Scholarships boosts push for women to take on top sports roles

5 July 2020

Scholarships boosts push for women to take on top sports roles

Karen Bardsley, Man City and Lionesses' goalkeeper, a graduate of Masters of Sport Directorship

Manchester Metropolitan University’s renowned Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) course is continuing to champion women’s progression to the top jobs in sport with the launch of a £9,000 women’s scholarship programme for the next intake of the course in September.

The award is aimed at nurturing strong female talent in UK sport and has been extended for a fourth year.

The MSD, which equips its graduates for sporting director and other sports leadership roles, has attracted some high-profile names including Manchester City and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.

Earlier this month Bardsley became the first professional footballer to be appointed to the board of a county FA and is tasked with overseeing the development of women and girls’ participation in the sport in Manchester.

Two scholarships of £6,000 and £3,000 have been made available to women working in sport who are applying for a place on this year’s intake of the two-year part-time MSD course.

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Mark Batey, who heads the course, said: “Despite the welcome surge in interest in women’s sport, with record numbers of spectators for the women’s world cup last year, the progress of women into the top jobs in sport has been disappointingly slow. 

“Women make up just 21 per cent of national sport governing body chief executives, which has actually dropped from 26 per cent in 2018, and only 4 per cent of Premier League clubs are led by women.

"The course directly helps to equip capable women working in sport with the leadership skills they need for the top jobs.”

The Manchester Metropolitan University Masters of Sport Directorship (MSD) is the first degree of its kind and is designed to develop the personal and commercial attributes needed to become a successful sporting director.

The programme is a part-time, 24-month course, delivered at the Business School and aimed at sport and business professionals who want to gain knowledge in the executive and strategic development of a sports organisation.

How to apply

Applicants should send a CV and a 500-word pitch describing why they would benefit from the scholarship to by 10 July. The winners will be selected by a panel.

For more information on the Masters of Sport Directorship course at Manchester Metropolitan University go to 

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