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Online course

Football: More than a Game

Explore the role of football in the world today - including finances, clubs, nations and rivalries - with this free online course.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Football: More than a Game

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Explore football's role in society today

Where did football come from, and where is it going? From street soccer to multi-million dollar transfers, from the beaches of Brazil to the fight against poverty and inequality in Africa, this online course looks beyond the pitch, to explore football’s role in society today.

Learn with well-known faces from the sport

You will be joined by Liverpool legend and former Match of the Day analyst, Alan Hansen, and Mel Young, founder of the Homeless World Cup.

Find out more on the FutureLearn blog.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsFootball is more than a game. It's a passion. It's a universal language and it's deep rooted in communities.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsIt involves people, players, and enormous amounts of money travelling around the world. We're standing here inside the National Football Museum of Scotland at Hampden park in the city of Glasgow. Not far from here in 1872, the world's first international official football match took place between Scotland and England. Other countries, such as China, also have an important part to play and say in the history of world football.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 secondsUruguay in 1930 won the very first FIFA World Cup. Wherever you have come from, we will introduce you to key aspects of the global game of football. Where did this come from and where it is going. We have brought together a team of experts from the University, from football, from different stakeholders, who will help to give you a behind the scenes look at the greatest game in the world today. My name is Professor Grant Jarvie. I'm here to warmly welcome you to this course. I'm really excited about working with you as we explore the wonderful and complicated game of football.

What topics will you cover?

Week One - Football: History, Myth and Power

  • Football from its origins as a folk game, to the development of FIFA as a powerful organisation and key moments in the history of football’s development.
  • Locate football within the broader context of history.
  • Consider historical facts and some football data.

Week Two - The global spectacle of football

  • An introduction to the concept of globalisation and how it helps to explain football relationships.
  • Consider objections to the term global football.
  • An introduction to issues of finance, wealth and governance.

Week Three - Great football clubs, nations and matches that changed the world

  • An introduction to case material about great football clubs, nations and rivalries.
  • Consider the basis for comparing and contrasting different clubs, places and nations.
  • An introduction to football interventions that have impacted upon society and culture.

Week Four - Who are the champions of the world?

  • An introduction to concepts such as champions, homelessness, inequality and poverty.
  • Consideration of why cities chase major sporting events and what they get in return.
  • An overview of key concepts, evidence and readings.

Week Five - Football, international development, diplomacy and peace

  • An introduction to the role and place of football in international development.
  • Examination of football based interventions designed to assist the development of mental health, peace, diplomacy and conflict resolution.

Week Six - Football finances, governance and ownership

  • A more in depth look at finances and governance issues affecting football.
  • An understanding of why data is important.
  • Examination of different models of ownership and financial fair play in football.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Understand the importance of concepts to explain football in different countries
  • Understand and explain the role of football within international development
  • Critically examine and understand the use of data and evidence
  • Consider the role of history in explaining trends and change
  • Develop communication, IT and data analysis skills
  • Apply knowledge, skills and understanding to explain why Football is more than a game
  • Develop autonomy, accountability and working with others

Who is the course for?

Is this course only for football experts and fans?

Not at all, everyone is welcome - anybody interested in football and its place in the world. We recommend a broad interest in football as a contemporary phenomenon - you will cover some of the top football clubs, grass-roots football projects, the FIFA World Cup, and the Homeless World Cup.

What resources will I need for this class?

All you need is internet access to join in the discussions and time to work through each week’s content.

Who will you learn with?

Grant Jarvie

Grant is Professor of Sport at the university, comes from an international sporting family and you can find out more by accessing Grant Jarvie at the University of Edinburgh.

Neil Rankin

Project Manager at Beyond Sport MSc Sport Policy, Management and International Development @ University of Edinburgh @NeilRankin_

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $64 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.