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Sport Performance Analysis MSc

Learn about the course below
October 2021
1 year full-time
Usually 2 years part-time
£9,200 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Professor Nic James and Dr Nimai Parmar

Sports Performance Analysis is an area experiencing massive growth, virtually every professional club and elite athlete employ or work with performance analysts who provide them with objective data to ultimately improve sporting performance. Roles typically include preparing statistical reports, preparing specific videos i.e. set pieces, coding matches via performance analysis software, identifying differences between teams/players via statistical analysis etc. This master’s course prepares students to work as a performance analyst by giving you the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to fulfil those roles.

Why study MSc Sport Performance Analysis* at Middlesex?

Learn from academics who regularly work and consult with international teams, national governing bodies, elite clubs and athletes. Our pioneering programme is designed to prepare you for accreditation with the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport. You will learn how to identify and develop performance indicators, how to create performance profiles, how to test reliability and get to grips with performance analysis software that is used in the industry.

You will gain experience as a performance analyst through our work-placement module. One of our partner organisations is Saracens Rugby Club and our facilities are housed at their nearby Barnet Copthall Stadium, home of Saracens Rugby Club, where we boast world-class performance laboratories, rehabilitation units and testing facilities (access may be restricted depending on COVID-19 restrictions). You will build invaluable industry contacts and we maintain contact with many of our graduates who have gone on to work in professional sport with clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Charlton FC, Saracens RFC and organisations like the English Institute of Sport, the RFU and the Lawn Tennis Association to name a few.

Course highlights

  • Based in London, we are surrounded by the greatest density of top sports clubs and organisations in the UK.
  • We believe that our graduates should be high achievers both practically and academically. As a result, we actively encourage students to publish their dissertation through peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
  • This course prepares you for accreditation from the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport.
  • Our performance analysis staff publish frequently and therefore underpin teaching with relevant and new research. Alongside this, our PA staff also consult with a number of high profiles organisations, teams and athletes.
  • Small class sizes allow you to receive the personal attention required to thrive in your studies.
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Please note this course only runs in October

Find out more

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What will you study on MSc Sport Performance Analysis?

Our specialist degree covers relevant topics such as performance indicators, performance profiling, reliability testing, creating bespoke performance report sheets, statistical analysis, whilst utilising industry standard software such as Sportscode, Dartfish and Quintic analysis packages (access on campus may be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions; where possible, software will be virtual to allow student access remotely).

These topics allow you to develop your expertise as a performance analyst, ensuring that you understand relevant techniques and procedures for a number of different scenarios, which you would expect to face as an analyst. You’ll also receive training on research methods which will help you with your dissertation, where you can pursue a topic of interest or even a research question that has arisen during your placement.

*Subject to validation


  • Modules

    • Biometric Modelling (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the ability to undertake a technical analysis to critically evaluate sports performance. You'll also learn how to design and analyse technique in relation to an applied problem. With experience of a number of different software platforms you'll have a comprehensive understanding of the different analysis techniques possible and know which software packages are suitable for undertaking different types of technique analysis

    • Data Analysis and Visualisation (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your data analysis and visualisation skills. The ability to manage data and check for errors in datasets is an important and sought-after skill in performance analysis. You'll learn to visualise data in a variety of software packages such as spreadsheets and business intelligence software. You'll be able to analyse and interpret data using predictive based statistics like regression and determine important variables using techniques like dimension reduction (principal component analysis) and assess relationships (correlations).

    • Performance Analysis (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to allow you to gain a systematic understanding of performance analysis of sport. This is achieved through critically engaging you in appropriate processes and developing a comprehensive understanding of relevant techniques used in the discipline. It also aims to develop your research skills so you are able to disseminate complex information to both coaches and athletes with the aim of providing greater insight to performance. You'll critically evaluate current research in the discipline in order to evaluate methodologies, design, interpret and synthesise sport performance data and literature.

    • Research Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to equip you with the relevant knowledge and skills to undertake appropriate research in their subject areas. You'll learn searching strategies to identify relevant literature, how to critically appraise literature and relevant research methods topics such as research design, selecting and using suitable statistical tests appropriate to the subject area. This module will be delivered predominantly through shared and subject-specific online video tutorials allowing you to access a wide variety of resources which will prepare you for undertaking their dissertations. This innovative approach allows you to develop their research methods skills at your own pace with relevant step-by-step videos produced, allowing you to revisit the content at any time.

    • Professional Placement (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your ability to apply and see the application of knowledge gained from other modules in relation to a real work scenario. You'll be required to adopt a reflective and critical approach to your working practice and to promote a problem-solving approach in a work environment.

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to support you to undertake research, with a focus appropriate to your programme and area of practice and building upon the research proposal formulated in SES4030. To create a peer learning community for you to critically support each other in the research process. To provide guidance, additional to that provided by your supervisors, on matters of ethical application, research methods, data collection, analysis and writing-up.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.


How is the MSc Sport Performance Analysis taught?

The course is taught through blended learning using a mixture of both face-to-face and online teaching methods. This will typically consist of pre-recorded and live lectures, seminars, problem-base learning activities, group discussions and presentations, self-directed learning and, where possible, practical sessions.

Classes will typically take place once a week, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Due to COVID-19, access on campus may be restricted and therefore face-to-face teaching will only occur when and if it is safe to do so.



You will be assessed by a variety of methods including presentations, written assignments and practical demonstrations. Access on campus may be dependent on COVID-19 restrictions and therefore some assessments may take place online.

