A unique course designed for professional football players and those working in the football industry has been launched to boost skills and knowledge.
Delivered entirely online, BSc (Hons) Applied Football Studies is aimed at players and those in player facing roles, but could also be of interest to anyone who works or volunteers in football.
The three-year course, a partnership between The University of Salford Business School and Leeds Utd Football Club, with support from Ahead in Sport, combines learning in key areas of the football industry, including leadership, talent development and psychology, with practical business skills.
In particular the course will offer a route for academy players to develop skills and knowledge that could be of huge benefit to them if they do not make it in the professional game.
The course also examines contemporary issues such as the development of the women’s game, opportunities for BAME coaches and financial fair play, whilst it will also offer students the opportunity to examine the repercussions of the current pandemic and its impact on the football industry moving forward.
Taught online and created with full-time football players in mind, the programme recognises football as a significant business in its own right and examines the relationship that exists between sport and business. By following a blended learning approach, it allows those on the course to combine study with the demands of being involved in football such as training and games, which may have previously limited opportunities to access traditional HE routes.
Speaking about the new course, Angus Kinnear, Chief Executive of Leeds Utd Football Club said: “This is an incredibly innovative course, that will create a bridge for people who want to realise their ambition to work in sport. It can be difficult for us to recruit people with the right skill set and this course will hopefully bridge that gap and provide people with the right skills to thrive.
“And it is a fact that, unfortunately, a lot of academy players won’t make it as professionals, but with this course we can help them grow skills and have the chance of developing a successful career afterwards.”
This is a practical course which builds on experiences as a player or in a player facing role. The aim is to develop strong skills relating to the business of football and provide opportunities for career progression into a wide range of roles across sports industries.
Programme leader from the University of Salford Business School, Nicola McCullough, said: “It has been great to work with Leeds Utd and Ahead in Sport on this course. They provide key knowledge, inside information and experience to ensure the course is providing exactly what the industry needs.
“Working directly with industry providers is key to our mission at the University of Salford.
“We’re aiming to create the next generation of worldwide football leaders with the skills and the fact that the course is entirely online is perfect for the times we are in.”
Joel Roberts, Director of Operations at Ahead in Sport, said: “Through its on-line delivery this unique course offers the flexibility that full-time players and staff require, whilst the industry-led content reflects the number of opportunities available to those aspiring to be involved in the game, either on or off the pitch.”