BA(Hons) Outdoor Adventure EducationX391

    Course Overview

    Duration: 3 years full-time or part-time options available
  • Professionally approved by the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL), our outdoor education degree gives you the opportunity to spend three years studying an interesting and exciting way of educating people, with active, practical learning, growing and developing in, on and through the outdoor environment.

    We are flanked by the stunning scenery of Dartmoor National Park and the beautiful rivers, estuaries and surfing beaches of Devon and Cornwall. Within these inspiring environments you’ll explore the theory and practice of adventure education, studying outdoors with experienced passionate tutors.

    Exciting adventures will happen. You have opportunities to study abroad with partner universities in Canada and Iceland and undertake international placements with organisations such as Camp America. Additionally you will go on expeditions on Dartmoor and Snowdonia as well as exploring the Devon and Cornwall coastline, discovering the best surfing beaches along the way.

    • So why do schools educate indoors?
    • What makes an adventure?
    • How do you want to change the world?
    • I have great waterproofs so I wonder why people think I like getting wet and cold?



    You’ll be guided by experienced and committed professionals, and you’ll be studying with like-minded people.

    • This course attracts students who love thinking and doing, and people who have a great attitude to learning, trying new things and spending time outdoors having an adventure.
    • You don't need lots of experience or fancy equipment, just a great positive attitude!

    Throughout the course, you’ll develop practical skills in a variety of outdoor and adventurous activities including climbing, sailing, bushcraft, canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking, mountaineering and much more.

    • You’ll also take part in work placements to explore current approaches and best practice.
    • You will build up your knowledge and understanding of why and how outdoor education is used and the exciting potential that it offers.
    • We’ll provide you with opportunities to learn how to think, research, read and write as an independent-minded and deep-thinking graduate.
    • Along the way you will learn the essential graduate skills of co-operative team working, problem solving, effective communication, self-reliance, resilience and so much more.

    Please see our Outdoor Adventure Education course blog for updates.

    • Why does it feel so good to have my lectures at the beach?
    • How come these rocks look like dinosaur droppings?
    • How do I manage the risks with a group on a mountain?
    Read More


These modules link together to make up the degree

1st Year
  • Introduction to experiential outdoor education
  • Land based adventure sport
  • Expeditions: theory & practice
  • Professional & personal development
  • Foundations of coaching & instructing
  • Applied physiology & psychology for outdoor adventure
2nd Year
  • Place based outdoor education
  • Environmental awareness through adventure sport
  • Managing expeditions on the water
  • Leadership in the mountain
  • Research methods
  • Forest School & outdoor learning
  • Placement learning
3rd Year
  • Honours project
  • Current issues in outdoor practice
  • Advanced outdoor practice
  • Placement learning
  • Entrepreneurship & small business management
  • Creative practice for outdoor learning



Entry Requirements & Fees

Career Opportunities

Employment opportunities exist in a variety of professions, including:

  • outdoor learning tutor in school
  • outdoor adventure centres activity instructor
  • expedition leader for travel companies
  • police officers
  • fire fighters
  • paramedics
  • self employed outdoor educator

You may also undertake postgraduate study,

  • PGCE for primary school
  • PGCE for post-16 teaching
  • study for a Masters degree.
ALUMNI OF BA(Hons) Outdoor Adventure Education

Current Students


Course Leader

The course is run by Su Porter, Fiona Nicholls and Mark Leather. This enthusiastic team has decades of experience in outdoor education, plus extensive research specialisms into the benefits of learning outdoors. Their love of the outdoors is infectious, inspiring students to discover what they themselves can bring to this innovative approach to education.