• Level 6
  • 21 Months
  • queenstown
  • Intakes in January, April, July, October

As the iconic Adventure Tourism industry expands globally, so does the need for skilled and qualified managers. QRC’s Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management focuses on the operational and risk elements of running a successful and safe activity.

The key area of learning is focused on what is required to manage a business whose products provide thrills for those participating in an experiential activity. The industry exposure provided to students is unique given the location of Queenstown and the volume of activities in the region.

QRC creates ambassadors and skilled workforce capability for this growth sector by being the only provider of Adventure Tourism Management in the southern hemisphere.

Diploma of Adventure Tourism Management

By cultivating a world-class learning environment, QRC integrates both practical and theory to train the Adventure Tourism leaders of tomorrow. Blending the key aspects of service quality, operational intelligence, professionalism, cultural intelligence, visitor experience, product development, business development, event planning, risk management and sustainability throughout its papers.

During their paid internship, students put theory into practice, create industry connections and prepare themselves for a career in the exciting world of Adventure Tourism.

Career Opportunities

Graduates have the opportunity to work with small businesses through to multi-national adventure tourism companies. The Diploma prepares them for the tourism, eco-tourism and adventure tourism sectors. After graduating they can specialise in operations management, marketing, sales, eco-tourism, human resources, finance, training, business development and event planning.

On course completion, students will have the skills, knowledge and attitude required to work in a team leadership role, with the potential to advance through to a management role and the knowledge to establish their own business ventures.

I can't think of a better place to learn Adventure Tourism Management then the adventure capital of the world! The teachers are all industry experts, they have so much knowledge and experience to share in the classroom. I chose QRC because it gave me the opportunity to learn about something I am genuinely interested in. The small class sizes mean that teachers can take the time to give each student the attention we need."

Levi Prier Adventure Tourism Management Diploma

Course Outline

Year One - Term One
Session Level
Tourism Fundamentals 5
Information Technology 5
Business Research and Communication 5
Cultural Intelligence 5
Customer Service Management 4
Comprehensive First Aid and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) 4
Tourism Operations 4
Year One - Term Two
Session Level
Business Accounting and Analysis 5
Marketing 5
Adventure Tourism & Interpretation 4
Adventure Tourism & Event Planning 5
Operation & Risk Management 5
Industry Placement
Minimum 1000 Hours
Session Level
Industry Internship 5
Industry Internship 5
Year Two – Term Five
Session Level
Business Development 6
Leadership 6
Consumer Behaviour and Destination Management 6
Sustainable Tourism Development 6
Tourism Futures 6
Year Two - Term Six
Session Level
Law 6
Human Resource Management 6
Economics 6
Managerial Accounting 6
Sales and Marketing 6
Capstone - Hotel Strategy - Simulation 6

Programme at a glance

21 Months — QRC Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management

Graduates are awarded the New Zealand Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management (Level 6)

Term 1 & 2
Industry Immersion and Familiarisation visits.
Theory & Practical Training

Term 3 & 4
Paid Industry Training (1000 hrs min)

Term 5 & Term 6
Adventure Tourism & Business Management Papers

Pathways to Further Study

Otago University, New Zealand

Bachelor of Commerce – 18 Months further study
Bachelor of Commerce (Finance Major) – 2.5 year further study

International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), Australia

7 Months further study:

  • Bachelor of Business
  • Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship)
  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
  • Bachelor of Business (Sports Management)
  • Bachelor of Business (International Tourism)
  • Bachelor of Event Management
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management

Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Canada

Bachelor of Tourism Management – 2 years further study

Course Structure

The Diploma Programme consists of 2 terms (11 weeks each) on Campus, followed by a minimum 1000 hour internship, culminating with a final 2 terms on Campus.

The Diploma focuses on ensuring students are competent with industry integrated models of service quality, operational intelligence, professionalism, cultural intelligence, visitor experience, product & business development, event planning, risk management and sustainability.

