Thousands sign up for free online football degree

More than 5000 people have signed up to study football at Edinburgh University - the first course of its kind in the world.

Edinburgh University is offering a free six-week online course in Football. Pic: Hearts v Rangers at Tynecastle November 1965, by Albert Jordan & George Smith.

The free online class which starts on Monday will examine the beautiful game from a variety of angles, including a focus on the workings of the world’s top clubs.

The university claims the Massive Open Online Course (Mooc), which is open to anyone with access to a computer, is the first to be devoted to the study of the sport.

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Football: More than a Game will also look at how the popular sport is being used to help poor communities around the world.

The course will include contributions from Labour MP Jim Murphy and former Scotland and Liverpool legend Alan Hansen.

Course leader Professor Grant Jarvie, chairman of sport at Edinburgh University, said: “Within the six-week course, what people will do is find out a lot about the world of football itself.

“But in terms of education and building skills, there is an introduction to finance, an introduction to geography, an introduction to history and politics and an introduction to making sense of data.

“We hope that it will be incredibly popular and interesting when it goes live.”

Those taking the course will be expected to study for around three hours a week - but won’t receive any formal qualification for completing the Mooc.