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5 Campuses + Distance Learning, 218 Courses, 33 Subjects

Study Sport, Exercise & Recreation at SIT

From the fundamentals of fitness to the science of sporting success, studying Sport, Exercise and Recreation at SIT will give you the start you need for a career in the industry. Our programmes attract a high calibre of student, from elite sportspeople to sports administrators and academic achievers, and our programmes produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable practitioners and researchers who have successful careers.

Many of our graduates move into the rapidly growing field of exercise science/health promotion/rehabilitation while others pursue roles in sport and leisure management areas, or as preparation for a career in police, teacher training, fire service or armed services.

SIT Sport, Exercise and Recreation students work with athletes and sports administrators at all levels, including elite national and regional representative teams and individuals, but also at community and school levels, as well as amateur sport and recreation activities. With a wide range of programmes, we offer the opportunity for every student to pursue their interests as part of a quality educational programme.

Our courses have been offered since 1998 and our graduates are working and studying in New Zealand and around the globe. Many have continued their study at postgraduate, masters and doctorate level.

Degree level study

If you're considering undertaking a degree in Physical Education or Exercise Science, take a closer look at SIT's Bachelor of Sport and Exercise. This is a top quality academic degree offering a choice of pathways in Recreation Management, Exercise Science/Health Promotion or PE (Physical Education) Teaching.

We take approximately twenty students into each of our first year programmes. We may also accept selected students into years two and three Diploma and Bachelor programmes, depending on their academic background and work experience. The small class sizes enable us to offer a very ‘hands on’ course with a high level of pastoral care. You can be assured that you will receive a quality education with targeted vocational practice.

Fantastic facilities

SIT has a newly upgraded and expanded gym on site which is well suited for health and fitness, rehabilitation and high performance sport. The gym features quality Cybex equipment and Olympic training weights, and students have access to a variety of specialist equipment in our Human Performance Centre including a VO2 metabolic cart. 

The wider Southland region is a recreation paradise with some of the best international sporting facilities in New Zealand. The region boasts numerous world-class sporting facilities including NZ’s first indoor cycling velodrome, water-based hockey turfs on a par with the Beijing Olympic fields, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a brand new indoor multi-purpose stadium. There are many sports clubs to join and easy access to outdoor activities in nearby Fiordland, the Catlins and Central Otago. 

Train while you study

Historically the south has always provided its fair share of sporting heroes in various fields. In more recent years, our sports stars have been proudly tutored by SIT in our wide variety of Sport and Exercise Science qualifications. Several Olympians, Paralympians and professional sportspeople are currently undertaking their sporting qualifications at SIT – utilising the flexibility of the course to manage their sporting achievements alongside their tertiary training. 

Programmes in Sport, Exercise & Recreation

Click on a circle in the table below to see the courses offered in each subject/qualification combination.

Masters Postgraduate Dip/Cert Graduate Dip/Cert Degree Diploma Certificate Short Course STAR / Gateway*


OCertificate39Sport, Exercise & Recreation3Christchurch


OMasters39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill
OPostgraduate39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill
OGraduate39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill
ODegree39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill
ODiploma39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill
OCertificate39Sport, Exercise & Recreation1Invercargill

SIT2LRN Distance Learning

OCertificate39Sport, Exercise & Recreation4SIT2LRN Distance Learning
OSTAR39Sport, Exercise & Recreation4SIT2LRN Distance Learning
Masters Postgraduate Dip/Cert Graduate Dip/Cert Degree Diploma Certificate Short Course STAR / Gateway*

* STAR/Gateway programmes are only offered to NZ Secondary Schools

Programmes & Tutor Profiles

Student Profiles

Sport, Exercise & Recreation News

Sport, Exercise & Recreation Courses

Click a title below to see more information about that course.

18 Months full-time

Graduates of the Master of Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will be able to:

  • Set and justify priorities, solve complex problems using credible evidence in novel environments, and organise and manage resources related to wellness and rehabilitation or performance.
  • Design, carry out and communicate the results of significant research projects in the field of wellness and rehabilitation and relate the findings to the professional and research literature.
  • Analyse and critique professional and research publications in wellness, rehabilitation and related subject areas, identify practical applications and relate findings to their own research.
  • Apply their analytical and research capabilities to unfamiliar situations involving the application of wellness and rehabilitation practices.
  • Research, integrate and apply advanced understanding of wellness and rehabilitation approaches, assessment, training and methodology
  • Demonstrate high levels of skill as a wellness and rehabilitation practitioner or in a research role in an organisation.
  • Think critically and act responsibly when confronted with academic or professional challenges.

