Leisure & Events Management

As a graduate of our Leisure & Events Management programme it is up to you to give people an experience that enriches their lives. The stage is yours!

Working on meaningful leisure experiences

Why choose BUas?

  • 55 years of experience with an extensive international network for placements and exchanges
  • Lecturers with up-to-date knowledge of theory and practice, and strong connections with the industry
  • Academy for Leisure & Events is one of the five World Leisure Centres of Excellence

The right choice?

Do you want to know if Leisure & Events Management is the right choice for you?

Within five minutes you will find out if this study programme is the right fit for you!

Take the quiz

Study overview

Quality of life is becoming increasingly important in the way we spend our spare time. In the Leisure & Events Management programme you will learn how to create memorable experiences.

The programme is delivered thematically. Students operate in an international learning community, which involves a mix of Dutch and non-Dutch (international) students in one classroom. The regular programme takes four years, but there is a possibility to do a 3-year programme.

The Leisure & Events Management programme is also offered in Dutch as Leisure & Events Management (NL). Breda University of Applied Sciences also offers a three-year academic programme in Leisure, Bachelor of Science Leisure Studies.

A complete overview of the curriculum, study components, course content and learning objectives can be found in the study guide.

Year 1

The Leisure & Events Management programme is delivered thematically. This means that subjects such as economics, management, communication and market research are dealt with in content-related projects, rather than in separate topics. Examples of courses are: Leisure Productions, Imagineering, Running Businesses, Design & Marketing, and Stakeholder Management.

Year 2

Leisure is a very broad term. In the second year you have the opportunity to focus on:

  • Sports & esports
  • Attractions & Theme Parks Management
  • Social Innovation
  • Live Music & Dance Events
  • Strategic Events Productions
  • Urban Hotspots
Year 3

In your third-year you will get acquainted with the world of work in the leisure industry. During your placement, you will be learning in an operating and assistant position from a professional perspective. You will work on assignments such as developing a sponsorship plan for a sport event; assisting in the organisation of an event; conducting research into the needs of a specific target group in the field of sports or culture; developing concepts and products; and/or assisting in activities for a policy or strategic business unit. You will have the opportunity of working in the leisure industry abroad or in the Netherlands. Breda University of Applied Sciences has business contacts all over the world and will support you in your search for the right host company. 

Exchange programme

In this year you will also have the opportunity to attend a half-year exchange programme at one of our partner universities, followed or preceded by a shorter work placement. 

Year 4

In the first half of the fourth year, students work on one large-scale project or a variety of smaller projects commissioned by the leisure industry within the scope of their minor track. You may, for instance, organise a festival, write policy plans or investigate the marketing activities of a sports club. The second half of the fourth year is reserved for your individual graduation assignment. At the request of an organisation from the industry, you will conduct research in your specialist area, give advice and make an implementation plan for this. 



In your fourth year you can also opt for a pre-master’s programme of a Dutch research university to gain direct access to their master’s programmes.  

In addition, BUas also offers its own pre-master's programme Strategic Business Management and Marketing (SBM). If your academic results are good, you will be offered the opportunity of attending this pre-master’s programme. Successful completion of this track will give you direct access, after Breda University of Applied Sciences, to various Master of Science programmes in business-related studies in management and marketing at several partner universities. A few examples are the universities of Maastricht, Tilburg, Brussels (B) and Warwick (UK). The SBM pre-master's programme also links up directly to the academic master's programme of Master of Science Leisure and Tourism Studies of Breda University of Applied Sciences. In this way, it will be possible for you to earn an academic master's degree within five years' time or, after having completed an accelerated three-year track, even within four years' time.

Study load and coaching

The average study load for this programme amounts to approximately 40 hours a week, during 40 weeks. How many hours a week you will actually spend studying depends greatly on the person and differs per week. You may have different deadlines and tests at different moments, so good planning skills will be critical to your success.


After your propaedeutic phase you will attend the regular study programme of Leisure & Events Management or you will opt for one of the specialisation areas below. The specialisation areas are offered in English and in Dutch. Within the Dutch-taught variant, you will study a substantial part of the programme in Dutch, such as certain meetings and sessions, and creating documents and products. The literature and theory lectures may still be offered in English though. This will prepare you for a career in the Netherlands, but with the capacity of maintaining relations and cooperating with the international market. 

