Advanced Certificate in Leisure Studies

Learn to be a leisure industry professional. Acquire skills in marketing, management, research, teaching or technical aspects of the leisure industry.

Course Code: VRE053
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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 Take Pleasure in Leisure 

If you enjoy spending time in leisure pursuits, then perhaps you would also enjoy working in this area. The leisure industry is diverse, encompassing such things as:

  • Leisure Centres, Gymnasiums, Swimming Pools, Sporting Facilities, Parks, Tourist Attractions
  • Sporting Goods and Equipment
  • Services - including sports coaching, fitness instruction, tours, hobby classes, etc.

People with a level of training such as that found in this course may discover career opportunities across the broad spectrum of the industry; sometimes as an employee in public or private enterprise; but often in their own business.

Opportunities may vary from sales and marketing to management, media and education.

Forge a Business or Career in Leisure Services or Management

  • Start any time, study at your own pace from anywhere in the world.

  • Work in supplying goods, services or facilities to the Leisure industry

This course would be close to two years of full time study at most colleges; however, under our system you may fast track it or take it slow. Some may complete it in one year, while others may take many years to finish the course.

To give yourself the best chance of success in this industry, a substantial course (around 1500 hrs or more) together with experience, is what is needed.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Leisure Studies.
 Recreation Leadership VRE100
 Event Management BRE209
 Leisure Facility Management I BRE205
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Food & Beverage Management BTR102
 Bed & Breakfast Management BTR203
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 33 modules.
 Travel Photography VPH005
 Aromatherapy VHT104
 Business Studies BBS101
 Classroom Delivery Skills BGN106
 Ecotour Management BTR101
 Fitness Risk Management VRE104
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Health & Fitness I BRE101
 Health & Wellbeing VRE102
 Leisure Management 1 - Marketing BRE103
 Leisure Management II - Human Resources BRE104
 Nature Park Management I BEN120
 Personal Fitness VRE103
 Research Project I BGN102
 Sports Coaching VRE109
 Tourism 1 BTR103
 Aquafitness BRE207
 Bar Service VTR204
 Bushcraft And Wilderness Activities (Survival Skills) BTR201
 Food Preparation - Foundations of Cooking BRE212
 Hotel Management BTR202
 Internet Marketing BIT204
 Leisure Management III - Administration BRE204
 Nature Park Management II BEN207
 Operations Management VBS201
 Project Management BBS201
 Research Project II BGN201
 Resistance & Gym Supervision BRE206
 Zoo Keeping BEN208
 Ecotourism Tour Guide Course BTR301
 Leisure Facility Management II BRE306
 Leisure Management IV - Policies & Procedures BRE305
 Sports Nutrition BRE303

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Leisure Studies is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


How are Leisure Services Provided?

