Sports Science Courses in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a sports science degree

Studying a sports science degree in New Zealand as an international student offers a comprehensive exploration of the scientific principles behind human movement, exercise, and sports performance. Typically spanning three years, the degree is structured to provide a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Core modules often include anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports psychology, and nutrition.

Sports science courses in New Zealand emphasize hands-on experience through laboratory work, field studies, and internships, allowing students to apply theoretical concepts in real-world settings. The demand for professionals with a sports science background continues to grow globally, and a degree from New Zealand provides a solid foundation for a successful career in the ever-expanding field of sports and exercise science. 

Potential employers include sports organizations, fitness and health centres, government health agencies, and academic institutions, and graduates of sports science programs enjoy favourable employment prospects with opportunities in various sectors. 

Contact SI-New Zealand about your application

Types of Sports Science Degrees in New Zealand

Studying sports science in New Zealand equips you with skills and knowledge related to sports and physical activity, and the course curriculum covers subjects and topics such as physiology, biomechanics, and motor learning.

Bachelor of Sport and Recreation

The Bachelor of Sport and Recreation is an undergraduate degree focusing on improving sports performance based on anatomy and physiology, fitness assignment, and exercise prescription. During the degree program, you will be able to investigate issues related to human movement, nutrition, physical strength and conditioning. The career paths in this field include high-performance coaches, exercise scientists, fitness coaches, and league managers. 

Masters of Sports, Exercise, and Health

A Master’s of Sports Science is a postgraduate degree that allows you to advance your sports industry knowledge. The course curriculum focuses on applied learning with highly specialised skills in sports science, rehabilitation, and movement-related professionals. While studying sports sciences in New Zealand, you will be allowed to work on a dissertation or thesis, which enables you to research a topic of your choice under the supervision of industry experts. After completing a sports science degree in New Zealand, you can pursue a doctoral program for in-depth research or get into higher-level positions in the workforce. 


Scholarship name

Offered by

Award value

University of Waikato International Excellence Scholarship

University of Waikato


Phillips Ashton Smithells Memorial Scholarship

University of Otago


UC Haupatu Scholarship (School Leaver Scholarship)

University of Canterbury


Jobs and Careers

Careers in sports science in New Zealand offer unique opportunities in sports and fitness. Graduates will experience a depth of knowledge and practical skills, including biomechanics, sports nutrition, exercise psychology, and personal training. You will develop a set of skills: presentation and communication skills, effective problem-solving, time management, and a good understanding of information technology. 

As a result, they can work in the fitness, education, health, and sports sectors. Some top career paths you can look for after completing a sports science degree in New Zealand are physiotherapy, nutritionist, sports manager, personal trainer, and performance analyst. The top companies that offer placement in sports science are Emirates Team New Zealand, YMCA, and Northern Mystics Netball. 


 In New Zealand, the average salary in sports science is around $62,000 annually. For example, the average pay scale for sports coaches with one to three years of experience can range between $60,000 to $80,000 annually. However, the average pay for experienced sports and physical education professionals will be around $90,000 to $101,000. 

Top Universities for Sports Science in New Zealand

To learn more about sports science courses in New Zealand, find details on the top-ranking sports science course universities in New Zealand in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 below:



Acceptance rate


University of Waikato



The University of Auckland



University of Canterbury



Auckland University of Technology



University of Otago



Lincoln University



Massey University


Study Sports Science in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for a sports science degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

Contact SI-New Zealand about your application


What can you do with a sports science degree in New Zealand?

Graduates with a sports science degree can get into many career options related to physiology, education or human anatomy. Career paths for a bachelor’s in sports science include sports scientist, strength and conditioning coach, and fitness manager. On the other hand, a master’s degree can lead to advanced research or specialised coaching positions. 

What should be the criteria for choosing sports science in New Zealand?

The eligibility criteria for bachelor’s and master’s are different. The applicant must have completed higher education for a bachelor's in sports science, and for a master’s degree in sports science, a relevant bachelor’s degree is required. Also, qualifications in the English Proficiency Test are a must. 

What types of sports science courses are available in New Zealand?

Sports science courses in New Zealand are available in undergraduate and postgraduate under various specialisations. The courses include a Master of Sport and Recreation, a Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science, and a Bachelor’s in Exercise and Sports Science. 

Can international students work part-time while studying sports science in New Zealand?

Yes, New Zealand allows students to work part-time during their studies. You can work up to 20 hours weekly if you are doing a full-time course. 

Study in New Zealand Blog

"SI-New Zealand helped me successfully apply to study business in New Zealand and I cannot thank them enough for their support. They assisted me with each step, ensuring I was aware of all my options in terms of program and university selection, making the process totally stress free."

Isabella Ramos Business and Management

Isabella Ramos