EC325-The Economics of Sports and Games

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: EC201 Intermediate Microeconomics
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Carl Singleton


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces students to the “peculiar economics of sport”, as expressed by Walter Neale in his seminal 1964 paper. From considering whether the unit of analysis should be the sports club/individual or sports league to the uncertainty of outcome hypothesis, competitive balance and the implications of the invariance principle for the labour market in sports, we consider various sports and games from an economic perspective.


Students will be encouraged to think about sport and games from an economic perspective, both in terms of applying economic theories in the realm of sport, but also observing whether sport offers a useful testing ground for many economic theories.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of this module students should be able to:

1.    Describe a range of ways in which economic theory has been applied to the context of sport

2.    Apply economic theories to understand behaviour and interaction in sport

3.    Design models which allow economic theory to be tested through the prism of sport

4.    Appreciate the role sport can play in helping us understand more about how economies work more generally


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

All or some of the following topics will be covered:

  1. The theory of contests

  2. Competitive balance/inequality

  3. The demand for sport

  4. Theories of a league and talent allocation

  5. Superstar economics

  6. Game theory in the arena

  7. Mega events (e.g. the Olympics)


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study: 155 18
Total hours by term 0 180 20
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Project output other than dissertation 30
Class test administered by School 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

3-hour examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Take home class test (10%)

Essay project (30%), requiring students to write at length on a topic form the course, applying the taught theory to real world examples, and using academic and non-academic literature to support arguments and conclusions.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A minimum overall mark of 40%. 

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination for all modules takes place in August of the same year.

    Reassessment is exam only; this will be of the same length and type as the final exam.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: none; however a recommended text to supplement some of the lectures is “The Economics of Football” by Stephen Dobson and John Goddard.

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: none

    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: none

    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.

    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: none

    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: none

    Last updated: 21 August 2019


    Things to do now