The University of Portsmouth has signed a new partnership with the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), paving the way for players to explore exciting career paths within the football industry.
The University will validate and award qualifications from the PFA Business School, a new, player-focused initiative launched by the union earlier this year to help players prepare for future steps within football. The programmes, led by experts from the world of football, sport, and beyond, are designed to equip players with new skills, discover their potential and unlock new career opportunities within the industry.
The PFA Business School offers seven specific programmes to prepare players for careers in football and the wider sports industry. The courses include Global Football Business Management, Communication and Media, Psychology, Emotional Intelligence and Leadership and Football Data Analytics. They are designed to accommodate the busy schedules of current players and working professionals. They utilise a blend of online learning and in-person seminars.
The University of Portsmouth will support the PFA Business School in the design, validation, quality assurance and award of Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates.
Dr Neil Weston, Associate Dean (Global Engagement and Education Partnerships) in the University's Faculty of Science and Health, said: "We are proud to collaborate with the PFA to validate and award these qualifications. Working in partnership, the University and PFA will help players to develop new skills, explore new career options and increase their employability when their sporting career ends."
Alejandro Cardenas, Director of the PFA Business School, said: "The PFA Business School is an innovative project to help football players plan for life beyond the pitch. We are dedicated to equipping members to thrive in their post-football careers and confidently embrace new opportunities, utilising their unique knowledge and experience within the sport. As a players' union we have a central role to play. We are delighted to partner with the University of Portsmouth as we grow the initiative and continue to support players to take control of their careers."
The PFA Business School represents a major step forward in supporting football players in career transition and personal development. The School includes over 75 lecturers from within professional football, sport and the media. Collectively, they will share their experiences in managing strategy in top football clubs worldwide, representing 50 clubs from 13 different countries, including AS Roma, Sevilla FC, AC Milan, Atlanta United and Red Bull Leipzig.
The University's School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science is globally-recognised for its outstanding education, research and innovation in the physiology, psychology and biomechanics of the human body during exercise and its application to sports performance and health, as well as the development and management of sport and the role of sport in society. The University also holds a partnership with the Premier League to validate and award the sector-leading Postgraduate Diplomas in Elite Coach Development and in Football Academy Management.
The School offers a wide range of professionally accredited and research informed undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in the sport, health and exercise science domain. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), 95% of its overall research quality was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour and 100% of its research impact case studies were rated as outstanding in terms of their reach and significance. Portsmouth was ranked as the 13th best university in the UK for Sport Science in The Guardian University Guide 2024, published this month.
To find out more about the PFA Business School, click here.