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Study sport

Sport, Exercise and Recreation

Do you love sport? Whether you're passionate about personal training, fitness, nutrition, sports coaching, or community recreation, Unitec’s range of sports programmes sets you up to discover, or even create, your dream job in this fast moving and exciting industry. At Unitec, you'll get more than a qualification - apply now and start your career today.

Explore your options

The sport, exercise and recreation industry is booming! In New Zealand alone, over 31,000 organisations employ over 100,000 people (not to mention over 1 million volunteers) in sports-related jobs every year; our staff also work in the industry in many different and exciting ways. That's why Unitec is best placed to help you turn your passion for sport into real-world job opportunities. Better yet, we'll be with you every step of the way. 

Do you want to learn how to design and deliver exercise programmes for all ages and skill levels? How about coaching a school or community sports team, or getting out into the community to lead by example?  You can do it all with Unitec's range of innovative course options, which are designed to suit all sports fanatics.

At Unitec, learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom! You'll get plenty of hands-on experience during tutorials, laboratory sessions and industry placements. Whatever you choose, you’ll benefit from campus facilities including a stadium, weights room, and sports fields. There’s also the Human Performance Lab where we test and research fitness and conditioning programmes. You’ll learn in a supportive and open environment from experienced lecturers and tutors who have a passion for sport.

Programmes and study path

Start with a programme that suits your qualifications and/or experience, then progress to a level that achieves your goals.
New Zealand Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Level 3) 3 Full-time for 16 weeks or part-time options available Entry into further study at certificate or diploma level. February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Exercise 5 Part-time over one year Personal trainer/fitness instructor, Gym Instructor, Recreation Centre Staff Member, Health and Wellness Coach February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Sport Coaching 5 Part-time over one year Special event co-ordinator, Professional sport coach, Sport coordinator, Health and Wellness Coach February or July
New Zealand Certificate in Sport and Recreation (Community Development) 5 Part-time over one year Recreation Centre Staff Member, Community Development Adviser, Health and Wellness Coach February or July
New Zealand Diploma in Sport, Recreation and Exercise (Multi-Sector) 5 Full-time for one year, part-time for two years Personal trainer/fitness instructor, Special event co-ordinator, Sport administrator, Professional sport coach, Sport coordinator, Gym Instructor, Recreation Centre Staff Member, Community Development Adviser, Health and Wellness Coach February or July

Industry connections

Study sport at Unitec and you’ll have contact with sport, fitness and recreation organisations all the way from grassroots to professional level. Unitec prides itself on its ability to establish and maintain strong industry relationships to enhance student learning. From internships, to running events with partner organisations, to hands on teaching and coaching in schools, Unitec will ensure you hit the ground running.


Sports Centre

As a sport student, you’ll use Unitec’s Gym and Sports Centre for practical sessions on exercise prescription, biomechanics, and exercise physiology. You’ll use the equipment to show how different exercises affect different muscles, and the stadium to teach local school children skills like running and jumping, as well as specific sports like basketball and soccer.

Human Performance Lab

The on-campus Human Performance Lab tests fitness levels and develops conditioning programmes for athletes of all levels. Run by staff who are experts in exercise physiology, exercise prescription, and biomechanics, it’s packed with state-of-the-art technology. This is an amazing resource for you to learn more about the full spectrum of human performance.

Sports Fields

Unitec has two sand-based sports fields which are used all year round. It’s an outdoor teaching space where students can teach local school children a range of sports. You might even see some well-known New Zealand rugby players from time to time.