The University of Salford and Leeds United Football Club have announced a new football and business hybrid course specifically designed for academy footballers.

The BSc in Applied Football Studies will begin next year and aims to assist in new UEFA regulations which require all football academies to provide their players with degree level education alongside the development of their playing career. The online only course is one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

In a statement from the university, Nicola McCullogh who is a Sports Business Expert at the University and the leader of the new course, said that the course “will provide footballers and professionals at all levels with relevant and contemporary industry focused knowledge to enable them to develop their career pathways, possibly as football coaches, managers or directors – whatever they decide to do.”

Many young academy footballers do not acquire educational qualifications once they become professional, and with many clubs in the higher professional leagues opting to gain talent from other countries via transfers, competition becomes fierce among players.

“With only a small percentage of academy footballers achieving success on the pitch or in another role at professional clubs, a degree is an important asset to support all academy players in their future careers.

“The number of professional footballers who currently have degrees currently falls significantly short of national averages.

“The course is also designed to support the needs of those professionals that have significant experience and expertise in the industry across many different roles and footballing organisations,” the press release said.


Currently, the extent of Leeds United’s involvement in the course is not yet known. The club are currently at the top of the championship are set to be promoted to the Premier League if their form continues. The course is set to start next year.

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