The Postgraduate Seminar, held in July or September, is designed to enhance students' understanding and knowledge of all aspects of the Olympic Movement. It began in 1993 and it takes place every year since then.

The Postgraduate Programme is structured around lectures, case studies, discussion groups, audio-visual presentations, individual research, as well as numerous field trips to archaeological sites and museums and sports and cultural activities.

The Seminar is divided into four study cycles. The first deals with the ancient Olympic Games and their philosophy. The second is devoted to the modern Olympic Movement, the revival of the Olympic Games, the history of the modern Olympic Games and the Olympic Education. The third focuses on socio-political and economic aspects of the modern Olympic Games (media and communication, management, organisation and marketing), while the fourth examines the ethical and philosophical issues as well as the athletes’ rights in the modern Olympic Movement.

Fields of Study:

  • Ancient Olympic History
  • The Revival of the Olympic Games
  • The Olympic Movement
  • Sociological Aspects of Olympism
  • Philosophical Aspects of Olympism
  • Olympic Education
  • International Relations
  • Business Studies
  • Media and Communications
  • Special Issues

Participation in the Postgraduate Programme

This IOA Programme attracts a multicultural body of postgraduate students of the highest academic standards, who are researching topics related to sport and Olympism, and/or who wish to enhance their knowledge and do research in Olympic subjects. Participants must have an excellent knowledge of the English language, which is the conduct language of the Programme.

  • Individual students who wish to participate in the Postgraduate Seminar are invited to apply directly to the IOA.
  • The IOA accepts students nominated by the departments of the universities with which it cooperates.
  • NOAs are also invited to nominate students, providing they meet the above mentioned requirements.
  • The number of the participants in the Postgraduate Seminar is between 30 and 40 at the maximum, while the selection of the postgraduate students is based on their curriculum vitae and their recommendation letters by their supervising Professors or their National Olympic Academies.


The Supervising Professors and Guest Lecturers are part of an experienced and highly qualified international academic group, dedicated to Olympic Education, with extensive research and publications on Olympic matters, and are accessible to the students for discussions outside as well as within the Lecture Hall.

Postgraduate Thesis

All students participating in the International Postgraduate Seminar on Olympic studies are required to submit an independent paper on an issue that is covered in the fields of study, and according to his/her discipline’s relation to Olympism. This research paper should represent a work of high standard, and demonstrate sophistication and skill in research, writing and analysis.

The postgraduate theses are also orally presented to the class and the supervising professors of the field.

The Olympic Movement is and will remain open to criticism because it is a human enterprise and therefore imperfect. Let us, however, try to improve it and contribute to strengthening its foundations.

Lord KILLANIN President of the IOC (1972-1980)