Course Details

6 Months full-time

Graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Health Science (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will be able to recognize cultural differences and ethical issues, and consult and collaborate with other health professionals assess wellness and rehabilitation needs of clients and determine appropriate responses show evidence of advanced knowledge about wellness and rehabilitation apply acquired knowledge and skills in practical situations

Course Details

1 Year full-time

Graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Science (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will be able to demonstrate mastery of complex concepts and theories in the field of wellness and rehabilitation and their application in solving practical problems prescribe, monitor and critically evaluate wellness and rehabilitative programmes using a client-centred approach within their own discipline critique and reflect on personal specialty practices and take responsibility for clients’ needs show evidence of advanced knowledge about specialist areas of wellness and rehabilitation gather, evaluate and analyse information from a variety of sources demonstrate the capacity for critical thinking.

Course Details

Three years full time

  • This is a top quality academic degree with the choice of majoring in Recreation Management, Exercise Science/Health Promotion or PE (Physical Education) Teaching
  • Papers include anatomy, physiology, exercise prescription, endurance conditioning, rehabilitation, nutrition, psychology, research, communication, business and marketing
  • Specialist equipment in our Human Performance Centre includes a VO2 metabolic cart and students get regular opportunities to test and work with top local athletes
  • Students gain work experience in their area of interest during a 6-month industry placement in the third year

Course Details

One year full time

This programme aims to develop a broad theoretical knowledge in the fields of sport and exercise and a holistic understanding of sport and exercise and its importance to the community.  It recognises the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi to the New Zealand people and raises awareness of of the implications of the treaty with respect to community and resource management in the fields of sport and exercise.  Students will develop a range of practical expertise in the sport and exercise industry by developing a close working relationship with various organisations.

Course Details

One year full time

Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science (Level 6) students will study topics such as fitness assessment and programming, psychology, programming outdoor education, human movement and integrated sciences, nutrition for human performance, experiential and adapted outdoor education, research and statistics, management for professional practice and exercise physiology. Students will also be able to choose 2 elective options at Levels 5 to 7.

Course Details

Two years full time

The Diploma in Sport and Recreation is a hands-on, practical course where students can specialise in either sports development/personal training, or outdoor recreation leadership.

Course Details

One year full time

Students will study subjects such as communications, exercise prescription, applied anatomy, physiology, health aspects of exercise and nutrition, managing sport and recreation, sport and recreation in society, aquatics and conditioning for endurance sport. Students will also be able to choose 2 elective options at Levels 5 or beyond.

Course Details

36 weeks full time

This programme aims to produce graduates who understand and are able to apply the key components of exercise and fitness, and demonstrate knowledge of national and local needs in the area of fitness and health. Students will learn to work professionally with all clients, showing sensitivity to their individual needs. Graduates will have a strong scientific understanding of fitness and will be able to apply this knowledge and manage themselves within the context of the fitness industry, with an awareness of the issues relating to managing people and facilities.

Course Details

One year full time

The Certificate in Sport and Recreation equips students with practical skills to ensure competence in a variety of sport and fitness and recreation fields, including sporting bodies, fitness training and leisure centres, regional and local authorities and outdoor recreation providers. 

Course Details

14 weeks fulltime

Up to 2 years part-time

Intakes are 14 weeks long.

This certificate will help students gain the skills and knowledge for work or further training in the sports training sector. The content gives athletes and coaches the knowledge to allow themselves and others to achieve their potential. The programme has a strong focus on sport psychology, nutrition and exercise prescription and finding out how the body becomes stronger, fitter and faster when stressed by exercise.

Course Details

18 weeks

Group fitness has to be one of the most exciting areas in fitness.  If you are passionate about helping others be the best they can be, then there is no better way of making a real difference than instructing a group fitness class.  The awesome atmosphere created from leading a group of enthusiastic participants through a fun and effective workout to music is hard to beat! Become a choreographer, an entertainer, a coach and a mentor.

You will develop the skills and knowledge from industry experts to become a great group fitness instructor.  Our blended delivery model includes self directed study, classroom sessions and weekly practical classes, offering you flexibility and support so you can be the best!

The course covers fitness fundamentals, mechanics of music, group communication and control, creating choreography, delivering a dynamic performance and much more.

Course Details

The aim of this programme is to provice students with a foundation of knowledge to work in the recreation and sport community and/or provide knowledge for students to progress into more advanced studies in sport and exercise. Students have the option to gain individual unit standards without completing the full qualification. Career Pathways: This National Certificate will gain students a foundation of knowledge for further study in the sport and exercise sector. SIT offers: Diploma in Sport and Recreation, Diploma in Sport and Exercise (Level 5 & L6) Bachelor of Sport and Exercise, Graduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise

Enrol Online Course Details