MSc Fitness Business Creation.

Build the skills needed to become a fitness business leader.

You are dedicated to helping other people reach their goals. Now it’s time to reach yours too. We are here to support your personal and professional development by combining industry thinking and academic expertise. We will share practical and theoretical insights, allowing you to gain the specialist knowledge and strategic skills required to create and manage your own sustainable fitness business.

Course fees 2019-2020 academic year
Home & EU students: £9,300 per annum
International (non EU) students : £12,750 per annum

Duration One year, full-time

Start date September 2019, January 2020

Entry Requirements.

Applicants will normally have a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree in a related discipline, but consideration may be given to applicants with a 2:2 Honours degree in any subject, as long as they have completed relevant work experience or can demonstrate strong insight into the area of study.

Students whose first language is not English will be required to achieve IELTS 6 or above with no less than Band 6 in any area, or equivalent.

Course Content.

There is nothing more rewarding than working in an industry you love. Sharing your passion and enthusiasm for fitness with others may come naturally, but that is just one essential part of creating a successful business in this increasingly competitive sector.

Health and wellbeing are set to become ever more important priorities in the lives of consumers for an increasingly health-conscious society. Aspirations to achieve fitness goals, eat well and play hard are at the forefront of many consumer choices. With the fitness business booming this course will help you share your motivation with us through a viable and dynamic business model.

In an increasingly competitive wellness industry, it can be hard to know where to begin. A sound foundation and knowledge of business is the key to creating a company that is both sustainable and successful.

You will develop an in-depth and critical understanding of the dimensions, processes, opportunities and challenges of fitness business creation, with particular reference to today’s digitally-focused, globally interlinked markets. You will explore best practice in areas such as new venture idea generation, legal establishment and protection, business funding and effective business planning.

You will learn collaboratively, joining a dynamic group of programme participants, tutors and industry experts. You will develop your understanding around the key skills, processes and practices of fitness business creation. Solutions to real problems are suggested, discussed and analysed within the learning community with the support of tutors and fellow learners.

The Boohoo Scholarship.

Have you got a big idea for your Business? Is it commercial, original and socially responsible? Does it meet people’s needs and meet the needs of our planet? If the answer is YES then we have an exciting new opportunity for you.

Carol Kane, founder of and York St John University honorary graduate has partnered with us to offer ambitious entrepreneurs the chance for fully-funded places on our Business MSc courses in London. With the financial support this opportunity offers you will be in the perfect position to gain industry experience receive expert advice to plan and launch your brilliant business idea.

Find out more.

Course Structure.

The passion you have for the fitness industry will be channelled through a series of academic disciplines and exercises. We will help you to develop a critical understanding and awareness of the issues pertaining specifically to business creation in the fitness sector. These include strategic planning, new venture creation, business funding and effective business planning.

We will support you in developing the ability to connect theory with practice in creative and innovative ways, allowing you to reflect upon the learning involved as well as the outcomes. We will also nurture and enhance your lifelong learning skills and your personal development in order to build your confidence, sense of self-direction and originality within your chosen fitness venture.


All modules are compulsory:

Developing A Strategic Business Proposition And Plan | 15 Credits

Exploring the application of management processes for developing and defining a new business concept is central to this module, including market analysis, competitor performance analysis and considering the role of due diligence. You will critically examine the process for making strategic choices, exploring and analysing approaches and techniques used in strategic business and service planning.

The components within the strategic business planning process will be considered. This will allow you to develop an understanding of the purpose of and procedures in the planning process and to be able to plan and execute action steps which are critical to the development  of an effective business plan. This module will culminate in the creation of a business plan for a new entity.

Marketing And Brand Strategy For New Businesses | 15 Credits

Marketing communications are an extremely important aspect of a company’s strategic marketing activities and form an essential toolkit which businesses need to communicate with their key stakeholders.

Explore how various promotional efforts can be integrated into strategic management and marketing plans in order to build successful brands. This module allows you to develop the skills to devise a full marketing communications plan and understand how to put theory into practice in the fast-paced and ever-evolving marketplace.

