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 students, from elite sportspeople to sports administrators and academic achievers, and our programmes produce graduates who are skilled and knowledgeable practitioners, as well as 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 complete the course 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.

If you are a graduate or practitioner in fields such as nursing, massage, chiropractice, occupational therapy, physiotherapist or sport and exercise our Master of Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will enable you to extend your capability in specialist practice, leadership and management in your professional setting.

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

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 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

Six months full-time

The Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) is aimed at wellness and rehabilitation practitioners wishing to undertake a short programme of study in order to extend and update their knowledge and skills. The aim is to extend their capability in critical and professional/clinical reasoning for specialist practice, leadership and management, in professional settings.

The programme is tailored to the individual study needs of each student. Public and private sector organisations employing graduates of the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will benefit from the knowledge and specialist skills that the graduates have acquired during their programme of study.

Course Details

One year full-time

The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) is aimed at wellness and rehabilitation practitioners and recent graduates (in fields such as chiropractic, health science, massage therapy, medicine, naturopathy, nursing, occupational therapy, osteopathy, physiotherapy, sport and exercise) wishing to undertake a comprehensive programme of study in order to upgrade their qualifications and extend their knowledge and skills with the objective of obtaining employment or advancing their careers. The programme is tailored to the individual study needs of each student. Public and private sector organisations employing graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Science (Wellness and Rehabilitation) will benefit from the broad knowledge and skill set (including problem-solving), that the graduates have acquired during their programme of study.

Course Details

Three years full-time

The Bachelor of Sport and Exercise degree has been designed to prepare graduates for a leadership career in the sport, recreation and fitness industry. The course of study includes foundation sports management and sport science papers. Additional papers in Years Two and Three of the course ensure subject specialisation with theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

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 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 or two years part-time


This qualification will provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to operate independently, supervise others and work with stakeholders across the sport, recreation and exercise industries. Graduates will be able to operate within a framework of health and wellness in relation to individual, group and community needs.

Course Details

19 weeks full-time

One year part-time

Study the New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 5) and develop the knowledge and skills of exercise prescription across a variety of exercise environments.  Students will be able to design and deliver advanced technical and personalised exercise programmes.

Course Details

19 weeks full-time or one year part-time

  • Choreograph, deliver and adapt safe and effective group exercise classes for one or more different class types and varying exercise abilities
  • Encourage group exercise participants to develop skills and knowledge to improve own health and wellbeing
  • Integrate culturally appropriate values, processes and protocols to respond to participant exercise needs
  • Enhance movement patterns in group exercise classes by utilising knowledge of anatomy and physiology
  • Use business skills and create an awareness of exercise products and services to develop and maintain a client base

Course Details

19 weeks full-time or one year part-time

  • Deliver safe and effective exercise programmes, including prescreening, within own scope of practice and industry code of ethics
  • Apply knowledge of anatomy and physiology to adapt and deliver safe and effective exercise programmes to individuals
  • Adapt programmes for apparently healthy people and common at-risk groups using exercise science and testing
  • Apply motivational and communication techniques to enhance individual participant commitment to a personalised exercise programme
  • Apply a health and wellness framework and evidence-based nutrition principles to support a personalised exercise programme and recommend referral pathways to allied health professionals
  • Use marketing and business tools and techniques to support business practices as an exercise professional


Course Details

12 weeks full-time

Up to two years part-time

Intakes are 12 weeks long

This qualification has been developed for people wanting to pursue further development in sports coaching.  Content includes: 

  • Applied sports psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise prescription
  • Injury prevention
  • Sports conditioning
  • Sports coaching

Course Details

The aim of this programme is to provide 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: Employment opportunities may include sports coaching, sports management or working within sporting or fitness organisations. You may continue onto further study at our SIT2LRN distance learning and complete: Certificate in Sports Training & Development or apply to study on campus: Diploma in Sport and Recreation, Diploma in Sport and Exercise (Level 5) and Bachelor of Sport and Exercise.

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Programmes & Tutor Profiles

Student Profiles