Program Overview

Recreation and Leisure Services is a two-year Ontario College Diploma program designed to develop leadership skills to support the achievement of recreation and leisure outcomes for a broad spectrum of different communities. Students will learn the human relation skills required to successfully plan, organize and facilitate a diverse range of experiences in varied recreation settings.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September

Your Learning Experience

In the Recreation and Leisure Services program, you'll have the opportunity to take your love of people and activity to limitless career heights. You will acquire the knowledge and skills to plan, implement and evaluate quality recreation experiences across all ages and abilities. 


Over two years, you will study the psychology of becoming an effective leader and working with teams, special event planning, outdoor recreation and experiential education, as well as inclusive programming through therapeutic recreation. Additionally, you’ll learn how parks and recreational facilities are operated.


You will also have the opportunity to learn outside of the classroom through exciting field practicums in various organizations including the YMCA, The City of London, St. Joseph Health Care, McCormick Care, The Western Fair District, The London Knights Hockey Club and London Children’s Museum and more!


The Recreation and Leisure Services program is committed to developing the leadership skills of each of its students to support the achievement of recreation and leisure outcomes for individuals, groups and communities. Through concentrated academic and fieldwork over the two years, students acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies to promote community development and involvement and to plan and implement special events and programs in a variety of recreation fields. This is practiced in settings that emphasize planning, implementation and evaluation that can respond to the multi-dimensional needs of all members of the community. 


The students will be able to develop benefits-based programming that addresses recreation as an essential service; one that can effectively respond to a variety of individual or community needs.


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Recreation and Leisure Services program can pursue a career in administration and/or programming in a wide variety of settings such as retirement facilities, non-profit organizations (e.g., YMCA-YWCA, Boys & Girls Club), hospitals, municipalities, aquatic centres, private agencies (e.g., resorts), treatment centres and special event organizations.


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Recreation and Leisure Services program:

Director of Parks and Recreation
Be passionate about providing the highest quality of service to residents.

Youth Program Coordinator
Create, plan, implement and evaluate sports programs, leagues and camps.

Manager of Arena Operations
Assist with the day-to-day and seasonal operation and maintenance of arenas, community centres, libraries, outdoor pools, campgrounds, trails, sports fields and playgrounds.

Volunteer and Marketing Coordinator

Recruiting, supporting and enabling quality services for not for profit agencies.

Therapeutic Recreation Aide 

Providing Therapeutic Recreation programs and activities for people dealing with various physical and mental health challenges.

Coordinator, Fund Development

Advocacy, running events to enhance quality services for an organization.

Sports Administration Officer

Working in a Community College Intramural, Varsity and Student Wellness Centre.

Visitor Centre Services & Park Interpreter

​Providing camper education and services in Ontario's Provincial Park system.

Events Coordinator

Designing and organizing various Special Events for organizations in the Private and Not for Profit sectors.

Supervisor of Recreational Services, Neighbourhood Operations

​Providing Municipal Recreation services within the Public Sector.


'Working in Play - Exploring the Recreation and Leisure Industry' is authored by one of our accomplished faculty members. Within its pages, this book offers invaluable insights and guidance for prospective students aspiring to achieve a Fanshawe Recreation and Leisure Services Diploma. Unveiling a roadmap to employment opportunities in the industry, it combines detailed career prospects with personal narratives from program alumni, sharing their unique journeys to success.


Read Working in Play - Exploring the Recreation and Leisure Industry



"In this economy, I needed solid skills, a post-secondary diploma and a career that would provide employment until I can retire. Working in geriatrics will be guaranteed employment. This is my goal, but there are endless possibilities with this diploma. I am inspired to find out what the world will offer me."

Jenny Rensby
Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Develop, implement and evaluate inclusive recreation, leisure and wellness programs and events for individuals, groups and communities which respond to assessed needs, interests, abilities and that use available resources and incorporate best practices;
  2. Apply administrative and customer service skills to support the delivery of recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services;
  3. Analyze, develop and implement marketing strategies to reach diverse individuals, groups and communities for programs, events, services and facilities using current communication technologies;
  4. Contribute to the development of fiscally sustainable and responsible recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services using current and relevant principles and practices of business, finance and social entrepreneurship;

  5. Supervise, lead and support the development of staff and volunteers involved with recreation, leisure and wellness programs, events and services;

  6. Apply safety and accessibility practices to the efficient operation and administration of recreation and leisure facilities and settings;

  7. Promote the benefits and values of recreation, leisure and healthy active living and recommend inclusive programs, events and services to individuals and groups;

  8. Apply community development strategies which engage citizens and community partners while advocating for healthy communities;

  9. Develop strategies for ongoing personal and professional development as a recreation and leisure services professional.


