ba (hons) sport development

Make a positive difference to disadvantaged and under-represented groups by challenging inequalities in sport and leading sporting projects.

Fire your passion for sport and help to transform lives and shape communities. Sport development officers provide opportunities for participation in sport for all sections of society and encourage people to lead healthier lives.

You will examine management and leadership styles and attributes as you learn how to attract investment and develop inclusive sporting pursuits that benefit disadvantaged and under-represented social groups and communities.

You will develop the confidence to challenge inequalities in sport, and you will hone your teamwork and planning skills so that you can lead on sporting projects to improve participation rates.

Our course team is led by Stephen Robson, who has more than 20 years' experience of practising and teaching sport and recreation development. Stephen works in national settings to keep the course at the forefront of current provision. Along with other team colleagues he has contributed to two editions of the highly successful Routledge textbook 'Sports Development: Policy, Process and Practice'.  Members of the team have also edited and published a text book called 'Strategic Sport Development', the first text of its kind in the field. All our sport and recreation development staff have significant professional experience to draw upon in supporting the next generation of sports development professionals.

Our excellent links with industry provide high quality work placement opportunities with organisations such as Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds United FC, Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Carnegie. Previous students have undertaken work experience with high-profile organisations such as IMG, Sky Sports and many sports marketing agencies. We can also offer volunteering opportunities on a national and international scale which have included the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics and the Paralympics.

We work closely with Leeds Rugby and have even delivered modules in the world renowned Headingley Carnegie Stadium - one of the UK's busiest sports venues. We also work with the European Race Walking organisation which ran the European Championships here on our Headingley Campus, which previous students got involved with promoting and marketing this event.

Our staff are at the leading edge in their field. Many have worked in senior positions in a number of sports marketing industries and will enrich your studies with their high level of expertise and experience.

Sport Volunteering Opportunities

We offer a sport volunteering programme for anyone with an interest in sport. If you want to stay ahead of the game and have a competitive advantage in the job market then sport volunteering is an ideal way to gain extra knowledge and skills on top of your degree. Volunteering is a huge advantage if you want to pursue a career in the sports industry - and it will look great on your CV.

Additional Qualifications

You can also top up your experience with professionally recognised National Governing Body UK Coaching Certificates (UKCC), which are available to take at levels 1 and 2. In addition to the UKCC, Leeds Beckett University also offers gym and personal trainer qualifications which you can take to boost your CV while studying on your sports degree.

Sport & Active Lifestyles

We're passionate about sport and at Leeds Beckett University there's a huge range of sports and activities for you to get involved in, including more than 40 sports clubs.

Why study Sport development at Leeds Beckett University


  • 100% of BA (Hons) Sport Development students were satisfied with their course*
  • 90% of BA (Hons) Sport Development students in work or further study 15 months after graduating**
  • Take part in a six-week work placement. This could be with local authority sport development teams, national governing bodies of sport, community groups, high schools, sports clubs or youth organisations
  • Build contacts with potential future employers by running your own community sports project or event for an external client
  • Opportunity to take a ‘sandwich’ year – a year of paid employment in industry which will build your skills and experience
  • Study in the university’s new £45m state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport building. The building will include a wealth of outstanding facilities, including dedicated research laboratories, a hypoxic laboratory and an indoor sprint track for performance training and analysis

*National Student Survey 2020

**Graduate Outcomes 2020

The entrance Carnegie School of Sport building and outdoor seating area on Headingley Campus

Studying a degree at Leeds Beckett puts you in very good company – we have alumni in more than 140 countries around the world. 


BA (Hons) Sport Development | Course insights Sport Development Course Director Stephen Robson talks about the course at Leeds Beckett University