Skip to main content

Leisure, Sport & Tourism

his sector covers a huge range of jobs from working in graduate level roles closely connected to sports and exercise science, to sports promotion, to running a leisure centre or working in passenger services (e.g. air, sea, rail and road) and travel and tourism (e.g. hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, tourist information centres, attractions and adventure tourism). There are only a few graduate training schemes in this area and entry level jobs are usually not very well paid but this sector is so broad that there are large numbers of opportunities to gain skills and experience and create a good career path. This sector also offers job satisfaction, helping people to enjoy their free time, reach their fitness potential and travel the world can be incredibly rewarding. Your voluntary work, vacation and term time jobs, and work experience can be very important in breaking into this sector. Building up contacts through networking is often a more effective way of securing that first opportunity than the more formal application routes. 

Recent Exeter Graduates have gone into roles in this sector, some examples include: 

  • Sports Development Assistant 
  • Health Advisor 
  • Assistant Manager and Coach 
  • Performance Analyst 
  • Clinical Exercise Specialist 

For sector statistics, please visit the Healthcare and the Travel & Tourism industry reports on My Career Zone Digital.  

Career Zone Employability Schemes 

(to help increase your work experience and networks in this area)

  • Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremelyuseful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.  
  • Ask an Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.  
  • Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period. 
  • Professional Pathways: a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.  
  • The Global Opportunities Team offer support and advice for all Exeter students to find international placements, internships and jobs.

Videos: Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector. 

Blog posts:

  • Take a look at the Alumni Profile of Matthew Grover, Exeter Alumni who works as an Interim Wheelchair Talent Pathway Manager for the Lawn Tennis Association. He graduated from the University of Exeter in MSc Sport and Health Sciences, 2017. Read about how he uses his experience to make difference, and where his ambitions will take him in the future.

Webpages: If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful. 

  • Prospects A summary of the Leisure, Sport and Tourism industry in the UK, looking at the challenges it faces, opportunities for graduate jobs, where to find volunteering and internships, and how to develop your skills. 
  • Target Jobs - An overview of the jobs, internships, and employers in the sector, as well as industry specific advice for career progression and job profiles. 
  • sportbusiness.com - The latest news on sports and business 
  • Sport Industry Group - useful news and section on sport PR 
  • Medicine and allied careers in the NHS - for information on careers available within the NHS 
  • Physiotherapy - Careers information from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists 
  • Travel Weekly - For latest news and insights from the sector. 
  • Ecotourism - the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism. Founded in 1990, TIES has been on the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, and educational resources. 

For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit ourgeneral job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.  

For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful:   

As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively. 

If you have studied a related degree, check if your course is accredited by one of the professional bodies. Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing your professional development, and generally keeping up-to-date with what's happening in the sector. 

If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study.

It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).