The Institute of Sports Humanities establishes a new relationship between academia and the sports industry. The MA Leadership in Sport, the inaugural programme at ISH, is designed for the next generation of leaders in sport: players, captains, coaches, administrators, entrepreneurs, as well as the sports media.

A student who graduates with a thorough understanding of sport’s historical perspective, who can draw on critical thinking, see through jargon, exercise good judgment, and communicate on paper or in the flesh with the verve that a top player shows on the fi eld – such a graduate will add huge value in sport.

  • To inspire and equip sport’s next generation of leaders

  • Practical thinking drawn from a range of academic disciplines

  • A new network of thinkers across sport

  • Helping employers reward and develop future talent

  • Training athletes to be leaders off the field

  • A global perspective on modern sport

ISH’s first course is the innovative MA Leadership in Sport beginning in autumn 2019. The first intake is limited to 30 talented students.

The 15-month non-residential course – designed so that students can stay in their jobs while studying the MA – features evening seminars in London, with its home in Fitzrovia.

The lecturers will include world-class practitioners as well as leading academics.

Sports science has helped our knowledge of sport and informed its academic study, but understanding sport – whether a single team or the wider industry – now relies on the critical grasp of societal and cultural forces. It is time for a more balanced and inter-disciplinary approach: time for sports humanities.

On the field, it is becoming harder to gain an edge through optimizing the body. Greyhounds and racehorses haven’t got much faster since the 1950s. Humans, too, are now approaching the outer wall of their physiological potential. In contrast, the art of leadership, superior decision-making, decoding the signals derived from history, the honing of judgment, balancing data and intuition: all these skills are far from commonplace, and designed to be inculcated by this MA.

Leadership in sport (both playing side and business) increasingly rests on critical thinking, especially the ability to grasp the bigger picture in an era of ultra-specialisation.

As well as a dissertation, there are six taught modules:

  • The sports industry and entrepreneurship

  • Management and decision-making

  • Governance, law and ethics

  • Globalisation 

  • The sporting event

  • Sport, society and equality

The programme explores how sport developed into the third biggest industry in the world, driven by paternalist institutions as well as market forces. The MA interrogates how technology has influenced spectator sport, and how sport became an agent as well as beneficiary of globalization. Students will study the biases that can work against good decision-making, and how effective leaders build consensus and effect change. The programme explores the relationship between data analytics and human judgment.

The MA examines the challenge of sustaining fair competition (cheating, doping, match-fixing) and best practice on how to retain and improve public trust. The programme explores the social function and value of the sporting event. Students will be introduced to sport’s reach and impact, its influence on local identify, as well sport’s role as an agent of cosmopolitanism. The sports event is always in flux: from the fan in the stadium, to the fan listening on the radio or watching on television, to the fan hooked into the digital world of social media. Students will study the power of sport as a projection of nationhood, and the wider issue of “sports diplomacy.” Students will be introduced to the influence of sport on race, gender and homophobia.

The first cohort of the MA Leadership in Sport will join a powerful network of second level thinkers inside sport, benefitting from new inter-relationships as well as new skills and insights.

Further module details click here.

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  • Sport is still the strongest “live” event.

  • Sport has both driven & benefitted from globalization. 

  • Broadcast rights for Cricket’s IPL (bought by Star Sports for £2billion), now approaching Premier League football.

  • Countries (such as China, Qatar) now perceive sport as a foreign policy.

  • Sport 3rd biggest global industry & football is world’s common language.

  • Sport enmeshed with new media - Ronaldo first celebrity to 100 million FaceBook “likes.”

  • Digital economy based on identity and preferences: power & reach of sport set to expand.

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  Andrew White    built WSM Communications into one of Europe’s most successful sports marketing agencies (acquired by Bill Gates and his Entertainment Group, Corbis in 2014). Since completing his two years with Bill, Andrew launched 5Oceans Partnership: a global Commercial consultancy focused on sport. Andrew is Chairman of the world’s first Sports Incubator (LeAD) set up by the family of Adi Dassler.

Andrew White

built WSM Communications into one of Europe’s most successful sports marketing agencies (acquired by Bill Gates and his Entertainment Group, Corbis in 2014). Since completing his two years with Bill, Andrew launched 5Oceans Partnership: a global Commercial consultancy focused on sport. Andrew is Chairman of the world’s first Sports Incubator (LeAD) set up by the family of Adi Dassler.

 
  Ed Smith    is National Selector for England cricket. He has been Course Director for the MA History of Sport at the University of Buckingham since 2016. He has been a columnist for the Sunday Times and the New Statesman. As a professional cricketer, he represented Kent, England and Middlesex where he was club captain when the county won its first major title for 15 years.

Ed Smith

is National Selector for England cricket. He has been Course Director for the MA History of Sport at the University of Buckingham since 2016. He has been a columnist for the Sunday Times and the New Statesman. As a professional cricketer, he represented Kent, England and Middlesex where he was club captain when the county won its first major title for 15 years.

 
 
 
  Giles Morgan   From 2005-2017, Giles was Global Head of Sponsorship at HSBC. In 2018, Giles became CEO of 5Oceans Partnership. He is a Director of the world’s first Sports Incubator (LeAD) set up by the family of Adi Dassler.

Giles Morgan

From 2005-2017, Giles was Global Head of Sponsorship at HSBC. In 2018, Giles became CEO of 5Oceans Partnership. He is a Director of the world’s first Sports Incubator (LeAD) set up by the family of Adi Dassler.

 
  Sir Anthony Seldon   is a writer, political historian and world renowned educationalist. Sir Antony is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, ISH’s university partner.

Sir Anthony Seldon

is a writer, political historian and world renowned educationalist. Sir Antony is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, ISH’s university partner.

 

FOR THE FIRST COHORT OF STUDENTS,
ISH IS IN DISCUSSIONS WITH: 

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CONTACT

If you would like to find out more please email:
ISH@buckingham.ac.uk