Global Study
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The Global Impact of Sport

Edinburgh, UK

This interdisciplinary course is ideal for students with an interest in Sport, Community Development, and International Relations

The Global Impact of Sport intensive course will give students a practical insight into how sport is increasingly being used as a cost-effective social tool to address many social and humanitarian issues throughout the world.
Being the social, cultural, economic and political fabric of many countries – sport is a global force for good and bad. It has the ability to bring people together, promoting peace and international reconciliation, enabling health, as well as create conflict and war.

The course will be structured around two broad themes:

Sport, Heritage and Scottish Culture

Here you will explore and analyse Scotland’s contribution to the world of sport.  Starting from St. Andrews, students will take an eye-opening journey to the origin of golf, the National Football Museum and the oldest fixture in the world, to unique sport settings in the borders, the western isles and the Highlands, to Braemar and the Royal Highland Games and lastly, where Scottish sporting culture, icons and emigres have travelled to and why.

Sport and Global Affairs

Here students will examine how sport is being used today by many international organisations such as the United Nations, UNICEF, the World Bank, the World Health Organization and transnational NGO’s as a cost-effective tool to contribute global social and humanitarian issues such as health, justice, conflict resolution, social inclusion, equal education, sustainability and international development.

By analysing not-for-profit organisations such as Peace Players International, Soccer Across Borders, The Mighty Girls Programme and The Magic Bus, you will develop an understanding of social intervention through sport. You will also gain a unique perspective of the successes and failures of such programs – what works and what isn’t working.

Countries from around the world commit public resources to it including hard and soft legacies such as hosting the Olympics or Commonwealth Games and other major sporting events. By examining all aspects of sports- including its political and economic place, this course allows students to understand the importance of sport in today’s world.

Intended Learning Outcomes & Additional Course Information

After successfully completing this short course, participants will have gained the following skills and knowledge

Develop a critical understanding of sports history, heritage and global affairs.

Use a range of research skills to gather evidence, plan and execute advice and briefings on aspects of sport, heritage and global affairs, exercising autonomy and initiative

Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts, issues and evidence of Scottish sport and/or sporting heritage and/or sport as a social tool used in international development

Develop a knowledge and understanding of some contemporary global issues and the nature of sports interventions tackling such issues

Exercise responsibility and accountability to facilitate collaborative group work with others.


One briefing paper at (60%)

One SWOT analysis group presentation (Pass/Fail)

One evidence-based blog (40%)

Site Visits

National Football Museum

An important sporting monument in Glasgow, the National Football Museum serves to educate and promote Scotland’s unique football heritage and inspire future generations.  It boasts one of the world’s most impressive national collection of football related objects and memorabilia and hosts special exhibitions for its visitors throughout the year.

Highland Games

Every bit as much of a celebration of Scottish and Celtic as it is a sporting event, the Highland games consists of completions in heavy athletics, dancing, bagpipes and drumming. The highland games are one of the most authentic Scottish experiences you’ll have!

Shinty match

Shinty is a sport that’s origins come from pre-historic Ireland and Scotland, once played throughout Scotland and even in some parts of England, Shinty is most commonly played in the Scottish Highlands. The game is similar to the Irish game of hurling or Welsh game bando.

Scottish Sports Hall of Fame

The Scottish Sports Hall of Fame celebrates and pays tribute to Scotland’s iconic sportsmen and sportswomen from the past 100 years. Inductees are nominated by the public and then selected by a panel of experts from within the sports industry.


One briefing paper at (60%)

One SWOT analysis group presentation (Pass/Fail)

One evidence-based blog (40%)


There are not enough reasons for why Scotland should be on your travel list; kilts, castles, whisky and the Loch Ness monster are just a few of these! Steeped in history, Scotland is one of the most interesting places to visit. Besides its rich history, Scotland also happens to be one of the greenest countries, figuratively and literally. From its tall mountains, rolling hills to its lush forests and islands, Scotland has taken great precaution to preserve its green spaces.

While the Highlands and islands are lightly populated, almost 70 percent of Scotland’s population lives in the Lowlands which includes Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, and for good reason; home to the famous Edinburgh castle, the capital has a lot of beautiful architecture and history to offer, however, don’t be fooled by its old town charm! Edinburgh is as modern as it is old-fashioned. It is brimming with new restaurants and eateries, hip bars and night-clubs not to mention fantastic breweries and whisky distilleries popping up everywhere.

If that doesn’t sell you – for all you Harry Potter fans out there, Edinburgh is also the inspiration behind some of the movie’s most famous locations such as Diagon Alley and Hogwarts.

Oh, and did we mention Castle concerts? Because that’s definitely a thing!

University & Faculty

The University of Edinburgh is currently ranked 19th in the world in the QS ranking enabling students to be been a world leader in higher education since the university was founded in 1583. The University has seen a rich history and long list of noted alumni and distinguished scholars including Charles Darwin and Alexander Graham Bell just to name a few. Following the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, the University was positioned at the forefront of academia and critical thinking. Due to the determination and perseverance of a group of Edinburgh intellectuals, established facts about the world were being boldly and consistently challenged.

Profound scientific discoveries such as the element carbon dioxide, breakthroughs include the aesthetic properties of chloroform and the cloning of Dolly the sheep all occurred at the University of Edinburgh.

The university has over 42 different key subject areas and within these, there are over 1500 courses and welcomes over 2000 visiting students every year.


Each standard room has a single bed, internet access and a telephone point. You will have access to a communal kitchen/lounge/dining area and a shared shower room/ WC. Typically, a microwave, fridge freezer, linen and towels will be provided.

Each room also has access to 24-hour security facilities.

Application Information

Applications for YMCA Global Study July 2019 programs will open soon. If you have any questions about our programs check out the frequently asked questions page, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us, we’re more than happy to help.

You can register your interest for future programs by clicking here.

Applications for YMCA Global Study January/February 2019 programs are now open. Places are limited and are usually oversubscribed. Students are encouraged to apply early to secure their spot.

The YMCA Global Study Application Process

Step 1: Apply Now

Click here to complete the online Registration and Application forms. This will give us the information we need to access your eligibility for a program. After you have completed the online application forms you will be prompted to book a time to have a telephone interview with one of our staff.

Step 2: Phone Interview

Phone interviews are usually about 15 minutes and give us a chance to talk to you about your program choice, make sure all the information we have is correct, and talk you through the rest of the application process.

Step 3: Finalising your application

Once you have completed YMCA Global Study will send you an email with instructions detailing how to finalise your application.

Step 4: Receive your acceptance pack

Once your application has been approved YMCA Global Study will send you an ‘Acceptance pack’. This pack will include important documents such as a course syllabus, acceptance letter from your Host University and advice on how to apply for credit with your home university, the pack may also include information on any funding specific to your university.

Step 5: Apply for credit and funding (if applicable)

Now you are ready to apply for credit and funding (woohoo!) – all the information you need will be in your acceptance pack

Step 6: Pay your deposit and confirm your place 

Once you have paid your deposit your place on the program confirmed.


For further information about the application process check out our Frequently Asked Questions, or if you would like to ask specific questions about the courses we offer feel free to contact us.

You can also keep up to date with us by following YMCA Global Study on social media and signing up to our newsletter. This is the best way to get reminders about important dates and deadlines, opportunities for funding and our blog which will provide you with helpful hints and tips for your study abroad experience.

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