By Gary Anderson

November 26 - The RIOU based in 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games host city Sochi is seeking applications for next year's MSA course © AFP / Getty ImagesThe Russian International Olympic University (RIOU) has today announced it is inviting applications for the second intake of students for its Master of Sport Administration (MSA) course, which runs from September 2014 to June 2015.

The English language course is primarily aimed at professionals in the sports industry such as employees of National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Russian and International Sports Federations (ISFs), clubs, marketing agencies and other sports industry organisations.

The course is based at the newly opened RIOU in Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and encompasses traditional lectures and seminars with workshops, case studies, interactive classes and practical experience with the local Russian Organising Committee.

Five core modules form the basis of the programme, including economics of sport and the Olympic Games; management, politics and the Olympic Movement; research in sport management; sport and the Olympic Games as a business; and sport marketing and communications.

RIOU Rector Lev Belousov (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the official opening in September © AFP / Getty ImagesRIOU Rector Lev Belousov (left) with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the official opening in September ©AFP/Getty Images

"RIOU is the first, and only, Olympic university in the world and the goal of our MSA course is to equip our students with the strategic and operational skills necessary to manage sports institutions, events and facilities in any economic environment," saidd the Professor Lev Belousov, the University's Rector.

"Our inaugural intake this year has attracted students from a range of Olympic Movement backgrounds, and 14 different countries.

"The atmosphere around the campus is therefore genuinely international and professionally diverse.

"We have students who are Olympic champions and National Olympic Committee professionals and lecturers with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of the sports world.

"I hope that our second intake is just as varied as our first and - in support of this - I am hopeful our students' studies can be substantially supported by adequate grants, as they have been this year."

Established in 2009 as a part of the Sochi 2014 legacy plans, RIOU's Sochi campus was officially opened in September by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and its headquarters have moved from Moscow to the Olympic city.

The new $500 million (£313 million/€374 million) campus is also aiming to provide a place of study for retired Russian and international athletes to help them establish new careers as sports administrators.

Athens 2004 gold medal winner Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland is one of the students currently enrolled on the MSA course at RIOU © AFP / Getty ImagesAthens 2004 gold medal winner Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland is one of the students currently enrolled on the MSA course at RIOU ©AFP/Getty Images

The 2013-2014 MSA course currently has 27 people enrolled, including Poland's Athens 2004 Olympic swimming champion Otylia Jedrzejczak, who was awarded a scholarship to the programme.

Last month, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach visited RIOU and spoke to students on the MSA course.

"RIOU's MSA programme is a huge opportunity for me to improve my knowledge about organised sport worldwide," said one international student, Evelyn Hopp from the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

"It is great to have professors from all over the world, teaching in their fields of expertise.

"I, for my part, am really interested in 'management, politics and the Olympic Movement', so it's a one-of-a-kind chance to learn about the situations in different countries and have the 2014 Winter Games right around the corner."

The cost of the one-year MSA course includes tuition fees of £9,265 ($15,000/€11,000) while accommodation for the duration of the course on the University's campus in Sochi is also £9,265 ($15,000/€11,000).

For further information about the application procedure, admission terms and the MSA programme content, please click here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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