Leeds Undergraduate Programme

BA Degree in International Sports Management is a unique undergraduate programme that will enable you to fully develop your soccer potential as you earn an American-accredited degree. In addition to graduating with a BA in International Sports Management, you will also gain an FA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Football. Based in Leeds, you will be in the heart of the U.K. in a true football culture, providing an incredible network of professional clubs within close proximity.  Leeds boasts an incredible sports heritage, with world-renowned teams in soccer, rugby league, rugby union and cricket.

You will play in a top quality soccer academy with professional coaching and playing opportunities and be taken through a rigorous football training and playing schedule, with coaching focusing not only on your technique, speed and tactics on the field but on your nutrition and health. Alongside the practical side of the programme, you will examine the theory and practice surrounding the management and the business of sports in various parts of the world, and gain the vital business skills required for a successful career in sports management.

Home to RIASA | Leeds Beckett University, Headingley Campus


RIASA is the world’s only program that provides the opportunity for students to play-year round in a top soccer academy environment, whilst earning their accredited American Degree

  • Allows players to fully develop their game on a year round basis while studying for a Postgraduate degree
  • Year round (38 weeks) – with a focus on development, exposure and opportunity
  • Live and learn the game as top sport academy players do, while earning your  degree in Leeds.
  • Live, breathe and be focused like professional club academy sport players.

Showcase Events/League Play/Exit Trails to Pro Clubs

  • Play in a semi-professional reserve League in the Yorkshire/Lancashire area
  • Play in showcase games against professional academy/reserve teams in the UK
  • Opportunity for exit trials to clubs specifically Norwegian exit trials in March
  • Opportunity for professional development training opportunities with local professional clubs.

RIASA offers Development, Exposure and Opportunity

Players have every opportunity to develop their abilities as part of their football education through playing professional academy/reserve teams.  In addition students will have the opportunity for professional internship opportunities in a variety of fields connected to the football industry. One of the highlights is the ability to undertake the Football Association (FA) coaching license, respected throughout the world as one of the best coaching licenses available. Many former students have obtained the FA license and enhanced their employment opportunities within the football industry upon graduation.

In previous seasons RIASA has played against Walsall FC, Middlesborough FC, Notts County FC, Hull City FC, West Ham and many other top European Clubs through various training and development opportunities.

Some of the teams RIASA plays against include professional youth academies/reserve teams at a number of levels providing a cultural experience as well as a true football development opportunity (2010-2016)

RIASA allows students the best of both worlds:

A top quality American undergraduate degree program while living and playing in a true football culture on a year round basis. The purpose and mission of the academy is to help students be integrated into a professional training and learning environment as they reach their optimal playing potential. The RIASA program allows you to fully develop your game on a year round basis while studying for your American Undergraduate degree.

  • US college soccer provides a very limited experience and developmental opportunity for students to reach their potential. NCAA and NAIA rules restrict the playing season and times players can play or be coached in order to develop their game.
  • There are many students who would love to fully develop their playing potential and still receive the opportunity of a top quality professional education.  Now they can at Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy in the UK.
  • Live and learn the game as a top professional academy player does, without sacrificing your education. You will live, breathe and be focused like a top premiership club academy operation with the safety net of an academic degree to boot.

Providing Football Opportunities and a first class American Undergraduate degree program with an emphasis on global education for the 21st century.

Why RIASA Works for the American Player

Sam Borden on Jurgen Klinsmann, New York Times, June 2014.
“He believes the N.C.A.A. is killing the talent pool in the United States because teenage stars go to college and miss out on formative years of training with professional teams”. …. If Klinsmann had his way, the United States roster would be made up of Americans playing their club soccer in Europe, facing the best competition in the world on a daily basis instead of only a few games every few years”. Sam Borden, New York Times Magazine, June 2014.

RIASA Player Profile - Christain Mc Keown - Junior

Who Should Apply?

The program is open to all students who wish to pursue an American Degree while playing in a top quality soccer academy with professional coaching and playing opportunities against professional youth academy and reserve teams.

  • Students should be of a good playing standard either coming from a top premier select program, all regional or state player.
  • Each player will be considered on an individual basis; the program is open to those who are willing to learn and improve their game and those looking for a student experience that is different from one that they can gain while studying and playing elsewhere.
  • In addition, students need to meet Richmond, The American International University in London academic standards of a 2.5 GPA.

Player Representation