Leisure & Events Management

(B Leisure & Events Management), Bachelor’s Degree (4 years), Full-time

Are you fascinated by the inner workings of the multi-billion-euro leisure industry and would you rather be running Disney World than visiting Cinderella Castle? If you are curious, enterprising, creative, a born organiser and ambitious as well you are exactly the sort of student who will thrive in our Leisure and Events Management programme.

  • Option to specialise in Events, Sports or Art and Culture.
  • Strong focus on sustainable business and intercultural cooperation.
  • Option to complete part of your programme abroad (specialisation and/or internship).
  • Final-year (international) internship to increase your position in the labour job market upon graduation.
  • Receive two certificates in addition to your bachelor’s degree: Event Design Canvas Level 1 and IDEA (Independent Dutch Event Association) 

Online Presentation Leisure & Events Management



  • Bachelor of Arts

Study start

  • February
  • September


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

4 years


This course amounts to a total of 240 ECTS.


  • EU students (per year) € 2,143
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January/15 August
Non-EU: 1 November/31 May


A bachelor’s degree in Leisure & Events Management is your ticket to a career in management, policy-making or consultancy in the world of sports, the media, recreation, and arts and culture. As a student in our course, we expect you to have inspiring ideas about sustainable leisure, be a strategic thinker, and enjoy working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

No day is ever the same!

You will juggle a multitude of tasks as a Leisure and Events Management professional, acting as a key coordinator and communicating at all levels of the organisation. Your work may involve anything from developing ideas for (sport) events, booking concerts for a large pop music venue, to handling the marketing for a theme park or museum, or one of many other possibilities.

Careers open to you after graduation include:

  • Event Manager at a sports marketing company.
  • Booking Manager/Entertainment Manager for a major music venue.
  • Marketing and Communications Manager at a theme park.
  • Museum Project Manager.
  • Government Policy Officer focusing on tourism and recreation.
  • Starting your own business.

Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of the bachelor programmes you must meet certain admission requirements. NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences recognises the following general international qualifications:   

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma or European Baccalaureate Diploma
  • High School diploma or graduation statement (see below) from an accredited institution. 
  • our GCSE/GCE ‘O’ level passes (final grade A, B or C) and two ‘AS’ level passes. These six passes combined must all be in different subjects. 
  • Associate, bachelor's or master's degree

Furthermore, some of our bachelor programmes demand additional entry requirements. These can be found in the list of admissible diplomas. If your diploma is not mentioned in this list, please contact the Central Student Administration at csa@nhlstenden.com.


If you are aged 21 or older and would like to enrol at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, but do not currently meet the admission requirements, you are invited to register for the entrance examination. 

Read more information regarding the 21+ entrance examination.

All non-EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application. Exceptions are made for students, who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the official working and educational language. The language requirements for EEA students are the same as for Dutch students. If  your diploma is mentioned in this list and English is included as part of the final curriculum, the additional English language test is not required. The same goes for students who followed the English language programme of the European Baccalaureate or International Baccalaureate and have subsequently received the EB-Certificate or IB-Diploma. 

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts five kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education

  • Academic IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 for each skill).
  • TOEFL 550 (paper based), 213 (computer-based) and 80 (internet based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652.
  • Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher).
  • TOEIC 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).
  • We are aware that test centres around the world have cancelled and/or postponed exams. Together with governmental organisations and higher education institutions in the Netherlands, we are working on solutions. Please check our Corona Q&A for up to date information. 

View the comparison between the different scores.

Please note: If you do not have the appropriate level, it is possible to enrol in our English Preparatory Language Course.


After your studies

There are excellent job opportunities in the industry for students graduating from Leisure & Events Management. Additionally, there is a demand for postgraduates at master’s level who have relevant business and research skills, as well as strategic capabilities.  

If you have this ambition, NHL Stenden offers the possibility to acquire a master’s degree in International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management. This is a unique way for you to distinguish yourself in the leisure & events industry. 


Three of our professorships of applied sciences and their research groups are connected to this course. This way, we share research data and knowledge across our educational institute and in practice. These are the professorships:

  • Sustainable Innovation in the regional Knowledge Economy
  • Mariene Wetlands Studies
  • Scenario Planning

Additionally, this study programme is part of the Centre of Expertise Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (CELTH).

Leisure & Events Management has the following accreditation and quality labels:

  • The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)
  • Distinction for Sustainable Development (NVAO)



About the course

The main focus of the Leisure & Events Management course is on how to create meaningful and memorable experiences for individuals, organisations and communities in a sustainable way. You will quickly learn to look beyond the allure of the industry and will truly learn to understand the business and organisational aspects involved. During your four years, you will acquire a solid grounding in marketing, business economics, new media, project management, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and communications. The focus is on events, but you will also gain practical first-hand experience in different leisure sectors like sports, arts and culture, leisure, tourism, and media. You will use this new-found knowledge to your advantage when independently carrying out a project.  