Teaching and learning - changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with other interactive teaching as well as larger lectures delivered online and recorded sessions available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes and make arrangements for any face to face sessions (for example, in some cases these could take place every two weeks with an increased number of hours), the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario 1: course delivered fully online

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

3 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

6.5 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

3 hours

Scenario 2: course delivered with a mix of online and face to face learning with social distancing in place

Live learning

Contact time per week per level:

3 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week per level:

6.5 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week per level:

3 hours

Face-to-face sessions

Contact time per week per level:

These will be taken from box 1 when safe

I.e. initial plan is one session a month face to face i.e. 6 hours per month = 36 hours.

However, this could change to more or less depending on university/government advice on campus restrictions.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
  • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Sport Performance Analysis support your career?

This Sport Performance Analysis programme is for students who would like to develop key skills and competencies, acquire a body of knowledge, and gain exposure to new and innovative areas of the subject. A Sports Performance Analysis degree opens the doors to a number of exciting career paths, with excellent career progression opportunities.

Career opportunities exist for well-qualified sport performance analysts in both professional and amateur sports. Previous graduates in Sport Performance Analysis are currently working in soccer (English Premier League, English Championship, the FA); Rugby (Welsh Rugby Union, Professional rugby teams in England and Wales); multiple Olympic sports (working for the English Institute of Sport is sports such as cycling, canoe slalom, disability swimming, hockey, judo); squash (England Squash); badminton (England badminton) and regional bodies (Irish Institute of Sport). Work placements typically coincide with the sporting season (August to April for soccer or rugby).

Graduates will also be capable of establishing their own consultancy business or progressing to additional study/research including MPhil/PhD.

Dr Nimai Parmar

Nimai completed his funded PhD under the two leading academics in the field of performance analysis, Professor Mike Hughes and Professor Nic James. Nimai is an Executive Committee member at the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport and regularly organises performance analysis conferences and workshops. Nimai publishes and reviews performance analysis journal articles and has presented his research at numerous conferences, whilst also providing performance analysis consultancy to professional sporting clubs and national governing bodies.

You can view Nimai's full staff profile and follow Nimai on twitter here

Professor Nic James

Nic is a well-known researcher in sports performance analysis having worked mainly in academic settings but also in elite sport. Nic has developed a number of academic courses in performance analysis, motor learning and statistics from undergraduate to postgraduate level. He helped develop a Sports Science degree at Swansea University before leading the MSc in Performance Analysis at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Nic is currently head of research for the London Sport Institute and currently spends much of his time supervising PhD students and teaching at Masters Level.

* 34 keynote International conference presentations

* Chair of the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport

* External consultant for the English Institute of Sport

* Visiting Professor at the University of Zagreb, Croatia

* Ad hoc reviewer for 24 International Journals

* PhD: 9 completions, 5 current

You can view Nic's full staff profile and follow Nic on Twitter here

  • Sarah Henderson

    Sarah Henderson

    Sport Intelligence Analyst, UK Sport

    Choosing to do my master’s was a career change for me. The course gave me the opportunity to drill down into methods of performance analysis and the academic theories involved in practice. I enjoyed being taught by lecturers with varied experience - it taught me to look at things more than one way. I started to develop ways of thinking and beliefs about performance analysis which I still hold now.

    During the professional placement module, I was able to complete work experience at the English Institute of Sport. Those opportunities came from the links that the course had and I was able to use the contacts to create work opportunities. I gained a lot of confidence through practice. Then when we were in the classroom we were able to speak on our experiences and to apply the theory we learnt to the real world. When I graduated, I went on to a full-time job as a performance analyst at the English Institute of Sport with fencing building up to the Rio Olympics. My experience absolutely put me in the best possible place for my career.

  • Yiannis Konstantonis

    Yiannis Konstantonis

    Performance Analyst for GB Canoeing, English Institute of Sport

    I chose the course as it was in London and because the lecturers had an industry background. The course gave me a good foundation in how to capture video and work with data. When it came to statistics and data our lecturers were incredible. I particularly enjoyed the processes we would go into looking at the different impacts data had on decision. It helped me with my own dissertation.

    There was an open-door policy so I could get an answer to any questions I had. The connections to the English Institute of Sport, government bodies and sports were also a huge benefit. I gained a lot of experience and learned a lot of skills from the industry placements provided by Middlesex. My first placement was with British Rowing; helping the physiotherapy team with their data management. Middlesex gave me opportunities to learn in different ways. It gave me a good baseline to start thinking like an analyst.

  • James Parker

    James Parker

    Performance Analyst, Charlton Athletic Football Club

    I chose to study at Middlesex University because of its location in London and also because of the knowledge and experience of its lecturers. The course was the next step in my pursuit of becoming a performance analyst at a professional football club.

    Many job specifications for a performance analyst require applicants to hold a postgraduate degree. The course is more specific to the role compared to undergraduate degrees in sport science, which are more general. Job specifications also ask for experience in using sports analysis software, video editing software, Excel and of presenting. All of these elements are covered by the MSc Performance Analysis course

    A real highlight of the course was learning how to use software specific to the industry, such as Dartfish and Focus, to produce an analysis of Barcelona's strengths and weaknesses or a biomechanical analysis of Christiano Ronaldo's knuckle ball free-kick. I also enjoyed Going to the INSHS International Christmas Sports Scientific Conference in Hungary with others on my course.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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