BA Outdoor Education

About the Course


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David has on the Carmarthen campus over a 160 years experience of offering physical education, sport and outdoor related courses. More recently, these have expanded to include degrees in health, exercise and nutrition, as well as sports thearpy.

Vocational relevance is a strong theme underpinning all degrees and students are strongly encouraged to gain additional experience and qualifications to support their career aspirations. Work placement begins in the very first term and is developed further in the second year.

The multidisciplinary approach to Outdoor Education draws upon education, leadership and environmental theory to explore the potential of the natural environment to offer an alternative, experientially focused approach to learning.

Outdoor Education has much to offer as an active, inclusive and natural form of learning that develops positive relationships between the individual, group and environment.

Increasing job opportunities are available in education, recreation, community development, adventure tourism and environmental sustainability. It is recognised as a valuable method of developing the transferable skills relevant to all sectors of the workplace in the twenty-first century.

BA (Single Honours)


Language Choice

Course Length
3 years full-time; Part-time study available

Entry Requirements

See introduction

You will be invited to visit the University to discuss the course. Entry is based on individual merit.

Career Opportunities

  • Outdoor Instructor/Facilitator
  • Outdoor Community Development Worker
  • Freelance Outdoor/Adventure Instructor/Eco-Tourism
  • Environmental and Conservation organisations
  • Teaching (subject to PGCE)
  • Local Authority Services – Outdoor Activity Officer
  • Armed Forces and Police Services


School of Sport, Health and Outdoor Education


Carmarthen Campus

Typical modules

  • Outdoor Education Philosophy and approaches
  • Facilitation theory and practice
  • Outdoor Leadership Skills (mountain craft, rock-climbing, kayaking/ canoeing, mountain biking, coasteering)
  • The Natural Environment and Eco-systems
  • From Desks to Dens (getting outside the classroom)
  • Impacts of Outdoor Recreation
  • Outdoor Education in the Community
  • Professional Placement (30 days)
  • Personal Development and Coaching
  • Research Methods for evaluating outdoor learning
  • Expedition Studies
  • Landscape and Recreation in Wales
  • Sense of Place approaches to the Outdoor Environment
  • Contemporary Issues in Outdoor Education
  • Dissertation

Key Features

  • Practical performance modules in Years 1 and 2 including an independent expedition module in Year 2
  • National Governing Body awards opportunities
  • Work placement in a variety of outdoor education settings
  • A challenging course for personal growth and development
  • Practical and vocational focus on the course
  • Small, friendly campus with easy access to a wide variety of excellent outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Very good links with many commercial and public organisations in the field of outdoor education
  • Excellent facilities and equipment
  • Highly experienced and qualified staff with good staff/student ratios
  • Study opportunities in USA/Norway
  • Recent overseas expeditions include: Nepal, Norway, Sardinia, Spain, Morocco and Greece

Why study at this University?

  • Small, friendly campus with easy access to a wide variety of excellent outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Good links with many commercial and public organisations in the field of outdoor education
  • Excellent facilities and equipment
  • Highly experienced and qualified staff with good staff/student ratios
  • Study opportunities in USA and Europe
  • An accredited centre for the Duke of Edinburgh Award

Programme Specification

Educational Aims

The educational aims of the programme are to:

  • develop interdisciplinary perspectives on outdoor education;
  • develop core knowledge and key skills required for graduates working in outdoor education in a range of community and professional settings;
  • instil an understanding of the role and potential of outdoor education in education, recreation, community, health and lifestyle;
  • produce reflective graduates of high academic ability;
  • develop a range of transferable skills relevant to career opportunities related to outdoor education, and more broadly.

