Sport Leadership (with Internship Opportunities) Masters - MSc/PgD/PgC

​This professionally accredited programme is targeted at professionals and practitioners working in the sport and leisure industry who wish to develop their leadership practice and/or seek new opportunities. The programme is equally attractive to recent management graduates as well as international students seeking to develop their knowledge and employment potential (via a supervised placement or consulting internship) and who wish to study at Wales's premier University for sport.

Sports Leadership is not accepting applications for 2021 entry.  Please refer to the International Sport Management programme which is still considering applications.

​Course Content​​

Drawing on leadership perspectives the programme critically examines the sport and leisure industry, its context and current challenges. There is a clear focus on applied and experiential learning. This is achieved by drawing extensively on sports organisations operating across all sectors of the industry and on using external speakers who are experts in their field to bring real life issues and challenges into the lecture setting. A high quality experience is provided with teaching undertaken in small groups and an emphasis on interaction and group work.

All students study five core modules, which embrace key leadership topics as well as research skills and the development of a personal leadership plan. The contact teaching time for each 20 credit module is usually four days with some additional days allocated for induction and presentations. There are three option modules and students can decide which one of these they wish to undertake. Completion of the MSc requires students to undertake a sustained and significant piece of research either as a traditional dissertation or a final project.

Core Modules (complete all five):

  • Personal Skills and Leadership Development (20 credits) - The aim of this module is to develop the student's ability to monitor, reflect on and evaluate critically their current role and to establish targets for on-going professional development in sports leadership. The module will be used to demonstrate the importance of developing personal skills to enhance learning and leadership performance.
  • Sport Context and Challenges (20 credits) - The aim of the module is to introduce the student to contemporary issues and governance challenges found within local, national and international sports organisation and develop a critical appreciation of the leadership principles relevant to engaging with and influencing these organisational dilemmas and possibilities.
  • Organisational Strategy (20 credits) - The aim of the module is to develop an applied knowledge and critical understanding of organisational strategy and change management. The module will focus on developing an understanding of the theories, concepts and tools used in the leadership of strategy and change. The module will also consider global issues, national identity and organisational culture.

  • Leadership and Influencing Skills (20 credits) - The aim of the module is to develop an applied knowledge and critical understanding of leadership theory and develop awareness, skills and confidence in the student's own individual leadership and team working practice. The module will focus on leadership theories, dilemmas and challenges, technical and conceptual skills, leadership authenticity, influencing and motivational skills and high-performance team dynamics.
  • Research Skills for Sport Leadership (20 credits) - This module will facilitate student understanding of the processes and skills necessary for undertaking rigorous, credible and worthwhile applied / practitioner research. Students will learn to critically evaluate research applied to  leadership drawing on case study, action and evaluative research methodology & skills.

Option Module: (choose one):

  • Leadership, Sport and Society (20 credits) - This module is designed to situate sport leadership in its broader social context. Drawing on empirical and theoretical sociology, it provides insights into a range of contemporary perspectives, themes and issues that are important contextual factors influencing leadership and which leaders in sport (and wider society) must account for and navigate. This module is delivered in a lecture setting on campus.
  • Independent Study (20 credits): This module provides students with the option of studying an area of particular interest. This may relate specifically to the sport environment or it may relate specifically to a leadership subject area. This module is self-managed by the student with university supervisory guidance.
  • Supervised Placement (20 credits) - This module aims to develop a student's ability to apply theoretical knowledge within a professional working environment. In addition, the module aims to enhance practical skills and employability; promote a problem solving approach in the working environment; develop an appreciation of the standard of performance required in a work-based environment and to develop a critical and reflective approach to the application of their subject in the workplace. This module is self-managed by the student in the workplace with university supervisory guidance.

On successful completion of the five compulsory and one optional module (above) students may undertake an Independent Research Project (see below) that leads to the award of MSc Sport Leadership:

  • Independent Research Project (60 credits) - The focus of this module is to provide the student with the opportunity to work independently in an area of specific interest related to the programme of study. The module is aligned to the aims of Research Skills for Sport Leadership and demonstrates progression for students to select, rationalise, conduct, present and defend a supervised Independent Research Project either as a traditional dissertation, final project or journal article submission.