Providing any products or services for leisure pursuits may fall within the scope of the leisure industry.
For example:
  • government services and facilities (eg. Leisure centres, public swimming pools, public golf courses and sports grounds, holiday play programs, picnic grounds, facilities for sports or hobbies, etc)
  • non profit organisations (eg. Sporting clubs, social clubs, hobbies)
  • commercial enterprises (eg. Fitness centres, health clubs, manufacturers and suppliers of hobby and sporting supplies and equipment, theme parks, etc)
  • sometimes tourism and health industries overlap on the leisure industry. Boundaries are not clearly defined (eg. A scuba dive centre might be considered part of the leisure industry or the tourism industry; or perhaps both).
In developed countries, leisure can be a huge and significant industry, contributing as much if not more than any other industry to a nation’s economy.
As with any large industry, proper management of income and expenditure is essential to sustaining the industry and optimising the quantity and quality of service it can deliver to the public.
The nature, scope and quality of leisure facilities and services will always be limited by funding.
In an ideal world, a leisure manager can concentrate on providing the very best services, and need not be distracted by financial concerns. This is however unrealistic. Funding is a significant concern to most leisure managers.
Funding may come from one or several of the following:
  • User Pays
  • Government Funded Services
  • Funding through Grants, Gifts, Donations
  • Fund Raising Activities
  • Funding from Sponsors or Advertisers
User Pays
This is a funding strategy that relies on generating running costs from charges made to the users (eg. a public swimming pool that charges entry fees and uses those entry fees to pay for running costs). Public facilities may budget to break even (no profit) but good management can still be very important , if funding budgets are to be achieved.
Government Subsidised
This is where government funding partly or fully pays for facilities or services.
Grants, Gifts, Donations
Some people will bequeath money to Leisure facilities or services in their will. Some philanthropic individuals or organisations may also give money to what they consider a good cause. Trusts and various types of philanthropic organisations donate funds in different ways. Some call for submissions; others find worthy causes and make donations without any submission being made.
Some major sporting organisations may also provide funding to support grass roots activities in their field (eg. A national football league may support a local junior football competition).
This method of acquiring funding is more prevalent in some countries than others, and may be more prevalent for some types of facilities or services than others.
Some leisure facilities and services have been fortunate to acquire funding through grants, gifts or donation
This involves funding being provided usually by a commercial organisation, in exchange for some commercial benefit they perceive.
  • A TV or other media organisation providing funding for a sporting club in exchange for exclusive media rights
  • A commercial business providing funding in exchange for advertising rights (eg. Billboards at the facility, being able to advertise an affiliation with the sponsored organisation
  • A business or other organisation may feel they enhance their image as being more charitable, ethical or attractive.
Sponsorship can be a significant source of funding in recreation and sport.
The basis for sponsorship is that a sponsor (eg. a commercial business or public body) will provide funding to an organisation; and receive benefits (eg. promotional benefits), from being seen to be associated with the recreation organisation or sport.
Sponsors usually see their involvement as a financial investment, but as with all financial investments they do not always believe that they get value for money.
If sponsorship is to be ongoing, however, there needs to be a cost benefit which equates with costs to the sponsor.
Sponsorship agreements need to be negotiated in detail, and the details spelt out clearly on paper.
The sponsor and the "sponsored" both need to know clearly what rights and limitations are involved in the sponsorship contract.


Success for some may be to get a job; but for others, it may be to be their own boss in their own leisure based business. Either way, this course can greatly enhance your chances of success.

Study alone though is rarely enough to realize your full potential in this, or any industry. Even the best course will only provide a foundation upon which to build a career. The most informed and capable leisure professionals are always going to be people who have three things:
  1. Knowledge and Skills. This can be achieved through formal study, or informal learning
  2. Relevant Experience. By seeing and doing things in the industry, you can apply your learning; and that builds a context and relevance for learning that can never be achieved though study alone. It takes time, practice, application and repetition for both theoretical and practical learning to become really useful; and as that happens, you become increasingly useful.
  3. A positive and appropriate attitude. To be a successful manager today, even in a public job, can often require a certain entrepreneurial flair.

Some students may find business or career opportunities emerge as they progress through this course. We often hear of students being offered work. Being involved in the industry, undertaking projects we give you, and exploring new ideas, can easily lead to developing industry contacts, or finding opportunities that you might not have otherwise seen.

Other students may on graduating, decide to seek employment in an established leisure enterprise; or start their own business.

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jade Sciascia

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

Lyn Quirk

Lyn has 35 years of experience in the Fitness, Health and Leisure Industries. She has a string of qualifications that are far too long to list here; being qualified and registered to teach, coach or instruct a wide range of different sports and other skills.

Lyn established and managed Health clubs at three major five star resorts on Australia's Gold Coast, including The Marriott. She was a department head for a large government vocational college (TAFE), and has conducted her own aquafitness business for many years. Lyn has among her other commitments worked as a tutor for ACS for almost 10 years, and over that time, participated in the development or upgrading of most courses in her fields of expertise.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

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