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University Oval Cricket Ground in Dunedin, New Zealand

Community, culture, and commerce

Sport is a rapidly expanding industry that intersects with education, culture, commerce, health and tourism. As an internationally-recognised applied discipline, the Sport Development and Management major is founded on the global growth in sport science degrees and sport management specialisations. It has three orientations:

  1. It is concerned with the quality of organisations and the societal conditions that support sport participation.
  2. It revolves around the enhancement of individuals and the understanding of psychological variables that help development and performance.
  3. It attends to sport's growing links with community objectives such as wellness, social integration, and economic renewal.

Papers examine the spectrum of people, institutions, and policies that influence the structure, management, and experience of sport.

Study at New Zealand's top-ranked department

This major and minor is hosted at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences. We are the number 1 ranked department in New Zealand and 12th in the world in our field.

Why study Sport Development and Management?

  • Otago offers the only Sport Development and Management programme in New Zealand. It offers the option of a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts, which provides flexibility for those who have more interest in either sciences or arts/humanities.
  • Sport Development and Management offers the opportunity to pursue a minor in a related area of interest including: Exercise and Sport Science, Management, Marketing, Media and Communication Studies, Psychology, Geography and Education.
  • Sport Development and Management offers a practicum programme where students can work with school or community sport organisations or undertake applied research in the NZ Centre for Sport Policy and Politics – this will provide real world practical experience.

Background required

There are no specific Year 12 or 13 level subjects required for admission. However, biology and physical education may be helpful. Language-rich subjects and social sciences are also recommended.

Career opportunities

Careers in this sector and industry include sport development officers, administrators and managers in national sports governing bodies, regional sport organisations, community trusts, government ministries and local councils. Sport Development professions also include: teachers, coaches, youth workers, sport marketers, and school sport co-ordinators – all of whom are involved in improving individuals and environments around sport / physical activity. The programme has strong pathways to postgraduate qualifications (e.g. master's and PhD) in Sport Development and Management.

What you will study

Study options

Postgraduate options

We have a strong postgraduate culture and you can undertake further studies in sport development and management.


Matt Enright, Bachelor of Physical Education GraduateMatt Enright

Highlanders Rugby Club Commercial and Marketing Assistant

Matt Enright's love of all things sport and exercise meant that studying at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences was a no-brainer, making the decision to come to Otago simple.

“My decision was also based on the School's excellent national and international reputation. My PE teachers were very successful sportsmen / women at national levels as well as being very good teachers and educators; having gone through the School themselves and hearing them speak highly of their personal experiences, I felt Otago was clearly the best choice.”

In his second year, Matt landed a fantastic internship for the Highlanders Rugby Club, which has led to a full-time job in sports marketing at a franchise he always wanted to work in from a very young age.

“The School is the most fitting place to have led to this exciting new job opportunity, and I am immensely grateful for the connections that arose from my time here.”

“I was part of the student executive that ran all sorts of events for students; from their first orientation experience of Dunedin to other more formal events, we organised it all! This quickly taught me the importance of group co-ordination, communication and the power of relationships with other students studying the same degree.”

“I learnt a set of tools for reasoning and how to approach the issues I may encounter in the professional sporting arena through sports marketing. I also developed critical thinking skills – such as how advertising might influence people, how to involve people in sporting events, and the new and innovative ways to reach people in society through marketing.”

Matt hopes to be further involved in sports marketing. “But I'm also keen to teach Physical Education at some stage in the future to get more kids passionate about sport and sport science, in a world that is becoming increasingly technological and less active!”

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