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BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education



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Institution C58


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

Entry Requirements and Fees

2019/20 UK fee: £9250

2019/20 International fee: £13,000

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

Tariff points: 96 - 112

A Level: BBC - CCC


International Baccalaureate: 28 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.

IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5 

Student view

Megan Sampson
Outdoor and Adventure Education
"Being in the outdoors has always been an integral part of my life, making the decision to leave full-time work to study the Outdoor & Adventure Education Programme an easy one. Perhaps the greatest highlight for me is the residential experiences we receive – not only does it continue to strengthen the friendships forged with my peers, but also with my lecturers. There is very little they won’t do to help you achieve and push you further then you thought you could go."
Thomas Jackson
Outdoor and Adventure Education

"Having worked as a teaching assistant for a time and developing a real passion for the role made, what I had considered, ‘taking a step back’ into education a particularly difficult decision. Taking a step back couldn’t have been further from the truth, I have expanded my knowledge on what it is to learn and to teach, expanding my understanding on the different types of education available to young people. I have, built strong relationships with my lecturers, who very early on got to know every one of us as an individual and developed life-long relationships with my peers. The degree has changed me in many ways including where I now see myself in the future."

Course content

Our four-year-degree links activity e.g. mountain biking to physiology or psychology. It is the only course validated with a one-year placement which you can do anywhere in the world. You will develop strong professional relationships because staff are highly qualified in the practical domain. All of our theory and practice is taught by our own staff. 

There are three themes you will study:

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 you reflect on your 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.

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 sector. The core text used on all adventure education courses is written by our teaching staff.

Our residentials which include the Canary Islands, UK and France, demonstrate how theory is woven into practical sessions. Our videos showcase how practical the course is.

National Governing Body Awards

Each year, we typically offer:

  • U.K.C.C/B.C.U courses at all levels
  • Single Pitch Award (training)for Rock Climbing (S.P.A)
  • The site specific indoor climbing wall award
  • Mountain Bike Instructor Award (M.I.A.S)
  • Mountain Leader Award (M.L Summer) training.
  • Level 2 Powerboat (R.Y.A)
  • First aid

During the third year many students gain governing body awards in the UK and abroad from The Professional Association of Diving Instructors, The Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors and the British Association of Snowsport Instructors.

Our facilities

Campus Location: Chichester 

We offer you some of the best sporting facilities available to study for a degree. 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.

The world-class Tudor Hale Centre for Sport is the focus of sporting activities both academic and recreational at the University. It incorporates a suite of state of the art sport science laboratories, a sports injury clinic, a strength and conditioning room and a fitness centre. In addition there is a sports hall. Located beside the Tudor Hale Centre for Sport you will find our Sports Dome, lano sand dressed astro turf and a grass rugby pitch.


Modern fleet of kayaks and canoes
High quality paddles, spray decks and buoyancy aids
Traditional and sport climbing equipment
Fleet of duckies

Sports Dome

Four tennis courts which can be used for a variety of sports.

Blue flooring and blue curtains separating courts with student throwing javelins

Sports hall

Used for basketball, netball, trampolining, badminton, volleyball, cricket, soccer, table tennis, hockey and ultimate frisbee.

Fitness suite

Various membership levels available. Weights, resistance and cardio machines.

Weights, resistance and cardio machines

Indoor and outdoor climbing walls and climbing boulder

Available for any student to use after an induction and when Tudor Hale Centre for Sport is open.

Images showing external and internal climbing wall and external boulder

Grass football and rugby pitches

Students playing football and girl passing rugby ball

Floodlit lano sand-dressed astro turf 

A top of the range Lano sand-dressed astro all completely compliant to International Hockey federation standards.

Lano sand-dressed astro .

  • 110m synthetic athletics track
  • Strength and conditioning room
  • Two multi-purpose gymnasiums
  • Outdoor netball and tennis court
  • Two seminar rooms
  • Cricket nets 

Sport Science Laboratories:

Four dedicated psychology labs including a Virtual Reality Reader, Brain Imaging Unit and Observation Suite.