Learning & Teaching​

Students will normally experience both tutor-led learning (interactive lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials) and self-directed methods of learning; emphasis is placed upon the skills of increased independence and critical reflection encouraging positive attitudes towards lifelong learning. Students also have access to a nominated personal tutor (usually their Programme Director) throughout their time as a Postgraduate student in the Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences.

Modules are not primarily delivered through e-learning but are well supported by the various learning and assessment tools available on the University's virtual learning environment (VLE). The VLE is extensively used in the school to make learning material and resources available. In additional VLE is also used in both formative and summative assessments and finally to communicate with students. Students also receive support via email as well as face-to-face assistance as appropriate.


Assessment varies from written assignments (essays, case studies, reflective diary, research proposals and independent research project); and individual and group oral presentations with students critically evaluating and reflecting on specific issues.

The assessment load is generally equivalent to 5000 words per 20 credit module of study. The submission points for assessments are phased throughout the year to manage students' workload with specific dates made available to students at the beginning of each academic year. To allow greater distribution of workload within a module some assessments are staggered to carefully manage schedules for students.

Employability & Careers​

The programme is directed towards employability both in terms of developing and enhancing the careers of those already working in the sport sector and preparing immediate graduates and those seeking a change in their career to be competitive in the employment market. There is an emphasis on developing personal leadership skills and we encourage students to work together to develop and hone these.

The Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences has always seen the employability of its postgraduates as one of the central themes that inform the design and delivery of our programmes. This remains the case for the MSc Sport Leadership programme.

Generally, many of our modes of delivery, class based tasks and assessment strategies enable students to experience the context, case formulation and skills associated with the work-based environment of a contemporary sport leader within a controlled and safe educational setting.

More specifically, students are able to choose a 20 optional taught credits module entitled Supervised Placement (SSP7129) which provides up to 160 hours of work based learning.

Additionally and typically, a number of our enrolled students are in employment and the programme learning environment and interactive style of delivery enables them to share and transfer their applied work based learning insights and demonstrate these in assessments.

The programme also provides an excellent springboard for students wishing to progress to MPhil/PhD study and further their development within a post graduate research context.

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants for the MSc in Sport Leadership are expected to satisfy the following requirements:

  • An honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) in a appropriate management related subject.
  • Non-graduates will be considered provided the candidate has substantial and extensive work experience in sport management and held a position of responsibility or relevance to the course.
  • For non-UK applicants, the minimum IELTS English Language requirement for this programme is 6.5 (with 6.0 in each individual element) or equivalent.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure:
Students are normally selected on the basis of their formal application, curriculum vitae and an interview. Please take note of the mandatory Personal Statement form which must be uploaded with your application.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service application system.

For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Additional Information

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Part-time fees:
Charges are per Single Module unless specified:
Undergraduate = 10 Credits; Postgraduate = 20 Credits

Generally we find most students will complete 60 credits per year for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study; to obtain a true costing please clarify this by contacting the Programme Director directly.

Postgraduate Scholarships:
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Dr Mark Lowther:
Tel: +44 (0)29 2041 7076​

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Sport
& Health Sciences, Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
One to two years full-time.
Two to four years part-time.

Please contact the Programme Director, Dr Mark Lowther, to discuss Internship details:
+44 (0)29 2041 7076

Performance Sport

Cardiff Met provides and manages a TASS accredited Dual Career Scheme environment that allows students to achieve their academic potential alongside training, playing and performing in their chosen sport.

With personal experience of competing on the international stage and undertaking world leading research, our academic and Performance Sport staff create a truly unique environment of sporting excellence. The integrated model means you can be assured our programmes are informed by the latest in coaching and support services all designed to develop you as an athlete. Coupled with our key partnerships with a variety of National Governing Bodies our programmes work alongside recognised talent pathways. Find out more

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting