Institute of Sports Humanities (ISH)

University of Buckingham - Institute of Sports Humanities (ISH)

The Institute of Sports Humanities establishes a new relationship between academia and the sports industry. The MA Leadership in Sport, the inaugural programme at ISH, is designed for the next generation of leaders in sport: players, captains, coaches, administrators, entrepreneurs, as well as the sports media.

Due to its origins in physical virtuosity, sport historically has been incorrectly pigeonholed as “anti-intellectual.” But smartness in sport is increasingly valuable: the industry craves better thinkers, on and off the field.

Science has helped our knowledge of sport and informed its academic study, but understanding sport – whether a single team or the wider industry – now relies on the critical grasp of societal and cultural forces. It is time for a more balanced and inter-disciplinary approach: time for sports humanities.

On the field, it is becoming harder to gain an edge through optimizing the body. Greyhounds and racehorses haven’t got much faster since the 1950s. Humans, too, are now approaching the outer wall of their physiological potential. In contrast, the art of leadership, superior decision-making, decoding the signals derived from history, the honing of judgment, balancing data and intuition: all these skills are far from commonplace, and designed to be inculcated by this MA.

The programme will combine taught academic content and talks/master-classes from leading industry professionals, along with independent research. A student who graduates with a thorough understanding of sport’s historical perspective, who can exercise critical thinking, use sound financial and intellectual judgment, and communicate on paper or in the flesh with the verve that a top player shows on the field – such a graduate will add huge value in sport.

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