M.A. Olympic Studies

The M.A. Olympic Studies has been created on initiative of Prof. Stephan Wassong and Prof. Norbert Müller. The first intake started in September 2010 and the participants graduated with a degree in “Master of Arts in Olympic Studies” in summer 2013.

The programme is designed for part-time students with seminars spread over the course of two years. The seminar weeks are held in cooperation with Canterbury University (New Zealand), Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Aarhus University, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS)  and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain). Highly qualified professors from each university with long and proven experience in the field of Olympic Studies are responsible for the delivery of the respective content as well as the supervision of the Master Theses. Usually, the seminar weeks are being held at the German Sport University Cologne but it is aimed to also include other teaching locations as well.

The central intentions of the programme are:

  • Enhance the individual participant’s Olympic knowledge in social sciences and humanities,
  • Promote the individual participant’s critical appreciation of the nature and significance of values in the advocacy and practice of Olympism, Olympic Sport and the Olympic Movement,
  • Foster critical reflection on processes of continuity and transformation in the Olympic Movement and on the relationship between Olympism and Olympic practices and wider social contexts,
  • Develop the individual participant’s capacity to undertake independent research on relevant areas for/of the Olympic Movement by using appropriate methodologies,
  • Facilitate lifelong learning for professionals within the Olympic Movement and the world of sport while continuing to work.

Essentially, the learning outcomes are to expand the participant’s critical knowledge base as it relates to the modern Olympic Movement. The knowledge gained in the programme could be transferred to the daily working practice of representatives of the Olympic family, including media agencies, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, TOP-sponsors, sport academies and the IOC. A more detailed, interdisciplinary understanding of the Olympic world, including its issues and challenges, would also foster the identification of the participant with the Olympic Movement.

A potential result is that the daily working practices of participants will be enriched and stimulated by perspectives learned in course of the programme. This is also achieved through the staging of parts of the degree course very closely to the actual working practice of the Olympic world. For example, the fourth module of the first intake was held in Innsbruck during the Youth Olympic Games in January 2012, and the fifth module was held at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne in April 2012.

In addition, an expanded knowledge base regarding Olympic history, Olympic education, Ethics and Sport Ethics, Olympism as philosophical base, Olympic sponsors, International relations and Olympic Structures, and Sport Governance in relation to the Olympic Movement enables the participants to engage in critical dialogues, with both experts and non-experts, about the various issues facing the Olympic Movement.

In contrast to Master programmes of other organizations, the humanities are in the centre of the Master Olympic Studies, thus enabling participants to become objective ambassadors of the Olympic Movement whose universal values are of relevance to the worlds of sport and physical education.

Participating Countries