Home Courses Sport BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education
Student standing with a surfboard on a beach

Explore your passion for teaching outdoor and adventure activities

UCAS LogoUCAS Logo
X391
4 years full-time (or 3 years full-time under exceptional circumstances)
Bishop Otter Campus (Chichester)

Take control of your future with Clearing

100%

positivity for staff support your learning

The National Student Survey 2024

96%

positivity on my course

The National Student Survey 2024

94%

positivity for overall learning resources

The National Student Survey 2024

Join us at one of our Open Days!

Saturday 12 October  |  Friday 1 November  |  Saturday 23 November

Saturday 12 October

Friday 1 November

Saturday 23 November

Our next Open Day is in:

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Overview

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

Our highly practical BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education course develops your skills and abilities in various outdoor and adventure activities, as well as how to use them to educate and coach children and young people.

Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) education partner

CIMSPA logo

Expand your skillset in a range of outdoor and adventure activities

The course offers modules that focus on developing personal performance in key activities both on land and in the water, including:

  • Climbing
  • Surfing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Scuba diving
  • Forest schools.

Examine the theories and practices of outdoor and adventure education

Throughout your degree, you will explore the key pedagogical principles that underpin education within an outdoor and adventure activity context as you learn to reflect on your teaching, coaching and facilitation practices to prepare you for a successful professional career.

Specialise in an area that interests you

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.

Study on an established course

The course has been running for over 20 years, making it one of the longest-running courses of its kind in the UK. And it’s the only validated four-year Outdoor and Adventure Education degree in the UK.

Learn from expert staff who really get to know you

You will learn from our team of highly-qualified, experienced and research-active staff in smaller classes, which mean they can really get to know you and how best to support your academic and personal development.

Built-in sandwich experience year

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

It can be undertaken anywhere in the world, with many students selecting experiences in adventure hot spots such as New Zealand, Canada and the USA.

Take part in residential trips

This course is the only programme in the UK that offers regular residential trips in addition to normal contact hours, with the opportunity to experience different landscapes, terrains and sports (including snow sports) in both the UK and abroad, in places like France and Lanzarote.

Prepare for your future career

We understand the importance of ensuring that you have the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market, and our focus on theory in practice ensures you will feel prepared to succeed in a wide variety of careers.

On this course you will:

  • Study 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 sandwich experience year 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.
  • Learn from our team of expert and experienced teaching staff who really get to know you and your needs.

The Course

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

Year One

Your first year provides you with the fundamentals of outdoor and adventure education practice as you develop your knowledge and understanding of adventurous activities, alongside modules in the core principles of physiology, psychology, pedagogy and skillset enhancements.

Year Two

In your second year, you will begin to specialise in the areas of outdoor and adventure education that most interest you, as you learn more advanced pedagogical and sports science principles and look to apply them to your own teaching and coaching practice.

Year Three – sandwich experience year

Your third year sees you embark on a dedicated sandwich experience year, which provides you with the opportunity to work in outdoor and/or adventure education as you consider the varying approaches adopted by different providers.

It can be anywhere in the world that you choose, with previous students having worked Norway, Sri Lanka and China.

Year Four

In your final year, you will work towards producing a dissertation project, which acts as the culmination of your learning across your degree.

Alongside this, you will continue to study advanced aspects of sports science and pedagogy, as well as consider research techniques and issues to help with your dissertation project.

Additional National Governing Body Awards

In addition to your degree, each year we typically offer you the opportunity to gain additional awards from various national governing bodies, such as:

  • British Canoeing awards  
  • Mountain Training awards   
  • Mountain Bike Instructor Award Scheme awards  
  • Royal Yachting Association powerboat awards  
  • 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.

Indicative modules

You will study a selection of core and optional modules during your degree. Each module is worth a particular number of credits and is delivered differently depending on the needs of the module.

Modules

This list is indicative and subject to future change.

Select a year

Adventures in Education 1 (Introducing Pedagogy)

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.

Contemporary Issues in Outdoor and Adventure Education

Contemporary, organised and facilitated outdoor and adventure education in the UK 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 UK and beyond.

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.

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.

Introduction to Psychological Issues in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities

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.

Understanding Adventure (Land Based Activities)

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of land-based adventure activities.

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 adventure activities which can be applied to wider environmental and sports contexts.

Understanding Adventure (Water Based Activities)

This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of water-based adventure activities. 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 build a solid intellectual foundation for understanding adventure activities which can be applied to wider environmental and sports contexts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Forest Schools Principles and Practices

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.

Management Issues in Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning

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.

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.

Through this, you will examine 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.

Outdoor Environments 2 – Asking and Answering Environmental Questions

This week of fieldwork provides you with experience of unknown environments and provides 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.

