Bachelor of Applied Science



Three years full-time; part-time options

Blended, distance learning

By 30 November (preferred). Late applications will be accepted until start date of programme if places available.
  • Location
    Study breaks
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2022
    9 May 2022 - 27 May 2022
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2022
    9 May 2022 - 27 May 2022
  • Dunedin
    22 February 2022
    9 May 2022 - 27 May 2022

With specialties in Sport, Exercise, Health and Massage

Are you passionate about sports, exercise or health? Do you like working with people? Do you want to help others improve their lives to reach their potential? 

If you answered yes to all of these, then this contemporary degree is the pathway for you.

It's based around practical experiences and problem-based learning and you'll learn to reflect and critique your own and others' practice. There'll be the opportunity to gain “real world” industry experience and to take part in community-based projects with the support of our experienced staff.

This degree will allow you to develop the transferable skills that make you work ready.

If you choose the massage and health specialities, you'll complete the New Zealand Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage as your first year of study. You'll then continue into Year 2 of the Bachelor of Applied Science. By successfully completing this degree, you'll meet the requirements for registration with Massage New Zealand (MNZ) as a massage therapist specialist in rehabilitation.

Those who choose to study the exercise specialty will be able to apply for registration with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) after they graduate. 

Career opportunities

Graduates can expect to gain employment as competent practitioners within professional organisations.  This may include government and non-government sport, exercise and health settings.  For example, working in or with regional sports trusts, commercial gyms, teaching, health promotion organisations and sporting organisations.  You will be trained broadly in the skills needed to be practitioners for sport, exercise and health, in addition to completing community projects within your chosen field of practice that expand your knowledge.

Entry requirements
Academic Qualification Criteria


  • NCEA Level 3
  • 14 credits at Level 3 or above in each of three NZQA approved university entrance subjects, and
  • 10 Literacy credits at Level 2 or above, made up of: 
    • 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing, and 
  • 10 Numeracy credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
    • specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects OR
    • package of three numeracy unit standards (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).

COVID-19 adjustments to NCEA requirements

  • If you completed your NCEA Level 3 during 2020, you only need 12 credits per Level 3 subject (i.e. a total of 36 credits).
  • If you completed your NCEA Level 3 during 2021, please visit this page on the NZQA website. There are different adjustments depending upon which part of New Zealand you studied in.


A Level 4 qualification on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) totalling 60 credits or more completed within one year.

This may be achieved through successful completion of a pre-entry programme such as the Health bridging certificate at Otago Polytechnic. Please note: completion of pre-entry qualifications does not guarantee automatic entry into this programme. 

University study

Successful completion of courses equating to 50% of first year learner workload completed within one year.


Equivalent professional experience.

English Language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.

Additional criteria

  • All applicants who are accepted must obtain a First Aid Certificate, and complete the requirements of the Children’s Act 2014 (including police vetting), before starting classes.
  • If you currently hold a valid first aid certificate then please send that with your acceptance.
  • If you do not have a first aid certificate, a training course opportunity will be offered to you at a reasonable cost.

Covid-19 vaccination 

  • Whilst you don’t need to provide us with evidence of your vaccination status to study this programme, please note that some placement providers may ask you for this.
Don't meet the entry requirements? 

Don't panic! The below programmes provide great pathways into this degree. The health bridging certificate offers a more generalised study pathway. The two exercise certificates focus more on a sport and personal training pathway. And the massage diploma focuses on wellness and relaxation massage. Talk to us if you're not sure which pathway to choose. 


Selection criteria

Where there are more applicants than places, an interview panel consisting of a member of the Bachelor Leadership Team and relevant academic staff will interview and select applicants, with candidates prioritised on the basis of strength of academic record. 

Applicants who do not meet the entry or selection criteria will be directed to a path of study to help prepare them for application in the future. 

Additional costs

Learners are expected to purchase a uniform ($200) - this is important for industry placements. You also require your own laptop/tablet that you are able to bring with you to class.

Your workload

This is a full time programme of study and students are expected to complete 35 to 40 hours per week. Approximately ½ of this is face to face in the first year of study.

What you'll study

Within this programme you will develop skills and knowledge in sport, exercise and health, as well as communication, project management, academic writing. You will develop relationships within industry and be able to explore your learning needs and guide your final project year.





Year 1




Introduction to Sport



Introduction to Exercise



Introduction to Health



Community Project One



Year 2

Choose two of:

Advanced Sport



Advanced Exercise



Advanced Health



Advanced Massage*



Community Project Two



Year 3

Community Project Three



* Prerequisite of New Zealand Diploma in Wellness and Relaxation Massage (Level 5) or equivalent qualification and/or experience is required to take this elective.

Further study options

It is expected that graduates of the Bachelor of Applied Science will be able to gain entry into relevant postgraduate qualifications (dependent on meeting programme-specific entry criteria). Programmes include the Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science; Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science; Master of Applied Science; or Master of Professional Practice at Otago Polytechnic; Master of Public Health, Physical Education or Teaching at the University of Otago; Master of Sport and Exercise, Public Health or Health Science at Massey University; or Master of Health Sciences or Science at the University of Auckland. 

Student loans/allowances

Student loans and allowances are for domestic students only. For information about student loans and allowances please visit the Studylink website. It is important to apply for your student loan/allowance at the same time as you apply for this programme, due to the length of time Studylink take to process. Loan/allowance applications can be cancelled at any time if you decide to withdraw your programme application or if it is unsuccessful. 

Recognition of prior learning

If you already have extensive knowledge and skills gained from practical experience in this area, enquire about our recognition of prior learning process at Capable NZ. You may have already gained credits towards this qualification in the course of your life. Visit the Capable NZ website

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