News | Friday, 13th September 2019

Aspiring sporting directors begin University’s pioneering masters degree

High-profile names from the world of sport join latest Master of Sport Directorship course

Master of Sport Directorship students celebrate their graduation
Master of Sport Directorship students celebrate their graduation

Manchester Metropolitan University’s pioneering sporting director course has welcomed the latest cohort of students to begin their studies – with high-profile names among the group of sports and business people studying for one of the most important and respected roles in sport.

The acclaimed course is now in its sixth year and graduates of the two-year, part-time Master of Sport Directorship (MSD) include recognised names such as Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket, as well as England and Manchester City Women’s FC goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and former professional footballers Kevin Davies, Scott Sellars and Steve Round.

The 2019 cohort features physiotherapist Deborah Farrell, Lancashire County Cricket captain Dane Vilas, Sussex county cricketers Ben Brown and Luke Wright, as well as West Bromwich Albion football player Tyrone Mears and Dundee United manager Robbie Neilson.

A record number of students from international sporting organisations have also embarked on the MSD this year, with FC Copenhagen, Australian football club Ballarat City and sports academies in the UAE and Abu Dhabi among the sports clubs represented in this year’s class.

Mark Batey, Head of the MSD course at Manchester Metropolitan, said: “The reputation of our unique MSD as the go-to qualification for the sporting director role is gaining international traction and it is great to see such a globally diverse range of organisations coming on board this year.

“The course has transformed the careers of many of our students and has made a resoundingly positive impact on the organisations they work for.

“The unique combination of high-performance leadership, governance and commercial management that students learn on the MSD, along with practical insights for harnessing creativity and innovation, are increasingly essential to successful sports organisations worldwide.”

The academically rigorous two-year, part-time MSD is designed to develop the commercial skill sets and personal attributes required to succeed as a top flight sporting director.

The course features masterclasses from world-renowned speakers and engaging sessions that blend expert insight with practical tools. Working alongside fellow sporting directors, students cover leadership, managing high-performing organisations, creativity and innovation, sporting governance and compliance, and finish with a dissertation.

For more information on the Master of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University visit

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