Sport and leisure activities are vital to the economy and the sector offers a range of career opportunities to graduates...
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Fitness centre manager
- Outdoor activities/education manager
- Secondary school teacher (PE)
- Sports coach
- Sports development officer
- Theme park manager
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Customer service manager
- Event manager
- Sports administrator
- Tourism officer
- Tourist information centre manager
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. If you haven't already done so, take a few minutes to answer the Job Match questions to find out what careers would suit you.
It can be very helpful to gain related work experience to complement your degree. For example, you could work in the sport and leisure industry as a fitness instructor or in an administrative role. It may also be possible to gain marketing or events management experience, perhaps through university societies or voluntary work.
Work experience and travel opportunities can be combined during the vacation periods by working for organisations such as:
Portfolio working can help you to develop the skills and experience you need to progress and boost your CV. This can be achieved by working in a variety of short-term roles and at sporting events or at smaller, local occasions.
Internships and volunteering are other valuable ways of gaining experience. Try youth sport volunteering if you are interested in coaching, or find an opportunity to staff a sports event if you want to pursue a management role.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
- cinema and entertainment complexes;
- fitness and leisure centres;
- hotels and accommodation facilities;
Sport and leisure management graduates are also finding opportunities at:
- event management companies, producing festivals, concerts, exhibitions and corporate or private parties;
- leisure management consultancies, providing advice to the public and private sector on how best to manage their sports and leisure facilities.
Self-employment is possible and after gaining experience some graduates establish sports consultancy businesses, or set up sports camps or training centres. One-to-one personal training is a popular option and can provide quite a lucrative and flexible working lifestyle. The downside of this type of arrangement can be financial unpredictability if client numbers decrease unexpectedly.
Skills for your CV
Sport and leisure management studies offers an excellent grounding in business skills, including:
- business planning and strategy;
- human resources;
- physical resources management;
- legal matters (health and safety);
- customer service.
These are all highly transferable skills and can lead to a management role in any sector.
Although sport and leisure management is a highly vocational course, the fact that you gain an understanding of issues relating to psychology, sociology and social policy means you could move into roles within the public sector. These could include policy planning, community development and social work.
Your course will teach you technical skills, and the practical assignments and placements provide you with hands-on experiences in public, private and voluntary sector environments.
Around 10% of sport and leisure management graduates pursue full-time or part-time further study, with half of those combining study and work.
Some take postgraduate courses in order to specialise in a particular area such as arts and culture or events management. Others may take postgraduate courses to specialise in a vocational area such as teaching.
Many graduates who work within this area also choose to study for the professional qualifications offered by the Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (IMSPA) or those listed by the sector skills councils:
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in sport management.
What do sport and leisure management graduates do?
Sports coaches, instructors and officials are the top jobs held by graduates in employment in the UK six months after graduation.
Other occupations include conference and exhibition managers and organisers, marketing associate professionals and fitness instructors.
|Working and studying||4.1|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Technicians and other professionals||18.4|
|Retail, catering and bar work||18.2|
|Marketing, PR and sales||17.4|
|Business, HR and financial||9.4|
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.