The National Sports Academy (NSA) is a specialized higher education institution in the Bulgarian university system with more than 75 years of history. NSA is the only university fully specialized in providing sports education and science in Bulgaria and one of the few sports universities in Europe. The higher school has achieved highest score of the accreditation by the National Agency for Evaluation and Accreditation of the Republic of Bulgaria and holds the leading position in the ranking system of university structures in the field of sports education. The education and training are in full compliance with the principles of the Bologna Process and the instruments for comparability and transparency used in the European Higher Education Area. In the course of its existence and with the accumulation of educational and research experience there appeared a need for even closer cooperation between on one hand sports and sports education and science, on the other hand. On this basis, study programmes and curriculum are gradually developed that have been united in three faculties: Faculty of Sport, Faculty of Pedagogy (Physical Education teachers training) and Faculty of Public Health, Healthcare and Tourism. The Academy offers educational programs in more than 60 sports, physical education, leisure and recreational activities, and sport management at Bachelor (four years of study), Master (one or two years of study) and PhD degree. Research activities are administered and managed by the Center for scientific and applied activities in sport and the main research units within the departments. Students’ career development and employability is supported by the Center for Career Development which is part of the NSA structure. Since the first year of their study students are actively involved in various project, volunteering, coaching, and research activities. During the course of their study they are also able both to continue their active athlete career by competing for and to engage in curricula and extra curricula practical training within the university multisport club, comprising over 30 sports.
NSA is also the only educational establishment in the country recognised by the state to deliver accredited sport management programmes for undergraduate (4-year Bachelor’s degree) and graduate (1-year Master’s Degree) students. The sport management programme at Master level is offered in three forms of study: full-time, part-time, and distance learning. In addition, the Center for Postgraduate Qualification provides educational and training courses in sport management for postgraduate students and acting sport managers who obtain a certificate of professional qualification.