Birkbeck-Stats Perform Football Analytics Short Course (3rd Edition)

Introduction to the Birkbeck-Stats Perform Football Analytics Course (Commencing 27 April 2021)

From April-June 2021, Birkbeck, in collaboration with Stats Perform (the parent company of OptaPro), will be delivering a short course module introducing the science and business management of sport data analysis, with a particular focus on the football industry.

  • Due to the current coronavirus crisis, the course will be delivered entirely on-line.

The course is in now in its third edition having been first delivered in April-June 2019 with great success.

The performance data industry in football has grown dramatically in recent years, to the point where all professional teams have access to some level of data and employ performance analysts to help coaches, scouts, players and executives work with the new technologies available, particularly video. However, as detailed data and analytics become integrated within club processes, it is essential that staff are equipped with the skills to not only interpret and apply this information correctly, but also to present and argue insights to decision makers.

Teams also amass large databases of their own subjective information on players, but do not manage that data appropriately and clubs still have limited knowledge of how to use data to strategically plan for the future and in budgeting. It is the analysts who have the chance to improve this dramatically.

At the other end of the market, some teams have become extremely advanced and actually employ data scientists to build advanced models. Whilst this progress is excellent, a new problem exists where many within the team do not know how to interpret the advanced outputs they are being shown.

Course Content

The nine-week module offers an introduction to core analytical approaches and concepts relevant to the professional football industry in partnership with Stats Perform. It also focuses on the application of these concepts in day-to-day tasks and in long-term strategic planning. Students will be introduced to different analytical technologies, the value of both qualitative and quantitative data, data visualisation, and best practice for applying data in a range of football performance and football business scenarios.

With the support of Stats Perform expertise, lectures will be delivered by industry professionals with first-hand experience of implementing data and analytical processes within the sport. Previous students who completed the course have gone on to pursue careers in the industry, including roles at Premier League clubs and in football governance.

Football Analytics aims to develop managers who can make decisions, based on provided models, regarding both player and team valuations.

Coordinator and lecturerGiambattista Rossi


  • 20 – 25 minute group presentation (40%)
  • two-hour examination (60%)

Indicative syllabus:

  • Statistical landscape in sport: how data is used in elite sport
  • Statistical models and their application in football
  • Collecting, databasing and analysing subjective data: integration of different datasets
  • Using data in an applied setting
  • Analytical software
  • Data visualisation: best practice
  • Presenting advanced analysis: managing conversations; negotiating with decision-makers
  • Long-term, strategic planning using data: beyond ‘day-to-day’ work
  • Cases studies and revision

Short Course – Class dates/times for 2021:

  • Tuesday 27 April 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 4 May 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 11 May 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 18 May 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 25 May 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 1 June 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 8 June 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 15 June 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 22 June 2021, 6pm-9pm
  • Tuesday 29 June 2021 – no class (revision week)
  • Tuesday 8 July 2021 – exam (exact date TBC).

Short Course – Fees:

  • £1,100

Applying to the Football Analytics short course:

  • To apply, please follow this link: Apply now

Football Analytics as a module

Other Information