Live, Play & Study in the United Kingdom.
Earn an International Sports Management degree, dual-accredited in both the United States & the United Kingdom.
Experience a professional-standard UK soccer academy. Our UEFA 'A'-licensed coaches have played 2500+ pro games.
Live in the home of soccer and develop yourself culturally by travelling and playing across Europe.
To provide a life changing experience for student-athletes as they pursue a dual-accredited US/UK degree programme whilst reaching their optimal playing potential.
The RIASA Programme offers student-athletes an alternative option to the traditional US College Soccer pathway. With RIASA, you will earn a Bachelor's degree in International Sports Management through Richmond, The American International University in London that is accredited in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, you will play a 9-month soccer season, as opposed to the 3-month season you would play on a US College Soccer Programme.
The unfortunate truth is that most US college soccer programmes merely consider soccer an extracurricular activity and only offer a four month-long season. Meaning that student-athletes with dreams of reaching their potential don't have the time to fully commit to their goals.
However, millions of young people decide to attend a college in the US with the misguided dream of achieving their academic and athletic potential only to find that the two aspects of the programme are not given equal attention.
We think that's wrong. Student-athletes shouldn't have to sacrifice anything in pursuit of their dreams.
It was from this core belief that ex-professional player, Mark Ellis, had the inspiration to form RIASA. Resulting in an integrated academic and soccer programme that allows student-athletes to pursue their potential in the UK confidently, safe in the knowledge that they have both a US and a UK degree, coaching qualifications and rich life experiences upon graduation.
With that in mind, here is our agreement with our student-athletes:
You ought to be able to reach your potential without sacrificing your education or your playing time. This is why we are fundamentally different, our student-athletes leave the RIASA programme as well-rounded, accomplished and respected individuals. No matter where their path leads.
Play UK Soccer & Earn Your UK/US Degree
Continue Your Development
Set yourself up for success, no matter where your path leads
“To be quite honest, it was everything. RIASA gave me the opportunity to, first and foremost, be over here [the UK] studying whilst trying to fulfil a professional career. Football is not guaranteed, you could be here today and gone tomorrow. So, the importance of education is everything.”
"Just like on the field, this industry moves at lightning speed. From my perspective, working in sports is exactly like playing sports. You have a role, but you are expected to perform a multitude of tasks outside that role. You are a member of a team and the best teams buy in to a common goal."
Director of Business Development
United Soccer League
At RIASA, soccer is not an extra-curricular activity, it's a lifestyle.
Along with my studies, I was also playing at a high level of football (soccer). Being able to continue my playing career while studying was very important to me, and being able to do so in a country that lives and breathes the sport was a dream come true. The RIASA programme in Leeds gave me the chance to do both and to meet some lifelong friends as well.
As RIASA is a partnership with Richmond, The American International University in London, we are unfortunately exempt from typical scholarship initiatives. However, RIASA does have access to a sponsorship fund each academic year with which the coaches, academic staff and management are able to distribute amongst the RIASA Student-Athletes. In order to be eligible for such sponsorship, a student-athlete must meet all, or in exceptional cases, some of the following criteria:
Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA score in line with agreed, signed scholarship contract
Demonstrative athletic potential in line with agreed, signed Richmond University and RIASA code of conducts
Attendance of 95%+
Unwavering commitment to all aspects of the programme
Whilst RIASA prides itself on offering all it’s student-athletes a truly professional experience, we are not a professional soccer academy in the sense of we are not directly or formally linked to a professional club. We are unique in our academic partnership with Richmond and therefore our aim is to develop our student-athletes with everything they need to reach their optimal playing potential, this includes providing the best staff, facilities, and playing opportunities. Of course, we can never guarantee an exit route into the professional or semi-professional game, but we can promise you the opportunity of a lifetime to grow, physically and mentally in an environment made for success.
As part of our unique partnership with Richmond, The American International University in London, we have specifically designed the dual-accredited BA International Sports Management degree to work around the intense demands of the soccer programme. Therefore, the BA International Sports Management degree is the only undergraduate degree programme available with RIASA. However, should a student-athlete wish to pursue postgraduate study, they can select from multiple postgraduate degrees from Leeds Beckett University to study alongside the soccer programme.
Now is the time to take control of your future & reach your potential with RIASA