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Watersports Management (Wetsuit to Boardroom) (BA)

Future employability is the central theme of the Watersports Management Degree. We, therefore, offer you all the necessary support and training to gain instructor qualifications.

Each year group also takes on the role of Managing our Watersports Centre. This practical experience combined with the theoretical underpinning in industry management (lectures) will ensure you are the complete package and ready to launch your career when you finish.  We also have contacts in the industry to help you find that dream job post-university.


Watersports Management (Wetsuit to Boardroom) (BA)
UCAS Code: 347L
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Tuition Fees 2020/21:
£9,000 (Home/EU)
£11,850 (Overseas)

Why choose this course

  1. The watersports BA is based on our Swansea campus. Swansea offers the ideal location for developing skills in a range of watersports, with Swansea bay’s sweeping 5 mile beach offering a safe and versatile environment for wind sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing.

    The stunning Gower Penninsula (a designated area of outstanding beauty) has beaches facing in all directions meaning that you can get on the water in any wind direction and swell size. For dinghy sailing, we use the inland lake in Margam which, under the backdrop of Margam Castle, is an ideal location to develop your sailing skills and gain practical teaching experience. Finally, we also have a stand-up paddleboard centre at the Prince of Wales Dock in central Swansea.

    The paddleboard centre is run by the students and you will have the opportunity to go to local schools to promote the centre and gain hands-on experience in managing staff and the practical and logistical side of all aspects of running a watersports organisation.

  2. We also work closely with ‘Gower Activity Centres’ which is a group of outdoor centres on the Gower run by the local authority.  As our students gain their qualifications then there are opportunities for paid employment at these centres.  This is a great opportunity for you to gain experience and earn some money.

  3. The teaching staff for the Watersports Course have extensive experience of working in the watersports industry at all levels, both in the UK and abroad. We facilitate a friendly learning environment which focuses on individual learning pathways to ensure all students are fully prepared for their careers upon graduation.

    The course is integrated into the wider sports management programme so students also gain from the experience and knowledge of a broad range of staff. 

What you will learn

Course Overview

The focus of the programme is to provide students with the practical experience and qualifications needed to work within the watersports industry and to underpin this with sound theoretical learning to promote critical thinking and develop the skills and knowledge required to progress their careers through to management positions.

Over the course of the programme, students will develop their personal skills in dinghy sailing and stand up paddle boarding through to instructor level. Dinghy sailing being the key qualification to have for employment in the industry and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) as we run our own SUP centre as part of the course.

Support and advice will also be available for those who wish to pursue other watersports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing. Swansea is the ideal location to pursue watersports with such a range of stunning locations in close proximity. Students will also gain practical experience in centre management through involvement in the running of our own stand-up paddleboard centre.

Coupled with this, the course also considers sports management theory and issues and key theories which are specific to the watersports industry. As the course develops these three fundamental areas of personal skills, work experience and academic progression are drawn together, enabling students to develop a well-rounded knowledge and skills base with which to take their careers forward.

Module Topics

Year 1

The modules covered during your first year will give you a sound base of knowledge and understanding of key areas within sports management.  The first year also has a strong practical element to allow students to develop their watersports skills and start to examine the teaching process.

  • Practical skills for the watersports industry
  • The watersports teaching process
  • The business of sport
  • Fundamentals of sports marketing
  • Research, Methods and Professional Development
  • Health, Exercise and Society

Year 2

This part of the programme has at its core an assessed internship of up to 6 months.  This is a critical part of the course and will give you the opportunity to work in the industry, often abroad.  Modules are concerned with developing leadership and managerial skills in preparation for the placement. 

  • Essential skills for Senior Instructorship in Watersports Management
  • Community sports development
  • Hospitality management
  • The global cultural sporting environment
  • Sports facilities management
  • Professional and elite sports management (watersports)
  • Professional development for applied placement
  • Applied industrial placement

Year 3

Having completed the industry placement students apply and develop the skills and knowledge gained through this placement with modules focusing on management and strategic issues.  Modules will also incorporate advanced research skills and project-based learning. 

  • Contemporary Themes in Watersports Management
  • Managing People and Projects
  • Sports Policy and Strategy
  • Sports Development and Entrepreneurship
  • Sports Industry Research Project (watersports)
  • Industry Placement Year

The assessment strategy will aim to support the balanced development of key industry competencies and knowledge. Assessments will also aim to support the development in managing ICT, communication, numeracy, problem-solving, interacting in teams, critical appraisal, self-management and leadership. Strategies will include a balance of assignments, fieldwork studies, practical assessments and where appropriate examinations.

Watersports Management

Key Information

Entry Criteria

Standard = 96 UCAS. However, grades are important; however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to their chosen subject area and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds.

To assess student suitability for their chosen course we normally arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your qualifications.

Career Opportunities

Working in the watersports industry offers fantastic opportunities. With the right qualifications, you can work all over the world in some incredible locations, whilst also being in an industry with structured career paths and long-term career options. The industry has 2 key USPs. 1) The availability of work and 2) the opportunity for fast progression to management positions. In terms of progression to management, most staff will only work 1 ‘season’ as part of a gap year or post-university experience.

Therefore for those that have the training and commitment, you can very quickly progress to senior positions. There are very few other industries where, within 3 years of graduating, you can realistically expect to be managing 30+ staff and a large centre. Not only is this excellent for your personal and professional development, but it also will set you up very well for your future working life. In terms of availability of work the watersports industry has expanded exponentially over the past 30 years and employers struggle to fill their vacancies, therefore you are able to pick and choose the ideal opportunity for you.

Have a look at this video to see an example of a typical career path and lifestyle, this is Joe who now manages a centre in Greece, excuse the sound quality as it is taken on location, he is also having to deal with staff and client queries while he makes the video but it gives you a good insight into the industry and opportunities!

If you’re driven, self-motivated, enjoy the outdoors, enjoy teaching and working with others and don’t want a typical ‘9 to 5’ job when you graduate, then this is the course for you. 

Additional Costs

£150 for kit for Sports Management students and education trip.

Bursary / Scholarship Information