Student using software to track activity of body for sport psychology

Two dedicated biomechanics labs

Student running with rugby ball with sensor on past tracking posts

Five dedicated physiology labs

Used for testing on treadmills, bikes and various other pieces of equipment.

Physiology labs showing equipment used

An environmental chamber

Used to simulate heat, altitude, etc.

Envinronmental chamber in physiology lab

A sports injury clinic and adjoining rehabilitation space

Sports Therapy students use these spaces for practical sessions and run a clinic. It is open for students, staff and external visitors who require treatment also either from Sports Therapy students or staff.

Sports therapy clinic with beds and rehab room

Where this can take you

A wide range of professional opportunities await Outdoor and Adventure Education graduates from Chichester. Careers include education, adventure tourism, recreation and leisure management, risk management, Harbour Master, Research Fellow, 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 Master's 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.

We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market. Whilst these degrees will prepare you for a career in the rapidly growing field of adventure education it also provides an opportunity for students who simply wish to further their understanding of adventure education in an applied context.


In addition to the work placements and sector-specific employability and enterprise modules that many of you will have embedded in your course, we have developed a student and graduate internship scheme.  Our commitment is to make sure that students and graduates from all disciplines who register on the programme, and successfully complete the necessary preparation, have the opportunity to apply for carefully-matched internships. *

This programme aims to ensure that students will graduate with:

  • A focused high-quality CV
  • Interview and selection centre preparation
  • The ability to identify and articulate transferable skills
  • Experience of a recruitment process
  • Substantive relevant work experience
  • Workplace skills

As part of the programme we aim to:

  • Provide a free matching service to identify the needs and aspirations of both graduates and employers
  • Identify and promote short-term student employment opportunities with a focus on specific sectors
  • Ensure that there is a range of opportunities to be provided including internships of both short and long duration
  • Sign-post Chichester graduates to other universities’ internship schemes in their home area, where available

* Gaining an internship is the result of a competitive interview process with the prospective employer so an internship cannot be guaranteed. The programme is intended to provide a progressive work experience package tailored both to your course and your career aspirations on graduation.


Alumnus Craig Lindsay, Centre Manager at Runways End Activity Centre: 

"This degree has catapulted my career forwards, I have really benefited." 

Postgraduate further study

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester

  • MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • MSc Physical Activity and Public Health
  • MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)*
  • MSc Sports Coaching
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Biomechanics
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS route)
  • MSc Sports Performance Analysis
  • MSc Strength and Conditioning
  • MA Sport Pedagogy and Physical Education
  • PGCE Primary
  • PGCE Secondary Physical Education
  • School Direct
  • School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

*Subject to approval


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!)
  • Surf coach in Sri Lanka
  • Teaching sailing in China
  • Teaching in a school in Korea
  • Teaching skiing in Canada

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

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

The placement year is unique because you get the chance to discover what you actually want to do whilst still having the support and encouragement of the University and your lecturers. You are free and encouraged to test your limits, and challenging placements are definitely encouraged! I spent my time riding around the world on a motorbike and it was fantastic."


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.

You may need a DBS check depending on where your placements is.

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

To contact the Placement Co-ordinator please email Clare Deacon or tel: 01243 793542

Indicative modules

Our four-year degree has a distinctive focus upon the adventure education experience which it achieves through three themes. You will reflect on your past experiences, laying down a framework for the understanding of new adventure experiences.


Year One

Conceptualising Outdoor and Adventure Education

The module is a mix of practical and theory elements designed to inform each other. During the theory sessions you will be introduced to the main concepts that form the core of the current facilitative debate in outdoor and adventure education. The practical elements enable you to experience how theory and practice interact and how facilitative experiences must be constructed individually to optimise personal growth.

