The sport and leisure sector is a fast-growing area of the economy, and offers a wide range of career opportunities to graduates with a degree in sport and leisure management

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

It's important to get relevant work experience in the area you want to work in to complement your degree. For example, you could get experience in the sport and leisure industry as a part-time fitness instructor, lifeguard or in an administrative role. It may also be possible to gain marketing or events management experience, perhaps through university societies or through a work placement.

There are opportunities for work experience abroad during the holidays with organisations such as BUNAC and Camp America.

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. For example, you could get experience by volunteering to coach in schools or after school clubs.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Sport and leisure management graduates are employed by a wide range of employers. These include:

  • sport, fitness and leisure centres
  • sporting event and hospitality management companies
  • professional sports clubs
  • hotels and accommodation facilities
  • health clubs and spas
  • sport governing bodies and public agencies
  • sport marketing agencies
  • leisure management consultancies - providing advice to the public and private sector on how best to manage their sports and leisure facilities.

With experience, some graduates set up sports consultancy businesses, sports camps or training centres. Coaching and personal training are also popular options.

Find information on employers in leisure, sport and tourism, charity and voluntary work and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

Sport and leisure management graduates develop a range of sports leadership, leisure event and business management skills in areas such as:

  • operations management
  • managing finance and funding
  • business planning and strategy
  • human resources
  • physical resources management
  • marketing
  • legal matters (health and safety)
  • managing people and customer service.

You also develop a range of other transferable skills, including:

  • communication and presentation
  • analytical
  • decision-making
  • project management and research
  • teamworking.

These skills can lead to a management role in any sector.

Courses combine teaching with practical assignments and placements, which provide you with hands-on experience in public, private and voluntary sector environments.

Further study

Some sport and leisure management graduates go on to take a Masters degree in order to specialise in a particular area of sport and leisure management. Subjects include sport and international development, sport coaching and development, and sport business management. Other options include arts and culture and events management. Postgraduate research degrees are also available.

There are also opportunities to take further training to specialise in a vocational area, such as teaching.

Professional qualifications are offered by a number of bodies, including The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

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?

The top jobs held by sport and leisure management graduates in employment in the UK six months after graduation are sports coaches, instructors and officials.

Other occupations include conference and exhibition managers and organisers, and marketing professionals.

DestinationPercentage
Employed75.3
Further study9.4
Working and studying4.3
Unemployed4.5
Other6.6
Graduate destinations for sport and leisure management
Type of workPercentage
Marketing, PR and sales20.9
Technicians and other professionals20.5
Retail, catering and bar work10.2
Business, HR and financial9.8
Other38.6
Types of work entered in the UK

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.

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