Adventure Education student kayaking through white water rapids

BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education

Explore your passion for teaching outdoor and adventure activities

X391
4 years full-time (or 3 three years full-time under exceptional circumstances)
Bishop Otter Campus

Top 30

UK University

1. Guardian University Guide 2022

14th

for teaching quality

2. Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

25th

for student satisfaction

3. National Student Survey 2021

Overview

Learn the intricacies of teaching outdoor and adventure activities to young people

Our highly-practical BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education course allows you to develop your skills and abilities in various outdoor and adventure activities.

You will consider psychological and physiological impacts of these activities, as well as how to use them to educate and coach children and young people.

The course offers modules that focus on developing personal performance in key activities like climbing, surfing, canoeing and kayaking with optional modules to cater for broader tastes like scuba diving and forest schools.

As you progress through the degree you can specialise in the coaching, teaching, or applied psychology of adventure sports, as well as the physiological effects of these activities and the extreme environments they often take place in.

The course has been running for over 20 years, making it one of the longest running courses of its type in the UK.

Built-in work placements

The course comes with a dedicated work placement year that allows you to travel anywhere in the world, as well as regular residential trips every semester.

Your one-year work placement can be undertaken anywhere in the world, with many students selecting placement experiences in adventure capitals such as New Zealand, Canada, and the USA.

On this course you will:

  • Enrol on the only validated four year Outdoor and Adventure Education degree in the UK.
  • Develop your skills in a variety of outdoor and adventure sports and activities alongside fundamental pedagogical theories.
  • Choose to specialise in the coaching, teaching, psychological impacts, or physiological effects of adventure activities and sports.
  • Take part in our dedicated one year work placement option that allows you to go anywhere in the world.
  • Join the only programme in the UK that offers regular residential trips in addition to normal contact hours.

The Course

Learn the links between outdoor and adventure activities and physiology or psychology

Our BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education offers you modules that focus on developing personal performance in key activities like climbing, surfing, canoeing and kayaking with additional options to cater for broader tastes like scuba diving and forest schools.

You will have the opportunity to select modules that allow you to specialise in the coaching, teaching, or applied psychology of adventure sports, as well as the physiological effects of these activities and the extreme environments they often take place in.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Contemporary Issues in Outdoor and Adventure Education

Contemporary, organised, and facilitated outdoor and adventure education in the U.K has a recent but rich history. This module aims to explore the key historical antecedents of contemporary experiential, outdoor and adventure education. This module also aims to examine the efficacy of contemporary outdoor and adventure education as well as exploring possible futures for this well- developed area of study in the U.K and beyond.

Understanding Groups in the Outdoors

This module acts as an introduction to the study of group formation and group dynamics. You will consider the pressures placed on society in general by different groups, as you examine models of group formation and the dynamics of group processes. You will also explore established and contemporary theories that aim to explain the different ways groups function.

Developing Professional and Academic Skills

This module aims to help you make the transition between UK qualifications levels three and four (Year One at university) by improving intellectual and academic skills, which will support you throughout your programme. As part of the developing professional skills you will focus on issues surrounding employability and developing graduate employability skills.

Understanding Performance (Water Based)

Key aspects of the module will include an examination of personal performance, the physical environment, and safety and wellbeing. It will focus on creating theory to practice links and build a solid intellectual foundation for understanding water-based adventure activities which can be applied to wider environmental and sports contexts.

Understanding Performance (Land Based)

Key aspects of the module will include an examination of personal performance, the physical environment, and safety and wellbeing. The module will focus on creating theory to practice links and will build a solid intellectual foundation for understanding land-based adventure activities which can be applied to wider environmental and sports contexts.

Adventures in Education 1

Whilst many students appreciate the organisational elements necessary for safe delivery of outdoor and adventure activities they often lack the necessary pedagogical understanding to maximise opportunity for learning in outdoor and adventure education contexts. This module introduces you to learning theories that have dominated formal and informal education contexts. This module also challenges ideas historically implicit in outdoor and adventure education.

Introduction to Psychological Issues in Outdoor and Adventurous Activites

This module provides you with strong knowledge of the basic concepts within the academic discipline of psychology, its different perspectives, and its application to the outdoor and adventurous environment. You will consider developmental and lifespan issues from a motor, cognitive, social, and moral perspective. The module will also address the acquisition of skill, learning theories, skill versus ability, memory, and motor control.

