Available from September 2017

Football operations at professional level are becoming increasingly complex, competitive, holistic and are involving an ever growing team of applied specialists. For winning performance to be achieved and sustained it is imperative that high levels of application, experience, evidence and people skills are utilised. High performing teams need achievers and application specialists on, off and around the pitch, able to work effectively with and for, other people.

The MSc in Football Science is suitable for high achieving graduates in Sports Science or related subjects with professional experience in the industry and the desire to reach the higher echelons of the game. The programme will be focussed around applied academic application, contemporary understanding of professional football and live scenarios from the modern game.

Throughout their time at UCFB, MSc Football Science students will have unprecedented access to leading figures within the game. These include Tony Strudwick, Head of Athletic Development at Premier League giants Manchester United, who is an honorary external lecturer on the programme; Mike Phelan, Assistant Manager at Hull City and former Assistant Manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, who offers performance analysis masterclasses; and Eamonn Salmon, CEO of The Football Medical Association, who support all medical and scientific practitioners within UK professional football in a personal and working capacity.

Students will undertake an applied professional football research project looking into performance or health interventions within the professional game.

UCFB Etihad Campus will allow students to live, learn and work at the heart of one of Europe’s leading sporting facilities, and will see lectures and seminars delivered within the stadium itself, building on the unique learning environment harnessed at UCFB.

Graduates of the MSc Football Science programme will be awarded degrees by our esteemed academic partner institution, Bucks New University.

Download the MSc Football Science Programme Specification.

Postgraduate Events

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If you are unable to attend any of our postgraduate events or would like to request more information, please call our Student Recruitment & Admissions team on 03332417333 or email us at mastersenquiries@ucfb.com.


MSc Football Science Modules

Current Issues in Football

This module will enable students to focus upon current issues within football and applied football contexts at both academy and professional level. A range of topics such as identity, dealing with stressors and anxiety, career critical moments and boundary situations (e.g. deselection, loans, and injuries) will be examined in depth. The module will give the students an appreciation of the many challenges that making your way in the game can bring and how a sports science practitioner can best support these challenges.

Football Analytics

Students will consider how objective data is an integral facet of modern football and responsible for player selection, transfers in and out of clubs, training prescription, match tactics and reflective practice and are used as indicators of parameters for team success in a given environment.  This informatics and analysis module for utilising applied data science will cover key concepts of data sourcing, data reduction, cognitive processing, management reporting, understanding the elite footballer and tactical and technical understanding.

Students will develop the understanding and attributes to present useful, timely information to elite coaches and players in the best format. A key issue to explore and prepare for will be the time pressure to be able to make an impact on the next training session or match. This informatics under pressure will also consider for example, half time information and information required to support decision making in the transfer window.

Football Culture and Professional Practice

This module examines the organisational structure and cultural practices within professional football and football clubs. It provides a background to and an overview of the working conditions for sports scientists operating within professional football. Students will have the opportunity to identify, consider and reflect upon the implications that the demands and stressors of professional football and its norms have for their own employability and professional development. The module considers the significance of best practice and the quest for perennial improvement, with an opportunity to reflect on how science often shows why professional practice and experience works, but does not always lead practice and innovation.

Injury Prevention in Football

This module develops a critical awareness of current problems and new insights into football related injuries particularly to the knee, ankle, foot, hip and lower back, for an in depth understanding and insight into the key area of football injury prevention. Students will consider the need to help players to be available consistently for practice, training and games, and how to support them and the coaches to reduce or avoid injury. Students will study the evidence base for injury reduction and prevention with the underpinning aetiology, anatomy and biomechanics, and moreover, the associated mechanisms of injury, precursors to injury, risk assessment and intervention science will be examined. The module will develop the ability to critically evaluate the scientific evidence behind the principles and theories of athletic screening. A clear understanding of the science behind training status and recovery with appropriate interpretation of those measurements and learn to apply them in a real world football context.

Nutrition for Training & Performance

This module will consider the requirements of nutrition to cater for the demands of professional and academy football. Topics covered will include the support of optimal training and performance, hydration for performance in games and training including reviewing the evidence base for using of sports/energy drinks to maintain optimal performance for 90 minutes.

