Rear view of a person with brown hair, wearing a yellow t-shirt and beige bucket hat while paddling a canoe in a lake

Learn to deliver rec and leisure programs in a variety of settings

Recreation and Leisure Services Ontario College Diploma, Co-op program

Learn the business side of the recreation and leisure industry. Paid co-op work term in a variety of sectors, field trips, industry certifications, participation at conferences and more!

Program code RELS
Duration 2 Years
Credential Ontario College Diploma, Co-op
Program Delivery Full-time
Program delivery method(s) GC Flex What does this mean?

Program information

Program description

Students are introduced to skills and knowledge needed to succeed in recreation and leisure services. The curriculum includes: community recreation, outdoor adventure, arts, culture, heritage, leisure, fitness, retirement activities, life enrichment in long term care, adaptive-therapeutic recreation, facility operations, programming and event planning. Business administration fundamentals are incorporated with courses in marketing, accounting, technology, human resources, entrepreneurship and research. Experiential learning opportunities include a paid co-operative work semester, field trips, and participation in a number of events or programs working with children to seniors. Students gain competencies in leadership and group facilitation by designing, delivering and evaluating diverse, inclusive, relevant, environmentally sustainable recreation leisure and wellness initiatives.

Intake information

Start dateCampus
Winter 2024 Barrie
Fall 2024 Barrie

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

What are the admission requirements for the Recreation and Leisure Services program?

Recreation and Leisure Services admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:


Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit for Prior Learning website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.

Why study Recreation and Leisure Services at Georgian?

Recreation makes everyone smile! If you’re looking for a career where you encourage people to meet, have fun and participate, then Recreation and Leisure Services may be right for you.

Well-rounded curriculum

  • Explore recreation for all populations, including program planning, special events, fitness, administration and more
  • Build on-the-job experience and explore recreation career options through a paid co-op work term

Hands-on learning and certifications

  • Participate in practical learning experiences with hands-on community projects
  • Visit recreation facilities, obtain certifications and a Parks and Recreation Ontario student membership

Expert faculty and guest speakers

  • Learn from recreation industry expert faculty that share current trends and opportunities
  • Hear from knowledgeable guest speakers in the industry about their experiences

From start to finish, I was supported, made valuable connections with my peers and professors, and gained lots of practical experience. As a result, I have the experience, knowledge and networking I need to be successful. I’ll never forget the fun I had and the relationships I built during my time at Georgian College, and I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to get into the recreation and leisure field.

Alex Jacobs (class of 2023)
In the Recreation and Leisure Services program, I felt I was consistently growing from semester to semester. Not only did my resumé acquire a massive upgrade with all the certificates I gained along the way, but more importantly, I did too. I have gained new confidence in myself, developed more character, and feel a desire to cultivate change. Leaving the program, I am feeling prepared and empowered to take on any journey that is next for me.Gillian Webb (class of 2023)

Experiential learning opportunities

Georgian’s Recreation and Leisure Services program provides many experiential and practical learning opportunities:

  • Beginning in your first year and throughout the program, you’ll have an opportunity to visit recreation facilities, such as Variety Village and Bayview Wildwood Resort
  • Complete your paid summer co-op as a recreation programmer, municipal summer staff supervisor, or resort event personnel
  • Receive industry-specific certifications, including HIGH FIVE
  • Enjoy a Parks and Recreation Ontario student membership
  • Participate in an outdoor recreation excursion to practise your team-building and leadership skills
  • Engage with local community recreation organizations on real-life projects that may be activated for these groups

What career opportunities can I take in recreation and leisure?

Your Recreation and Leisure Services diploma gives you many career opportunities

Career opportunities include: retirement home and long term care activity director/life enrichment, adaptive/therapeutic recreation, facility and parks operations, municipal programmer, administrator in community, arts, heritage and cultural organizations, leader, director, facilitator at registered charities, athletics in education institutions, fitness and healthy/active lifestyle centres, private and commercial clubs, event planning services, recreation supervisor- youth organizations, correction facilities, resorts-sport and recreation manager, outdoor and adventure recreation.