Research & Enquiry in 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.

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 wellbeing 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.

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.

Adventures in Coaching

You will explore current issues within the coaching process and consider their application within specific adventure sport activities. You will examine the practical scientific assessment tools to identify performer needs.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sport and Exercise in Extreme Environments

This module aims to examine the physiological challenge of performing in extreme and hostile environments and to examine how the human can exercise, maintain homeostasis and survive.

It will explore the theoretical limits of human performance, looking to identify mechanisms of physiological acclimatisation and adaptation.

You will consider how this may be used to increase sporting performance and maximise safety e.g. competitions such as the Everest Marathon and Marathon Des Sables.

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.

Teaching and Assessment

Apply theory to practice through our highly-practical approach

Smaller class sizes for better learning

You will build your subject knowledge and practical experience through lectures, workshops and tutorials in small classes, which means our expert teaching staff really get to know you and what support you need.

You will have 12 hours a week contact time, as well as additional time on residentials.

Thomas

BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate
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.

Discover varied and innovative teaching methods, including:

  • Small group lectures and seminars
  • 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
  • Individual tutorials
  • Residential field trips.

Apply the theory to practice

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.

Develop practical skills on your sandwich experience year

The experience year develops your practical skills, knowledge of the diverse nature of the outdoor sector, theory in practice and professional skills.

Assessments

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 usually assessed at the end of each semester, with most modules having at least two modes of assessment.

  • Presentations
  • Reports and reflective accounts
  • Analytical reports
  • Professional admin tasks (risk assessments, expedition proposals, funding bids)
  • Teaching practicals
  • Exams.

Experience

Discover a wide range of excellent sporting facilities that support your learning

Dedicated outdoor and adventure activity equipment

We have a wide range of activity equipment to save you having to hire it from external companies, and once you have been inducted and signed off, you can use our equipment when you want to – even outside of class.

Our range of equipment and facilities include:

  • Indoor and outdoor climbing walls
  • Kayaks
  • Canoes
  • Surfboards
  • Paddleboards
  • Traditional sport and climbing equipment
  • Duckies (inflatable boats similar to white water rafts).

Broaden your experiences with international trips

Throughout your degree, you can seize opportunities to visit a variety of international destinations and experience different outdoor and adventure activities, with previous trips including:

  • Fontainebleau
  • The Alps
  • Lanzarote*
  • Wales.

*Optional diving placement in Lanzarote.

Megan

BSc (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 than you thought you could go.

Sandwich Year

Gain vital first-hand experience to increase your employability

During the third year of your degree, you will undertake a sandwich experience year. This differentiates us from all other similar degrees.

In conjunction with the teaching team, you will plan 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 experience, we have developed a network of contacts worldwide and can help you find the right option for you.

Some student experiences have included:

  • Working for a dog-sled team in Norway, teaching and guiding (after some training of course!)
  • Surf coaching in Sri Lanka
  • Teaching sailing in China
  • Teaching in a school in Korea
  • Teaching skiing in Canada.
Outdoor and adventure education graduate Ben

Ben

BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduate and current primary school teacher
The main factor for me choosing this course was the Sandwich Experience Year offered in the third year as I wasn’t sure what career I wanted. One of my placements was being a volunteer teacher in Ghana for three months. This confirmed that I wanted to be a teacher. The facilities on campus were excellent. We always had access to the canoes and kayaks and could climb on campus whenever we wanted to. Another reason why this course was incredible was because of the residential trips we went on every semester. My favourite was Lanzarote. We went climbing, mountain biking, hiking, including through a lava tube and explored volcanos.

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have done this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to ensure that you get the best out of your time studying abroad.

Careers

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

Our focus on theory in practice ensures that our BSc (Hons) Outdoor and Adventure Education graduates are prepared for a wide variety of careers.

Teaching is a popular graduate option 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.

Our alumni have continued into careers that include:

  • Education and teaching
  • Adventure tourism
  • Civil service working for Forestry England
  • Project management for an expedition company
  • Recreation and leisure management
  • Risk management
  • Conservation management
  • Harbour Master.

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.

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Gifted Athlete Support Programme

Supporting athletes with their studies and sporting ambitions

The University’s Gifted Athlete Support Programme (GASP) helps students combine academic study with sport by offering support to compete at the highest level.

Our student athletes will have access to our experts in sport coaching, exercise physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, performance analysis, sport nutrition, sport psychology, sport therapy or physiotherapy and receive:

  • Financial support*
  • Access to the fitness suite at the Tudor Hale Centre for Sport
  • Administrative support from SU Sport
  • GASP-branded kit.

*Level of financial support dependent upon level of achievement in sport.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£15,840

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

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

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs 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.

Our address

For visits

I’m looking for