Understanding Groups

This module introduces you to the study of group formation and group dynamics. You will consider the pressures placed on society in general by different groups. The study of group formation and processes is then placed in outdoor and adventure contexts where you will consider models of group formation and the dynamics of group processes. 

Introduction to Psychological Issues in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities

You will examine what psychology is in its role within the adventure and outdoor environment. Developmental and lifespan issues will be addressed from a motor, cognitive, social and moral perspective. Individual differences within the learning environment will be examined through personality, motivation and the development of self-concept. 

Developing Professional Skills

You will consider yourself as a developing professional within the field of Outdoor and Adventure Education and take a longer term look at possible career destinations and route ways to achieve your ambitions.

Understanding Performance (Water based) - Canoe/kayak each week

This module explores current issues within the coaching process considering their application within specific sport adventure activities and taking into consideration the adaptation of Long Term Athlete Development principles. Observation and analysis of performance will be examined along with scientific assessment tools to identify performer needs. Aspects of sports science are applied in the development of training programmes within specific adventure contexts. 

Adventures in Education 1

You will be introduced to learning theories that have dominated formal and informal education contexts. This module also challenges ideas historically implicit in outdoor and adventure education.

Understanding Performance (Land Based) - Indoor and Outdoor rock climbing each week

This module aims to provide an introduction to the examination of land based adventure activities. Some of these activities may be additional to those forming the major part of activity areas used in the domain of adventure. The activities selected will enable you to develop both, strength in a particular area, or breadth of understanding across a variety of areas. 

Exercise and Health for Outdoor and Adventure Education

It will consider the current body of knowledge on physical activity and health and highlight the rise of modern chronic health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and demonstrate the positive influence that physical activity has on these disease states. Currently the use of adventure therapy as a therapy has only been investigated in small and select groups of individuals. This module will  provide practical suggestions for tailoring adventure programmes for adults and or children for whom the lack of physical activity, and nature deficiency results in ill health.


Year Two

Outdoor Environments 1

The shaping of the environment: including introduction to geology and to landscape formation; interpreting the landscape, with use of conventional, geological and historical maps; coastal processes including understanding of tides and formation of coastal features; introduction to ecology with particular reference to coastlines, including abiotic and biotic influences on biological communities; freshwater environments, including physicochemical and biological properties of rivers and lakes; impacts of human activities including adventure sports on marine and freshwater environments; effects of clean and polluted waters on users; and environmental impact assessment of adventure activities. 

Adventures in Education 2 (Developing Pedagogy) 

This module will include key themes such as Blooms Taxonomy, Behaviourism, Constructivism, approaches to developing learning outcomes, Mosston and Ashworth’s spectrum of teaching styles, pedagogy of place and experiential learning. 

Management Issues in Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

Key topics will be introduced and developed where visiting speakers will be invited to provide the essential links between theory and practice. The module will include a visit to an Adventure Centre and an agency responsible for managing the environment.

Psychological Dynamics of Adventure

(Module information to come)


Applied Techniques

You will explore the role of applied sports science in the enhancement of performance as well as in quality coaching within the Adventure Environment. The module aims to examine the use of analysis and assessment tools, to provide an introduction to mental skills training or physical training within high performance and coaching environments, and consider the implications for coaches and leaders to enhance performance within the outdoors. 

Research and Enquiry in Outdoor and Adventure Education

The aims of this are to introduce the notion of research paradigms, consider a range of traditions and provide a solid foundation of research design. The intention is to develop your critical awareness of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis techniques. You will also consider data analysis techniques that will be immediately transferable to other areas of the degree.

Applied Meteorology

Gain a basic knowledge of the earth’s atmosphere, the principles underlying its behaviour and the effects of weather on adventure environments. 

Outdoor Environments 2 (Asking and Answering Environmental Questions)

A week of fieldwork in a location contrasting sharply with West Sussex will provide you with experience of unfamiliar environments and provide an opportunity for you to develop problem-solving skills through short, intensive practical investigations of the unfamiliar. 

