LW6025 - Sports Law

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the theory, law and practice of sports law in England and Wales (including EU law and the World Anti-Doping Code). The module builds on knowledge gathered in the compulsory subjects of Contract, EU law, Criminal Law and Tort but also introduces students to other legal disciplines such as Employment Law. You will study the role of consent as a defence to what would otherwise be criminal liability for injuries incurred in the context of contact sports (such as football, ice hockey and rugby) and combat sports. You will study the causes and implications of the major 20th century sports stadium disasters including Valley Parade and Hillsborough. You will learn about the law applicable to football hooligans and consider the compatibility of some of these measures with the Human Rights Act. You will study the civil liability of (i) sports participants to each other and (ii) match officials, sports club owners, event organisers and governing bodies to sports participants, spectators and people living in close proximity to sports venues, which will engage your knowledge of negligence, nuisance and occupiers’ liability. You will examine the impact of EU Law on sport (in particular the right of free movement of workers in football and challenges to nationality quotas), the role of the Equality Act 2010 in tackling discrimination in sport, and the legal implications of doping in sport. Although the module has a UK focus it has a global scope and reference will be made to important developments overseas.

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching will be delivered via a combination of:

12 x1 hour large group lecture sessions. These sessions will introduce you to the key issues, the relevant statutes and case law, and give an overview of the topics covered by the module. The small group sessions will take the form of 12 x 1 hour workshops in which you will work on a range of practice-orientated sports law problems as well as contribute to discussions arising from controversial aspects of the module, such as the legality of professional boxing, and the best way(s) to tackle doping in sport.

You will be guided as to what to prepare for workshops and this will be posted on the module eLP site. Face-to-face teaching will be supplemented by posting the following on the eLP: Panopto recorded lectures, PowerPoint slides, further reading lists and web links.
In addition to teaching you will be expected to engage in tutor-guided independent learning (TGIL). You will be provided with plans for the workshops and suggested reading but you will be expected to carry out your own research to be able to come to the workshop and propose solutions to the workshop problem / contribute to the discussions and be able to justify your solutions or arguments. TGIL will take about 82 hours across the module.

Feedback on summative assessment will take the following forms:-
• Written feedback on your marked assessment paper and a completed feedback sheet.
• Creation of an outline answer and general points to note document for your use.
• Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The primary form of academic support on this module will be via teaching sessions. You will obtain ongoing and valuable feedback on your understanding and preparation from tutors across the 12 small group sessions.
In addition to this academic support in sessions and the support outlined above you will obtain formative feedback on this module in the following ways:
• Opportunity to answer a past assessment question with subsequent discussion & consideration of a model answer and points to note in a teaching session.
• Members of the module team are available to discuss module-related issues with students as required either on a face-to-face basis by appointment or by email or telephone.
• The module has its own eLP site which provides information relating to the module and its assessment, a module handbook, plans for workshops, PowerPoints and Panopto recordings of lectures, extensive reading lists and web links.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will be able to apply Sports law to practical problems and be able to identify ambiguity in the practice of Sports law.
• A systematic and in-depth knowledge and understanding of key aspects of Sports law, demonstrating detailed and coherent understanding.
• You will be aware of key current legal and/or socio-political issues and developments in Sports law and be able to evaluate this specialist knowledge in the context of a written problem or essay question.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• An ability to consolidate and apply knowledge and understanding to complex legal problems in order to find solutions and to evaluate and justify those solutions in writing.
• An ability to conduct self-directed research including accurate identification of issues, the retrieval and evaluation of relevant, current information from a range of sources to answer a problem or essay question relating to Sports law

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
Instances of formative assessment on this module include:
• Testing knowledge and understanding in seminar sessions through problem based and essay style questions.
• To answer a past assessment question with subsequent discussion & consideration of a model answer and points to note in a teaching session.
• Opportunity to submit a short written answer (500 words)

Summative assessment:
Will consist of a written coursework assessment comprising of a choice between and essay style question or a problem based question. The essay style questions will concern current issues and developments in Sports law which will require self-directed research.
The problem style questions will require an understanding and application of Sports law to a complex legal problem.
Feedback will take the following forms:-
• Written feedback on your marked assessment paper and a completed feedback sheet
• Creation of an outline answer and general points to note document for your use.
• Opportunity to discuss your assessment performance with the tutor in feedback week.





Module abstract

According to the Olympic Charter (2015), “The practice of sport is a human right”. This module explores what happens when sport and the law interact, including human rights law as well as many other aspects of the law – from criminal law to tort and from employment law to EU law. The module covers dozens of sports from the grassroots to elite international competition. It examines controversial and topical issues such as the legality of professional boxing, the causes and implications of major stadium disasters such as Valley Parade and Hillsborough, the best way(s) of tackling doping in sport, the legal remedies available to those who have been discriminated against or injured whilst participating in sport and the legal solutions to the complex problem of football hooliganism. The module has a UK focus but a global scope, with cases from County Durham examined alongside those from Australia, Canada, and the USA.

Course info

UCAS Code LL44

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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