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.
  • Practical learning: Work on real-life projects from day one.
  • 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 market upon graduation.




  • 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)€2,083
  • NON-EU students (per year)€8,150
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 17 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 have to 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 from an accredited institution
  • Four 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 listed here, the additional English language test is not required.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts three kinds of official language tests: IELTS, TOEFL and the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English.

  • 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 9215.
  • Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher).
  • TOEIC 670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing).

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

If you are looking to specialise after four years of study, we recommend that you enrol in the master programme in International Leisure, Tourism & Events Management.


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, you will go on an expedition. Your Leisure & Events backpack will be filled with the necessary knowledge of leisure theories, trends, and developments in the sector. You will get acquainted with Leisure & Events companies through inspirational classes and workshops and by going on field trips to industry players like Openlucht Musem Arnhem, het Museum voor Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum, or amusement parks like Walibi Holland or the Efteling. You will also go on an 'urban safari' to test your organisational skills in an event game.  

The second semester is all about choosing your own path. You will start your own company, which teaches you all the aspects related to entrepreneurship. It is up to you whether you market a product, a service, or event. The semester will conclude by organising your own leisure-themed event. 

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 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!

You will be working extensively in your chosen field throughout your studies by 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.


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 will also have the option to go on exchange, Grand Tour, or choose one of the minors offered by other study programmes. 

Event Management
You will spend a full semester working on honing 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.

International Opportunities

Problem Based Learning

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a style of active learning in which you learn by solving problems, as well as develop your practical abilities, including cultural skills, management skills, and meeting and presentation skills. To round out the course, you will take classes in a foreign modern language The language of instruction at the International Hospitality Management Programme for all classes, coursework and projects is English. Additionally, you will be allotted a second language from a shortlist you submit prior to your second year.&nbsp; The second foreign language can be French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian or Chinese.</p>

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.