Manchester’s Media City is the host to the latest group of aspiring strategic leaders in sport who will be studying on VSI’s Masters in Sports Directorship validated by the Centre for Sport Business at the University of Salford.
The Master’s degree qualifies you for one of the most important roles in modern sport. Tailored to meet the real demands of leading sporting organisations. Covering sports leadership, personal development, masterminding innovation and change, sport governance and best practice along with a diverse range of extra curricular experiences.
This degree course provides unrivalled preparation for the role of Sport Director. Uniquely the course is underpinned by the skills of neuroscience – the science of performance. Already used to great effect in many sports, this degree course brings the power of neuroscience into the business arena too.
VSI staged the first three courses with an academic institute and, in moving the programme to Salford’s centre for sports business MSD founder, Tony Faulkner explained that: “An elite program needs an internationally iconic setting and Media City and the Centre for Sports Business fits the bill perfectly.
The structure of the programme is based on detailed research from VSI which revealed an appetite among franchises across a range of sports for a new generation of leaders capable of managing, massive financial growth with all the challenges such wealth placed on their traditional, creaking corporate infrastructures.
Sports organisations recognised the need for a Sporting Director, equipped to sit as a statutory board member and capable of shaping an organisation’s vision and philosophy while managing its sporting operations. Their challenge was the absence of an appropriately qualified talent pool.
The programme is designed to accommodate individuals who may have left the classroom as 16-year-olds but had enjoyed a life-time of extraordinary experience the like of which made them uniquely equipped for such a ground-breaking finishing school.
The course delivers a diverse range of knowledge including sports leadership, personal development, masterminding innovation and change, sport governance and best practice. All the formal skills needed to operate at the highest level of any corporate structure.
An extra ordinary group of master-class speakers exposes cohorts to owners, Chairman, Chief Executives from the world of sport, business and politics.
Working with VSI and the Centre for Sports Business represents the perfect chance for individuals with ambition to showcase and refine their talent at a location seen as synonymous with innovation and change.
Ensuring you get the best out of yourself and those around you is central to the role of Sporting Director. That’s why we’ve placed neuroscience at the heart of the Master’s Degree in Sport Directorship.
Recognising the brain first and foremost as a social system, neuroscience enables a better understanding of how leadership styles have the potential to impact on performance across all age bands, cultures and backgrounds.
As a Leader, Manager and Coach a critical skill required is the importance of understanding yourself and others. Understanding neuroscience, how your brain responds and reacts is fundamental to how you perform. Throughout this unit you will develop and understanding of emotional regulation techniques, the myth around multitasking, brain hygiene and the neuroscience of smart work.
This Unit explores leadership through a reflective lens to enable critical reflection on self as Leader, development of self, leadership and management practice within a Sporting Directorship context. It critically examines the importance of coaching, mentoring and action learning as approaches to facilitate development of others, develop leadership practice and develop leader as coach. The Unit will critically examine leadership dynamics within complex settings.
Personal Leadership: Personal critical reflection through the use a Leadership profiling tool, neuroscience of leadership and theoretical reflection frameworks.
Critical reflection: Reflective frameworks and approaches (mindfulness, coaching, mentoring, action learning) to critically explore self, self as Leader, development of self and leadership practice in the complex context of Sporting Directorship.
Coaching and Mentoring: Critically examine the importance of coaching, mentoring and action learning as approaches to facilitate development of self, leadership practice and others.
Leader as coach: Critically start development of Sporting Director /leader as coach; evaluate role of leader as coach and complexities of developing and inspiring others
Leadership development: examine the complexities of leadership drawing on leadership theories including sports leadership and emerging fields of leadership (e.g. Relational, Collaborative, Authentic, Emotional Intelligence and Neuroscience). These will be evaluated in relation to dynamics of leadership in a complex settings and will include areas such as conflict, power, trust, collaboration and context.
As guardian for the organisation’s future development, the Sporting Director needs to be a visionary and inspirational leader, focused on performance delivery and not afraid to take centre stage. Introducing change to an organisation requires focus and excellent personal leadership skills.
This unit is about how leaders create a high performance sport organisation. It will help leaders identify strategic advantage, and navigate the unpredictable nature of sporting contexts. It explores how they communicate and influence to effect and lead cultural change to shape high performance sports organisations. Throughout this unit you will come to see what a substantial role and understanding of neuroscience can play in how we work with people.
This unit takes an action research based approach to explore the effects of innovation on organisations, drivers of change, and the challenges of implementing change in the context of high performance sporting organisations. Students will learn to understand that a change from the norm often creates a chemical response within the brain that will drive our mental, emotional and social interactions. Throughout this unit the Sporting Director will be empowered to understand and learn how feedback often produces an intense threat response in the brain.
Understand the rules and procedures needed to make organisational decisions in the best possible way to optimise performance whilst demonstrating transparency and accountability.
The Unit will address the challenges facing the professional sport industry in relation to international developments in recent years. It will also cover the challenges associated with commercial development, establishment and development of European political and economic institutions. Finally, students will also address the global challenges of governance on multi stakeholder organisational interest in sport. Throughout this unit students will be called upon their understanding of neuroscience and its relevance to human performance. Such understanding will enable students to apply neuroscience to how they lead, manage and coach people within the sports organisation.
Emphasis on the International Sport Governance and legal frameworks. In addition, the North American Sport Model will be looked at and analysed against. Content will cover a multidisciplinary approach by providing an in-depth analysis of legal, political and economic issues (e.g. competition law, litigation prevention, risk management, regulation and media policy). The unit will focus on current and future key challenges faced by sports organisations (specificity of sport, competitive balance, exploitation of commercial rights, social dialogue, violence, doping, social responsibility, etc).
Summary of learning content
In this unit students are expected to identify, structure, frame and investigate a complex managerial or business issue and produce a substantial written document of their achievements and conclusions.
Students may fulfil the requirements of the Unit by undertaking one of five types of dissertation: