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 at the Christchurch campus

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

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

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Programmes & Tutor Profiles

Student Profiles

Sport, Exercise & Recreation courses at the Christchurch campus

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

19 weeks full-time or one year part-time

  • Design exercise programmes to the industry standard and implement advanced exercise options to enhance client performance
  • Provide appropriate referrals and follow-up actions to address nutritional requirements as part of personalised exercise prescription
  • Integrate a broad range of health and wellness factors into an extended exercise intervention programme to meet client goals and objectives
  • Analyse and select from a range of advanced exercise options underpinned by exercise science to customise exercise assessment and programmes
  • Design programmes and apply exercise principles within scope of practice using understanding of the indications and contraindications for symptomatic or apparently healthy people
  • Develop networks with other allied professionals to support exercise client outcomes
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 pre-screening, 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
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