Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 2 Years

Program credential icon Credential

  • Master Degree

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Nanaimo

Are you ready to explore and develop solutions that ensure travelers and residents alike are able to enjoy recreational and leisure pursuits with sustainability as a focus?

The Masters of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program is offered at VIU’s Nanaimo campus on beautiful Vancouver Island – in a region of Canada that is noted for leisure and tourism opportunities. This two-year program delivers a non-traditional approach to studies in ecotourism and innovative leisure practices, with courses that combine field experience and classroom instruction, all within a global context. Leisure studies and sustainability studies engage students with experiential learning opportunities, delivered by expert faculty who are leaders in their field.

Graduates of the Sustainable Tourism Master's degree program find employment opportunities as sustainability officers, analysts and directors, working in government, private sectors, and consultant firms.


The Master of Arts 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. There is also a required thesis component wherein students will demonstrate a mastery of knowledge mobilization approaches (including, but not limited to, research skills).

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;
  • conduct applied research on specific leisure, innovation, and sustainability topics;
  • 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.

Laddering Option

Graduates of VIU's Sustainable Leisure Management Graduate Diploma are eligible to apply to ladder into the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management Degree. To complete the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management (laddering option) students need to complete nine credits in support of thesis work.

Year 1 – Fall Semester

Credits

SLM 601 - (Leisure & Sustainability: Principles & Paradigms)

3

SLM 602 - (Case Studies in Sustainability & Innovation)

3

SLM 603 - (Knowledge Creation & Mobilization 1)

3

Total Credits

9

Year 1 – Spring Semester

Credits

SLM 604 - (Influencing Change Towards Sustainability)

3

SLM 605 - (Knowledge Creation & Mobilization II)

3

SLM 606 - (Field Experience)

9

Total Credits

15

Year 2 – Fall and Spring Semesters

Credits

SLM 607 - (Thesis)

9

Total Credits

9

For Laddering Option applicants:

Year 1 – Fall Semester

Credits

SLM 607 - (Thesis)

9

Total Credits

9

Continuing Requirements/Minimum Grade Point Average

Students must achieve an average GPA of 3.0 (B) with a minimum "C" grade in any individual course in order to qualify for SLM 607.

Students who fail to maintain these standards but who have an overall GPA of 2.0 (C) will be provided one opportunity to write a qualifying exam to be eligible for SLM 607. Students who do not meet the academic standard may also have one opportunity to repeat SLM course at an additional cost.

Students with an overall GPA less than 2.0 will be asked to leave the program.

Completion Requirements

The expected, normal time required to complete the degree program will be two years for full-time students. The maximum time allowed to complete the degree will be three years.

Failure to complete the program in this timeline will result in removal from the program.

Note: Students requiring extra time must maintain continuous enrolment in EXTN 500 at additional cost.

 

  • An undergraduate degree from an appropriately accredited university. Required degree in leisure, travel and tourism, hospitality or a related field (or equivalent in professional experience).
  • 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;
    • Three letters of reference accompanied by three completed referee forms (two academic referees and one professional;  Domestic applicants, International applicants).
    • A comprehensive statement addressing each of the following areas:
      • Areas of research interest (i.e. parks, festivals, resorts, tourism, culture, etc.);
      • Statement of career or further academic studies interest; and
      • Summary of relevant preparation (i.e. career and academic).
    • Interview. 

For Laddering Option applicants:

  • Applicants must have completed the Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Leisure Management program with a minimum average of “B” calculated in both semesters. “B” or above required in each of SLM 603 and SLM 605 Knowledge Mobilization and Creation I and II.
  • Statement of research interest and intent.
  • Letters of support from two program faculty (indicating research readiness).
  • 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, one academic and two professional referees (in a leisure related field) are required.
  • In your application letter, you must identify at least one department faculty with whom you have interest conducting research. See faculty bios.
  • In your application letter, you must clearly articulate readiness to engage in thesis research based on prior coursework in research methods and/or evidence of academic or applied research experience.

Graduates can pursue careers in government, private sector, non–governmental organizations, non–profit organizations, regulatory agencies, higher education, and consultancies. The position titles for the careers in this field include sustainability officers, analysts, managers, coordinators, and directors. Graduates will have strong communication skills, analytical ability, critical thinking and problem–solving ability, along with a customer orientation. The curriculum strongly supports individuals involved in planning, policy development, research, administration, and the teaching of those subjects in post–secondary institutions.

Domestic Fees | International Fees

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Domestic Students Amount
Tuition (33 credits x $441.96 per credit) 14,584.79
Field Trip Fee 995.91
Student Activity fee (33 credits x $9.79 per credit) 323.07
VIU Students' Union fee (17 months x $26.59 per month) 452.03
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 530.00
Textbooks and supplies (approximate cost) 1,100.00
Notes

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.


International Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

International Students Amount
Tuition (33 credits x $837.33 per credit) 27,631.89
Field Trip Fee 995.91
Ancillary Fee (33 credits x $36.11 per credit) 1,191.63
VIU Students' Union fee (17 months x $26.59 per month) 452.03
Health and Dental Plan fee ($265.00 per year) 530.00
Textbooks and supplies (approximate cost) 1,100.00
Notes

 

The VIUSU Health and Dental Plan fee is assessed for all students enrolled in 6 credits or more per term, or in Trades/Vocational programs of 5 months or longer.  

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Next Intake(s):

September 3, 2024- The Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program has one intake each Fall.

Application Fee:
$114.83
Testing Required:
No
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Alana Gaetz
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2071
Email: Alana.Gaetz@viu.ca
Chair Contact:
Name: Joanne Schroeder
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2832
Email: joanne.schroeder@viu.ca
Area Secretary Contact:
Name: Dana MacDonald
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2335
Email: dana.macdonald@viu.ca

International

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

Fall 2024

Application Fee:
$150.00
Accepting Late Applications:
Yes
Testing Required:
No
Chair Contact:
Name: Joanne Schroeder
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2832
Email: joanne.schroeder@viu.ca
International Admissions Officer Contact:
Name: Jamie Mollins
Email: Masters@viu.ca
Document Deadline:

March 31, 2024

Comments:

Please have each referee fill out the Assessment form and send to Masters@viu.ca once complete.

Note that students are required to submit three letters of reference and three assessment forms to complete their MA-SLM application. 

For prospective international applicants, please send your inquiries to World VIU at WorldVIU@viu.ca

Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

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