Sports in the Global Economy ESH5070

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the fundamental relationship between sports and global economy from the late nineteenth century until the present. It conceptualises sports as a material cultural practice that carries a standard economic value and generates extensive economic activities. Integrating insights from economic and social history and the knowledge of modern business and management, it will consider sport's place at the core of global economic production, resource allocation and delivery of products and services over time. This will enable students to deepen their understanding of the wide implications of recreational and competitive sports events and tournaments for political and cultural economy. The lectures and seminars will discuss individual and team sports ranging from football to eSports, tournaments as various as the FIFA Men's World Cup and Professional Bull Riding, and disparate institutions such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Quidditch Association. Students will be able to grasp the pathways of sport's emergence as an economic asset and reflect on issues of market economy such as production and consumption, economic performance, global market networks, state-corporate nexus, regulation and competitiveness.


Lecture: one hour per week for ten weeks

Seminar: one hour per week for ten weeks

Requirements of Entry

Students will require to be enrolled on a postgraduate programme, which requires a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.


Essay 1 (1500 ±10% words excluding footnotes and bibliography, 25%)

Essay 2 (3500 ±10% words excluding footnotes and bibliography, 75%)

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

To provide students with focused learning on the relationship between sport and capitalism in the modern world.

To develop research, data-gathering, analysis, writing and presentation skills through engagement with sophisticated academic and policy discourses on sport's development as an economic resource.

To offer an opportunity to work together and share insights and ideas on sport's value as an economic asset in a supportive environment characterised by informed critical discussion.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


Analyse key conceptual literature on sport's role in the global economy.

Identify, analyse and triangulate primary and secondary literature and materials relating to sporting capitalism and the sports industry.

Formulate clear arguments - both written and spoken - engaging with competing interpretations and narratives relating to the theme of the course, and issues of class, gender, race, ethnicity and (dis)ability. 

Develop and engage effectively with presentations, offering critical responses and informed feedback.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.