Programme Outcomes 

Knowledge and Understanding

  • Critically reflect on the impact of outdoor education in the lives of individuals and analyse barriers to participation.
  • Evaluate the importance of cultural and other diversities in developing access to participation in outdoor education by specific target groups.
  • Critically evaluate the notion of praxis derived from generic disciplines and apply these to a specific outdoor education context.
  • Analyse and reflect upon the environment in which outdoor education takes place.
  • Review and analyse the political and economic factors which affect the supply of, and demands for, outdoor education.
  • Critically evaluate the role and impact of global and local outdoor education structures and organisations.
  • Operationalise concepts of social, public and business policy and critically analyse their role in outdoor education supply.
  • Write and critically evaluate outdoor education plans, development plans and recognise and meet the needs of specific communities.
  • Critically reflect upon the role of those organisations and structures charged with a responsibility for the promotion of outdoor education or the training of practitioners in outdoor education.
  • Critically reflect on what it means to work in outdoor education.
  • Evaluate the impact and role of outdoor education events in everyday life.
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary both to deliver and reflect upon an outdoor education experience with a specific group.
  • Appraising and evaluating the effects of outdoor education intervention on the participant.
  • Showing evidence of the skills required to monitor and evaluate human responses to outdoor education and/or exercise.
  • Providing a critical appreciation of the relationship between outdoor education and exercise activity and intervention in a variety of participant groups; this could include special populations such as senior citizens, disabled people and children.
  • Monitoring, analysing, diagnosing and prescribing action to enhance the learning and performance of the component elements of outdoor education.
  • Showing evidence of the skills required to monitor and evaluate outdoor education performance in field settings.
  • Displaying a critical appreciation of the integration of the variables involved in the delivery (teaching, instructing and coaching) of enhanced outdoor education performance.
  • Displaying an awareness of current government policy on disease prevention and the relevance of exercise. 
    • Displaying a broad range of skills, including awareness of health and safety, ethical considerations, exercise prescription, population differences and the role of education, health and outdoor education bodies in improving the health of the nation.
    • Displaying a critical insight into the organisations and structures responsible for outdoor education and the political ramifications arising from these.
    • Employing social, economic and political theory to explain the development and differentiation of outdoor education throughout society.
    • Demonstrating the application of the social and cultural meanings attached to outdoor education and their impact on participation and regulation.
    • Employing strategic planning and development planning skills in analysing, understanding and addressing the development needs and intentions of outdoor education organisations and communities.
    • Demonstrating a critical appreciation of outdoor education development and facilitation principles in at least one vocational context.
    • Understand and appreciate the potential contributions of disciplines that help to explain the nature and development of outdoor education tourism.
    • Demonstrate an awareness of the dynamic nature of outdoor education tourism in modern societies.
    • Understand the intercultural dimensions of outdoor education tourism.
    • Understand the cultural significance of outdoor education tourism for tourists and societies.
    • Being able to evaluate the contribution and impacts of outdoor education tourism in social, economic, environmental, political, cultural and other terms.
    • Having an understanding of, and being able to evaluate, the approaches to managing the development of outdoor education tourism through concepts of policy and planning.
    • Appreciating the ethical issues associated with the operation and development of outdoor education tourism.
    • Having an understanding of the issues and principles of sustainability and social responsibility in the context of outdoor education tourism.
    • Critical understanding of the underlying values and principles relevant to education studies and a developing personal stance which draws on their knowledge and understanding.
    • Critical understanding of the diversity of learners and the complexities of the education process.
    • Critical understanding of the complexity of the interaction between learning and contexts, and the range of ways in which participants (including learners and teachers) can influence the learning process.
    • Critical understanding of the societal and organisational structures and purposes of educational systems, and the possible implications for learners and the learning process.
    • The need for both a multidisciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences.
    • The processes which shape the natural world at different temporal and spatial scales and their influence on and by human activities.
    • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage.
    • The contribution of Earth Studies to debates on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people.
    • The contribution of their subject to the development of knowledge about the world we live in.
    • The relevance of knowledge and skills acquired on their programme of study to professional activity, responsible citizenship and the world of work.

Intellectual Skills

  • Research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts, factual information, and apply these skills to explain and solve problems.
  • Critically assess and evaluate evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources.
  • Critically interpret data of different kinds and appraise the strengths and weaknesses of different methodological approaches adopted.
  • Describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse, and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context.
  • Plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of data.
  • Apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems.
  • Develop a sustained reasoned argument and be able to challenge previously held assumptions.
  • Evaluate the effects of cultural, societal, political, historical and economic contexts on learning, including education policies, moral, religious and philosophical underpinnings, and issues of social justice.
  • Recognise formal and informal contexts for learning. Educational contexts will include some understanding of their own education system and other education systems, and the values underpinning their organisation.
  • Critically assess the complex interactions between education and its contexts, and relationships with other disciplines and professions.
  • Analyse educational issues systematically.
  • Evaluate education policy in an informed and systematic way.
  • Accommodate new principles and new knowledge.
  • Apply key principles across educational systems.
  • Recognise the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciate the need for professional codes of conduct.

Key Skills

  • Demonstrate effective communication and presentation skills.
  • Work effectively, both independently and with others.
  • Demonstrate responsibility for their learning and continuing personal and professional development.
  • Self-appraise and reflect on their practice.
  • Use information and communication technology (ICT), including word processing, databases, internet communication, information retrieval and online searches.
  • Interpret and present relevant numerical information.
  • Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

Practical Skills

  • Plan, design, manage and execute practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills.
  • Recognise and respond to moral, ethical, sustainability and safety issues which directly pertain to the context of study including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct.
  • Undertake fieldwork with continuous regard for safety and risk assessment.
  • The analysis of complex situations concerning human learning and development in particular contexts, including their own learning.
  • The use of examples of the implementation of policies in practice.
  • Reference working in an appropriate manner.

Further Information

Programme Co-ordinator: Andy Williams
Tel: 01267 676647