Potential employers:

  • Governing bodies
  • Municipal recreation
  • Recreation event planning and management
  • Intercollegiate campus recreation
  • Private and commercial recreation organizations (e.g., YMCA, Boys and Girls Club)
  • Long-term care – activation
  • Senior centres
  • Cruise lines
  • Private summer camps
  • Outdoor recreation centres
  • Resorts

What courses are included in the Recreation and Leisure Services diploma program?

Course overview

16 Program Courses
2 Communications Courses
3 Program Option Courses
3 General Education Courses
1 Co-op Work Term

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Recreation and Leisure Services program outline.

  • COMP 1058 – Technology in Administration
  • REAS 2003 – Research in Recreation and Sport
  • RECR 1000 – Introduction to Recreation
  • RECR 1001 – Program Planning
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Your course delivery method(s)

GC Flex

This program is delivered via GC Flex, giving you choice and flexibility. Using technology-enabled, purpose-designed learning spaces, professors deliver lectures and labs in the classroom and simultaneously online. You can participate on campus or online during class or review course materials online later.

Please note, delivery methods are based on planning for the upcoming semester and are subject to change.


As a graduate of Georgian’s Recreation and Leisure Services program, you’ll have many opportunities to further your studies.

Diploma studies

Complement your diploma by taking Sport Administration – a two-year diploma program offered at Georgian with two field placements.

Graduate certificate studies

Pursue a one-year graduate certificate at Georgian, such as Event Management or Digital Content Creation and Strategy.

Articulation agreements

Georgian also has articulation agreements with university programs for Georgian graduates interested in earning a degree.

Flex MORE. Study Recreation and Leisure Services part-time

Benefits of studying part-time:

  • Register on a course-by-course basis, paying as you go!
  • MORE choices. We are always adding more flexible delivery programs and courses.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What types of co-op experiences can I expect in this program?Georgian College Chevron

Barrie and surrounding areas host a number of recreation organizations and clubs that work closely with Georgian to provide co-op positions to students.

Our Co-operative Education and Career Success team assists students with finding co-op opportunities. Additionally, the Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation area offers our C2C Career Fair each February where you can explore the many recreation career opportunities out there!

Is the co-op work term a paid or volunteer position?Georgian College Chevron

The Recreation and Leisure Services diploma program includes a paid co-op work term.

To learn more about co-op at Georgian, visit the Co-operative Education and Career Success webpage.

Do I need recreation experience to take this program?Georgian College Chevron

No. Beyond the admission requirements listed above, all that’s needed is a passion for recreation!

What if I’m not that outgoing? Is the Recreation and Leisure Services program right for me?Georgian College Chevron

The wonderful thing about recreation is that anyone can participate! Recreation brings out the social in all of us.

Throughout the program, you’ll have the chance to work with children, youth, adults and seniors in inclusive and adaptive environments to prepare for your future career.

Is the Recreation and Leisure Services diploma transferrable to other programs?Georgian College Chevron

Yes, graduates have many options to pursue further studies at Georgian and beyond. We’re actively working on growing our articulation agreements with other institutions to offer valuable pathways to Recreation and Leisure Services graduates.

Some graduates have gone on to various Ontario universities to further their studies in recreation, or have complemented this diploma with other Georgian programs such as:

How is this program delivered?Georgian College Chevron

Please see the courses section to learn about the delivery methods for Recreation and Leisure Services diploma program at Georgian.

Are there any awards, scholarships or bursaries available to help fund my education?Georgian College Chevron

Absolutely. Georgian offers awards, scholarships and bursaries to students of all walks of life — domestic, international and Indigenous, full-time and part-time, first years, upcoming graduates and everyone in between. You can afford this!

Visit our awards, scholarships and bursaries webpage to explore available opportunities and learn how to apply.

Do you have questions about Recreation and Leisure Services? Contact us!

Thinking about applying to Georgian?

Contact our student recruitment team to explore your study options.

Already applied to Georgian?

Connect with the Office of the Registrar for admissions-related questions.

Are you an international student?

Contact our international recruitment team to learn more about studying at Georgian. 

Ways to connect

Open House

Visit us at Open House on
Saturday, Nov. 18 at all campuses.
Learn more and RSVP

Campus tours

Take a guided, in-person tour
of our campuses.
Book a campus tour

One-on-one appointments

Book a phone appointment
with a recruitment specialist.
Connect with a recruiter

Join our mailing list

Join our email list for event updates, contest information and more.
Sign up for Georgian updates