Fundamentals of Human Physiology

This module will allow you to examine how key systems such as the musculoskeletal system, the cardio-vascular system, and the respiratory system affect human performance. Specific attention is paid to energy metabolism in the context of the exercising human across the breadth of the energy spectrum.

Adventures in Education 2 (Developing Pedagogy)

This module builds on the key principles developed in year one and centres on the planning, delivery, evaluation, and justification of teaching and/or facilitation methods applied to small group, micro-teaching contexts in outdoor and adventure education.

Outdoor Environments 1

This module aims to introduce physical and biological processes that have shaped environments in the past and continue to affect them in the present, to enable you to appreciate the broad environmental context of outdoor and adventure activities for your own personal benefit and to provide awareness and excitement you will share with other participants.

Management Issues in Outdoor & Adventure Education

This module examines the legislation and logistics that govern the management of adventure providers, facilitative centres, and environment agencies. Through your studies you will generate an understanding of the operational environment that you will find yourself working and participating in.

Applied Meteorology

Many students can organise outdoor and adventure activities in simple contexts but few have the ability to do so in light of complex environmental factors. This module aims to provide you with a basic knowledge of the earth’s atmosphere, the principles underlying its behaviour, and the effects of weather on adventure environments. There is also the opportunity to develop your pedagogical decision-making process in outdoor and adventure environments.

Outdoor Environments 2 – Asking and Answering Environmental Questions

This week of fieldwork on provides you with experience of unknown environments and provide an opportunity for you to develop problem-solving skills through short, intensive practical investigations of the unfamiliar. The culmination of the fieldwork will be a short independent research project, which you will devise and undertake in the field. Subsequently, you will work in small teams to propose and plan a more significant overseas research project.

Applied Techniques for Performance Enhancement in the Adventure Environment

This module explores the role of applied sports science in the enhancement of performance as well as in quality delivery within the Adventure Environment. You will examine the use of analysis and assessment tools, to provide an introduction to mental skills training and development within participation and performance environments, and consider the implications for coaches and leaders to enhance performance and experience within the outdoors. 

Forest Schools

A Forest School is a journey of self-discovery and awareness in the outdoors in which participants are given the freedom to explore their surroundings, themselves and others through their curiosity and imagination. The approach is heralded by some as inspirational but described by others as re-branding of old ideas giving questionable impact. This module explores principles that underpin the Forest School approach and reflects on evidence for its effectiveness.

The Outdoor Experience – Emotions and Wellbeing

The aim of the module is for you to explore the experience of being in the outdoors from an emotional and well-being perspective. The restorative and therapeutic benefits of immersive experience will be examined and these will include creative activities, understanding of place, and connectedness to the environment and others.

Diving

Explore the complex interaction between the hyperbaric aquatic environment, and the physiological coping mechanisms of the human. Environmental issues will be discussed, as will medical emergencies and progression opportunities in diving. This module will also provide you with the opportunity to gain the SSI Open Water Dive award.

Adventure Education Experience (A)

The placement experience will enable you to observe and be involved in work in areas of outdoors, adventure, and/or education. This will provide the opportunity to consider the varying approaches adopted by different providers. It will provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon that provision and/or provide access to further improvement in personal performance. The placement can be anywhere in the world that you choose. Previous students have worked in Norway, Sri Lanka and China.

Adventure Education Experience (B)

The placement experience will enable you to observe and be involved in work in areas of outdoors, adventure, and/or education. This will provide the opportunity to consider the varying approaches adopted by different providers. It will provide you with the opportunity to reflect upon that provision and/or provide access to further improvement in personal performance. The placement can be anywhere in the world that you choose. Previous students have worked in Norway, Sri Lanka and China.

Dissertation – Adventure Education

This module aims to be the major element of your independent research enquiry. It is designed to extend your intellectual capacity by encouraging you to find and explore your own area of interest assisted by supervision from a tutor. 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

This module aims to raise and explore research methods and issues within Adventure Education and introduces you to the notion of research paradigms. You will consider a range of traditions and gain a solid foundation of research design. You will also develop your critical awareness of a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis techniques.

