SP3011 - Volunteering in Sport

What will I learn on this module?

In the sport industry the recruitment, management and retention of volunteers is a key human resource management concern for sport events, clubs and increasingly, facilities. Research points to the importance of satisfying volunteers. Whilst there is a considerable societal and economic value to sport volunteering activity, there can be personal benefits to the volunteer. There is an increasing interest in ensuring that volunteers have an enjoyable and meaningful experience, that the volunteering population grows and that people from more diverse backgrounds are encouraged into sport volunteering.

This module is therefore designed for you to explore the theoretical and applied aspects of volunteering in sport. You will be provided with the knowledge and understanding of how sport volunteering is conceptualised in the United Kingdom. This will include the meaning and understanding of sport volunteering, who volunteers and why, the patterns of volunteering and changes over time in the U.K. You will also be provided with some contrasting perspective with how sport volunteering operates in other countries. The module will focus on the concept of the volunteer, volunteer work and the volunteer experience in sport. However, we will briefly touch on the recruitment and management of volunteers and the legacy and impact of particular types of sport volunteering i.e., for events.

How will I learn on this module?

The taught content will be delivered and provided in a variety of formats, and you will be able to access materials on the eLP module site. Firstly, the module is taught via lectures where we will consider theory and research findings on sport volunteering. There will also be seminars which will link to directed learning tasks. Seminars will focus on a range of case studies and as the module progresses your own experience of sport volunteering. Tutorials will be used for drop-in sessions to support your practical learning and there will be specific seminars and tutorials to guide your assessment.

Secondly, you will engage in a practical learning activity to develop your understanding of sport volunteering. This will take the form of you completing a phase of sport volunteering which can take place in a variety of settings and students will be supported to find and apply for sport volunteering opportunities. In exceptional circumstances, where a sport volunteering experience cannot be arranged, you may engage in general volunteering, in agreement with the module leader. You will then compare general volunteering to research insight on sport volunteering to reflect on the difference.

There will be the opportunity to work in smaller groups with discipline specific members of staff who will facilitate context driven discussion and learning. You will also be set independent tasks informed by key literature to complete outside of class time to further develop your understanding of the taught content.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module information, assessment requirements and expectations, and important module announcements will be made through the eLP. Material to support your learning will be uploaded in advance of sessions. You will be provided with content verbally and guided through tasks during timetabled sessions. A dedicated assessment session will afford you the opportunity to ask assessment related questions in class. The Module Leader is there to support you with any queries that you may have about the module content, and all staff members provide tutorial time outside of class time. Module tutors will provide you with the necessary information on how to arrange a tutorial. You will have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on your development during the module, and you will receive feedback on summative work to help you identify areas of strength and areas for development. There will be the opportunity to discuss your feedback with a member of staff during a tutorial. There are also further academic skills support available from the University Library services where you can gain access to study skills / academic writing and support materials, as well as links to booking both on and off campus study skills sessions.

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:

1. Understand theories and concepts underpinning sport volunteering behaviour and the volunteer management and development implications

2. Relate theory to own practice in sport volunteering

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

3. Reflect on your own skills and development needs, including interpersonal and communication, in relation to sport volunteering

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Demonstrate awareness of the changing nature of sport volunteering and its societal impact

5. Show awareness of the difference in sport volunteering culture between countries

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a written 2000-word portfolio (100%) which will cover all module learning outcomes (1-5). You will examine theory and research on volunteering behaviour in the UK (United Kingdom), compare this to other countries and then explore this in relation to practical experiences of volunteering.

Formative assessment opportunities will be provided for you to practice essay writing and reflection skills.

Summative Feedback
You will receive written or audio feedback on your summative assessment to help you identify areas of strength and areas for development. There will be the opportunity to discuss your feedback with a member of staff during a tutorial.





Module abstract

It is widely accepted that volunteers are the “lifeblood” of sport in the UK and millions of people volunteer in sport each year. Volunteers support sports clubs, events and sport governance, supporting the delivery of many sport opportunities in the U.K (United Kingdom). Volunteers and volunteering are important policy and practice concerns in Sport as they are key for operating sport programmes.

Therefore, in this module you will learn about volunteering, who volunteers, why they volunteer and the benefits this experience can bring. You will also learn about how sport volunteering has changed across time, and the motivations and barriers that influence whether people volunteer in sport. You will be encouraged to consider how the U.K. sport volunteering is similar or different to other country cultures. You will be encouraged to read, reflect, discuss and you will complete a practical volunteering experience, so that you can relate theory to practice.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time followed by a further 3 years full-time study

Department Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

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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