Attractions & Theme Park Management

Attractions and theme parks are continuously innovating and diversifying. For instance, attraction parks are evolving into complete holiday resorts offering accommodation and entertainment at the same time. Shopping centres nowadays often have additional attractions such as food courts or simulators, zoos are expanding to include more facilities (e.g. climbing parks), and museums are adding entertainment and experiential elements to their cultural and educational offerings.

If you choose this area of specialisation, you will gain insight into marketing, finance, staff planning, hospitality and security and safety. You will also have the opportunity to do a work placement at leading parks such as Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Europa-Park in Germany and Efteling.

This English-taught specialisation area is also offered to students of the Tourism Management and Hotel and Facility Management degree programmes. More information on this specialisation area can be found on the website Discover Attractions and Theme Parks Management.

Sports & Esports

Sports and esports play a crucial role in today’s society. They socially connect people, provide identity, are key to health, vitality and personal development. In addition, these sectors are major contributors to the leisure industry and therefore play a huge economic role.

Everybody is familiar with the sports sector which builds upon a huge history and tradition. However, esports is catching up quickly to become the fastest growing leisure sector in terms of participants, fans and economic value. Not only with sports-themed games such as FIFA or Formula 1, but also industry-leading games such as League of Legends, Fortnite or Counterstrike. Huge numbers of participants are involved in gaming and from a financial perspective the sector is larger than, for example, Netflix and all cinemas together.

At BUas we focus on the experience of sports & esports, not so much from the participant’s perspective (practising or assisting in (e)sports, professionally or otherwise), but more from the perspective of spectators and fans. Additionally, you will always study both sectors in this specialisation. Rather than focusing on one specific game or sport, the programme looks primarily at what these industries and (e)sports can learn from each other.

You will discover how to fuse insights from both industries and how to create new impactful and meaningful experiences for fans and enthusiasts. Regarding your professional career, this specialisation prepares you for work in various organisations in both sectors. For example, helping sports and esports organisations with creating the best possible and most innovative sports and esports experiences, but also supporting brands using sports and esports for branding and marketing purposes.

Live Music & Dance Events

When you visit a dance event or pop festival, you probably don’t realise what it all takes to organise such events.

Are the festival grounds easily accessible? Does it all look attractive? Can you get a drink at the bar quickly? What is the line-up? Are there long queues at the toilets? Within this specialisation area, you will dive into the world of festivals, and learn how a good festival is organised.

This area of specialisation can be attended as an English-taught or a Dutch-taught programme. Without any doubt, the Netherlands is pre-eminently a festival country. Many large events are organised here and a large number of world-famous DJs come from the Netherlands. More and more festivals are being organised, and Dutch concepts are taken over abroad. The Dutch festival sector has a significant impact on a global scale.

Social Innovation

Working towards solutions with people, not just for them. That is the power of Social Innovation. You will think up creative solutions to social issues together with others. Initiatives in the field of social innovation are connected to major challenges in society addressing themes such as sustainability, care, labour, equality, human rights.
There are two ways of looking at it:

  1. Within the leisure industry you will try to improve the way in which we cope with these challenges.
    Example: Festival Digital has chosen to sell only vegetarian food.
  2. Leisure time can be spent on contributing to these social challenges.
    Example: Trashfishing is a leisure activity during which citizens collect waste in their leisure time.

Within the Social Innovation specialisation area, you will set to work on concrete issues from business practice. You will do so inside and outside of the field of leisure, such as sports, theatres, museums, festivals and for care institutions, retail organisations or government autohoroties. You will mostly work at the interface of several sectors. The knowledge acquired in your courses can be used to create a broad support base among the people involved, citizens, residents and organisations. From their own background, everybody brings along knowledge and skills that contribute to finding useful solutions and strengthening a sense of community.

What’s special about this specialisation area is that its curriculum is not set in stone. You will direct your learning process by opting for certain topics and projects. Every year, you will work on some eight real-life projects, in which you will use the methods from the fields of Experience Design, Community Design and Process Design.

Events for Business

Apart from events in the public sector, such as festivals and foodtruck events, many events are organised for the business market. Companies, entrepreneurs and self-employed workers regularly visit trade fairs and conferences. Do you want to learn more about organising business events?