First Year

Introduction to the leisure industry

In the first semester of the first year, you will go on an expedition to fill your leisure-and-events backpack with basic tools such as knowledge of leisure theories, trends, and developments in the sector. Naturally, you get acquainted with leisure & events companies through inspiring classes, workshops, and practical assignments. You will also go on fieldtrips to Dutch players in the industry such as Openlucht Museum Arnhem, Museum voor Beeld en Geluid, Walibi, or ‘de Efteling’, a famous Dutch theme park. Go on ‘urban safari’ as well, to test your organisational skills in a simulated event game. 

In the second semester, you get to choose your own path even more. By starting your own company, you learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It is up to you to decide whether to bring a product or service to market, or -for instance- to organise an event. This allows you to learn all aspects of entrepreneurship through and through. The result of this semester focuses on creating a leisure-centred event. At the end of the semester, you will do volunteer work for one of our partners, such as the Hello festival in Emmen, the TT in Assen or Oerol on Terschelling.

More in-depth study

In the second year, you will look at the leisure industry from a tactical management perspective and learn about all aspects involved in event organisation. You will be tasked with organising an event or project for a client in your future field and will enrich your student experience by meeting industry professionals who have created experience concepts. In addition, you will explore the intricacies of project management, imagineering, concept development and research. You will also do an internship for one day per week at a leisure company. This allows you to apply your acquired knowledge in practice. 

Specialisation and international opportunities

At this stage of the programme, you will become involved in strategic management and carry out a research project in an organisation in your future field. You will develop your vision of the field and work on topics such as placemaking and event policy. You will then choose to specialise in one of the following areas: Event Management, Sport Management, or Art and Culture Management. You also have the opportunity to complete part of your course at any of our campus sites in the Netherlands, Indonesia (Bali), Qatar, South Africa, or Thailand. This is called the Grand Tour. You may also spend a semester abroad as part of our international student exchange programme.

Internship and graduation

You will complete the programme with an eight-months internship, which you may carry out at a company in the leisure industry all over the world. By this time, you will be all set for an exciting career in your chosen industry!


Event Design Canvas TM (EDC) is integrated in the Leisure & Events programme. You will receive the Level 1 certificate for this component. EDC is an internationally recognised organisation that trains and recognises event professionals worldwide. 
Together with your bachelor’s degree you will also receive a certificate from the trade association IDEA (Independent Dutch Event Association). 



When you choose one of the specialisations offered by Leisure & Events Management, you will spend the last three semesters of your course specialising in a sector of the leisure industry, choosing from Sports, Events, Art and Culture and Tourism. By taking two minors, doing an internship and working on your thesis, you will become fully immersed in the field of your choice. Of course, you can also choose your own path and opt for minors offered by other NHL Stenden programmes or go on Grand Tour or International Exchange.

Event Management
You will spend a full semester working on one of a leisure manager’s key skills: organising events and projects. Events are becoming an increasingly popular way for businesses and organisations to build customer loyalty. You will take two English-language modules, on completion of which you will receive a certificate from the relevant industry associations. Find out more about Event Management in Bali, Qatar, or South Africa.

Sports Management
This specialisation prepares you for a career in the world of sports. You will get to incorporate the knowledge you acquired in the previous two and a half years of your Leisure & Events Management course. This is important since, as a sports manager, you will inevitably be dealing with related sectors such as tourism, the media and recreation. Note that more general sport management courses do not offer this same breadth of knowledge.

Art and Culture Management
In this course, you will be trained to understand how cultural organisations such as museums, theatres, cultural centres and pop music venues are run. You will learn about management, booking events and performances, financial management, arts funding, and marketing. In addition, you will explore the art scene in an international city and come up with a field of research or other projects to undertake. 

Practical experience and research

You will be working extensively in your chosen field throughout your studies, starting your own business, completing assignments for a leisure company and contributing to research in one of the Leisure and Events Management research departments or our ETFI Research Institute.

Unique education concept 

Design Based Education is NHL Stenden’s unique education concept. It allows you to work according to the design thinking method on real cases, practice-based research and innovation. You work together across study programmes with fellow students, lecturers and researchers, both within and outside of our institution. This is how you will develop your own professional identity with which you deliver sustainable, meaningful solutions to the benefit of society. Ultimately, you are being educated to become a world-wise professional who feels right at home in an international setting.  

International Opportunities

Educational concept

Design Based Education

All NHL Stenden programmes are working towards a system of Design Based Education (DBE), which puts co-creation with professionals in the field front and centre. You will be working in small teams of students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals.