Bachelor of Sport and Exercise – BSpEx

Join one of New Zealand’s biggest sectors. With Massey’s Bachelor of Sport and Exercise (BSpEx) you’ll be equipped with valuable skills to work in the world of health and physical activity.

Type of qualification

Bachelor's degree

Level of study

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is usually the first one you study.

NZQF level 7

Our courses follow the New Zealand Qualification Framework (NZQF) levels.

Find out more about NZQF levels

Time to complete

3 year(s) full-time (360 credits)
Up to 8 years part-time
Part-time available

Where you can study

Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Study a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise – BSpEx

Note: Some majors in this qualification are covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

Great jobs - plenty of choices - wide range of subjects

Get a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of key sport and exercise concepts and knowledge. Then dig deeper by choosing one of three specialist areas. As part of your major, you will gain valuable real world experience in our sport and exercise practicum. This will allow you to apply your skills and knowledge and prepare you for entry in to the workforce.

World-class, highly experienced staff

You will learn from the best, with many of our staff involved in sport as competitors, coaches, administrators and managers. Our research-active academic staff will teach you the most up to date information to help prepare you for the ever-changing and expanding world of sport and exercise.

Outstanding facilities

You will enjoy working in first-class facilities including our state-of-the-art human performance labs, Sport & Rugby Institute, athletic track and sports fields.

Real-world learning

Our hands-on internships give you invaluable real-life work experience, which often leads directly to job offers.

What makes sport and exercise at Massey – and you – a winner?

  • You’ll benefit from our enviable industry connections.
  • We have strong alliances with leading national sport organisations.
  • We are New Zealand’s go-to group for companies such as Nestlé, for sports nutrition.
  • Our graduates are highly regarded by employers.

A BSpEx is a good fit if you:

  • are passionate about sport and exercise
  • are keen to build a healthier world with a sport-focused degree
  • want to help people live happier, healthier, better lives.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Structure of the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

The majority of courses in your first year are common to all majors.

Typical pattern for the Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

Core courses These courses are a compulsory part of your qualification.

Major courses Choose from a selection of courses appropriate for your specialisation.

Elective courses Follow your interests. Your qualification may have selection guidelines for elective courses.

Year one
234140 Introduction to Physical Education
234131 Introduction to Sport Organisations and Development
250100 Health Communication
234141 Introduction to Human Movement and Hauora
234111 Training Principles and Practice
234135 Sociology of Sport and Exercise
234121 Functional Anatomy
Year two
Year three
234338 Sport and Exercise Practicum
30 credits

Courses are each worth 15 credits, unless otherwise indicated

Courses and specialisations

Key terms

Each qualification has its own specific set of courses. Some universities call these papers. You enrol in courses after you get accepted into Massey.
Course code
Each course is numbered using 6 digits. The fourth number shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).
Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.
Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Credit summary

360 credits

  • Core courses – 105 credits
  • Major courses – 180 credits
  • Electives – 75 credits

Ensure that overall, you have:

  • Not more than 165 credits at 100 level
  • At least 75 credits at 300 level

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Schedule A: Core courses

Compulsory courses (Choose 105 credits from)

Choose 105 credits from
Course code: 234111 Training Principles and Practice 15 credits

An introduction to the knowledge and skills necessary for the planning, implementation and evaluation of goal-oriented training.

Restrictions: 214166

View full course details
Course code: 234121 Functional Anatomy 15 credits

An introduction to the structure and function of the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular and cardiopulmonary systems and their importance to health, movement and exercise.

Restrictions: 214170

View full course details
Course code: 234131 Introduction to Sport Organisations and Development 15 credits

An introduction to the provision of sport, fitness, and physical activity, including the roles of, and relationships between, key organisations and agencies

View full course details
Course code: 234135 Sociology of Sport and Exercise 15 credits

An introduction to sociological concepts, principles and theories as applied to sport and exercise.

Restrictions: 234331

View full course details
Course code: 234140 Introduction to Physical Education 15 credits

An introduction to health and physical education through the exploration of a range of teaching models, management techniques, contemporary issues, and diversity with consideration to the Treaty of Waitangi relevant to undergraduate students.

Restrictions: 274106

View full course details
Course code: 234141 Introduction to Human Movement and Hauora 15 credits

An introduction to human movement (Te Ao Kori) and its application to the concept of Hauora (holistic health and well-being).

Restrictions: 274104

View full course details
Course code: 250100 Health Communication 15 credits

This course examines the key principles, ethics and theories of effective health communication for positive health change in individuals and communities. Students will learn to develop and critically analyse health-related messages and research, engage with culturally diverse audiences, and consider social, biological and environmental determinants in health communication.

View full course details

Schedule B: Specialisations


Some qualifications let you choose what subject you'd like to specialise in. Your major or endorsement is what you will take the majority of your courses in.

Completing a major is compulsory. A major requires 180 credits including at least 60 credits at 300 level.

Schedule C: Minors

Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree and give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major.

You may choose a minor from any University undergraduate degree that has recognised minors. If the minor is from another degree the regulations of that qualification will apply.