Students will study optimal recovery post game to replenish the loss of vitamins and minerals, the basic principles of macro nutrient metabolism and the recommended portion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins a professional or academy footballer needs to intake for training and health demands.

Students will explore the trend of mid game refuelling, supplements for optimal performance and recovery and the issues of ergogenic aids and doping. The area of study will analyse the relationship between recommended nutrient intake values for football and the demands of positional specific players.

The Psychological Health of a Footballer

This module develops students’ appreciation of the psychological issues for footballers operating in academies and in professional senior football. Students will consider common mental ailments and their triggers, recent approaches to assessment and treatment, plus the complications for footballers’ performance and wellbeing. The module provides students with the opportunity to consider and reflect upon their role both ethically and legally, as well as their communication and practical skills in the recognition and support of these issues within football.

Students will investigate the impact and treatment of psychological issues related to for example long term injury, addictive behaviour, and anger management. In addition, students will also develop understanding of the implications for the recovery, management and prevention of specific conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Research Methods and Dissertation

The individual research project focuses on producing an in depth piece of work which has theoretical/ practical/ industrial/commercial relevance to the sports industry. Ideally, this will be a piece of industry sponsored work to produce a commercial output for the sponsor. The work need not be sports-related but mat be applied in the area of sports. In other words, a project may take the best practice from another industry and apply it in the sports industry. The sponsor will be viewed and treated like a client and this the client will have certain requirements. Thus, the research proposal will have to meet both client and academic requirements for it to be approved. It also provides an opportunity to develop and demonstrate advanced scholarship skills.

This combined research methods and dissertation module provides subject-specific methods training in preparation for the completion of a dissertation within the domains of sports management, marketing, entrepreneurship and leisure management. The research topic that you select must align with the title of the programme on which you are enrolled. The module begins with a series of taught research methods sessions, during which a research proposal is produced. This proposal then guides the development of a clearly defined and evidenced study purpose, a critical review of the extant literature, and a robust methodology. Data is then collected, analysed, interpreted and applied to the study purpose, and a 12,000 word research report (dissertation) is produced.

Applicants are expected to possess a 2:1 or above in Sports Science (typically majoring in Physiology) with undergraduate experience in strength & conditioning and/or lab based physiological testing. A good knowledge of high performance football is essential. Students will possess the ability to synthesise and translate sports science theory into practice and have a thirst to deliver in a competitive environment. An applied practice portfolio would be an advantage along with a desire to work and progress in a dynamic results driven industry.

If you do not meet these requirements but would still like to be considered, please email admissions@ucfb.com for further advice.

International students that require an IELTS must have an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening, or recognised equivalent). Relevant academic experience in business, marketing or sport is desirable.

Applicants should note that possession of the minimum entry criteria does not in itself guarantee admission.

If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria for this programme, or whether you require IELTS results, please email mastersenquiries@ucfb.com with a copy of your most recent CV including nationality, visa status if applicable, and undergraduate degree transcripts. Candidates with a strong CV may qualify for a supplementary admissions interview to support their academic application.


To apply for this programme please download and complete the application form, then return the completed form and relevant documents as instructed to mastersenquiries@ucfb.com.

Relevant documents:

  • Completed and signed application form;
  • Personal statement;
  • Copy of transcripts of highest qualification achieved and English translations (if applicable);
  • One academic and one professional reference and English translation (if applicable);
  • Copy of proof of English language level e.g. IELTS (if applicable).

For international applications, please also include:

  • Copy of valid passport (which you will use to apply for your Tier 4 visa);
  • Copies of any previous or current UK visas.

Find out the tuition fees for the MSc Football Science.

A wide range of scholarships are available. Please contact mastersenquiries@ucfb.com for more information.

Postgraduate admissions podcast:

Career prospects for graduates of the MSc Football Science degree programme at UCFB include highly sought-after careers within a professional football team such as a sport scientist, performance analyst or operations manager at multidisciplinary teams.

Read more about Employability at UCFB