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
(to help increase your work experience and networks in this area)
- Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremely useful, 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.
- 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 our general 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:
- Careers in Sport - for latest job vacancies in sport
- Jobs in Football - for latest job vacancies in the football industry
- UK Sport - excellent site with jobs from sports governing bodies
- Sport England - information site including jobs
- Leisure Jobs - jobs in the sport and leisure industry including marketing, sales and events management
- Adventure Work - adventure instruction, ski and resort jobs
- SuperCamps - offers vacation work for students with sport interest
- NHS Jobs - roles in Healthcare including Physiotherapy
- Leisure opportunities - jobs in the leisure industry
- Hospitality careers - latest vacancies in the hospitality sector
- Travel Weekly & The Carerer - travel and hospitality jobs platform
- Travel job search - advertise jobs in the travel industry
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.
- British Association of Sport and Exercise Science - has a free careers guide for non members
- Physiotherapy - Chartered Society of Physiotherapists
- Federation of Sports and Play Associations
- Society of Sports Therapists
- Chartered Institute the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
- Association of British Professional Conference Organisers
- Institute of Hospitality
- Institute of Travel and Tourism - the only membership organisation for travel and tourism professionals, suppliers, educators, and students across all sectors of the industry.
- Society for Incentive Travel Excellence - a professional association located in 90 countries, working in corporations, agencies, airlines, cruise companies, and across the entire destination supply chain.
- Association of British Professional Conference Organisers - The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers, (ABPCO) is the UK’s leading Professional body for Association Conference & Not-for-profit Event Organisation.
- British Institute of Innkeeping - leading independent membership organisation for professionals in the licensed trade.
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).