Environmental Exercise Physiology

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. You will explore the theoretical limits of human performance, looking to identify mechanisms of physiological acclimatisation and adaptation. Furthermore, you will be able to discuss how this knowledge may be used to increase sporting performance and maximise safety.

Applied Coaching

This module explores current issues within the coaching process considering their application within specific adventure sport activities. Developmental activities will be explored including the application of sports science in the development of training programmes within specific adventure contexts.

Adventures In Education 3 (Advanced Pedagogical Skills)

This module asks you to go beyond the traditional pedagogical strategies as directed by organisations that fellow teachers, coaches, and facilitators would employ in delivering outdoor and adventure education. You will challenge conventional wisdom and critically appraise the basis for your teaching approach. The long-term aim is for you to have a critical edge over competitors in your ability to reflect on your teaching, coaching, and facilitation practices throughout your professional careers.

Environments 3: Interpreting The Environment To Others

This module builds on the strong foundations of learning you will have amassed, as you draw together aspects of environmental science and environmental education in the broadest sense so that you are comfortable with both in a professional context. An aim is to use outdoor and adventure environments as contexts in which you deliver effective environmental education to a variety of client groups.

Wilderness

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 transdisciplinary understanding.

Placement Year

Gain vital first-hand experience to increase your employability

During the third year of your degree, you will undertake a placement year. Our year-long placement differentiates us from all other similar degrees.

In conjunction with the teaching team, you will plan a a year of working in the adventure industry, personal adventuring, and experiences that count towards governing body awards.

Whilst you are encouraged to find your own placements, we have developed a network of contacts worldwide that can help you find the right option for you.

Some student placements have included:

  • 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.
Cameron

Cameron

BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate
"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!"

Teaching and Assessment

Apply theory to practice through our highly-practical approach

Teaching

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.

Your learning will centre around the application of theory to 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.

Your teaching will comprise of:

  • Small group lectures
  • Small group practicals to allow for maximum personal skill progression e.g. kayaking, climbing
  • Blended practicals focussing on bringing theory to life
  • Off-campus visits
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Small group seminars
  • Individual tutorials
  • Residential field trips.

Assessment

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
  • Practicals
  • Plans and proposals
  • Portfolios
  • Commentaries and reviews
  • Short exams.

Experience

Discover world-class sporting facilities to support your learning

Careers

Become fully prepared for a wide range of careers in the outdoors and related fields

We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market.

Our focus on theory in practice ensure that our BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education are prepared for a wide variety of career routes.

Teaching is a popular graduate destination in the UK and abroad, as is performance coaching and entrepreneurship in the outdoor sector, with small but growing numbers of graduates successful in setting up their own adventure-based business.

Potential career options include:

  • Education and teaching
  • Adventure tourism
  • Recreation and leisure management
  • Risk management
  • Conservation management
  • Harbour Master
  • The police

Further study

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.

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester.

Student View

"There is very little the staff won’t do to help you achieve and push you further then you thought you could go"

Megan

BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate
"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

BA (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate
"Having worked as a teaching assistant for a long 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 Costs

Course fees 2022/23

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£14,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Contribution to residential programmes

We do ask for financial contributions to cover all equipment, teaching/coaching, insurance, accommodation and travel in the UK and overseas. These are £375 in Year One, £375 in Year Two, and £250 for the residential in Year Four.

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 wetsuit and boots at the start of the course. There are many options available, but students typically spend £100 on a wetsuit.

Entry Requirements

UCAS
96-112
tariff points.
A Levels
BBC - CCC
BTEC
DMM - MMM
GCSEs
C/4
or better in both English Language and Maths.
IELTS
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5

Interview

You will be asked to attend an interview as part of the application process. The interviews are designed to explore the applicant’s practical suitability and personal drive to study the course. The interview will also start to build the personalised and individual relationships that we have with all of our students.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Click the ‘Apply now’ button to go to relevant UCAS page.

What are UCAS tariff points?

Many qualifications have a UCAS Tariff value. The score depends on the qualification, and the grade you achieved.

How do I know what my UCAS tariff points are?

Head to the UCAS Tariff Points web page where you can find a tariff points calculator that can tell you how much your qualification and grades are worth.

When does this course start?

This course starts in September 2022.

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