Performance Enhancement in Sports Officiating MSc

This course is for all active sports officials and their developers (referees, umpires, judges) wanting to enhance their performance.


This online course enhances performance for all active sports officials - either to enhance personal performance, or for those responsible for coaching, developing or administrating officials in their sport, to support the performance of the referees / umpires / judges -  they are helping to develop in their sport.

It will use the latest research to give you expert knowledge of how to manage difficult players and will draw upon training evidence from the military, fire-fighting and NASA space control to help you make effective decisions under pressure.

You will be led by a world-expert in the development of sports officials who co-authored the first text on the Science and Practice of Sports Officiating together with internationally acclaimed staff in talent development and coaching.

Typical entry points to this course are in January and September. Please enquire for more information.

Please contact the programme leader Duncan Mascarenhas at before applying.

The application deadlines for this programme are as follows:

January intake - 31 October 2023

May intake - February 29 2024

September intake – 30 June 2024


Person Sport officiating with their hands on their hips, players on the pitch are out of focus

Mode of Study:



3 years

Start date:


Course details

This programme, the first of its kind, runs part-time over 3 years and has a strong emphasis upon self-reflection, so you will profile your own performance with a series of research investigations to identify areas for personal development. Your progress will be guided by enhancing your understanding of contemporary research together with peer support groups from other practicing officials to critically reflect upon your performance.

Exploring contemporary issues in leadership, sports performance management systems and organisational culture you will not only examine your own leadership capabilities in relation to your personal context (eg the match day officiating team), but also critically evaluate them in relation to effective organisational, team and player management.

The programme has been running since 2019 and the flexible nature of the programme has allowed students to investigate topics of their own interest including (i) emotional intelligence, (ii) effects of angle of view upon decisions, (iii) developing game understanding (iv) mental health, (v) experiences of females, and (vi) decision biases in officiating in bio-bubbles.

The following modules will be studied:

Work Based Learning Portfolio for Sports Officials (20 credits) SES11123

360 degree profiling of your performance to target your development needs

Communication & Game Management (20 credits) SES1112

Using the latest research to develop your (your referees') interactions with players/coaches/managers/co-officials

Leadership & Organisational Management for Sports Officials (20 credits) SES11124

Understanding styles/approaches to leadership to develop your own leadership potential

High Pressure Decision Making (20 credits) SES11126

Assessing or enhancing an aspect of your (your referees’) decision performance with evidence-based practice

Independent Study (40 credits) SES11105

Research Project (60 credits) SES11107

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    How you’ll be taught

    The programme is delivered part-time and typically has a group webinar at the start of each trimester and multiple group and individual online checkpoints through the year. Online interactive activities and online video materials will be used to augment the experience. This delivery style is designed to optimise the development of a supportive community of learning, whilst also accommodating your individual professional demands.

    Alternatively, you can choose individual, stand-alone modules (without an exit qualification) to study as part of your ongoing sports officiating CPD.

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    Throughout the course, there will be one or two areas of assessment for each module, each of which can be tailored to meet your professional needs as a practising referee, umpire or sports officiating coach.


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Performance Enhancement in Sports Officiating?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) degree at 3rd class or above in a related subject e.g. sport science, exercise science, coaching science, business studies.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient professional work experience within the industry.

Can I get admission into Performance Enhancement in Sports Officiating based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland *£665 *£700
Overseas and EU *£715 *£790
Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Our recent cohorts of students included officials operating in these environments:

Bundesliga (football referee)

Gallagher Premiership Rugby 

Euroleague Basketball (Management & Referees) 

Australian Football League (Umpire) 

Emirates International Cricket Council International Panel (Umpire) 

International Netball Federation (Management) 

Women’s Rugby World Cup (referees) 

FIFA (referee) 

World Rugby Women’s 7 Series (Performance Reviewer) 

Match Official’s Development Officer (England Rugby) 

FIBA Basketball (referee) 

Women’s Premiership Rugby (Referee) 

British Basketball League (referee)

Back of a man wearing sporty clothes with his hand outstretched and blowing on a whilste