MA in History of Sport by Research

Entry requirements: First or second class honours degree or relevant experience 
Full or Part-time: Full-time, Part-time
School: School of Humanities Back to course finder

Course outline

Based in London, this groundbreaking Master’s programme offers students unique access to world-class scholars, thinkers and practitioners drawn from the world of sport and its academic study.

It is directed by Ed Smith, the commentator, historian of sport, and former cricketer for England, Middlesex and Kent.

The course enables the student to undertake research on a specific topic, agreed with the supervisor, in any aspect of the history of sport over the last two centuries. Assessment is by a dissertation, written under expert guidance over the course of the year.

A central feature of the programme is its series of ten evening seminars and post-seminar dinners in a London club, at which participants can engage in general discussion with guest speakers. These experts include:

  • Mike Brearley OBE, former Captain of the England Cricket Team and former President of the MCC
  • Ed Smith, prize-winning author and former England cricketer
  • Sir Clive Woodward OBE, Winning Rugby World Cup Coach
  • Professor Christopher Young, historian of sport, University of Cambridge
  • Lord King of Lothbury (Mervyn King), KG, GBE, FBA, Director of Aston Villa FC and former Governor of the Bank of England
  • David Goldblatt, award-winning writer and sports historian, author of The Game of Our Lives
  • Professor Richard Holt, founder of the International Centre for Sport History and Culture and author of Sport and the British
  • Simon Kuper, award-winning writer and author of Soccernomics

Sport’s place in modern life has never been more central, and the history of sport is a rapidly growing area of academic study. The course will touch on all major sports – in Britain, America and on the Continent. Some of the themes addressed by the lectures will be:

  • Why was Britain so central to the development of modern sport?
  • When and how did sport become politicised?
  • How has sport influenced attitudes towards class, race, gender and sexuality?
  • Sport’s role as an agent and beneficiary of globalisation.

The course will begin with two seminars about how to choose, research and write an academic dissertation, held at the University’s London offices, 51 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6HJ. These will be followed by ten guest lectures and dinners, held at the splendid Caledonian Club (Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR), a few moments from Hyde Park Corner in central London.

For dates of the seminars, please click on “Teaching & Assessment”. Those wishing to attend the seminars, but not to undertake a dissertation, may join the course as Associate Students at a reduced fee.

For further details contact:
Humanities Research Admissions on +44 (0)1280 827514
Email: humanitiespg-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

Entry requirements

The minimum entry level required for this course is as follows:

  • a first or second-class honours degree from a recognised university or,
  • a recognised professional qualification with relevant work experience

Mature students

Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.

International students

We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

The University is a UKVI Tier 4 Sponsor.

English levels

If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

Selection process

Candidates apply online, sending in their supporting documents, and will be assessed on this basis by the Programme Director.  The Programme Director or Admissions Assistant will be happy to answer any enquiries.

Edward Smith

Senior Research Fellow in Journalism | Programme Director, MA History of Sport


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Maria Floyd

Humanities Research Institute Admissions Assistant (London Programmes)
humanitiespg-admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

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Terms and conditions for prospective students

When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the terms and conditions between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the terms and conditions outlined in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the terms and conditions contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting any offer. Read the admissions terms and conditions > >

Teaching methods

The MA does not offer systematic instruction; instead, the emphasis is on independent research and one-to-one supervision.

At the heart of the Buckingham MA is the close working relationship between student and supervisor. While the final thesis must be an independent work, it is the supervisor who offers advice on refining the topic (if necessary), on primary sources, on secondary reading, on research techniques and on writing the final text (which should be not less than 20,000 words). Supervisors and students will meet frequently throughout the year, and not less than twice a term; and the supervisor shall always be the student’s primary contact for academic advice and support.

The course will begin with a seminar about how to choose, research and write an academic dissertation, held at the University’s London offices, 51 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6HJ. This will be followed by ten guest lectures and dinners, held at the splendid Caledonian Club (Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR), a few moments from Hyde Park Corner in central London.

The Gower Street seminar on academic skills will take place on Monday 3 October 2016 from 14:00 to 17:30.

The dates for the lectures and dinners at the Caledonian Club are as follows, all starting at 18:30:

  • Thursday 6 October 2016: Mike Brearley OBE, former Captain of the England Cricket Team and former President of the MCC
  • Thursday 13 October 2016: Professor Richard Holt, founder of the International Centre for Sport History and Culture and author of Sport and the British
  • Thursday 3 November 2016: Professor Lincoln Allison, Visiting Professor in the politics of sport at the University of Brighton
  • Wednesday 16 November 2016: Professor C.J. Young, historian of sport, University of Cambridge, and Dr Simon Martin, research fellow at the British School at Rome and the University of Hertfordshire
  • Wednesday 7 December 2016: David Goldblatt, award-winning writer and sports historian, author of The Game of Our Lives
  • Thursday 12 January 2017: Sir Clive Woodward OBE, winning Rugby World Cup Coach
  • Thursday 19 January 2017: Lord King of Lothbury (Mervyn King), KG, GBE, FBA, Director of Aston Villa FC and former Governor of the Bank of England
  • Thursday 2 February 2017: Simon Kuper, award-winning writer and author of Soccernomics
  • Thursday 23 February 2017: Professor Tony Collins, De Montfort University
  • Thursday 9 March 2017: Mr Ed Smith, author and cricketer for England, Middlesex and Kent

As students develop the ideas and content for their dissertations, they will benefit from two one-on-one supervisions each term.

At the post-lecture dinners there will be an opportunity to continue the discussion in an informal environment. Attendance at these dinners is entirely at the choice of the student, and their cost is not covered by the tuition fee.

Graduate employment

We have a high graduate employment rate, The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ranked Buckingham top for graduate employability with 98.1% in July 2015.

Our graduate prospects are excellentOur graduates have gone on to further study at most of the world’s leading universities, including Harvard, London, Oxford and Cambridge and secured jobs in senior positions around the world. Among our alumni we have a graduate who became the head of his country’s civil service and one who became a leading Formula One motor-racing driver. Another secured a position as the Minister of Sabah and one female law graduate became the first British lawyer to become a French Advocate.

The tuition fees quoted are for the degree (e.g. if you start a degree at Buckingham in January 2017, you will pay the same termly fee for the duration of your degree – you will not be affected by the price increase in September 2017). Fees are normally paid in termly instalments.

Postgraduate loan scheme

A new system of postgraduate loans for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced from 1 August 2016 with support from the UK Government. The loan will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.  Find out more >>

Postgraduate first class scholarship

From July 2015 a first class scholarship will be available to both home and international students following a taught postgraduate degree at the University. The scholarship will reduce tuition fees by 33%. The scholarship will be automatically awarded to applicants who already have a first class honours degree that is recognised to UK standard.

Details of other scholarships can be found on our main Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.

You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

Due to the mode of study on this course you will not normally need a room in University accommodation during your degree.

However, if you require short-term accommodation in Buckingham we would be happy to provide a list of local bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation. Alternatively, please contact our Accommodation Office for advice.