"We are in the business of making a fundamental difference to peoples future careers and to sports organisations themselves, with the MSD. "
Mark Batey, head of the MSD course
The Masters of Sporting Directorship (MSD) leadership course, delivered by Manchester Metropolitan University Business School since 2014, has opened for applications to join its next cohort of students when the course kicks off once again in September.
Successful applicants to the unique course will be in good company: the likes of England men’s cricket managing director Ashley Giles; Lionesses and Manchester City Women’s goalkeeper Karen Bardsley; and former professional footballers Scott Sellars, Steve Harper and Kevin Davies are all MSD graduates. From the media world, current students include BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman, and BBC Wales rugby presenter Gethin Jones.
The rigorous two-year, part-time MSD qualification is designed to help students, most of whom work in the world of professional sport either as sportspeople or as high-level managerial and backroom staff, to develop the commercial skill sets and personal attributes required to succeed as top sporting directors.
MSD students cover topics such as governance, leadership and managing high-performing organisations, as well as creativity and innovation, and finish their studies by producing an academic dissertation. A series of masterclasses from high profile guest speakers complement the academic sessions, with Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta the latest in a long line of A-list speakers to address the students.
Among the first cohort of MSD students to graduate in 2017, Ashley Giles has credited his studies at Manchester Met with helping to inform his successes as England’s director of cricket. “The MSD enabled me to develop as a person as well as in my role as a sporting director, and has probably shaped the way I carry out my role now,” he said.
Manchester Metropolitan University’s Mark Batey, who heads the MSD course, said: “We are in the business of making a fundamental difference to people’s future careers and to sports organisations themselves, with the MSD. It has become without doubt the go-to qualification for the sporting director role, and with a pedigree that grows more impressive each year.”
He added: “The course is now open for applications to joins us in September 2020 and its exclusivity means that we only offer places to around 25 people every year. We are particularly keen to see applications from women who are under-represented in the sport industry, although that is changing fast as women’s sport undergoes a huge surge in popularity.
For more information about the MSD and how to apply, go to: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/sport-directorship/students/.