  • Industry Familiarisation visits. Students will visit leading adventure tourism businesses in the Southern Lakes region
  • Pre-Hospital Emergency Care
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be granted where your prior study or work experience is considered to be equivalent to all the learning outcomes for a particular QRC paper.


85% of graduates went on to work in their field of study
12% of students progress on to a degree

QRC graduates literally have a world of opportunities available to them. Most enter the workforce and maximise the networks gained at QRC, others choose apathway on to a degree at one of QRC’s partner institutions. Those wishing to enter the workforce have the knowledge, skills, experience and attitude to attain a leadership role and progress to management.

Earn while you learn

QRC internships offer students an invaluable paid opportunity to gain workforce experience with our network of carefully chosen world-class industry operators, both in New Zealand and overseas.

It offers a range of world-class industry operators in an environment where tourism and hospitality are “normalised” enabling students to become active participants and network in the industry.

Internship is an invaluable component to the Diploma Programme. Students work closely with their Internship Manager to identify where they would like to be placed.

With the assistance and in-depth knowledge of the Internship Manager, they will be placed in the industry to best match their interests and strengths to ensure that they continue to develop.

The fully paid Internship provides a value for money component for the student. Due to the successful experience gained by students on their internship, a high proportion of students return to their internship employers after completing the programme.

The Internship Manager provides a direct link to industry and assists students in securing internship positions. QRC graduates are highly sought by industry and as a graduate they automatically become members of the QRC Alumni.

The Internship Manager offers post-graduate assistance and acts as a liaison between QRC Alumni and the tourism and hospitality industry.


  • Earn while you learn!
  • Fully paid industry internship for 1,000 hours for Adventure Tourism Management
  • Adventure Tourism Management students earn approximately $20,000 during their internship.


Our students are employed for a minimum of 9 months and are required to achieve a minimum of 1,000 hours of work before they return to QRC for their second year of study.   (Please note there is flexibility on the duration as we understand the highs and lows of seasons)

Internship Begins March June September December
Return to QRC January April July October

Flexibility for shorter or longer time periods can be agreed to upon discussion with all parties

Employer and student expectations

QRC’s expectation of industry partners is for employers to treat our student/intern the same as they would any other employee; offering them the chance to undergo in-house training and gain practical experience and exposure to the industry.  The employer must also commit to the student’s direct line manager completing a performance report at the 3-month mark, as this allows us to assess how they are tracking and offer any additional support if required, and then again at the end of employment to enable us assess the development of the student while under the guidance and mentoring of the company.

Students do not have any college commitments, assessments or assignments during the internship period.  When applying for internship positions, they fully understand that will be the company’s employee and must follow all of its policies, procedures and guidelines as per their employment contract and staff handbooks.  Students also understand they must go through the entire application process and are required to represent themselves to a high standard throughout.  It is purely at the employer’s discretion if they are ultimately offered a role with the company.

Adventure Tourism Management Internship

AJ Hackett Bungy

AJ Hackett is synonymous with Adventure Tourism around the world, and I am lucky enough to be working as part of the team here in Queenstown.

I am training to eventually be responsible for the final launch of people off the bridge and I cannot wait! Being qualified in New Zealand as a Jump Master means I can work for AJ Hackett all over the world. AJ Hackett currently employ 24 QRC students; both interns and graduates. I love that my team leaders and managers are QRC graduates and have taken on a mentoring role for me and other interns.

My role here at AJ Hackett Bungy is working within the operations team as a Junior Jump Operator. I get to experience all aspects of the Bungy operation from start to finish, including customer service, making sure our customers are harnessed up and connected to the Bungy, then collecting them in the raft at the bottom once they have gone through with their jump!

My time here at AJ Hackett is summed up by the fact that I actually don’t enjoy my days off, as I would rather be at work with my friends having a fantastic time.

Risk and safety management is a huge part of what we do here, being at the forefront of our minds at all times. The Risk Management and Operations Management papers I completed in Terms 1 & 2 at QRC, provided me with the skills and understanding to deal with the realities of the industry. It also feels great being able to bring new ideas and energy to all aspects of the business.

