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BA (Hons) Sports Studies

UCAS Code C600 Part-time study available Fast-track your degree Study abroad opportunities

Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence is the perfect place for you to kick-start your career in sport with our Sports Studies course.

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Key facts

  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Campus based

Interested in the management and delivery of sport? Wonder how psychology enhances elite sports performance? If you’re thinking about a career in sport, a Sports Studies degree from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence will help you be the difference.

We’ve integrated our academic courses with the University's world-class sports facilities to provide a unique and rewarding studying and sporting environment. Our course is flexible - we offer a wide variety of module options and it can be combined with a range of subjects, including Journalism and Psychology.

You can choose from three core subject areas: Sports Policy and Management; Physical Activity and Health; and Sport, Culture and Society. In addition, our extracurricular volunteering schemes enable you to earn qualifications and gain valuable event management experience alongside your academic degree.

We enjoy strong partnerships with many national governing bodies of sport (some of which are based on campus), so you’ll benefit from seminars with industry experts and numerous opportunities to gain valuable networking and practical experiences.

You’ll graduate with a breadth of knowledge and practical experiences that can be applied to a wide range of sport related careers, from developing national sport to personal coaching.

  • Top reasons to study with us

Entry requirements for your country/region

  • Year 1 entry – Four-year honours

    SQA Highers
    AABB - by the end of S5
    AAAB - by the end of S6

    GCE A-levels

    IB Diploma
    32 points

    BTEC (Level 3)

    Widening access students
    Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

    Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

  • Year 2 entry – Three-year honours

    SQA Advanced Higher

    GCE A-level

    IB Diploma

    Essential subjects
    Physical Education

  • Other Scottish qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

    Access courses
    University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

    SWAP access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

  • Other qualifications

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
    Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

    Essential subjects
    Physical Education

  • Advanced entry

    Year 2 entry
    Entry into Year 2 may be possible depending on your HNC/HND course. To find out more go to our articulation pages.

    Other qualifications
    Advanced entry may by possible depending on your qualifications. To find out more go to our advanced entry page.


  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 with minimum of 162 in each skill
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 162 in each skill
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

You’ll be introduced to the core Sports Studies modules in Year 1, covering aspects of sport in society; patterns of participation in sport and physical activity; the foundations of sport and exercise science; and sports business, finance and management.

Year 2 explores issues and concepts in sport, reflecting on the historical development, the foundations of physical activity and the psychology of sport – again with the option to study further subjects.

In addition to two core modules in Years 3 and 4 (Research Methods in Sports Studies and Readings in Sports Studies), you can specialise by choosing seven modules from:

  • Sport Governance
  • Sport, Culture and Nationhood
  • PE, School Sport and Youth Culture
  • Sports Medicine, Health and Wellbeing
  • Sports Policy
  • Sport, Gender, Ethnicity and Identity
  • Psychology of Exercise, Physical Activity and Health
  • Managing the Business of Sport
  • Sports Coaching and Leadership
  • Development of Excellence in Sport
  • Doping in Sport: Scandals and Policy Responses

Please note that as these are optional modules they can be subject to change.

A work experience module is also available in Years 3 and 4. You can then complete your Honours year by undertaking an independent research project on a sport topic of your choice.

Our scenic campus is home to a wide range of sports facilities, including:

  • a 50m swimming pool
  • golf course, fitness centre
  • eight-court sports hall
  • nine grass and artificial pitches 10 tennis courts

Are you keen on participating in sport during your studies? At Stirling, it couldn’t be easier. With 1,500 members, our Sports Union has almost 50 different clubs that will allow you get involved, meet new people and enjoy your sport of choice.

Recommended reading

Each module has core texts, with further recommended reading and background reading expected. All texts are available in the University library and through electronic journal subscriptions.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course details

  • Teaching

    Students are taught through a mix of seminars and lectures. There are six weekly lectures - two per module - supported by seminars and workshops. On top of this core contact time, around 30 hours of independent study is expected each week. In addition to conventional lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops, Sports Studies uses a virtual learning environment and internet technology to support its teaching programme.

    We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2018.

  • Assessment

    Assessment is blended by a combination of coursework, group project work, group and individual presentations, online assessments and end-of-module examinations.

  • Study abroad

    You’ll have the opportunity to study abroad through our well-established connection with several North American, Australian and European universities.

    Find out more about our study abroad opportunities.

  • Contact
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2019/20 2020/21

    Scottish/EU Students

    Although you’re liable for annual tuition fees, students domiciled in Scotland or the EU will be able to apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government on their behalf. If you’re unsure of your fee status, you can check your eligibility online.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2019 and 2020 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2021 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on our University and Europe information pages.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.


    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.


    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.


    *This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £12,450 £13,100

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    Sports Scholarships

    See details of our International Sports Scholarship Programme.

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

What jobs can you get with a Sports Studies degree?

Job opportunities include working as a sports coach; teacher; consultant; or a manager or administrator for employers such as a local authority, commercial and voluntary sport organisation or governing bodies of sport.

Careers in the sport sector account for around three percent of all jobs in Scotland, according to a recent study by Cambridge Econometrics. A number of exciting opportunities for well-qualified students have arisen from the legacy of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

This is set to continue as Scotland hosts a number of future sporting events, including the European Sports Championships in 2018. Many of our graduates have gone on to work as:

  • sport development officers, working with sporting governing bodies to develop sport – both here in Scotland and abroad
  • managers of sport facilities in sport and leisure trusts across the UK
  • administrators for national governing bodies and sport policy agencies, such as sportscotland
  • sport officers working with charities in developing nations to use sport to build communities
  • personal trainers in health and fitness organisations
  • coaches working with development teams in a number of sports, such as football and rugby

This course is designed to enhance knowledge and understanding of sport across a range of academic disciplines, and prepares students for a variety of careers in sport.

We work closely with industry to ensure everything we teach you is relevant, and will boost your employability within the sector. Staff actively seek positions with key sports organisations to ensure what is taught reflects contemporary issues affecting the sports industry today. Examples of this include Stephen Morrow’s work with football managers, John Mather’s support of referees for the SRU and Justine Allan’s coaching of the Scotland Women’s U18 hockey team.

  • We are ranked 1st in Scotland and joint 4th in the UK for our sport facilities (Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017).
  • Over 97% of our undergraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (HESA DLHE 2016/17)
  • 91% of Sports Studies students say our staff are good at explaining things (NSS 2017)
Christian Bond
Being completely honest, I’d never heard of Stirling before we went and had a look – and I knew straight away I wanted to go here. My passions revolve around sport, and the sports facilities were first-class – and the campus was beautiful.
Christian Bond
BA (Hons) Journalism and Sport Studies
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Mark Pirie
The University of Stirling is the best in Scotland for sport. I love the atmosphere at the University, its values are similar to my own, and I just knew that this would be a great place to study, work and meet new people.
Mark Pirie
BA (Hons) Sport Studies
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