Sports and Society


About this minor

This minor uses insights from economics, philosophy, history, and media studies to critically assess the position of sport in our society.

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 a weekly lecture in weeks 2-4 and weeks 6-8. Each week is devoted to one sports-related theme with a large societal impact. Each lecture covers this theme from the perspective of its own social science. 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 1 students get an introduction to the minor. In week 5 and 9 there are guest lectures and workgroups to help students develop their group research papers. Students can choose the research 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. Week 10 is reserved for presentations of students’ research projects. This presentation is optional for ESE students.

Learning outcomes

After taking this minor, students should be able to

  1. Understand the importance of sports in Western society.
  2. Explain the main theories of sports developed by historians, media scientists, philosophers, and economists.
  3. Place current societal trends and problems in sports in a broader historical, philosophical, and economic perspective.
  4. Reflect critically on current issues in sports governance, media relations, ethics, and economics using insights form history/media studies, philosophy, and economics.
  5. Write an academic research paper on sports which integrates perspectives from different social sciences.
  6. Formulate a critical perspective on reporting about sports in popular media outlets.

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.
  • Minor relies on reading many original sources in all three domains. This is a significant time investment.
  • There will be no recording or streaming of lectures. Lecture attendance is also not mandatory.
  • Experience has shown that passing the minor without attending lectures is very difficult. If you are not able to attend activities on campus, this will be a big hurdle for your success in this minor.

Teaching method and examination

Teaching Methods

  • Plenary lectures (weeks 1-4 and 6-8)
  • Lectures with guest speakers (weeks 5 and 9)
  • Paper development workgroups (week 5 and 9)
  • Student presentations (week 10)

Teaching material

  • Lecture slides on Canvas
  • Published research articles downloadable through Canvas
  • Primary texts and books available in library or online
  • Templates for assignments on Canvas

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:

  • 12 ECTS (ESE students only)

  • Weekly Canvas quiz on lecture content (weeks 2-9).

  • Individual assignment: critical reflection

  • Choice set of columns and articles from popular media outlets provided by teachers.

  • Students write one-page critical reflection on piece of their choice.

  • Group research paper

  • Students form a group of 4-5.

  • Choose a research theme.

  • Formulate research question.

  • Use template for paper structure.

  • Develop paper with critical reflection from each social science perspective.

  • Consult teachers in paper development workgroups.

  • 15 ECTS (all other students)

  • All assignments above.

  • Group presentation of research paper in week 10.

Composition final grade

  • 12 ECTS option (ESE students only):

  • Weekly canvas quiz = 20% of grade

  • Group research paper = 40% of grade

  • Individual critical reflection = 40% of grade

  • 15 ECTS option:

  • Weekly canvas quiz = 20% of grade

  • Group research paper = 30% of grade

  • Group presentation = 20% of grade

  • Individual critical reflection = 30% of grade

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Level
  • Contact coordinator
  • Selection minor
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Erasmus University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      8 November 2024
    • Term *
      Block MINOR
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 May, 13:00 - 15 Jul 2024
These offerings are valid for students of TU Delft