  • Equine
  • Sport and Exercise Psychology

Schedule D: Elective courses

Course code: 114330 Equity and Diversity in the Workplace 15 credits

A study of the historical, legal and social issues of diversity and equality in the workplace in Aotearoa/New Zealand and overseas.

View full course details
Course code: 115114 Finance Fundamentals 15 credits

This course introduces analytical techniques for evaluating personal and business investment and financing decisions, including coverage of the context and environment in which these decisions are made.

Restrictions: 115105

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Course code: 115116 Introduction to Marketing 15 credits

The course provides an understanding of the core concepts and practices of marketing.

Restrictions: 115104

View full course details
Course code: 128300 Ergonomics/Human Factors: Work, Performance, Health and Design 15 credits

An introduction to Ergonomics/Human factors (E/HF) - an inter-disciplinary holistic practice-based approach to integrate work, leisure and people in occupational, organisational, leisure (including sport, equipment, products, design and rehabilitation) environments to optimize matching of human-user-system health, performance, comfort and effectiveness: covering fundamental ergonomics principles, micro-macro-ergonomics, E/HF analytical methods, physical, psychological and social capacity and limitations of individuals and groups/teams in organizational socio-technical work and leisure environments.

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Course code: 147101 Rehabilitation Studies 15 credits

An introduction to the principles and practices of rehabilitation. The processes of rehabilitation are explored with particular reference to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Emphasis is placed on exploring a person-centred approach to rehabilitation.

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Course code: 147102 Whakapiri: Engagement in Mental Health and Addiction Work 15 credits

The course provides an introduction to mental health and addiction with a focus on Aotearoa New Zealand. Attention is given to the social context of mental health and wellbeing. Students are introduced to mental health as a human right, processes of engagement and brief intervention in mental health and addiction work.

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Course code: 148334 Sports History 15 credits

An analysis of the relationship between sport and society, commencing with the development of sport in Britain during the second half of the nineteenth century, with particular reference to sport and empire, women in sport and commercialism and nationalism in sport.

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Course code: 150112 Hauora Tangata: Foundations of Māori Health 15 credits

An introduction to understanding Māori health within Aotearoa/New Zealand.

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Course code: 150202 Mauri ora: Māori Wellbeing and Vitality 15 credits

Cultural understandings of health form the basis for an exploration of cultural, biological, social, economic, environmental and political interactions and their impacts on Māori health.

Prerequisites: 15 credits from 1501xx

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Course code: 152252 Project Management 15 credits

An introduction to the theory and methods employed in project management.

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Course code: 152336 Leadership Practice 15 credits

A critical analysis of the theory and practice of leadership relevant to public and private organisations and the development of ethical leadership and citizenship in a variety of socio-cultural contexts.

Restrictions: 152328, 152329

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Course code: 152350 Strategic Management and Governance 15 credits

An examination of strategic management concepts, the tools and techniques of strategic analysis, and issues associated with governance including business ethics.

Prerequisites: Any 200 level Management course Restrictions: 152341, 152365

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Course code: 214101 Human Bioscience: Normal Body Function 15 credits

Human body structure and function (anatomy and physiology), including relevant concepts of homeostasis and metabolism and development throughout the lifespan.

Restrictions: 194101, 117155

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Course code: 214201 Human Bioscience: Impaired Body Function 15 credits

An examination of the aetiology of disease and alteration of health status and the relevant scientific clinical tests, including the role of micro-organisms in disease processes.

Prerequisites: (214101 and 214102) OR (162101; and 194101 or 117155 or 214101)

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Course code: 219230 Sport Communication 15 credits

An examination of the theoretical background of sport communication, which includes an application of skills and principles within the topic.

Restrictions: 234230

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Course code: 231106 Introduction to Public Health 15 credits

An introduction to public health principles, perspectives, stakeholders and practices that are both internationally recognisable and of local importance to New Zealand.

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Courses at 100, 200 or 300-level from the 234 course prefix series.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

The BSpEx will prepare you for a variety of careers in New Zealand’s large sport and exercise industry. This might include the growing areas of community sport, fitness, professional sport, sport administration and wellness. Potential careers and fields include:

  • community sports and fitness centres
  • medical centres, hospitals, clinics and aged care facilities
  • national and regional sporting organisations
  • school sport coordinator
  • sport events and recreation programmes
  • sport venues and facilities
  • sport, health and physical activity promotion
  • sports trainer or coach of athletes and teams
  • teaching (further study required, such as the Massey Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching).

What our students say

“My degree has qualified my passion for sport into a prosperous profession in coaching, teaching, leading and managing sport teams.”
Aaron McLelland

Ngāti Porou

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

“I thoroughly enjoyed studying at Massey University via distance. It allowed me to live the lifestyle that I wanted due to its flexibility.”
Jamie Middleton

Snow Sports NZ

“I thoroughly enjoyed my three years and feel very privileged to have been taught by such fantastic lecturers who have prepared me well for a career in exercise prescription.”
Olivia Tilyard

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

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