Football is regulated by a complex pattern of law and regulation. Sports executives not only need to conform to the regulations established by the authorities, but they must also use their understanding of the legal framework to ensure compliance with the law of the land; and protect the business from risk.

This degree links the commercial and legal aspects of the sports business, understanding the ramifications of an industry which is increasingly affected by legal regulations, bringing football in line with other sectors. You will gain an insight and understanding of the relationship between law and the sports business industry, in terms of sports governance and administration.

Through our Complementary Curriculum you will benefit from our partnerships with industry-leading sports specialists including Beswicks Sports. You will develop a taste for both the sports business and legal sectors with our sports law master class workshops delivered by sports law specialist Daniel Geey, a Senior Associate (Competition and EU regulatory) at Sheridans Sports. You will also attend field trips throughout the degree programme, which include the Supreme Court of the UK and The Inns of Court in London (the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales).

Beswicks Sports logo

Degree content

Modules will focus on sports business, domestic and EU sports law, the role of sports governing bodies and international sports business governance. You will also explore the legal challenges regarding the use of social media within the industry, recent case studies regarding drug abuse and racism in sport and the legal issues surrounding safety in sports stadia and of spectators (‘The Green Guide’).

The broad spectrum of subjects covered, including domestic and international player contracts, loan agreements, transfer negotiations, disciplinary and regulatory problems, intellectual property rights, product endorsement and sponsorship deals, will help you apply theory to live projects to develop your employability skills and provide you with a balanced undergraduate degree in Sports Business & Sports Law.

Read more about Employability at UCFB

Graduates of the BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law degree will be awarded degrees by our esteemed academic partner institution, Bucks New University.


UCFB degrees fall under three subject benchmark statements – General business and management (2007); Hospitality, leisure, sport and tourism (2008); and Psychology (2010). Visit the QAA website to access each of these benchmark statements.

Download the BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law Programme Specification.


Semester 1

Understanding Sports Business

The contemporary sport industry has embraced a number of dynamic innovations used in other sectors, helping to transform both its management and administration, steering it in a more professional manner in some aspects of sport, yet not others. Growing revenue has taken on increasing importance yet some sports still have issues with the media monopoly of others. Resistance to change, amateur practices and poor treatment of some players remain within the industry. You will explore these and other key issues through examining how the core parts of the business (marketing, finance, the media, sponsorship, event management, leadership and HR) operate. You will analyse the development of sport and governance of both elite and grassroots organisations.

Introduction to Law

Whilst sports law is now widely recognised as a discrete jurisprudential category of law. Nevertheless, it has its foundations in the traditional areas of law such as contract law, tort law, criminal law, employment law and European Union law. It is also a category of law heavily influenced by legislation and judge made law. Recognising that most students will come to the programme with

limited legal knowledge, this module introduces students to the sources and institutions of the English and European Union legal systems and systematically explains the workings of the law so as to prepare them for study on the sports specific modules that follow. The module not only covers the key substantive areas of the law, but it also introduces students to key legal skills including legal research, legal writing, legal referencing and legal etiquette, as well as familiarisation with alternative legal systems.


Semester 2

Fundamentals of Accounting & Finance

This module seeks to develop an awareness of and an understanding of the source and purpose of financial accounting information within the organisation and an understanding of the structure of the main financial statements. It is also designed to encourage students to develop skills necessary to be able to use financial information for planning, control and decision making.

Introduction to Sports Law

This module provides the intellectual foundations to the study of sports law by examining the historical and contemporary debates concerning the relationship between sport and law. The module provides an introduction to how sport is regulated and how sport organises itself. It provides key definitions, such as the meaning of the specificity and autonomy of sport and it reviews how the decisions of sports governing bodies can be challenged in court or subject to Alternative Dispute Resolution. In essence we research the emergence of this now common category of law.


Semester 1

The Regulation of Safety & Deviance in Sport

Sports governing bodies are faced with many challenges relating to safeguarding the safety of those connected with sport and maintaining the integrity of sporting competitions. Many of these challenges stem from the deviant behaviour of sports participants, spectators or those seeking to criminally exploit sport. This module explores these issues by critically examining how the sport’s governing bodies and the law of the land (1) regulate misconduct and negligence by sports participants on the field of play (2) address spectator safety and public order issues (3) combat threats to the integrity of sport such as match-fixing and doping.

Managing Sports Organisations

The management of consumer orientated sports organisations is heavily reliant on the service and quality of delivery to each consumer. This module will examine organisational theory in relation to the operational issues faced by managers of sport organisations. It will introduce students to concepts of operations management, service delivery and quality that modern sports business managers are required to implement in order to create and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Students will examine concepts of operational management from a sport business perspective and will analyse key concepts of service delivery and the effectiveness of managing people within the sports industry.

Semester 2

Research Methods

The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of research principles, a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and appropriate analysis for these. This will enable the student to develop the research skills and knowledge necessary to undertake an independent research project. Students will be provided with support in developing their writing style to incorporate citations and make use of referencing.

