Mike Rayner

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

International strategies to developing sport related degree programmes
Internationalising a curriculum: Sports Management in Focus
Sport Management Pedagogy
The British and Irish Lions: Future Perspectives

Personal profile


Dr Mike Rayner is an Associate Professor and Head of the School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science. 

Dr Mike Rayner is a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Fellow of The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), Fellow of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a registered practitioner with the Chartered Management Institute (CIM) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

Mike is currently the section-editor for the Sport Section of the Cogent Social Sciences Journal and sits on the editorial boards of Managing Sport and Leisure, Business and Management and The International Journal for Business and Social Science Journals. He is a reviewer for the Newton Fund, Sports Management Review, Managing Sport and Leisure and The International Journal for Sport and Society.  

As a Sports Management practitioner, Mike’s consultancy work spans a diverse range of clients including elite athletes, coaches and support staff, business executives, National Governing Bodies, Professional Sports Clubs and Government Agencies.

Research Interests

Mike has published widely in the area of Sport Management, with projects relating to four complimentary areas: employee performance and well-being, organisational behaviour, human resource development and employment relationships within professional sport environments. His book publication – Rugby Union and Professionalisation: Elite Player Perspectives (2017) - presents a first collection of research in this area. Further book publications including Referees, Match Officials and Abuse and Sport Management Education: Global Perspectives and Implications for Practice illustrate the global reach of Mike's research and its impact upon teaching and learning as well as evolving pedagogy within the Sport Management subject area. 

 To apply for doctoral or supervised experience study with Dr Rayner please visit the relevant course pages or contact him directly.

Teaching Responsibilities

Mike was the founder of the MSc Sport Management programme at the University of Portsmouth in 2011 and contributes to both the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula across this subject area. Mike's book, Sport Management Education: Global Perspectives and Implications for Practice, provides an insight into the complexities of Sport Management Education and presents a combination of his research and experience in this evolving subject area. 

Mike is also responsible for devising and managing short and year-long mobilities as part of the school's global engagement strategy. His passion for inclusive learning and teaching and facilitating social mobility derives from the same overarching goal: to ensure that all students, regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity, socio-economic background or religious beliefs, are enabled to fulfil their potential. 

Mike has supervised a diverse range of undergraduate, postgraduate, MRes and MBA dissertations and PhD research projects in a number of diverse research areas including:

  • Psychological Contracts of Employment
  • Transitions to University
  • Gender diversity in Leadership roles in the Public and Private sectors
  • Sport Education Provision in National Governing Bodies of Sport
  • Sport Management Education
  • Innovation and Enterprise in Sport 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., The Impact of Professionalisation on Elite Level Rugby Union: Players' Perspective, University of Portsmouth

Award Date: 30 Sept 2015

External positions

External Examiner, De Montfort University

1 Jan 2022 → …

External Examiner, Birmingham City University

1 Jan 2021 → …

External Examiner, Northumbria University

1 Oct 20171 Jul 2021

External Examiner - UCFB, Buckingham New University

1 Dec 20161 Dec 2020

External Examiner, Teesside University

1 Dec 20161 Aug 2018

External Examiner, The Open University

1 Jun 20161 Aug 2018

External Examiner, Chichester College

1 Jun 20141 Aug 2018


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