Course syllabus

Mathematical Modelling of Football

Course outline

The following is a rough timetable for the lectures and hand-ins. All of the coursework is project/hand-in based. In sections 1 and 2 it is individually assessed. In section 3 it is a group project. You should watch the videos provided on the pages below. There is a lecture every Tuesday 10:15 - 12:00 and lecture/tutorials Thursday 14:15 - 17:00. Timetable here.

Here is what you need to get started on the course. Please go through this before the course starts. 

Section 1: Event data

31st August: Visualising actions

7th September: Statistical Models of Actions

14th September: Simulation of matches

20th September: Deadline for hand-in 1.

Section 2: Tracking data

21st September:  Player movements on the pitch.

28th September: Pitch control.

11th October: Deadline for hand-in 2.

Section 3: Applications and Advanced analytics

5th October: Scouting and evaluating actions.

12th October: Incorporating fitness data.

17th October: Expected Possession Value.

24th October: Work on final project.

30th October: Final deadline for hand-in 3.

First Lecture

The first lecture is 10:15 on September 1st and will be be streamed live over Youtube here:

 

Why take this course?

This course is the most comprehensive education available in how to work with football data and understanding the game using maths and stats.  It is taught by Soccermatics author David Sumpter, with guest lectures and tutoring from world-leading practitioners and researchers working with data in football.

It was first developed during the Covid-19 lockdown in April/May 2020 by a group of club analysts and leading academics. These include lead data scientists at Barcelona (Javier Fernandez), Benfica (Sudarshan "Suds" Gopaladesikan), Liverpool (William Spearman) , Hammarby (Fran Peralta), The English FA (Alex Thomas) and the German DFB (Pascal Bauer), Soccermatics author David Sumpter and Harvard researcher Laurie Shaw. We initially made this work available at the Friends of Tracking Youtube channel. We will now expand on it in this course.

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The course delivers state of the art of how mathematics and analytics are used on a daily basis within  clubs and national teams. As such this course is unique. We believe it offers the technical competence you need to get a job as a data scientist at a football club or in the football industry. Students graduating this course will be attractive within all parts of the football industry.

We designed the course contents and the learning goals on the basis of needs in modern football. The course utilises data from Wyscout, Statsbomb, Metrica, Signality and other leading data providers.

The course also reflects the state of the art in research on football analytics. Much of the work presented is based on recent presented at, for example, Sloan Sports Analytics and The Opta Forum.

Who is this course aimed at?

This is a late undergraduate/Masters level course. It is aimed at students who already have studied university level introductory courses in data science, statistics and programming (see course requirements). There will be starter/refresher Intro to Python programming and statistics, but the learning curve will be relatively steep for those without this background. You are encouraged to watch some of the Friends of Tracking videos first to get a feeling for the level. You should also, of course, have an interest in football.

It will take 10-15 hours work per week. So it is possible to take as a self-study evening course. It will be challenging, but rewarding. 

How do I register?

Registartion is now closed

This course is entirely online and in English (in the course description it says it is a campus course but this is a mistake, the course is online only and available internationally). It is free to take for any qualified student within the EU/EEA.  Outside these areas registration fees apply at a level of about €1200. See details below for availability of course material for unregistered students.

If you are currently studying at a Swedish University go in to Antagning.se, search up the course and register there.

If you are currently studying in Europe create an account at Universityadmissions.se. Register there and then when you are ready. Log in, search for and apply for the course at Antagning.se (in Swedish). Due to error mentioned above, the course can only be registered for on the Swedish page (Antagning.se) but you can do everything else in English.

Can I access the course material without registering?

Yes. All the videos, lecture notes and exercises are available for free on this site. These will remain after the course finishes. If  you are not registered you won’t have access to the tutorial sessions, project help and graded project work.

I will however be providing help on a Slack group  mathematicalm-fhj6138.slack.com. To join contact rsalvadords@gmail.com.

 

Recommended reading 

All course material will be provided during the course. But we recommend Soccermatics by David Sumpter for background on the approach taken in this course.

Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game ...

Course summary:

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