Otago Polytechnic

Graduate Diploma in Sport Management



One year full-time; part-time options

On campus with an internship

Are you a sports lover? Do you enjoy managing and coordinating events, people and organisations?

This unique qualification is your opportunity to combine your business acumen with a specialisation in sports to learn how to achieve a management career in the sport industry. During this programme you’ll develop leadership skills, understand relevant policies and legislation and learn how to run successful sporting events.

This is a wide and varied industry where no two days are the same, and opportunities abound for individuals with this skill set. Choose from job opportunities in facilities management, high performance sport, event management, sports development or sports sponsorship. Staff teaching this programme have experience in both the sports and management industries, and you will benefit from the opportunity to undertake a practical industry project within a local or national sporting organisation researching a relevant issue/problem.

Entry requirements
  • A bachelor's degree in any discipline OR equivalent skills/experience.
  • You may NOT enrol in a major that you have already studied at undergraduate level.
  • International students will be individually assessed to ensure they meet the entry requirements. Click here for equivalent academic entry requirements by country.
  • If English is not your first language, you must also demonstrate English language skills equivalent to an IELTS overall band score (academic) of 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in any other band.
  • Successful completion of our New Zealand Certificate in English Language (Level 4) programme is an acceptable equivalent.
Additional documentation

You must supply certified copies of proof of identify, academic records and proof of residency (where appropriate).

Selection procedure

Eligible applicants will be accepted as received.

Additional costs

You will be required to purchase some textbooks during this programme and also cover any costs associated with fieldtrips or the industry project.

You will study

You will complete 120 credits of learning, of which 75 must be at Level 7. 


Event Logistics: Learn about health & safety and risk management, crowd control, food and beverage, audio visual, volunteers, seating, staging and performer through participating in the logistics coordination of a number of actual events.

Sports Facility Management: Learn about the many components of trying to make sporting facilities viable. Examine the funding implications for small sport clubs to multi-purpose stadiums.

Principles of Leadership: Develop an understanding of the nature and scope of personal leadership, and learn how to plan for your ongoing development as a leader. You will also learn to apply leadership knowledge and skills to the management of change. 


Event Project: Focus on the development, planning and execution of events. Work in groups to deliver actual events in conjunction with an industry client by completing an event from beginning to end. You will organise the resources, marketing, finances, human resources and project timelines for the event, and will also learn to evaluate the event’s success. You will prepare a written report including concepts, models and experiences gained from this project.

Information and Policy in Sports Management: Learn about policy, including what it means and how it affects sports operations. Embrace the opportunity to write up a policy for a national sports organisation.

Industry Project: This provides an opportunity to balance theory with applied learning in your workplace or host organisation and tailor your studies accordingly to your interest. The project involves a workload of 200 hours, completing a written research project investigating an issue/problem that adds value to the organisation. This industry project will be useful in developing team work, communication and other soft skills/capabilities and in helping establish industry connections post-graduation. 

Compulsory Courses Level Credits
Event Logistics 6 15
Sports Facility Management 6 15
Principles of Leadership 6 15
Event Project 7 15
Information and Policy in Sport Management 7 15
Industry Project 7 45
Total   120
Your workload

Your programme of study will generally include lectures and seminars/ tutorials. You will be expected to contribute at least 20 hours per week of your own time in self-directed study to allow for successful completion of the qualification.You will also complete a 200-hour industry project, gaining hands-on experience and developing important industry and business connections.

Further study options

Progress into higher levels of learning and enhance your employment potential with postgraduate study in Sports Management. Alternatively, broaden your career opportunities even further by completing additional Graduate Diplomas in Sales and Marketing or Event Management.

Student loans and allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful.


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.

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