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Rouchelle Gooden


Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Human Services Foundation Ontario College Certificate AND:
- standing in the required course stated above
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required course stated above
International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10
Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 12 Recreation and Healthy Active Living Leadership (M)
  • Grade 11 Health for Life (C)

  • Grade 12 Healthy Active Living Education (O)

  • Grade 12 Child Development and Gerontology (C)

  • Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)

Recommended Personal Preparation

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should develop leadership experience in schools, church, community organizations and special activity interests appropriate to this field, e.g., volunteer work in municipal recreation departments, coaching, lifeguard, camp counsellor, school activities such as sports, dramatics, physical recreation, student council, etc.
  • Students should develop good writing and speaking skills
  • A knowledge of and interest in community development and helping others
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:

  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements


  • Admission to the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program does not guarantee admission in a subsequent year to the Recreation and Leisure Services program. Successful completion of the Fanshawe College Human Services Foundation program, however, does enable the student to be given additional consideration when applying to the Recreation and Leisure Services program.  The Human Services Foundation program is the preferred designated preparatory program for admission to the Recreation and Leisure Services program.
Post-Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive.  Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate (Level "C" CPR)
  • Evidence of Good Health
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement


Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1094Reason & Writing 1 for Community Studies3
This course will introduce Community Studies students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
COMP-1546Computer Applications in Recreation3
An introduction to computer fundamentals designed to increase digital literacy and expose students to a range of software packages currently in use in organizations to support information processing. Software packages covered include: word processing, spreadsheet and presentations package as well as Web 2.0 tools to create charts, simple databases, and multimedia presentations. Connections to Recreation and Leisure are explored by using projects related to the field.
RECN-1058Recreation Industry-Intro3
This course is intended to provide students with a greater understanding of what the Recreation and Leisure Services Industry consists of. It will introduce students to the characteristic roles, structures, funding and operation of a number of different recreation fields (ex. Municipal, Therapeutic and Outdoor Recreation) in an attempt to help students understand the diversity that exists in the Recreation and Leisure Services Industry in Canada. In addition to learning about the many benefits associated with recreation services, students will explore the history of organized recreation in Canada and the 3 service sectors (Public, Commercial and Not for Profit) with respect to their roles in providing programs and services aimed at creating healthy communities. This course is also designed to help students identify a field of recreation that aligns with their values, interests and skills as they look ahead to future placements and potential employment.
RECN-1035Field Orientation 13
The student will visit a variety of recreation and leisure service-related agencies, organizations, and facilities. These experiences are focused on developing knowledge and understanding regarding the scope of recreation and leisure services, and the role of professionals related to the delivery of these services in the community.
RECN-1059Org & Admin of Quality Physical Rec3
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of safe fitness activities and classes for all ages including fitness training principles to ensure healthy outcomes for all participants. Students will also learn to create quality and inclusive recreation activities via designing and presenting programs with their peers. Basic nutrition and wellness will also be explored as well as the basic principles of Health Child Development through quality recreation programs and services.
PSYC-1014Psychology-Recreation & Leisure Services3
This course is designed to help Recreation & Leisure students learn basic principles of psychology, major sub-fields and important research findings. Major topic areas include psychological research, biology and behaviour, sensation and perception, consciousness, developmental issues (emphasized), thinking and intelligence, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, personality theory and assessment, health and stress, psychological disorders / treatment and social psychology.
RECN-1002Becoming an Effective Leader3
Using experiential and academic methods this course will focus on the development of various leadership styles with a strong focus on personal development. Through examination of various leadership styles and theories, students will develop the ability to select and apply the most suitable style to meet the needs of a given situation. Students become aware of the impact of behaviour, personality, attitudes and values, as they apply to leadership in recreation settings. Students will develop leadership and communication skills through cooperative learning strategies.
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Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.