Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 1 Year

Program credential icon Credential

  • Graduate Diploma

The Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Leisure Management Program

This program places graduates at the intersection of two growing, exciting, and globally significant areas of theory and practice: leisure and sustainability. The program prepares emerging leaders to examine and create solutions, which ensure that residents and travelers alike can enjoy recreational experiences, natural and cultural amenities, heritage resources, and adventure as part of their life experiences on a sustainable basis. Students will engage in coursework delivered in a non–traditional, international educational setting where the instructional approach draws upon field experience, classroom instruction, and experiential styles of learning. Two integrated instructional streams are central to the program focus: 1) a set of principles and practices underlying leisure and sustainability; and, 2) an integrated set of research capabilities, innovation, and knowledge mobilization skills necessary to ensure that new knowledge can be effectively transformed into impact.

During completion of the program, students will:

  • acquire a broad interdisciplinary knowledge of concepts, models and issues relating to the field of leisure services;
  • analyze sustainability issues by integrating social, environmental and economic perspectives;
  • develop and critique policies and practices that advance sustainability goals;
  • apply strategies to influence change and innovation at the community, regional, national and international levels;
  • develop the capacity to actively engage in a variety of knowledge creation and mobilization approaches and strategies;
  • engage with diverse stakeholders on complex leisure and sustainability issues; and
  • formulate a personal and professional commitment to strategic and innovative leadership practices in sustainable leisure services.

Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Leisure Management students are eligible to apply to ladder into the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program where they will complete nine more credits in order to qualify for the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management Degree.

Year 1 – Fall SemesterCredits
SLM 601 - (Leisure & Sustainability: Principles & Paradigms)3
SLM 602 - (Case Studies in Sustainability & Innovation)3
SLM 603 - (Knowledge Creation & Mobilization 1)3
Total Credits9
Year 1 – Spring SemesterCredits
SLM 604 - (Influencing Change Towards Sustainability)3
SLM 605 - (Knowledge Creation & Mobilization II)3
SLM 606 - (Field Experience)9
Total Credits15
Year one total credits24

Completion Requirements

Students must pass all theory courses, achieve an overall GPA of 2.0, and must complete SLM 606. Students will have one opportunity to repeat courses that they were not successful in.

Attendance of all class activity is considered mandatory and students missing greater than 25% of any one class will not receive a passing grade. For courses requiring experiential fieldwork (e.g., SLM 602 and SLM 604) participation in all field activities is considered mandatory.


  • An undergraduate degree from an appropriately accredited university.
  • A minimum average of "B" calculated in the last two years of the undergraduate degree, with a review of the entire degree.
  • Applicants whose previous degree was obtained in a country where English is not the primary/official language and from a university where English was not the language of instruction must meet one of VIU’s English Language requirements for Graduate Programs.
  • Acceptance and satisfactory review of the following items by the Faculty Admissions Committee:
    • Resume;
    • One letter of reference (academic preferred) accompanied by a completed referee form (Domestic applicants, International applicants).
    • A comprehensive statement addressing each of the following areas:
      • Statement of career interest; and,
      • Summary of relevant preparation (i.e. career and academic).
    • Interview.


Notes on Admission

  • This is a competitive admission process with limited seats in the program. Applicants who meet or exceed the minimum admission requirements may not necessarily be admitted to the program.
  • If it has been more than five years since your last academic studies, two letters of reference are required (academic and/or professional).
  • In the application letter, you must indicate how your career interests are related to leisure (i.e., parks, festivals, sport, tourism, culture, etc.) and state why you are interested in the diploma.


The career path of individuals of this credential will largely depend on their undergraduate degree; however, they will be uniquely positioned with an understanding of innovative practices in the leisure industry for achieving environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.