Big event venues such as RAI, Jaarbeurs Utrecht and Ahoy have plenty of facilities to organise business conferences and trade fairs. Furthermore, many companies from outside of the leisure sector organise events to promote or launch their brands or new products. Think, for example, of Coca Cola, Apple or car brands. Within this specialisation area, you will learn more about event venues, the business event market and how the international event sector is currently developing.

Urban Life & Placemaking

This specialisation area focuses on leisure taking place in cities and all the facets playing a role - looking from a social, economic and spatial perspective in many different contexts. 

This could go from the transformation of an old industrial site into a new vibrant cultural venue, via a cultural festival which links to the identity of a city to daily leisure in neighbourhoods in skateboard parks, community centres or small theatres. The city provides a dynamic context for leisure activities in all kinds of areas - such as culture, sports, events and hospitality. 

In this specialisation area we pay attention to subjects such as vision, concepting, implementation and community development. Communication, stakeholders, well-being of residents and a sense of place are important key words within Urban Life & Placemaking.


The regular track of this programme takes four years. However, with a appropriate pre-education a three-year track is available.

  • The 3-year track for students who already have a vwo diploma, a ‘Hochschulreifezeugnis’ (Abitur) or a comparable pre-university education
  • For Dutch students only: The tailor-made track for havo graduates: you will start your course of study at De Rooi Pannen (mbo level) in Dutch and you will proceed to Breda University of Applied Sciences in year 2 of the regular 4-year programme.
3-year track

How does it work?

Year 1
Since you did not follow the regular first year, crash courses of that year will be offered simultaneously for most of those subjects, in addition to your second-year courses. You will be supported by a study career coach, who can also advise you on how to prepare for your placement. Keep in mind that this first year will be very busy and challenging! This year will be your propaedeutic phase, which means that it involves a binding study recommendation of 60 EC credits.

Year 2
Most of the second year is occupied by a work placement. You may perform your work placement either for a company in the Netherlands or, preferably, abroad. In this year you will also have the opportunity to attend a half-year exchange programme at one of our partner universities, followed or preceded by a shorter work placement.

Year 3
In the first half of the third year, students work on one large-scale project or a variety of smaller projects commissioned by the leisure industry within the scope of their minor track. You may, for instance, organise a festival, write policy plans or investigate the marketing activities of a sports club. The second half of the third year is reserved for your individual graduation assignment. At the request of an organisation from the industry, you will conduct research in your specialist area, give advice and make an implementation plan for this.


Should you be interested in the 3-year track and if you have questions that are related to the content and set-up of the degree programme, please contact Liedewei Ratgers. If you have questions about administrative and procedural matters, such as previous qualifications and other admission requirements, please contact our Student Office.

Special tailor-made track for havo graduates

You have just earned your havo diploma, would really like to work in the tourism industry, but are not sure about the step from havo to hbo. Either you fear this step is a little too big, or you are inadmissible to Breda University of Applied Sciences. Breda University of Applied Sciences, in cooperation with De Rooi Pannen, offers the perfect alternative in the form of the tailor-made study track. You will start your course of study with two years at one of the programmes 'Medeweker marketing en communicatie' or 'Medewerker Evenementenorganisatie' at De Rooi Pannen (mbo level) in Tilburg. You conclude your studies with an mbo diploma level 4. Next, you will proceed to this Breda University of Applied Sciences’ degree programme  where you can earn your bachelor’s degree in three years.

Please note: if you want to attend the study track of Attractions and Theme Parks Management, you will be required to apply in Studielink before 1 April in order to be included in the selection procedure.

More information

For more information on this tailor-made programme, please contact Joep Coolen (coolen.j@buas), coordinator at Breda University of Applied Sciences, or Bas Horsten (b.horsten@derooipannen.nl), coordinator at De Rooi Pannen. Read more about this tailor-made programme for havo graduates at De Rooi Pannen (in Dutch).

In the third academic year, many of the Leisure & Events Management students take the opportunity of doing a part of their course at a university abroad. An exchange period lasts approximately 20 weeks. Possible destinations are: Spain, China, Italy, France, Ireland, Arizona (USA), Finland and Portugal.


Special features


After your bachelor

Quality of life is becoming increasingly important in the way we spend our spare time. As a leisure manager, you may take up a career in theatres, music labels, sports centres or city marketing. Career examples are: concept developer, operations manager at a theme park, policy advisor.

Like to know more? After your bachelor.