancy project is to give students the opportunity to combine an investigation into an authentic challenging business project with an in-depth research-based report. This offers links with potential employers and demonstrates an understanding of the application of business principles in a real-world situation. Students will develop their research skills alongside techniques of reporting back on findings.
  4. Business Creation Project: The aim of the Business creation Project is to support entrepreneurial students in their professional development as the business founders of the future. The module is intended to allow students to develop a full business proposal and plan which will be supported by primary and secondary research. This module will involve students in a demanding process of personal and professional developed, leading to an integrated and critically aware understanding of business creation from a pioneering industry and academic perspective.

Strategic Decisions for Sports and Events Business

The Sports and Events industries offer many business opportunities and challenges for managers. Knowledge in areas of management such as strategic planning, analysis of the sector and strategic decision-making is key to managing successful organisations. This module aims to help students understand the principles of strategic management applied to the sports and events sectors. The student will be able to initiate work in analysing the strategic, global and objective vision of the sectors from the business point of view and employ effective decision making.

Leadership in Context

Effective leadership is essential in sports and events organisations. This module explores the processes involved in leading and facilitating the implementation of change. Drawing on a range of theory and evidence, the module also examines the role of the organisation and wider context in shaping how improvement and innovation is or can be facilitated. Overall, this module provides students with the opportunity to identify, apply and critically evaluate strategies and interventions to support improvements at an organisational and operational level.

Strategic Event Sponsorship

This module explores the strategic implications of sports and events sponsorship as a key marketing and commercial strategy. Sponsorship has become one of the high impact areas for business success and the module will help students to understand the different types of sponsorship and know how to manage sponsorship and evaluate success. The module will look at sponsorship activation programmes and why it is such a crucial part of marketing strategy to achieve commercial objectives.

Public Relations Strategy in Sports Business

This module helps students develop a critical awareness of the role and function of PR strategy within the sports industry. Students will learn about the importance of different stakeholders and develop an appreciation of different PR specialisms sports business and the wider industry adopts. It emphases the importance of persuasive and promotional communication and it will help develops skills for critical analysis whilst also providing them with relevant written, spoken and visual techniques to communicate effectively.

Teaching & assessment




All modules are delivered utilising a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, seminars, guest speakers, tutorials, workshops and a range of events and learning activities.

You are supported initially in the use of guided learning strategies in Level 4 developing towards autonomous, well-judged use of collaborative and independent learning strategies in Levels 5 and 6.


Throughout the programme you will be introduced to a range of different teaching and learning strategies. For example, in Level 1 you will undertake case based learning in which we real cases to develop your awareness of the decision making process you may require as a manager in a global sports based business. At Level 2 there will be evidence of practice based learning in which you will be expected to engage in practical based activities as you develop your skills in managing people, while also developing skills in managing projects and marketing strategies. Finally, at Level 3 you will demonstrate your skills through practice and enquiry based learning giving you the opportunity to develop creative and innovative solutions within the global sports industry. 



All programmes have the option of doing a year in industry work placement.

You will have the opportunity for undertaking a Professional Placement module in year 2 instead of taking a full placement year.

Contact Hours

42 hours contact time per module.


As a university student, there is an expectation that you will develop from being a dependent learner to being an independent, critical and thoughtful business practitioner undertaking independent study. This means you are expected to undertake self-study and group learning. In year one you will be provided with guidance to progress your learning and self-development. By the time you get to year 3 it is hoped you will have developed greater autonomy and independence.


The academic staff who deliver the BA (Hons) International Business Management programme bring a wealth of professional experience from the world management to York Business School. You will be taught by academic and industry experts who worked for global organisations. The team have research profiles and you will be provided with the opportunity to join them in their research through our ‘Students as Researchers’ scheme. The course will also be supported the course at every level through professional accreditation, guest lectures, live projects work and internships and placements.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Advanced Entry

Considering transferring to join us in year 2 or 3 of our Business Courses?

Please see our Advanced Entry page for information on the courses available and how to apply.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for an interest and enthusiasm for the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, either from an academic viewpoint, for example studying a business related A Level, or through relevant work experience or placements.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Career plans
  • Attending workshops or seminars related to the chosen subject area
  • Showing leadership and teamwork skills through project work or awards such as the Duke of Edinburgh or sports teams, theatre groups etc.
  • Experience of work
  • Candidates may also look to undertake professional qualifications such as accounting qualifications or CIPD

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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