Sports Performance Analysis is an area experiencing massive growth, with virtually every professional club and elite athlete employing or working with performance analysts who provide them with objective data to ultimately improve their sporting performance.
This Online Distance Learning master’s course will prime you to gain employment as a performance analyst by developing the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to fulfil the typical responsibilities required. These responsibilities include the collection of sport performance data using performance analysis software packages; preparing specific videos for presentation to players and coaches; analysing datasets for trends and relationships and finally visualising data through dashboards.
Our successful on-campus programme in the UK, was one of the first of its kind when it was established in 2010 and has a strong track record of developing employable graduates who have gone on to secure jobs in the UK and abroad to become Sport Performance Analysts at high profile clubs and organisations, complete PhDs and become University lecturers.
The on-campus version of this course can be found here.
We have an international reputation for excellence in delivering performance analysis and creating employable graduates. You’ll 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’ll also gain experience as a performance analyst through our work-placement module.
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Our specialist degree covers relevant topics that help you develop skills that are highly sought after in industry. For example, it covers performance indicators, performance profiling and reliability testing. In addition, you will learn how to undertake data analysis and develop relevant visualisation skills using business intelligence software. Finally, you will get to grips with industry standard sport performance analysis software such as Sportscode & Dartfish. We regularly invite industry speakers to provide guest lectures on the course to help give you an insight into what is required from performance analysts on the job.
The degree covers modules in Performance Analysis, Data Analysis and Visualisation, Research Methods, Placement & Dissertation. The programme has been designed in conjunction with industry to ensure our students can meet the demands and challenges that analysts currently face.
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 will develop your presentation skills and your ability to critically evaluate through the research methods module, which allows students to prepare for their dissertation, where you can pursue a topic of interest or even a research question that has arisen during your placement.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Due to the nature of the course being an online distance education course, it will be taught predominantly through synchronous and asynchronous online classes once a week. There will be a compulsory in-person residential aspect that will take place in the following January at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in America (or alternative venue)
You will be assessed by a variety of methods including presentations, written assignments and practical demonstrations.
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:
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.
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.
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
Academy Performance Analyst, Arsenal FC
The course was perfect for me, it had a wide lens in terms of covering different sports and different types of analysis, which accommodated everyone. The facilities and software available was excellent and the detail in which we would learn about the processes and functions of an analyst was impressive.
The use of specialist software was integrated within the course, which I now use in my everyday work at Arsenal, so having relevant speakers and training was very beneficial. Our lecturers were always very open and honest which in my experience is the best way to be taught. It's important to be honest with yourself about what areas you are competent in and areas you need improving.
The help I received from our lecturers was crucial in my journey and the knowledge and experiences gained through the course has helped me secure a job at such a distinguished club.
Performance Analyst, United States Tennis Association Player Development
The emphasis placed on, and support in obtaining a wide variety of placement opportunities benefitted me by giving me experiences and practical examples to draw on when talking to prospective employers after graduating. The healthy balance of theory and practical sessions allowed me to improve my technical skills and put what I learnt into practice, in a fun and collaborative group setting.
The theory aspect of the course allowed me to go into my first role with confidence and a solid understanding of the principles underpinning the analysis of performance, with the knowledge that I also had the guidance and support of the knowledgeable and experienced course leaders.
The university, the lecturers, peers in my cohort, and the course itself had a huge impact on my life and allowed me to pursue a career in this area of sport, for which I’m very grateful. I hope that many others benefit from this course and make the most of the experience in the future.
First Team Performance Analyst at Tottenham Hotspur FC
Studying at MDX was a positive experience for me because I felt the lecturers had relevant practical experience. At the time I was in my second year working within Football (Brentford FC) and I wanted to explore both the theory and the practical elements of what we were learning and be able to practically apply what I had learnt.
The varied learning experiences made me feel comfortable taking on board the information presented, and it was clear how it could be applied in a practical environment. I really enjoyed hearing how a variety of sports worked, and the interactive style of the teaching was great, and I learned a lot from my classmates!
My role currently is First Team Performance Analyst at Tottenham Hotspur FC, previously having worked at Brentford FC. The MSc prepared me for my role as it narrowed my focus down to what was important within our field as well as developing my skills including presenting to different audiences.
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.
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.
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.
Start: September 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start: September 2024
Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time