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.
  • You will study at the number one, publicly funded Leisure & Events Management programme in the Netherlands according to Keuzegids (studyguide) HBO 2021.
  • You will work on real-world projects from the field: developing meaningful leisure products or services for companies such as DGTL Festival (events), Oerol (arts and culture) and TT-Assen(sports).
  • In the third year go can choose to study abroad either by going on Grand Tour to one of our campuses in South Africa, Thailand or Bali, or by participating in the exchange programme at one of our many Exchange partners.
  • Receive two certificates in addition to your bachelor’s degree: Event Design Canvas Level 1 and IDEA (Independent Dutch Event Association) 
  • The programme is closely linked to NHL Stendens well renowned, European Tourism Futures Insitute(ETFI). ETFI is the specialist in future studies and scenario planning for leisure and tourism.

Curious about the experiences of our students & Teachers?

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) € 1.084,-
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January/15 August
Non-EU: 31 October/31 May
More information


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.

Why we need Leisure & Events professionals now more than ever?

These are challenging but exciting times for all of us, holding many new opportunities for the future. A future, that calls for resourceful professionals who understand the dynamics of the Leisure & Events industry, and dare to think out of the box to find innovative solutions.


Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of our 4-year bachelor programmes, you will need to meet the admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For a 4 -year bachelor programme at NHL Stenden, you need a diploma that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 4/EQF 4 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework)* and comparable to the required Dutch diploma.

The Central Student Administration at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences carries out an assessment on every individual application to our 4-year bachelor programmes. It generally recognises the international qualifications listed here**

If the qualification you will obtain or have obtained is not listed as a recognised qualification, you may still be eligible to study at NHL Stenden and should also apply for the programme through Studielink. Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have submitted your application.

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your secondary school diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website.

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

** All applications are assessed on an individual basis by the Central Student Administration (CSA) even if your diploma is listed as a recognised qualification. Although this document has been composed carefully by NHL Stenden, rights cannot be derived from this overview.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a bachelor degree and hold a diploma from a European institution listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS 6.0 ** (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 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 only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English 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./p>

In the second semester you will work on developing an entrepreneurial attitude. You will do this by working in teams throughout the semester on a real life issue from a player of one of the leisure sectors. You will analyse the client and the environment and come up with a solution for the problem. The client tests this solution and gives your project team feedback. In the end, you will deliver a final, meaningful leisure or events product or service.

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), 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 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.