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Management and Leadership in Sports Performance, MSc, Heriot-Watt University

the United Kingdom

Heriot-Watt University

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MScFull-time12 monthsSeptemberGBP 6960GBP 15120
MScPart-time24 monthsSeptemberGBP 6960GBP 15120

About Management and Leadership in Sports Performance, MSc - at Heriot-Watt University

Management and Leadership in Sports Performance will help you pursue a sports management job where the focus of your role is to lead a group of specialists towards the shared goal of improving sporting performance. 

Developing an effective team made up of talented individuals is key to delivering sustained success in sport and, as global investment continues to grow, organisations and teams are recruiting a greater number of specialists to help prepare athletes for the rigours of competition.

This programme will teach you how to positively impact performance by managing the information that comes from multifaceted specialisms and by leading individuals effectively within a high performance environment.

Through collaboration between Heriot-Watt's School of Social Sciences and Oriam: Scotland's Sports Performance Centre, you will have the opportunity to learn from leading researchers and industry experts in sport, business management and psychology. Successful managers, coaches and performance directors must develop skills in a range of disciplines to get the best out of their staff and athletes, which is why this Programme combines bespoke courses in sports performance management with options from business management and psychology. This unique structure allows those with an interest in managing sporting performance to benefit from a multifaceted programme of study.


You will develop the skills to analyse and interpret performance data in sport and learn how to implement robust competitive strategies and tailored approaches to talent development. You will become well versed in the skills required for roles such as Head Coach, Performance Director or Head of Department in a successful sporting organisation.   

Oriam: Scotland's Sports Performance Centre

Oriam is Scotland's national sports performance centre and acts as a base for the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby Union, Basketball Scotland, Scottish Squash and Racquetball, Scottish Handball and many other elite teams as they prepare for competition on the international stage. The top of the range facilities at Oriam include Europe's largest indoor synthetic pitch with seating for 500 spectators, a medical area, a strength and conditioning gym, Hydrotherapy pool and multipurpose sports hall.

Oriam is located on the Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus which provides the ideal environment for sporting organisations and athletes to forge links with the academic community. This enables us to create new knowledge and develop innovative initiatives that push the boundaries of human performance.

Meet the Programme Leader 

Neil Gibson is the Director of Sport, Performance and Health at Oriam where he manages a team of specialist practitioners and coaches who work directly with high performance athletes in football, rugby, squash and athletics. With time working for top universities, including Heriot-Watt, and sporting organisations such as the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Rugby Union, Neil brings a wealth of real-world and academic experience to our Management and Leadership in Sport programmes.

After studying for Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in Sport and Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University Neil spent eight years working as the Head of Sport Science for Heart of Midlothian Football Club, a period of success which included victory in the Scottish Cup and qualification to the UEFA Champions League.  

Neil has held consultant roles with GB Water Polo and Scotland Rugby League and has contributed to postgraduate courses at a number of Universities within the UK. 

He is a published academic, an accredited High Performance Physiologist with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists, and an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach with the UK Strength and Conditioning Association.

He is currently the Sport Scientist for the Scotland national football team and continues to work with the Scottish Squash team as they prepare for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games following a successful Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Notes about fees for this course

Status*Full-timePart-timePer courseScotland / Non-UK EU£6,960£3,480£870England / Northern Ireland / Wales£6,960£3,480£870Overseas£15,120£7,560£1,890

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

** Fee per course

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class, or equivalent) in Sport Science, Sports Management, Sports Psychology, or a related discipline.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading and writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking and listening)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum 5.5 in all skills)

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