Deadline: 1 February 2020


The esports industry has grown rapidly in the recent decade, a trend evidenced by the number of participants and spectators, the amount of media coverage, and the level of investment injected into esports. Traditional sports (e.g., soccer, basketball and rugby, etc.) are also involved in the gaming industry in various ways. To start with, in certain countries such as China, esports has been recognized as a sport and will be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games. In countries where esports is not yet recognized as a sport, such as the UK, we also witness traditional sports organisations racing to build esports teams to compete in sport-related esports competitions. Moreover, esports competitions are increasingly moving away from virtual platforms to physical venues.

The social and economic impact created by such development and transformation in esports is worth exploring. Social impact should include both social benefits and costs generated by esports. For example, establishing an esports team in a traditional football club can offer a social identity for individual esports players and viewers to be part of and connect with. A social cost might be some esports players playing exclusively from home and not engaging in social life, with a number of potential negative impacts on individual and community wellbeing. Economic impact refers to the added value specifically brought by esports to a territory (e.g., City of Manchester) or a sports organisation (e.g., Manchester City Football Club).

The scholarship covers the equivalent of UK/EU fees for 3 years. Candidates can be from any country, but must be willing to make up the shortfall between home and overseas fees.

Aims and objectives

This project is housed within the Sport Policy Unit, which has specific expertise in studying traditional sports and esports and their impact on societies. This scholarship offers a unique opportunity to study the intertwinement of traditional sports and esports and to assess the social and economic value generated in the process. It is envisaged that the candidate will employ a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods. More specific research questions will be drawn up by the successful applicant and the supervisory team at MMU. Indicative questions include:

  • What social and economic impact can sport-related esports generate?
  • What is the rationale for traditional sports being involved in esports?
  • What can traditional sport learn from esports and the other way around?
  • How does esports involvement contribute to or constrain the social and economic impact of traditional sports?

Administrative Contacts & How To Apply

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr. Qi Peng, email: [email protected]

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process. Please quote the reference: BL-JG-2020-esportsimpact-1.

Entry Requirements

You will have a degree from a recognised institution in a sport-related subject and possess a Master’s degree. The candidate should be able to conduct both qualitative and quantitative research.

Some knowledge of esports would be an advantage.

Funding Notes

This opportunity is open to UK, EU and Overseas applicants. Funding is for the equivalent of UK/EU fees for three years – Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, but will need to pay the difference in fees.

Funding Information

Funding applies to:

UK, EU and Overseas applicants.

Application Deadline:

1 February 2020. Interviews will be held on 26 February, with the successful candidate expected to start their studies on 1 April 2020

Please see our website for how to apply:
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