The new minor offering from Leiden, Delft and Erasmus will be visible in early March.

Sports and SocietyOrganization logo: Erasmus University Rotterdam

About this minor

This minor introduces students to the study of sports from the perspective of three distinct social sciences: philosophy, economics, and history/media studies. Each social science perspective has its own module. The first 7 weeks of the academic year are each devoted to one sports-related theme with a large societal impact. Each module covers this theme from the perspective of its own social science. The list of themes is (subject to change):

  • Importance of sports in society and social science
  • Organization of sports
  • Mega sport events
  • The Olympics
  • Sports and nations
  • Sports, gender, and race
  • Sports and media

During the lectures the teacher will discuss societal questions related to these themes. You could think of questions like: what are the ethical views on the gender pay gap in sports? Or, how have historical events shaped the role of sports in our society? And what are the economic benefits of organizing large sport events?
In week 8 the students pass separate exams for each of the modules.
During the final two weeks the students work in groups to write an academic paper related to one of the themes. The students can choose the theme according to their own preferences. They formulate a research question related to this theme. In their paper they then investigate this question from the perspective of each of the three social sciences in the minor. This groupwork paper is optional for ESE students.

Learning outcomes

After taking this minor, students should be able to

  • Understand the importance of sports in today’s society.
  • Explain the main theories of sports developed by historians, media scientists, philosophers, and economists.
  • Place the main current societal trends and problems in sports in a broader historical, philosophical, and economic perspective.
  • Reflect critically on current issues in sports governance, media relations, ethics, and economics using insights form history/media studies, philosophy, and economics.
  • Write an academic research paper on sports which integrates perspectives from different social sciences.

Teaching method and examination

  • Plenary lectures

  • Seminars with guest speakers

  • Online videos

  • Introductory session group work (week 3)

  • Question hours on appointment (week 9-10)

Teaching material

  • Articles and (fragments of) primary texts on Canvas
  • Seminar slides and videos on Canvas
  • Papers on Canvas
  • Lecture slides on Canvas
  • Optional book: Soccernomics (Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski)

The minor can be followed by students from all BSc programs. For ESE-students, the default is 12 ECTS, with an option to extend to 15 ECTS. All other students follow the 15 ECTS option.
The examination reflects this:


  • Exam for each module in ESE exam week (week 8) = 3x 4 ECTS = 12 ECTS

  • Group paper on one course theme (see content description) = 3 ECTS

12 ECTS (ESE students only)

  • Exam for each module in ESE exam week (week 8) = 3x 4 ECTS = 12 ECTS

15 ECTS option: Weighted average grade of the three module exams = 80% of grade
Group paper project = 20% of grade

12 ECTS option (ESE students only): weighted average grade of the three exams = 100% of grade

Good to know

  • Minor is open to students from all BSc programs.
  • The minor is taught in English and involves writing an academic paper. This requires good English reading and writing skills.
  • The lecture schedule combines online and on-campus education. The on-campus activities cannot be followed remotely. Active class participation in lectures is expected.
  • The final paper is a group assignment (optional for ESE students). You will work together with students with diverse study backgrounds.

Additional information

  • Code
  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.
There are currently no offerings available for students of TU Delft