Master of Health, Sport & Human Performance

The Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance will set you up with a research-based qualification that will teach you to critically examine how political, cultural, social and economic factors influence the meaning and nature of sport, exercise and leisure.

This qualification was previously known as Master of Sports and Leisure Studies

Studying the Master of Health, Sport & Human Performance (MHSHP), you'll explore how psychological or physiological factors influence movement and performance in sport and exercise. Throughout your course of study you'll receive opportunities to get involved in real world research to make a difference in people’s lives, as well as connect with elite athletes and teams.

The University of Waikato's Health, Sport and Human Performance Department boasts world-renowned active researchers and lecturers who have international expertise and reputations. Also, our research group on the Critical Studies of Sport and Physical Culture is one of the most highly regarded in the world, particularly in the study of action and adventure sports.

You will work in our high-tech laboratories at the Cambridge Avantidrome or the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance in Tauranga, and will benefit from our collaborative relationships established with local organisations. These partnerships bring about opportunities for you to connect with elite athletes and teams for research including; Waikato Chiefs, BoP Magic, Cycling NZ and community organisations such as Parafed, Disabilities Waikato and Sport Waikato.

The MHSHP is a flexible degree, giving you the option to tailor the programme to meet your needs. Our staff hold the expertise to supervise a diverse range of projects, and you have the option of completing your degree over one year full-time, or part time while working.

Study flexibly

At masters level you can study a range of papers. The MHSHP usually comprises 180 points (500 level) including required and optional papers. You are required to choose one or more option(s) from the below. You can also pursue an area of interest in greater depth by undertaking a research project or thesis, under one of our expert supervisors. You are required to take a research methods paper and we recommend the school-based paper: SPLS501-16A Researching sport and leisure.

This qualification can be started at the University of Waikato Tauranga.

 Career opportunities

  • Applied Exercise Scientist/ Exercise Physiologist
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Events or Sports Manager
  • Outdoor Education Instructor/manager
  • Health, Physical Education or Dance Teacher
  • Researcher in Health, Sport and Human Movement
  • Human Movement or High Performance Manager

Key information

Study Locations Hamilton; Tauranga
Faculty Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education
Years 1-1.5
Start Dates Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Domestic Fees $7,044-$7,588 per year
International Fees $27,825 per year
Tuition fees shown above are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.


These are all the subjects available for the Master of Health, Sport and Human Performance

Health, Sport and Human Performance

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Graduate study options

PhD in SpLS

Our research projects

  1. Sport and fitness researcher, Dr Matt Driller
  2. Sport and movement researchers, Dr Holly Thorpe and Dr Belinda Wheaton (Marsden Research Grant recipient researching sport in sites of war, conflict and disaster)
  3. Quality education settings – Associate Professor Clive C Pope (Children's and youth sport) and Mike Brown (Outdoor education)


Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education

Postgraduate Administrator Tracey Rowan
Phone: (+64) 7 838 4466 Ext: 7721
Room: TC.2.46

Postgraduate Advisor
Dr Matt Driller
Phone:(+64) 7 838 4500 ext 7735 
Room: TT.7.13 

Degree Structure

Programme requirements

The MHSHP usually comprises 180 points (500 level) including required and optional papers and a research project or thesis.

Choose from

SPLS502 Sport, Fitness & Health: Science in Practice

SPLS504 Sport and Communities

SPLS505 Youth Culture and Sport

SPLS507 Sporting Bodies and Movement Culture

SPLS508 Health and Physical Education in Schools

SPLS520 Special Topic

Choose one from

SPLS501 Researching Sport and Leisure (recommended)

DSOE557 Research Methods

PCSS502 Kaupapa Māori Research

And at least one from

SPLS590 Directed Study

SPLS592 Dissertation

SPLS593 3-paper thesis

SPLS594 4-paper thesis*

*Consult with the programme adviser.