SportBusiness International

Analysis and insight for the global sports business

SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings 2018

SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings 2018

Published date:
8 Jun 2018
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Download the full SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings 2018 report as a PDF here, or browse the sections below

Welcome, once more, to the SportBusiness Postgraduate Course Rankings.

The 2018 edition is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest and most detailed we have ever produced. While our aim has remained unchanged since the inception of the rankings in 2012 – to provide the most reliable and respected rankings system for postgraduate sports management courses across the world – the scope has increased with each new edition. This year, well over 1,300 surveys were completed by alumni and course leaders from 75 universities.

As ever, we consulted an advisory board of leading academics to gather feedback on the last rankings process before the launch of the 2018 edition. Based on their input, several changes were made to the methodology for this year’s rankings.

The first major change saw the introduction of the ‘usefulness’ and ‘value’ criteria. Graduates were asked to assess how useful the skills taught on the course were to their current employment, taking into account the quality of course content, the standard of teaching and the provision and quality of work placements or internships. They were also asked to rate the course’s value in furthering their careers and securing their current roles. These two measures each represent five per cent of the schools’ overall scores.

To accommodate this, course leader weighting was lowered from 15 per cent to ten per cent of the overall score, and student satisfaction score from 45 per cent to 40 per cent. The 2018 list better represents the views of the people who best understand the impact of the courses: the alumni.

As in 2017, the course leaders were again asked to select both the top five courses and the top five business schools outside their own, with the selection of the top five business schools or faculties based on the institution’s overall academic reputation; quality, number and standing of staff; the number and quality of papers published; and research capability.

Similarly, we maintained the extended employment measurement period, of three months rather than six, to allow a more realistic timeframe for students to enter the workforce.

And the winners are…

For the sixth time in the seven-year history of the rankings, Ohio University claimed the top spot. The University of Massachusetts Amherst, or UMass, again finished runner-up in the overall ranking, and in the course leaders’ selection, where it was also beaten by Ohio.

American colleges continue to dominate the list, with only two entries to the top ten – Australia’s Deakin and The International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES) in Switzerland – coming from outside the United States. This is down from three in 2017, due to the Russian International Olympic University falling one place into 11th. CIES’ dominance over the European rankings mirrors that of Ohio in the US, as it also claimed its sixth victory in seven years.

The biggest riser in the list is the University of South Florida, which is up to fourth this year, having made its debut at 19th in 2017. USF only began its postgraduate sport management programme in 2012, the year this list was founded.

In the report, you will find reaction and insight from several of the course leaders involved in the programmes that make up this ranking. As well as hearing from the top three univerities in the US and Europe, there is also a look at how a new course can establish itself, what leads to student satisfaction, and analysis of the growing sector of online learning and MOOCs (massive open online courses).

We also present the full list of the top 40 courses overall and the top 15 for both North America and Europe. Separate tables show the course leaders’ and graduates’ choices and an analysis of the employment status of students before and after graduation.

SportBusiness International would like to thank all the course leaders and alumni who participated in the rankings, and we hope you find the supplement a useful guide to this dynamic sector.

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