Through an examination of the importance of brand and brand storytelling, within a small business framework, this module considers the requirements and branding expectations of customers and end-users. This module will allow you to appraise the impact which the rise of digital technology has had upon traditional marketing and corporate communication practices, whilst allowing you to develop appropriate digital marketing and communication plans which utilise a range of digital technologies and techniques.

Devising A Product And/Or Service And Distribution Strategy | 15 Credits

Develop an understanding of new product development and the factors critical for new product success. This includes the development of a supplier strategy, brand proposition, managing product safety and legislative controls. You will develop an understanding of product and service distribution through examining supply networks, supply chains and distribution management, as well as exploring logistic requirements and restrictions, export processes, controls and registration requirements.

Developing A Fitness Business Around A Strategy Of Market Segmentation | 15 Credits

Today there are many fitness tribes, cycling alone includes many diverse groups such as mountain bikers, road cyclists and BMXers, in addition to there being an emerging focus on special populations, such as people with mental illness, osteoporosis or dystonia, all of whom have specific fitness needs.

Focusing on how to use market and scientific evidence, this module will enable you to create and tailor a fitness business to targeted groups of people using a strategy of market segmentation. You will be challenged to respond both to cutting-edge research in exercise science and the experiences of people who are already undertaking such research.

Underpinned by research conducted at York St John University, such as in the field of mental illness, this module encourage you to consider the delivery of fitness programmes to a wide range of clients. The sports facilities at York St John University have a monthly footfall of around 20,000 people from a broad and diverse range of backgrounds and with varied fitness needs. Drawing on the clinical literature from sports medicine, this module will teach you how to safely and effectively deliver exercise-related services and fitness products to special populations.

Industry Experience | 15 Credits

This module is an essential and distinguishing part of the preparation for your successful employment in industry or the management of your own business. As a future industry specialist or business owner, it is crucial that you experience industry dynamics in an environment where you can empirically apply theoretical knowledge. Understanding the significance of relationship building and industry connectedness will be crucial for your success in the workplace.

The module aims to provide opportunities for you to:

  • Demonstrate your planning, research and time management skills
  • Develop appropriate key skills needed for effective participation in a professional setting, including personal organisation, communication and target-setting
  • Reflect on the theoretical knowledge and understanding and apply this in practice
  • Critically assess the professional organisational environment, summarising best practices and improvement opportunities
  • Develop a range of relevant self-presentation skills which will support your professional aspirations
  • Complete subject-specific industry project

Establishing A Financial Framework | 15 Credits

Mastering accounting and finance skills is essential for your business to succeed. This module intends to develop your critical appreciation of financial planning, particularly in supporting the development of a new business. You will develop an understanding of accounting techniques, the formal requirements regarding financial reporting for new and small businesses and financial modelling. Developing the relevant skills to interpret financial information as a business owner or manager, you will consider different sources of finance available relevant to your business as well as preparing for short and long-term financial planning and control.

Building Specialisation: The Older Fitness Customer | 15 Credits

The most emergent demographic shift within the UK is the increasing proliferation of older members of society, as we continue to live longer. This is also reflected in numerous other countries around the world. The ‘grey pound’, the economic power of elderly people, is already an important part of our economy and is set to grow further.

Arguably the fitness industry has largely ignored these developments, and exercise prescription for the elderly remains neglected. This module centres on geriatric exercise science and will enable you to understand the ageing process, from both biological and psychological perspectives.

Through an analysis of the dose response relationship between exercise and health in the elderly, you will be challenged to create new exercise services and fitness products for this sector of society. You will investigate the professional developmental needs and attributes of the older fitness instructor, a role which is becoming an increasingly important part of the fitness industry workforce.

