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New MBA in racing to be created at Liverpool University

31 March 2015

THE BHA and Levy Board announced yesterday that a Thoroughbred Racing Industries MBA will be launched at the University of Liverpool from September. 
The qualification will be the most high-profile within the sport and become just the second sport-specific industry degree available in the nation – with the University of Liverpool also offering a similar MBA in football. 
In a statement the BHA said it hoped the degree would keep “Britain at the cutting edge of academic training for future leaders in the thoroughbred horseracing sector”. 
The course, which can be completed full-time in a year or spread over two years for part-time students, is designed for individuals already working in racing, or individuals who are looking for a career in the industry and costs £14,000. 
The course, which so far has drawn more interest from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East than Europe, will comprise lectures, practical case studies, a placement and a three-month project. 
The four modules are titled: becoming a horseracing industries executive; marketing and media in thoroughbred horseracing industries; the international thoroughbred horseracing industry; and the economic s and finance of thoroughbred horseracing. Tom Cannon, professor of strategic development at the University of Liverpool Management School, leads the programme. 
Explaining how the course came to fruition, he said: “It originated from the Levy Board and the BHA from a strategic review largely led by Paul Roy and Douglas Erskine-Crum. They then ran a competition initially inviting every university in the country to whittle it down, and that was pretty challenging. 
“After a fairly rigorous process they chose us, I think in part because we have a strong business school. Having a world class equine industry school was also helpful, and we’ve been successfully deliver ing our football business programme for 17 years.” 
Cannon added: “Racing is such a diffuse industry, there are more stakeholders in this industry than I’ve ever known, and trying to build something to suit all of them has been a challenge. But the idea has been met with such enthusiasm and we’ll be getting in a lot of industry experts.” 
Stephen Atkin, chief executive of the Racecourse Association, said: “I think in principle it’s a good idea for a number of reasons. One, it will help to attract good people into the industry and it will also complement the BHA graduate scheme that has already proved very successful. 
“It will work with our general strategy for the sport of getting people involved at different levels, and this is targeting the higher levels, so I think it’s a good idea.”

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