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Undergraduate Course

Sports Business Management BA (Hons)

Turn your passion for sport into a successful business career.

Panos and Students having seminar discussion

Athletes inspire the crowds, but it’s the people behind the scenes who make the global sports industry possible. On this degree, you will become prepared for a career in the sports industry, working with York Business school to develop and practice your skills as an industry specialised decision maker. Behind every successful sporting event or venue are the skilled individuals making it happen.

Please note: This course will not be recruiting for September 2025.

York campus

  • UCAS code – N889 (N887 with placement year)
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 4 years full time with placement year
  • Start date – September 2024
  • School – York Business School

Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

Discover Sports Business Management

Dr Rebecca Biggins introduces Sports Business Management at York St John University.

Course overview

On this course you will learn about sport’s place in the global economy, exploring how sporting organisations function in different sectors of the industry. You will consider some of the issues sporting organisations face today.

The topics you study will be applicable to any business environment, giving you a lot of flexibility for your future career. However, you will always relate your business learning back to their applications in the sport industry. You will learn about all of the core functions of sport management, including:

  • Business planning
  • Marketing principles
  • Sponsorship
  • Event and venue management
  • Managing people
  • Finance
  • Strategic management

We will also discuss the social impact of sport, on individuals and our wider society, in the modern world by considering larger issues such as globalisation, commercialisation and equality.

You will learn through a combination of academic study and practical tasks, giving you applied as well as theoretical expertise to take forward into your career. You will work with industry professionals through guest lectures, site visits and live briefs. Notable site visits include Old Trafford and more locally the home of York City FC and York RLFC, the LNER stadium, as well as many others. This, along with opportunities for work placements throughout your degree, will provide valuable professional experience.

As with all of our Business courses, you have the option to go on a placement year between years 2 and 3 of your degree. You can also choose to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner universities.

As a Business School we are passionate about social responsibility and sustainability. These values and this commitment will be embedded throughout this course. We are a Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) signatory for the United Nations. Our mission is to develop your potential so that you can make a difference in society.


Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters.

In your first year, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will examine the nature of business enterprise and its relationship with wider society, focusing on what it means to be a responsible business. We will explore ideas including:

  • Stakeholder theory
  • The triple bottom line
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Business ethics
  • The role of the state

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the way sports organisations work in different sectors of the sports industry. We will look at the legal, social, economic, political, technological, and ethical issues facing all sports organisations. You will learn about the skills you need to find work within any of these sectors.

You will explore areas such as:

  • The Sports Business Ecosystem and public, private and voluntary organisations
  • National and International challenges facing all sports events organisations
  • The structure of sports organisations in the UK
  • Core functions and activities of sports business organisations
  • The history of the development of commercial activity in the sports business environment

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about marketing in sports business. You will explore the unique nature of the industry and the principals and techniques used. You will evaluate marketing strategies of sporting organisations and explore how this helps give them a competitive advantage.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

In the age of Big Data, analytics is becoming a necessity in all areas of business. It is an essential tool to drive managerial decisions and sustain competitive advantage. This module will teach you how to business data. We will consider the importance of visualising and understanding data, and representing data in a meaningful way so we can use it for decision making. You will also examine the importance of Big Data in today’s business environment and the increasing significance of Blockchain.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to event planning. You will have the opportunity to research and plan a hypothetical event to a specified budget. You will explore event planning models and the processes behind planning and staging a successful event, including health, safety and risk implications.  You will base the plan on actual venues, artists and organisations, so you will need to complete primary and secondary research to form a definitive plan.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about the financial environment. You will look at key sources of information for decision makers and their needs. You will gain an understanding of the statements in published financial accounts and learn how to analyse and interpret the information presented.  You will also look at the information for financial decision makers inside organisations. This will include budgetary control, short term and long-term decision making.

Year 2

In your second year you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules and 1 optional module in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Whatever industry you go into, you will always find the management of people is a key element in any business structure. On this module you will study the management of people in sports, tourism, hospitality and events businesses. You will appreciate the evolution of HR management and explore the processes of recruitment, selection, training and development. You will also investigate theories of motivation and the factors that influence group dynamics and performance.

Credits: 20

Optional module

The digital revolution has changed what marketing looks like. Much of marketing is now done online or on mobile and handheld devices. This module provides a broad understanding of digital marketing and will focus on understanding, evaluating and developing digital marketing strategy and tactics. You will study how you can use different digital marketing tools and channels to market products and services. We will cover:

  • Website marketing and usability
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Display and search advertising
  • Online PR and blogging
  • Introduction to social media
  • Content, email marketing and mobile marketing

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the operational management challenges that can arise in venues and facilities for sports and leisure activities. We will examine issues, principles, problems, and solutions. Some of the areas we will cover include:

  • Facility management and systems
  • Green facility management
  • Facility site and design
  • Marketing, sales, finance, and budgeting
  • Facility preparation
  • Revenue streams