My goal once I complete my Diploma of Adventure Tourism Management is to return to work here at AJ Hackett, and to progress through to a Management level. It is such an exciting company with global development possibilities.

Jake McEwan (AJ Hackett Bungy, Queenstown)

Entry Requirements


All applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age at course commencement (some discretion applies for domestic enrolments). All applicants are interviewed as part of the admissions process.

Academic Requirements

NCEA (NZ National Certificate of Education Achievement)

  • 48 Level 2 or above credits across 4 subjects which must contain 8 literacy credits (including 4 reading & 4 writing credits)
  • Numeracy – 10 credits at level 1 or above

Cambridge International Exam (CIE)

Candidates must attain at least 60 UCAS points (from the UCAS Tariff) over two or more subjects and have IGCSE Maths Grade D or above and AS English Language or AS English Literature with Grade E or above.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Candidates must attain at least 3 passes in SL subjects including English and Mathematics.

Australian Students

Successful completion of the Senior Secondary Qualification offered in your state (VCE, HSC, WACE, QCE, NTCE, TCE).

CIE & IB students please refer to the above.

International Academic Requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS (Academic) 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each band and 6.0 in speaking.

For a full list of International Academic Requirements click here. 

Mature Domestic Students (20 years+)

Mature students may be exempt from meeting the academic entry requirements if they can demonstrate relevant work experience and genuine commitment to the industry, through their CV and work references.

All applicants are interviewed as part of the admissions process.


Students are required to supply their own laptop computer.

Apply Today

Application Form


Below are the domestic fees for our Tourism Management Diplomas. International Students see International Fees sheet for a detailed breakdown.

It is a requirement of the NZ Government that all year one fees are to be paid in advance before the issuing of a Student Visa. No deferred payment schemes are available. QRC’s Refund Policy can be found here.

*Tuition fees include course related costs: uniform, use of specialised equipment and text books, printing and data allowance, practical class costs, familiarisation visits
Year 1 Year 2
Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management $13,312*


To secure your place you will need to pay a NZ$500 deposit. This is refundable or can be used as bond for the Halls of Residence. 

General Fees

Some courses and services accrue additional costs. All charges relating to your chosen course will be itemised on your Invoice. If you have any questions regarding General Fee charges, please email info@qrc.ac.nz.


  • Accommodation placement fee: NZ$200.00
  • Travel & medical insurance for international students: from $71 per month, $242 per 6 months or $454 per year

Professional Excellence

All students are provided with a uniform which reflects the highest industry standards.

The professional appearance sets the tone for expectations around individuals taking responsibility for their own personal brand.

QRC produces graduates who are highly sought after by the international tourism, not only for their skills but for their consummate professionalism. Accordingly, the College practises the highest standards of personal and professional conduct at all times, equivalent to international best practice.

The QRC Professional Excellence (PE) system has been developed to encourage students to achieve the level of professionalism expected by the industry.

PE Points

Every student starts the term with a maximum of 100 PE points. Ideally, this score is maintained throughout your studies. Incidents of unprofessional behaviour, for example unexplained absences, are reported to your programme leader and will incur a loss of PE points.
Students who come close to the fail mark of 69 PE points, will be required to seek counselling from the Programme Leader or Academic Director and appropriate measures to remedy the behaviour will be discussed. A lack of improvement could result in suspension from the College.
Further information about the QRC Professional Excellence system can be found in the program handbook.


You will be provided with a uniform which reflects the highest industry standards. For Adventure Tourism Management students this is a professional active wear

  • 1 cotton T-shirt
  • 1 merino polo shirt
  • 1 long sleeve merino top with collar
  • 1 soft shell jacket
  • 1 pair of full length trousers
  • 1 pair of shorts

Students are required to bring smart black sports shoes and black socks to accompany the uniform.

Community Hours

All Diploma students are required to complete 10 hours of community service as part of the diploma. During your time at QRC a number of opportunities will be presented to volunteer at community, college and charitable events. In the past opportunities have included: Winter Games, Queenstown Winter Festival, Jazz Festival, Queenstown Marathon and LUMA.