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Sport and Leisure Studies

Sport and leisure are important in our everyday lives. How we define them is constantly changing as society’s expectations change.

Sport and leisure activities don’t just happen – they require people with knowledge to lead them. While studying Sport and Leisure you will look at the way political, cultural, social and economic factors influence their meaning and nature. On the practical side, you have the chance to get inside sport and leisure organisations to examine their role in society and find out what makes them function. You also have the option of advancing your own practical skills by taking papers in subjects as diverse as adventure, dance and leadership.

Study in 2015

So now that you have an idea of what you want to study, let us help you along your way by giving you all the information you need on university life, how to get financial support, student services and how to go about applying to the University of Waikato. Visit our Study in 2015 Student Guide.


Sport and Leisure Studies can also be taken as a second major or supporting subject within most degrees.

School subjects required

There are no specific subjects you need to study at secondary school to study Sport and Leisure Studies at Waikato.

Other subjects that may interest you

Anthropology, Psychology, Public Relations, Teaching, Tourism.

Career Opportunities

  • Community Sports Co-ordinator
  • Events Manager  
  • Health Promoter  
  • Outdoor Recreation Co-ordinator  
  • Personal Trainer
  • Physical Education or Health Teacher  
  • Sport Fitness Co-ordinator  

Potential Employers

  • Adventure Tourism Providers
  • Commercial Fitness Sectors
  • Event Management
  • Local Authorities
  • National Sports Organisations
  • Non-profit Sectors or Trusts


ALED100 Writing for University Purposes
This paper introduces the writing process: generating ideas; researching the topic; composing drafts; editing; register, tone, appropriate language; writing conventions; critical thinking; critical review, report and essay writing.

SPLS101 Social and Cultural Aspects of Sport and Leisure
This foundation paper examines the socio-cultural dimension of sport and leisure by providing an introductory and comparative analysis of key social disciplines: sociology, philosophy, psychology and history.

SPLS102 Concepts of Sport and Leisure
A study of the nature and meaning of sport and leisure; an overview of concepts; an examination of current trends, issues and practices; an historical perspective on leisure; and the significance of sport and leisure to the individual and society.

SPLS103 Physical Activity, Fitness and Lifestyle
An introduction to the study of physical health, exercise and fitness.

SPLS104 Principles of Human Movement
An introduction to the biomechanical and skill-related principles and processes of human movement.

SPLS105 Dance, Leisure and Culture
This paper provides practical experience with different styles of dance and an examination of how these are influenced by societal and cultural issues.

SPLS106 Movement Education: Perspectives and Performance
This paper examines the concepts and principles of movement education and considers how these influence an individual’s performance in a range of physical activities. This paper includes a compulsory practical component.

SPLS107 Foundations of Physical Education
This paper examines the historical, social, and political influences that have contributed to the development of physical education in New Zealand. This paper is designed to challenge our views and experiences of physical education, and includes a range of practical activities.

TIKA157 Mahi Whakaari Tawhito: Performing Arts – An Ancient Perspective
An introduction to the theoretical and practical components of Māori leisure pursuits as a means of communication and cultural expression in the Māori world.

200 Level and Beyond
200 and 300 level papers include the psychology and sociology of sport and leisure, industry leadership, legal and policy issues, adventure programming, physical activity and disability, instructing, sports marketing, dance, health-related fitness and practical experience in the sport and leisure industry.


Erin Cooper, Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies


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