Institute for Sport Business MPhil, PhD

Institute for Sport Business
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the world for Sport

QS World Rankings by Subject 2017

University of the Year

for Sport

The Times Good University Guide 2017


The Institute for Sport Business is committed to upholding a vibrant and engaged postgraduate research community, incorporating internationally recognised researchers interested in the business of sport.

The Institute for Sport Business is committed to upholding a vibrant and engaged postgraduate research community, incorporating internationally recognised researchers interested in the business of sport.

The Institute for Sport Business at Loughborough University London is primarily interested in the rapid growth of the sport business sector and its impact on the world in an era of significant social, economic and technological change.

In addressing this theme, the Institute for Sport Business is committed to retaining a focus on three key impact areas; leadership and change, innovation and enterprise, and social responsibility. Each area addresses different aspects of the theme by drawing on interdisciplinary research from a range of areas.

The Institute has an important geographical location in London with outstanding links to government and industry, which strengthen its research opportunities and output. The Institute for Sport Business and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences have an established history of securing grants from research councils (ESRC, ARC), government (UK Government, London Sport, Australian Government, European Union, UNESCO), national and international sport organisations (including the Youth Sport Trust, UK Sport, IOC, London Sport, World Anti-Doping Agency, Australian Anti Doping Research Program, Australian Sports Commission) and industry (including UEFA, McDonalds, Football Federation of Australia and the Cricket Foundation).

The Institute for Sport Business has a vision to create an engaging, motivating and intellectually stimulating experience that allows research students to develop key research skills, including: fluency of ideas, information ordering, logical reasoning, effective communication, social and problem sensitivity and resistance to premature judgment. These key skills are acquired by applying the foundations of disciplinary rigor and the crucial skills of scholarship with a culture of inquiry into the supervision process.

Read more about Loughborough University London on our blog

Our facilities

Loughborough University London benefits from excellent learning and teaching facilities. Our purpose-built lecture theatres and seminar rooms are fitted with the highest quality audio and visual equipment to ensure you can enjoy a truly immersive and stimulating learning experience

The campus offers a range of versatile workspaces to cater for independent study, group activities and collaborative project work.

You will also benefit from 24/7 access to our campus Library, which has over 5000 print items and access to 1.2 million e-books, journals and research papers via the University's online resources. You will also be able to choose from over 602,000 print items to borrow from Loughborough's Pilkington Library, which can then be delivered to the London campus for free.

We also offer and Inter-Library Loan service, which is a fantastic service for our Research students because it provides access to electronic articles that are not available from Loughborough University Library. This will give you access to thousands of articles from other libraries around the UK and occasionally from overseas that you may need for research purposes. Sometimes these resources can be obtained as photocopies or PDFs which you can then keep.

If you want to discover more information about what we have to offer at Loughborough University London, you can book a guided campus tour here.

Who should apply

If you have a passion for innovation and leadership in the business of sport, a PhD with the Institute for Sport Business could be for you. The institute especially welcomes interest into gender, entrepreneurship, corporate and social responsibility, and technological applications to sport businesses, organisations and teams.

Entry requirements

2:1 (or above). Applications from students with an MSc or MRes in a relevant area are preferred.

Research areas

Leadership, Culture and Change in Sport

Students are encouraged to apply theory and models in leadership, organisational culture, and organisation change to explore a multitude of sport contexts. Examples include responding to changing organisational environments or developing an innovative culture.

Organisational Behaviour in Sport

Organisational Behaviour encompasses both individual and group activities and performances, and the interface of how the organisation behaves.

Sport Corruption

Highlighted by recent scandals at all levels of sport, research is now more important than ever to find the causes, preventative measures, and antecedents for change in order to reduce corruption in sport.

Doping in Sport

Research from a sport management viewpoint might initiate change in the attitudes of doping, education of athletes, testing protocols, and reprimand outcomes to create a safer sporting world.

Sport Policy

Every level of sport, from local recreation to international competitions, require sound policies to ensure fairness, enjoyment, equality, and access.

Sport Governance

Sport governance is a broad term that occurs at every level of sport and encompasses managing the internal sport organisation, sport events, teams, competitions, and rules and regulations.

Sport and Social Capital

Sport has the ability to strengthen community relations and promote solidarity and citizenship. The study of sport and social capital is relatively new, and offers students a wide lens to explore this phenomenon.

Sport for Development

Sport has been used as a vehicle to develop communities by bringing people together, teaching social lessons, promoting equality, and engaging different cultures.

Sport Digital Media Technologies

What does the future hold for sport information and broadcasts? Sport digital media technologies provides students the opportunity to collaborate with one of Loughborough University London’s other institutes to understand and explore this innovative track.

Sport Media Analytics

Students can develop a deeper understanding of sport media communications and information while collaborating with the Institute for Media and Creative Industries.

Sport and Social Media

Social media has become a mainstay in the sport fan’s life and often a primary source of communication and information. Research the latest trends, best practices, and future of sport social media.

Creating Innovative Cultures in Sport

Many of the natural byproducts of organisational success (hierarchy, routinisation, the elimination of risk) can stifle innovation. An innovative culture cultivates engagement and enthusiasm, challenges people to take risks within a safe environment, fosters learning, and encourages independent thinking.

Regulation and Sport

Identifying the optimal means for tackling recurring problematic behavioural issues affecting professional elite athletes, drawing insights from a range of disciplines including sport business, law and regulation, criminology, psychology and international relations.

Research case studies

To see examples of current research from the Institute for Sport Business, please visit our webpage

Your personal and professional development

Support and guidance that you'll gain from your supervisor

By undertaking research sport business, you will develop a range of new skills through creative thinking, analytical reasoning and real-life problem solving. Presenting at research conferences and events will also enable you to improve your speaking and networking skills, and could provide you with new opportunities to travel overseas.

You will be supported to make original discoveries, and will utilise applied research and ideas to benefit local and international communities.

As a PhD student with the Institute for Sport Business, you will become part of a vibrant, interdisciplinary research community, and will benefit from high-quality research training delivered by our world-class academics. Academics from the Institute have experience and expertise from a range of disciplines, including leadership and management, digital technologies, sport psychology, emerging sports and more.

Future career prospects

Graduating with a PhD in Sport Business will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to enter a wide range of careers in commercial sporting organisations, international governing bodies of sport, the government and the not-for-profit sector.

You will also acquire the skills to enter the academic profession, or establish your own sport enterprise if desired.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

All applications for research opportunities are made online. We strongly recommend contacting the department in advance of submitting an application to discuss your ideas.

Applications for research should indicate the Institute within which you would like to study and preferably the member(s) of staff whose research area is of most interest to you. If you’d like to make an application, we recommend contacting your preferred supervisor in advance to discuss your research proposal in more detail. Please use our online application portal to submit your research proposal, and clearly outline the question you intend to address. You should also include an overview of your subject area and proposed research methods

Email Professor James Skinner, Director of the Institute for Sport Business or to apply direct.