Prototyping The Fitness Businesses Of The Future | 15 Credits

Using data from the forefront of Exercise Science, this module will help you to predict and prepare for the future of the fitness industry. As a result of the fourth industrial revolution, the fitness businesses being created today will be out of date within the next three to five years. In its industrial strategy, the UK’s Government states that the fourth industrial strategy is ‘characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds. It will disrupt nearly every sector in every country, creating new opportunities and challenges for people, places and businesses to which we must respond’. The creators both of exercise services and of fitness products will need to adjust, prepare and improve if they want to thrive during the seismic shifts which are currently taking place in society, physical culture and the economy.

Evidence from the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will be applied to challenges faced by those in the fitness industry. These include key concepts such as marketing and sales, client retention and membership renewals. Throughout the module you will be supported to identify emerging trends in the fitness industry and learn how to respond to the opportunities and threats which these present.

Business Creation Capstone Project | 60 Credits

The Capstone Project is a multifaceted module which will allow you to undertake a number of different routes through to completion of the course. The aim of this module is to encourage you to select a route where you can demonstrate the understanding and knowledge gained from the course and show how this can be applied in a practical or theoretical way in a particular setting or context.

There are four possible routes:

  • Dissertation
  • Business Consultancy Project – which will involve attempting to solve a business problem within your organisation
  • New Business Project – you will propose a start-up venture and provide all the supporting materials and justifications required to show that the idea has real potential and merit
  • Connect to Business – you will join an organisation with which you are unfamiliar and act as a consultant by exploring a new market possibility or examine a business problem
Teaching and Learning.

We recognise that you may have a wealth of practical knowledge and experience to bring to this course. We encourage this within the programme and want students to actively share their thoughts and experiences with one another. Don’t worry if you have not engaged in formal education for some time –  we will offer support with study skills, conventions of academic analysis and writing throughout the programme.

The philosophy of the programme is built around bringing together relevant academic theory and practical experience, so you can establish a deeper understanding and develop yourself as an individual and as a leader. We will encourage you to participate, as resources for learning explicitly include the knowledge, experience and skills of all course members and staff.

We will start with an intensive core four-week module, followed by three eight-week modules each semester. In semester two, you will have the opportunity to gain industry experience. All modules are delivered utilising a range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies. These include lectures, seminars, a guest speaker programme, tutorials, workshops, use of online materials and Global Café-style learning activities. Class activities, online discussions and problem-solving exercises will enable you to gain feedback about your knowledge and understanding prior to any formal summative assessments.

Assessment and Feedback.

You will be assessed through a programme of work undertaken whilst studying each module. This includes presentations, critical essays, portfolios, reflective journals and case study work. We will provide opportunities for formative assessment feedback to inform your work prior to submission from each module tutor. You will receive detailed feedback on assessments to help you develop and continuously improve your performance whilst on the programme. Advice will be provided in relation to development, further areas for research and guidance on how to enhance your subject knowledge.

Research Opportunities.

We will use our wide network of industry relationships and partnerships in London and beyond to provide opportunities for you to engage in work placements, business consultancies or business research.*


*Subject to availability.

Fees and Funding.

Postgraduate tuition fees 2019-20

Postgraduate study is a great investment and is proven to add value to your education*, meaning you will learn more, earn more and achieve more. There are numerous ways in which you can get assistance in financing Postgraduate study, from scholarships and loans through to research grants.

*Those graduating with a Postgraduate degree will earn an average of £6,000 a year more than those with only an Undergraduate qualification. – based on 2015-16 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DHLE) data.

The York St John University tuition fees for 2019-20 entry to Postgraduate Taught MA/MSc degrees are:

£9,300 per anum for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.
£12,750 per anum for International (non EU) students

York Business School.

Whether you are a prospective student or a business leader or manager looking for continuing professional development and collaborative working we look forward to helping you fulfil your potential in whatever business function or sector you may be working in, or aspire to through working together to create business activity at all levels and for everyone.

For YBS. London, we have developed an in-depth range of specialist postgraduate programmes with our team of academic experts and industry professionals. The range of programmes that we have developed focus on leadership, innovation, business creation, positive change and gaining a cutting-edge understanding of the marketplace in the rapidly changing business world.

Enquire now.


Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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