Latest. Newcastle United pioneering first-of-its-kind undergraduate degree designed for footballers

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17 Jun 24
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5 min

Newcastle United will be one of the initial clubs pioneering a first-of-its-kind degree programme designed for young players by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).

The new Football and Business Management BA (Hons) degree is the first undergraduate course to be offered by the PFA Business School. Open to all PFA members, the programme has been specifically designed with a focus on players within club academy systems.

The course will help to equip Newcastle United’s academy and women’s first-team players with the skills required to pursue a range of roles within sport and beyond. Tailored to fit around busy training schedules, the three-year programme will build on and act as a natural component of mandatory age group education that is currently delivered within the academy.

Alongside a range of practical modules covering sport finance, law and governance, performance analysis and media, the course will incorporate studies for the UEFA B Coaching licence, FA Talent ID & Scouting Certificate and preparation for the FIFA Agent License.

A leading cohort of clubs have signed up to the programme which will be overseen by Arsène Wenger, with modules led by a range of renowned international football administrators.

Newcastle United’s participation has been backed by the club’s Academy Director, Steve Harper, who began a Social Sciences degree with the Open University during his playing career before returning to university to complete a Masters degree in Sport Directorship.

“We’re pleased to support participation in the new PFA Business School undergraduate degree, which will add another exciting dimension to an excellent educational programme currently undertaken by young players at Newcastle United”, commented Harper.

"As an academy, we believe that developing the person is every bit as important as developing the player. With a philosophy built around nurturing both on and off the pitch, this course will support players hoping to follow in the footsteps of many academy graduates who have gone on to excel within a diverse range of industries after hanging up their boots.”

The degree is being delivered by the PFA Business School, which launched last year and is central to the PFA’s renewed focus on the personal and professional development of members.

Dominica O’Neil, Director of People and Talent at Newcastle United, added: “We’re proud to support an excellent initiative from the PFA Business School. The course aligns with our ethos of enhancing the personal and professional development of each individual at the club.

“It’s exciting that academy members right through to our women’s first-team squad will be among the first players to benefit from such an innovative programme, and we look forward to supporting their studies.”

Additional information about the course can be found here.

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