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to consumer behaviour theories and how this relates to consumer and organisational buyer behaviour. You will investigate how cultural and sociological shifts affect consumers and markets and how we can use these insights to inform future strategy. You will learn how to identify these opportunities and translate them through to creative solutions to satisfy future needs in line with industry practice.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Organisations need to understand how and why data is acquired, and have the ability to collect, analyse and interpret it. On this module you will learn about quantitative and qualitative research methods and how to use them to your work. We will help you develop skills in data collection, analysis and reporting your findings. You will also develop your project planning and management skills as a way to manage the research process.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Enhance your future employability by experiencing the workplace. We have designed this module to help you develop your skills, knowledge and understanding in different areas related to your career. You will engage with issues such as:

  • Career decision making
  • The recruitment cycle
  • Applying for jobs
  • Interviewing

As part of this module you will embark on a work placement or business project in a group, or individually.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module, you will develop into a confident, enterprising and creative graduate who will be able to cope with the ever changing business environment. You will recognise opportunities and take responsible and measured risks. This is a very practical module. Starting with an initial idea, you will explore and assess a business opportunity and present a feasible business concept. Working alone or in groups, you will develop skills in collecting, analysing and organising ideas and information.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the social, ethical, political, technological, and economic aspects of sport around the globe.

Some of the areas we will cover include:

  • Global structures including collegiate, club and state
  • International labour market for sport
  • Globalisation vs Glocalisation
  • Media power and influence
  • Drugs and gambling in sport
  • Sport and its utilization in a political, social welfare context

Year 3

In your third year you will study:

  • A compulsory dissertation module across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional Placement Year

As with all of our Business courses, you have the option to go on a placement year between years 2 and 3 of your degree. If you choose not to do a full year, you can do a shorter placement module in Year 2. You can also choose to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner universities.


Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This module is your chance to plan and conduct a piece of independent research. You will be able to choose from the following projects:

  • Traditional dissertation: Plan and conduct a piece of independent research. Present your findings in a writing.
  • Business Research Project: Complete a small scale piece of individual research work.
  • Consultancy Project: Work with industry professionals and investigate a business project and produce a research based report.
  • Business creation project: Develop a full business proposal and plan. Use primary and secondary research to support your work

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will develop knowledge in areas of management such as:

  • Strategic planning
  • Analysis of the sports management sector
  • Effective decision making

You will gain an understanding of the principles of strategic management in sports and events sectors. You will be able to analyse global and objective ideas for business development and effectively make strategic decisions.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Effective leadership is essential in sports and events organisations. On this module you will explore different theories and perspectives relating to sports and events leadership. We will discuss the roles and responsibilities of leaders, including:

  • Decision making
  • Agreeing strategy
  • Providing support and motivating teams

You will consider the skills and capabilities managers need in these sectors, using case studies to evaluate how individuals react to different situations. You will learn about the latest theories of organisational leadership, discovering the strategies managers can use to lead innovation and change.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will investigate the complexities of sport organisations issues, stakeholders, and audiences. There is a growing awareness, from consumers and stakeholders, of the impact of organisations and their social contribution. You will develop your research skills in this area and learn how to make recommendations for courses of action. You will explore the management of internal and external relationships, crises, corporate communications, and the planning of PR activity. Key areas of exploration include:

  • Design and development of a PR strategy
  • Researching, planning, communicating, and evaluating PR strategies

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Sports and events sponsorship is a key marketing communication strategy. On this module you will gain a theoretical understanding of the sport sponsorship management process. Together we will study the principals of brand, communications and relationship building for the sponsoring organisation. You will also consider the financial partnership and image implications for the event organiser.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

All of your modules will be delivered using a variety of different teaching sessions. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Guest speakers
  • Workshops
  • Events.

Each module has 3.5 hours of contact time a week. This consists of a 1.5 hour lecture and a 2 hour seminar. 1 to 1 time can be booked through our tutorial booker system.

You will have regular individual tutorial sessions with your academic tutors to support your learning. You will also have opportunities to gain work experience through modules which take your learning beyond the classroom and into the city.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


We use a wide variety of assessment types, which help you to develop skills relevant to the workplace. This includes:

  • Written assignments
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Exams
  • Practical activities.

You will receive feedback on your work throughout each module. This will help you to improve your work for your graded assessments. We will advise you on developing your skills, useful areas for research and how to extend your business knowledge further.

Professional skills

We encourage you to extend your learning through Continuing Professional Development as you study. Our Success Lab provides extra events, short courses and opportunities to help you make the most of your degree. The academic and professional skills you develop through this will help to boost your employability when you graduate.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Sports Business Management

The skills you gain on this course will prepare you well for a career either in managing sport businesses or in other business management roles. Alongside specialist knowledge of the sport industry you will gain transferrable skills in communication, marketing, managing people and projects and problem solving.

This degree could be the first step toward your career in:

  • Sport and leisure management
  • Outdoor education
  • Personal training
  • Sports administration
  • Event management

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

PGCE at York St John University

Further your education and work towards a rewarding career in teaching by studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) after you graduate. For over 180 years, we have worked with enthusiastic individuals who want to shape the future of young people across both primary and secondary school settings. You'll spend a lot of time in schools, developing your practice by teaching. You will graduate with Qualified Teacher Status and become part of the well respected alumni of York St John educators.

Discover more about PGCE


Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

This course is available with foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

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.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

To study for a degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £11,500 per year full time

International 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this course is £11,500 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include a DBS check, purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses.

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email

Course highlights

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