They will be introduced to Academic Journals and will use these to inform their understanding of the research approaches used in the sector. This will also serve to familiarise the learners with the role of Journals in their wider study. The final aspect of this module will introduce hypothesis testing, with learners making use of a computer package to undertake simple statistical tests commonly used within their subject area.

Legal Issues in the Governance of Sport

Building on the introduction provided in Level 4, this module critically examines the regulatory framework affecting the governance choices made by sports governing bodies. In this regard, the module critically reviews how decisions of governing bodies can lead to legal challenge and in what

forum. The module explores the claim that as sport has ‘specific characteristics’ it should be free to determine its own organisational structure and rules free from legal intervention. To illustrate, this the module examines a range of governance choices that can give rise to complaints from stakeholders including: rules regulating access to competitions; rules on club relocation; rules on

club ownership; club licensing rules; international match calendar and player release rules; cost control measures such as regulating players’ pay, salary caps and Financial Fair Play; player agent regulations; the Fit and Proper Persons Test and the Football Creditors’ Rule.


Semester 1

Strategic Management

Studying this module will develop your knowledge of strategic management in different organisational and environmental contexts. You will learn how strategic management is applied within football (grassroots/professional) and sporting industries. You will also be able to critically evaluate how strategic information systems support strategic planning and thinking. The module will provide you with theoretical concepts and relevant tools for undertaking strategic analyses, considering strategic choices and making strategic recommendations.

Employment Law & Sport

This module explores the web of contractual relationships that operate within sport. An athlete, manager, coach and support staff are usually employees of clubs and organisations. Other athletes may be self-employed but are still engaged under a contract of sorts. These parties may also find themselves contractually bound by the rules of a governing body and athletes may also enter into contracts with agents. This module navigates through this complex web of contractual relations and explores how a unique a system of public and private regulation applies to sport. It examines who is considered an employee, how contracts are negotiated, what terms appear in contracts, how parties to a contract can be disciplined and how contracts are ended.

Semester 2

Research Project

This module aims to provide students with the opportunity for independent learning through the completion of an individual, extended research project. The project requires a high level of individual application and commitment to research and enquiry. It provides students with the opportunity to identify, reflect upon and explore a topic that has implications for their own professional development.

Regulating the Business of Sport

Sport is big business but the right to exploit its commercial value is not unfettered. This module explores how, under English, European and International law an event organizer is able to exploit the commercial value of sport whilst also protecting its rights from infringement by third parties.

This module considers the historical commercialisation of sport, the role of the EU in controlling sport commercialisation, and why and how sports have adopted various business models.

The module examines the specificities of sport and whether these preclude the application of UK and EU law to business practice or whether sport should be treated, in law, the same as any other business.

* Modules listed above may vary depending on changes to the syllabus.

Applications are welcomed from students with a genuine passion and ambition to work in the football and sports industries.

The minimum academic requirement for this degree course is a 120 UCAS point score under the new UCAS tariff system for 2017 entry.

Other minimum requirements

Applicants will normally have achieved one of the following:

  • A minimum of 2 A Levels including two C grades
  • A BTEC Extended diploma grade DMM
  • A BTEC Diploma grade D*D*
  • A combination of BTEC and A-Level qualifications with at least two C graded A levels or Merit graded BTEC equivalents.
  • International Baccalaureate (minimum of 30 points)
  • An Advanced GNVQ in an appropriate subject at Distinction level
  • An Access Course: minimum of 60 credits, including at least 45 at Level 3
  • An equivalent level 3 qualification

Applicants should have a strong GCSE profile, including English at Grade C, or equivalent and Maths at Grade C (specifically for Football Business & Finance, Sports Business & Sports Law and Sport Psychology).

Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered. Applicants for whom English is a second language should have achieved IELTS 6 or equivalent for entry into Level 4.

We also welcome applications from mature students who may not possess the above qualifications but may have relevant experience.

All applicants will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in their preferred area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with the subject through the academic programme and our complementary curriculum involving high profile guest speakers, master classes and short course opportunities.

Entry with advanced standing

Students are normally expected to start at Level 4, but can be admitted to any level of the course which is considered suitable, after portfolio review and interview, using the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). Under this arrangement, a student may apply to have previous academic credits or other learning or experience taken into consideration. Such applications are considered by the Faculty CATS committee and must be supported by the Academic Department.

Scholarships & Bursaries

A limited number of scholarships and bursaries are available for 2015. Visit the undergraduate scholarships and bursaries page for more information.

If you have any further questions regarding entry requirements, please contact us at

Career prospects for graduates of the BA (Hons) Sports Business and Sports Law degree programme at UCFB include not only qualifying as a lawyer through further study but governance roles, paralegal work within sport organisations and sport management roles for teams, clubs and athletes.

Read more about Employability at UCFB