MRes Sport DevelopmentDirect Applicants

    Course Overview

    Duration: Three years part-time
  • MRes Sport Development is a work-centred, project based programme which enables students to develop a critical appreciation of fundamental shifts taking place within their profession as well as the opportunity to contribute to the planning process necessary to meet the challenges these shifts present. It provides a particularly responsive alternative approach to professional development that is rooted in the concept of action research and encourages students to explore issues as they emerge within their profession. Students who complete this course find that they have renewed passion for moving upwards in their career, as well as the skills to succeed in higher positions.


    The MRes Sport Development programme is structured around a flexible though clearly framed series of supervised projects. The course is both flexible and carefully structured, with each project focusing on a clear theme related to your professional area. Throughout the course, students are supported with project templates which guide them on structure, content and the research process.


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Each stage of the programme is based on a 60 credit module which is delivered through a project:

1st Year

Stage one (60 credits) - Conceptual and Theoretical Discourses

Consideration of debates that constitute the terms of reference for sport development within organisations. For example, debates relating to elitism in sport, ideology and sport development interventions, changing perceptions of obesity, health and obligations to intervene and the application of development theories to the sport development process.

2nd Year

Stage two (60 credits) - Contemporary Contextual Issues

Concern with the issuesthat define the contemporary parameters of sport development work. For example, ways in which the public policy frame informs the characteristics and priorities of sport development programmes and initiatives within organisations. This will include exploring the development of policy networks, the role of stakeholders and evaluation in the policy process.  

3rd Year

Stage 3 - Masters Dissertation

A focus on developmental based project work. For example direct engagement in some aspect of the strategic planning process within the student’s professional area. This is likely to concern multi-agency, partnership work and could focus on single sport or multi-sport development or could concern facility or spatial planning. 

Entry Requirements & Fees

Career Opportunities

This research driven programme enables professional development within Sport Development. Your programme will reflect your own professional aspirations and increase your potential to progress with your current employer or within the wider sector.

ALUMNI OF MRes Sport Development

Course Leader

This course is led by Dr Aaron Beacom, who has research interests in the areas of sport and international development, sport policy and disability sport.

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    Delivery of the programme is based on the allocation of a project supervisor for each stage. This supervisor will have expertise in the chosen area and will provide guidance throughout the process. Where appropriate, a second supervisor will also be involved. In addition to project supervision, research workshops will be offered during the course of the year, when students will be brought together to explore particular research themes. Electronic resources will be available to support each stage and additional tutorial support will be made available as appropriate. It is anticipated that one of the projects undertaken will lead to a joint publication (supervisor and student).

    While assessment of each stage of the programme will be based on the grade awarded for the completed project, formative assessment will also be provided at two points during the year in order to provide students with an indication of their progress.