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.
The online distance education version of this course can be found here.
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.
*Please note this course is subject to review.
Please note this course only runs in October
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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
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 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.
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).
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.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.
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.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Tutor set learning activities
Average hours per week, per level:
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You 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 be delivered online and on campus and you 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 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.
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.
“We highly value the expertise within Middlesex University’s Sport Performance Analysis team and have collaborated on several postgraduate studentship opportunities over the past three Olympic and Paralympic cycles.
The supervisory teams bring years of experience in sports analysis research and its application to elite sporting knowledge on the front-line. We also value being able to support the programme leadership team on the progression and direction of module delivery on their postgraduate course”
Dr Julia Wells | Head of Performance Analysis at English Institute of Sport (Industry Partner)
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: October 2022
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start: October 2022
Duration: 1 year full-time, Usually 2 years part-time