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Sport Management Dissertation

Module titleSport Management Dissertation
Module codeSHSM041
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Lynsey Melhuish (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module gives you the opportunity to pursue a research topic that is of interest to you across the breadth of the sports industry, from a sports management perspective. It will enable you to develop an in-depth understanding of the theoretical background, methodological techniques and skills that are related to your topic of interest. The dissertation can be conducted within a single discipline or be interdisciplinary in nature. You will be supervised by a member of staff and be expected to demonstrate independence in the conception, development, implementation, and reporting of the research project. The project will involve writing to the style of a particular journal article in the field of sports management, that you will agree in advance with your supervisor.

SHSM030 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures is a co-requisite to the course. This provides you with the knowledge of research methods, design and ethics, and the tools to prepare you for analysis of quantitative data and an understanding of how to use advance level statistics. From these foundations, this Dissertation module will allow you to explore a range of research philosophies and alternative methodologies involving qualitative methods, before selecting and justifying your research approach for the project.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The dissertation is an opportunity for you to pursue systematically, and in depth, a topic related to your own academic curiosity and discipline area, utilising the concepts, techniques, and skills developed within module SHSM030 on quantitative research methods, and developed further in this module through critical exploration of alternative qualitative methodologies and related research philosophies.
The dissertation may be based within a particular area of the course or may be interdisciplinary in nature, focused on a strategic, sports management context. It will cultivate independence of thought and develop your ability to formulate research problems and questions, find, and present material, according to selected approaches, and prescribed methods of investigation. At the end of the module, you will produce a written research paper in the style of a journal that is relevant to your discipline. Through this process you will make decisions about your research, analysis, and the practicalities of doing research; this will enable you to develop academically and professionally and will provide you with the skills to contextualise theory to practice, and to produce recommendations for the sports industry and for future scholarly activity.

Graduate attributes. As part of this module, you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Critical awareness and justification of the issues involved in the design of a research project recognising philosophical, methodological, ethical, and practical demands.
  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in designing your data collection.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in discussing your research with peers and your supervisor
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics covered in the module.
  • Data management skills in collecting and recording data and analysing findings.
  • Application of knowledge in interpreting findings of your research and in producing industry and scholarly recommendations.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Select, design, and justify an appropriate form of research investigation.
  • 2. Employ appropriate data collection and analytical strategies and present research findings in a recognised journal format for submission.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Identify a problem or issue through a review of relevant literature
  • 4. Interpret data critically and draw meaningful, evidence-based conclusions and recommendations to industry and for future scholarly activity

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Demonstrate research expertise and self-direction, prioritising tasks, resources, and time effectively, working to strict deadlines and seeking and maximising use of feedback
  • 6. Exercise informed judgement to make decisions in highly complex situations, arguing or substantiating decisions convincingly and evaluating own performance.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Illustrative content which may be subject to change:

Spring Term (workshops & ELE activities)
• Research in sports management – Journal Reviews

  • Research philosophies in sport (exploring alternative qualitative methods)
  • Building the review of literature
  • Finalising the research proposal, design, and methodology.
  • Ethics application and approval (for primary data collection and/or consent for secondary data access*)
  • FORMATIVE: Poster preparation draft and peer discussions
  • SUMMATIVE: Poster presentation (end of March)

Summer Term

  • Data collection, analysis, and fieldwork
  • 1-1 progression meetings with Supervisor
  • FORMATIVE: Research paper completed in draft with feedback (excluding the discussion section)
  • SUMMATIVE: Final written Research Paper submission (end of August/September)

*NOTE: All students undertaking primary research will be required to obtain ethical approval by the SHS Ethics Committee. Any dissertation submitted without ethical approval will receive a mark of zero. Please ensure that you are aware of the ethics committee deadlines. Failure to submit an ethics application before the final ethics deadline will result in a mark of zero for the written form of assessment. Alternatively, students may undertake a systematic review.


Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities12 hoursWorkshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities8 hoursMeetings with supervisor
Guided Independent Study 280 hoursBackground reading, research design/proposal, implementation analysis and preparation of project research paper (journal format)


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ELE independent study tasksVarious1-6Verbal and written
Draft poster feedbackPoster1,3, 5, 6Verbal
1-1 supervision meetings8 hours5, 6Verbal
Draft of Research PaperDependent on Journal template agreed1-6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Poster presentation (research proposal)10Poster presentation1,3, 5, 6Verbal and written
Research paper (journal format)90Dependent on the length required for a particular journal and will include an abstract and references list, appendices, and table/figure captions1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Poster presentation (research proposal)Poster presentation1,3, 5, 6End of Term 2
Research paper (journal format)As original journal format1-6August/September assessment period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to resubmit the dissertation or redo the presentation as required. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Alverson, M. and Sandberg, J., (2013). Constructing research questions: Doing interesting research. London: Sage.
  • Field, A. (2009 or 2013). Discovering statistics using SPSS. 3rd or 4th edition. Sage: London (See also: Andy Field’s complementary website: (on his website, click on “Statistics Help”). There is a link to this and other useful websites on ELE.)
  • Gratton, C. and Jones, I. (2014) Research methods for sports studies. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Huck, S. W. (2009). Reading statistics and research. 5th edition. New York: Addison-Welsey Longman (See also: Schuyler Huck’s complementary website: There is a link to this and other useful websites on ELE.)
  • Jones, I., (2022). Research methods for sports studies. 4th ed. London: Routledge
  • Veal, A.J. and Darcy, S., (2014). Research methods in sport studies and sport management: A practical guide. London: Routledge.
  • Roberts, C.M., (2018). The dissertation journey: A practical and comprehensive guide to planning, writing, and defending your dissertation. Corwin Press.
  • Shilbury, D. ed., (2022). A research agenda for sport management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Skinner, J., A. Edwards and B. Corbett. (2015). Research methods for sport management. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Skinner, J., A. Edwards and A. Smith. (2021). Qualitative research in sport management. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge SMITH, M.F., 2018. Research methods in sport. 2nd ed. London: Learning Matters
  • Smith B.M. and Sparkes, A.C. eds., (2016). Routledge handbook of qualitative research in sport and exercise. London: Routledge.
  • Sparkes, A.C. and Smith, B., (2013). Qualitative research methods in sport, exercise and health: From process to product. London: Routledge.
  • Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K. and Silverman, S.J. (2015). Research methods in physical activity. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Key words search

Research design, research philosophies, data collection, data analysis, qualitative methods, research methodologies, critical evaluation

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

SHSM030 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date