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University of Exeter Business School

International Sport Policy, Governance and Contemporary Issues

Module titleInternational Sport Policy, Governance and Contemporary Issues
Module codeBEMM793
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Rami Mhanna (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

You will explore models designed to support effectual operational governance and appraise the importance of these frameworks in the delivery and development of sport. This may include the role of local and regional governing bodies, whilst evaluating the importance of oversight at a national and international level. You will also be able to consider the role of sport in a changing world and reacting to societal agendas.

The module is compulsory for the MSc Sports Management and develops ideas introduced in the co-requisite module SHSM039 Sport Management, Leadership and Strategy. This module focuses on sports policy structure and governance on a global scale and contemporary factors that influence the sports industry today and for the future.


Module aims - intentions of the module

Policy and governance are important subject areas that underpin sports management and industry related practice, and this module will allow you to explore the models and frameworks in place and the contemporary issues which influence policy in your area of interest. You will learn how policy is constantly changing and how it has become increasingly influential for managers working within your field across local, regional, and national bodies, and in relation to international agencies. You will study a range of policy and practice considerations relating to your specific course area and ask yourself: why do we have policy; how has it developed over time; and what is its key priority? Key A plethora of contemporary themes areas such as individual health and well-being, personal and community development, diversity, and social inclusion and decolonisation, talent pathways and performance, funding allocation, digital media, technology and the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), and sustainability and climate change are increasingly occupying a central place within the policy agenda and alongside the growing power of sport globalisation. You will be challenged to explore contemporary ideas and trends influencing the sports industry and how this is governed and structured from policy to practice. Related topics such as the influence of events/global mega-events in delivering multiple stakeholder agendas, will also be explored and how this contributes to policy and practice domestically and on an international stage.
Graduate attributes. As part of this module, you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Critically reviewing how sport is structured in the UK and globally and the associated policy frameworks.
  • Challenging ideas and actively seeking new knowledge to develop critical appreciation of how policy is developed and translated into practice.
  • Critically evaluating key organisations and interest groups involved in the policy process, the role of government and the influence of political ideologies on policy decisions
  • Engaging in discussion and debate across a wide range of topical policy issues that influence professional practice.
  • Examining contemporary global issues in sport such as the influence of events/mega events, digital media, technology and the advancement of AI, sustainability and other trends which contribute to policy and practice


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Review the structure and associated frameworks of sport from a UK and international perspective
  • 2. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the role of governments and the influence of political ideologies on policy decisions in sport

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Critically evaluate key sports organisations and interest groups involved in the policy development process and how policy is translated into practice
  • 4. Analyse a range of contemporary sports policy topics and evaluate implementation and impact through events, use of digital media, technology and AI, and in responding to sustainability and related industry trends

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Engage in critical discussion about policy context across a wide range of topical sport issues that influence professional practice and future developments
  • 6. Exercise judgement on the appropriateness of specific polices, strategies and practice
  • 7. Research current sports policy and contemporary trends, in a selected field, synthetise information and communicate outcomes effectively through visual, written, and verbal methods

Syllabus plan

Illustrative content which may be subject to change:

  • Structure, frameworks, and models in sports policy governance.
  • Governments, political ideologies, and policy decision-making.
  • The policy development process, from policy to practice.
  • Role of sport organisations / agencies (locally / regionally / nationally) – case studies
  • Sport globalisation / international perspective – case studies (including mega-events, social enterprises and third sector projects)
  • Contemporary topical sport policy issues eg. health and wellbeing, personal and community development, diversity and social inclusion (including decolonisation), talent pathways/performance, funding, and digital media and technology and the advancement of AI
  • The sustainability agenda in sport
  • Case study research
  • Discussion and debate on a range of topical sports policy issues



Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities1.5 hour x 10 weeks = 15 hoursLecture and group discussions
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities2 hour x 10 weeks = 20 hoursSeminars / workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities4 hours x 1 weekTutorials
Guided Independent Study261 hoursELE: pre-and post-lecture/seminar activities & assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ELE independent study tasksVarious1-7Verbal and written
Group discussion/debatesVarious1-7Verbal
Draft presentation structurePowerpoint for 20 minute duration1-7Verbal and written
Draft Briefing paper structure1000 word1-7Verbal and written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual presentation video6020 minute powerpoint presentation pre-recorded video1-7Written
Presentation briefing paper401000 words1-7Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual presentation video20 minute powerpoint presentation pre-recorded video1-7August/September assessment period
Presentation briefing paper1000 words1-7August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to
resubmit an assessment as detailed in the table above. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be
capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Reading lists will be reviewed and updated yearly and will be reflective of the University’s decolonising the curriculum toolkit and related guidance.

Basic reading:

  • Astle, A., S. Lebermanand G. Watson, (2019). Sport development in action: plan, programme and practice. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
  • Bayle, E. and P. Clastres eds., (2018). Global sport leaders, a biographical analysis of international sports management. Cham, [Switzerland]: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Bradbury, T. and I. O’Boyle eds., (2017). Understanding sport management: international perspectives. London, [England]: Routledge
  • Chadwick, S., D. Arthur and J. G. Beech eds., (2017). International cases in the business of sport. 2nd ed. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
  • Collison, H., (2019). Routledge handbook of sport for development and peace. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Connolly, J. and P. Dolan, (2017). Sport and national identities: globalization and conflict. Taylor and Francis
  • Foster, G., N. O’Reilly and A. Davila, (2016). Sports business management: decision making around the globe. New York: Routledge
  • Frawley, S. and N. Schulenkorf, (2022). Routledge handbook of sport and COVID-19. Milton: Taylor & Francis Group
  • Frawley, S. and N. Schulenkorf, (2016). Critical issues in global sport management. Taylor and Francis
  • Dolan, P. and J. Connolly, (2018). Sport and national Identities: globalisation and conflict. 1st ed. Florence: Routledge
  • Gruneau, R. and J. Horne, (2015). Mega-events and globalization: capital and spectacle in a changing world order. Milton: Routledge
  • Henry, I.P. and L.-M. KO, (2014). Routledge handbook of sport policy. London: Routledge
  • Houilihan, B. and I. Lindsey, (2013). Sport policy in Britain. New York: Routledge
  • Hoye, R., Smith, A.C.T, Nicolson, M. and Stewart, B. (2022) Sport Management: principles and applications. 6th Edition. London. Routledge
  • Hums, M.A. and J. Maclean, 2018. Governance and policy in sport organizations. 4th ed. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
  • Jeffrey, G., Trendafilova, S and Ziakos, V. (2018) Environmental sustainability and sport management education: Bridging the gaps. Managing Sport and Leisure. 23: 4-6 ,422-433
  • Kay, T., Banda, D., Jeanes, R., and Lindsey, I., (2017). Localizing global sport for development. Manchester University Press
  • Kristiansen, E., M.M. Parent and B. Houlihan, (2017). Elite youth sport policy and management: a comparative analysis. Abingdon: Routledge
  • O’Brien, J., R. Holden and X. Ginesta, (2020). Sport, globalisation and identity: new perspectives on regions and nations. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Makintosh, C., (2021). Foundations of sport development. London: Routledge
  • Maguire, J., K. Liston and M. Falcous, (2021). The Palgrave handbook of globalization and sport. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK
  • Mallen, C., Adams, L., Stevens & Thompson, L. (2010) Environmental sustainability in sport facility management: A Delphi Study, European Sport Management Quarterly, 10:3, 367-389
  • Michelini, E., (2023). Sport, forced migration and the ‘refugee crisis’. Taylor & Francis
  • Nauright, J. and D. K. Wiggins, (2016). Routledge handbook of sport, race and ethnicity. Taylor and Francis
  • Shilbury, D. ed., (2022). A research agenda for sport management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Trail, G.T. & McCullough, B.P. (2020) Marketing sustainability through sport: testing the sport sustainability campaign evaluation model, European Sport Management Quarterly, 20:2, 109-129

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Key words search

Sport governance, sport policy, sport globalisation, sustainability

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

SHSM039 Sport Management, Leadership and Strategy

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date