BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education

The BA (Hons) in Outdoor and Adventure Education degree has been running for 14 years now and we are confident that our approach to the subject leads to employable students at the end of the course. We work alongside and with industry experts and companies to develop a hands on degree programme that will give students both the physical and classroom-based skills they need to start a career in the Outdoor Education industry. We also take student feedback seriously to ensure that we can work with you in order for you to get the most from your university degree. If you want to join a team of passionate staff and enthusiastic students then this could be the degree for you.

Student view

Jordan Harrison
Outdoor and Adventure Education
Choosing to study Outdoor and Adventure Education at Chichester has been the best choice of my life so far. Developing such a strong bond with the rest of my class in the first few weeks is one of the real high points for me. If you are willing to get involved with everything that is put your way you will become friends with not only your year group, but also all of the other students on the programme.

Course content

Our four-year-degree has a distinctive focus upon the adventure education experience, which it achieves through three themes.

Theme One
You will consider how the individual makes sense of the adventure education experience. This could be understanding your own physiology or your own motivation for adventure in psychology for example. Critical reflection on your own personal experience is central to the knowledge and understanding.

Theme Two
You will consider how groups perform in the adventure environment through an understanding of group dynamics and teaching strategies. Consideration will be given to aspects such as leadership, facilitation, decision-making and problem-solving.

Theme Three
You will focus on your impact on the adventure environment, considering environmental philosophy, user conflict and impact reduction.
Through these themes, students reflect on their past experiences, laying down a framework for the understanding of new adventure experiences. To become an effective adventure facilitator, it is essential that practitioners are able to plan purposeful activities by actualising their intended outcomes rather than leaving them to chance.

Our facilities

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The world-class Tudor Hale Centre for Sport is the focus of sporting activities, both academic and recreational, at the University.  All of our facilities are designed for academic teaching, research, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions and for your social/recreational use throughout the week and weekends.

Brand new Sports Dome, with four tennis courts, three netball courts
Sports hall
110m synthetic athletics track

  • Modern fitness suite
  • Strength and conditioning room
  • Two multi-purpose gymnasiums
  • Indoor and outdoor climbing walls and climbing boulder
  • Grass football and rugby pitches
  • Outdoor netball and tennis court
  • Floodlit synthetic Astro Turf pitch
  • Two seminar rooms
  • Cricket nets
  • Biomechanics laboratories
  • Physiology laboratories
  • Sports Injury Clinic and teaching clinic

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

  • 130 open access PC workstations
  • 45 Apple iMacs
  • Ample printing facilities
  • Netbooks available on loan
  • Professional editing suites
  • Media loans counter
  • Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

A wide range of professional opportunities await Adventure Education graduates from Chichester.

Recent data revealed that over 50% of our graduates work in education having gained qualified teacher status working in schools, colleges and outdoor adventure contexts.
Other popular choices for our graduates are in adventure tourism, recreation and leisure management, the military and the police. A small but growing number of graduates have set up their own adventure-based business either in the UK or overseas.

Many graduates have continued with their studies gaining Masters Degrees in physiology, psychology and education. Some graduates have also gained scholarships for doctoral studies leading to lecturing in Higher Education and research in the UK and overseas.


Work placements

Placements opportunities are available on most programmes within the Chichester Institute of Sport which provide you with a strong vocational focus. 

During the third year of your degree, you will undertake a placement year. In conjunction with the staff teaching team, you will plan a negotiated learning contract containing periods of work in the adventure industry, personal adventuring, and experiences towards governing body awards.

Whilst you are encouraged to find your own placements, we have developed a network of contacts worldwide that you could use should that suit your own ambitions.

Some recent student placements include:

  • Working for a dog-sled team in Norway, teaching and guiding (after some training of course!)
  • Teaching sea kayaking in New Zealand
  • Assisting research at the Institute for Naval Medicine
  • Developing Forest School Provision in a local primary school

Our year-long placement differentiates us from all other similar degrees.

Increase your employability – here’s what our students had to say.

‘The use of placements really enhanced my CV.’
‘The placement year is a good part of the course.’
‘The opportunities provided by the department through residentials and our placement year allowed me to grow and develop both personally and professionally, and allowed me to gain accurate insight into life after university.’
‘The placement year provides the opportunity to put theory into practice in the real world context. It was really beneficial to me as it allowed me to explore the other side of the world. I came back feeling more confident in myself. Having a placement year was a really valuable experience.’
‘Great real life experiences through placement.’
‘Good range of teaching placements within a variety of schools.’
‘It massively improved my ability and confidence to teach a wide range of sports through great experience in placements and lectures during my time here.’

Placements Office

Chichester Institute of Sport has a dedicated placement coordinator. Students are ultimately responsible for finding their own placement, however the placement coordinator is available to assist students and has a network of contacts in local clubs and schools.

Our students are from all over the UK, with the majority from the South and South East of England, with a few students from overseas.

Many students find work placements in their home towns, as well as local opportunities in Sussex.

Placements are integral to your development as a student and are integrated within University-based work.

You will need to ensure you have all the necessary documentation in place before you start your placement.

Some courses will insist that you complete a DBS check on entry to the course and others will require you to complete a check once you have started.

Please check that you have completed all necessary documentation before commencing your placement.

To contact the Placement Coordinator please email Alison Davis – or tel: 01243 816224.

Indicative modules

  • Understanding group dynamics participating in challenging activities in Introduction to Group Processes
  • Developing practical skills in adventure sports in Introduction to the Analysis of Water/Land-based Activities
  • Using the weather to enhance your learning and teaching potential in Applied Meteorology and the Adventure Environment
  • Understanding the demands on the body in adventure activities in Environmental Exercise Physiology
  • Appreciating how learning takes place in adventurous environments in Psychology of Skill Acquisition

Teaching assessment

How do we teach?

You’ll build subject knowledge and practical experience through core modules in all years with option modules allowing you to specialise more in years two and four. Learning centres on theory in practice where each module will have practical application of academic frameworks to relevant outdoor and adventure activities and contexts. The work placement year develops your practical skills, knowledge of the diverse nature of the outdoor sector, theory in practice and professional skills.

Teaching comprises of:

  • small group lectures
  • small group practicals to allow for maximum personal skill progression
  • blended practicals focussing on bringing theory to life
  • off-campus visits
  • laboratory practicals
  • small group seminars
  • individual tutorials
  • residential filed trips

How will you be assessed?

You will typically study four modules each semester with each module worth 15 credits to gain 120 credits to complete each academic level. Modules are assessed usually at the end of each semester with most modules having at least two modes of assessment.

Assessment comprises of:

  • presentations
  • reports
  • essays
  • practical
  • plans and proposals
  • portfolios
  • commentaries and reviews
  • short exams
UCAS code: 
College Code: 

Course length

4 Years (or 3 Years under exceptional circumstances) Full Time

Entry requirements 2016 - 2017

A levels: CCD 
Edexcel National Diploma: Sport - DDD - DDM
UCAS Tariff Points: 240 - 260 
International Baccalaureate: 29 points
QAA-approved Access Diploma: Pass

Interview: Yes.  Applicants who demonstrate relevant experience and/or understanding, as well as commitment to and enthusiasm for, the industry, may receive a lower (grades) offer. 

Entry requirements 2017 - 2018

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary): 

A levels (or combination with AS / E.P. / BTEC): 105 to 120 UCAS Tariff Points  


Access to HE Diploma: Pass  

Interview: Yes.  Applicants who demonstrate relevant experience and/or understanding, as well as commitment to and enthusiasm for, the industry, may receive a lower (grades) offer.