Expeditioning and Journeying

The module seeks to provide you with the theoretical knowledge that allows you to understand and partake in a prolonged educational journey or expedition in an adventure environment. This takes place through the understanding and application of philosophical, physiological and psychological concepts. 


SCUBA Diving

(Module information to come) 


Reflective Practice 

Practical modules looking at expeditioning or diving. Diving has additional costs due to: location in Lanzarote, use of outside providers and a professional diving qualification being included (about £300) We are proposing that the expedition next year is a canoe trip down the Ardeche which will cost about £150 per person.


Year Three


Anywhere in the world of your choosing. See our Work Placements section for some examples of where our students have been.


Year Four

Dissertation - Self-selected but supported research project

Translating research reports into a coherent plausible account calls for creative and technical skills of a high professional order. This module is based on the conviction that outdoor and adventure facilitators need to be highly effective in communicating with a range of professional agencies, and be able to integrate and apply research to their professional practice as appropriate.

Research Methods for Outdoor and Adventure Education

Aims to develop dialog, research skills, reflective practice and critical thinking about problems and gaps in knowledge within adventure and the outdoors. The module will help you develop as an independent researcher capable of planning and executing a small scale research project in an appropriate academic or professional setting. It is intended to be interdisciplinary in nature and to be applicable to a wide range of research paradigms.

Environmental Exercise Physiology

Hundreds of people enter and complete competitions at altitude, in the heat, and in the cold; for example the Marathon DeSable, Everest Marathon and Idita Challenge. This module aims to examine the physiological challenge of performing in extreme and hostile environments and to examine how the human is able to exercise, maintain homeostasis, and survive. The module will explore the theoretical limits of human performance, looking to identify mechanisms of physiological acclimatisation and adaptation. 

Plus Elective(s) e.g:


Wilderness, defined by Conservation International as areas with fewer than one inhabitant km-2, covers the least hospitable 40% of the earth's land area. This module will approach the broad theme of wilderness from a number of perspectives and will challenge you to draw these together to construct your own trans-disciplinary understanding. 

Outdoor Environments 3

Outdoor professionals at centres and protected areas and others as diverse as teachers, journalists, councillors and politicians need to be able to help the public understand the environment which surrounds them. Not only do they require their own solid grounding in aspects of ecology and natural history, physical geography, environmental history and human ecology, but they need to be able to get others interested and excited too. This module builds on Environments I and Environments 2 by drawing together aspects of environmental science and environmental education so you are comfortable with both in a professional context. 

Soft Skills Facilitation

(Module information to come)

At least one module from:

Applied Coaching

This module explores current issues within the coaching process considering their application within specific sport adventure activities and taking into consideration the adaptation of Long Term Athlete Development principles. Observation and analysis of performance will be examined along with scientific assessment tools to identify performer needs. Aspects of sports science are applied in the development of training programmes within specific adventure contexts. 


Adventures in Education 3

You have now completed a work placement during which you have been required to adopt organisational and pedagogical strategies as directed by organisations that fellow teachers, coaches and facilitators would employ in delivering outdoor and adventure education. This module asks you to go further by challenging this conventional wisdom and critically appraising the basis for your teaching approach.




International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and 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

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Trip and clothing costs

Mandatory additional costs:

Contribution to international residential programme: £750 (payable in 2  installments over years 1 and 2) to cover all equipment, teaching/coaching, insurance, accommodation and  travel in the UK and overseas. Currently includes Brittany (8 days), Fontainbleau (7days), Peak District (5 days) and Lanzarote (8 days with an optional extra 5 days for a small additional cost). Although it is rare, the exact locations and timings are subject to change due to environmental constraints.

Personal protective clothing: £260 (approx) Provided by Mountain Equipment this includes waterproof and thermal clothing. In exceptional cases students may already have clothing that meets the required standard.

Students must have a full wet suit and boots at the start of the course. There are many options available but students typically spend £100 on a wet suit.