Adventure Sports Coaching BA (Hons)

Adventure Sports Coaching BA (Hons)

School of Sport and Wellbeing




Under- graduate



Foundation Entry Route

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study this degree.

Find out more

  • Duration:

    3 years full-time, optional placement year (4 year Sandwich Degree) available. Part-time study available.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    C615; Short form: BA/ASC

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Turn your love of outdoor and adventure sports into a rewarding career with the help of this practical, hands-on course. You’ll gain an advanced understanding of the practical, theoretical and contemporary issues within Adventure Sports Coaching while you develop the necessary practical skills on a number of week-long residentials in a range of outdoor environments. To further boost your employability, the course is designed to encourage work experience opportunities during the summer.

Entry Requirements 2016/17

280 points at A2 - General Studies accepted
BTEC Extended Diploma : Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma : Distinction* Distinction* 
Access To Higher Education with 30 Level 3 Credits at Merit
International Baccalaureate Diploma : 25 Points
IELTS : grade 6 with no subscore lower than 5.5
5 GCSEs : at Grade C including Maths and English

Entry Requirements 2017/18

112 UCAS points at A2; General Studies Accepted
BTEC Extended Diploma : Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access To HE : 112P
International Baccalaureate : 28P
IELTS : 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSEs : 5 at grade C including Maths & English or equivalent

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information.

Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, industry professional qualifications, relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are welcome and considered on an individual basis.

Please note this course is withdrawn from 2017 entry and is being replaced with BA (Hons) Outdoor Adventure Leadership.

UCLan Open Day

Experience UCLan for yourself: talk to lecturers, walk around campus and chat to students.

16 October 2016

Course at a Glance

Year 1

Core Modules:

  • The Coaching Process
  • Managing Risk in Adventure
  • Skill Acquisition for Adventure Sports
  • Personal Professional Development
  • Introduction to Experiential Learning & Reflective Practice

Optional Modules:

  • Principles of Adventure Sport Performance
  • Language 

Year 2

Core Modules:

  • Applied Professional Development
  • Reflective Practice & Professional Development
  • Physiology for Adventure Sports
  • Psychology for Adventure Sports
  • Developing Research Skills

Optional Modules:

  • Managing Outdoor Performer Interactions
  • Applied Environmental Considerations
  • Programme Design for Outdoor Activities
  • Language

Year 3

Core Modules:

  • Performance Coaching

Optional Modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Single Research Project
  • Conditioning for Adventure Sports
  • Sustainable Outdoor Practice
  • Working with Children in The Outdoors
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development through Outdoor Activities.
  • The Outdoor Image
  • Outdoor Professional Experience
  • Adventure Tourism

Further Information

The BA (Hons) Adventure Sports Coaching is a dynamic course that examines a range of contemporary issues relating to the practice of outdoor/adventure sports coaching. Throughout the programme emphasis is placed on developing a range of attributes essential for the modern outdoor/adventure sports coach. Additionally students are equipped with skills to make coaching decisions based on informed current thinking as well as individual coaching philosophies.

Trail Magazine noted that the university “has one of the most comprehensive outdoor programmes of any institution.”

We are committed to delivering academic learning of the highest quality, helping you to stretch your mind and fulfil your university ambitions. Please take a look at our staff profiles: Paul Gray, Mark Hickman, Allison Inkster, Loel Collins, Rosemary Powell.

You'll develop a critical awareness of outdoor/adventure sports coaching concepts and how they can be applied and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of outdoor/adventure sports coaching within a range of environmental demands.

Furthermore, you'll be provided with opportunities to gain wide-ranging practical skills, knowledge and experiences that will equip you to work as professionals in the outdoor/adventure sector.

You’ll have the chance to gain industry-required National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications via a structured enhancement programme organised in conjunction with the course.

You'll learn from teaching staff who are experts in their field, actively involved in research and committed to personal development in both their applied and theoretical disciplines and there are national and international expedition opportunities.

Our students have a wealth of opportunities to work both at home and overseas during their time at UCLan and our graduates are targeted by international, national and local employers for work experience and internship opportunities.

Each autumn, major employers such as PGL, Acorn, Camp America and CCUSA recruit directly from the cohort offering students the opportunity to have summer experience guaranteed by late February.

CCUSA offer students the chance to sign up for skill specific placements with incremental responsibilities and the opportunity to apply for internships upon graduation. These opportunities extend not only to America and Canada but also to countries in Eastern Europe.

You can take advantage of an active Enhancements Programme, which has seen trips to Slovenia, the Alps, Norway, China and Morocco in recent years, all of which are designed to supplement studies towards qualifications in climbing, mountaineering, paddlesports and caving.

Furthermore, Outward Bound India and Magic Bus India, who recruit for outdoor education development roles, have offered year-long work experience in the past.

You are also encouraged and supported to identify and apply for more specialist work experience appropriate to your career choices. Students have worked with the military, in bushcraft, as camp managers and in outdoor programme design.

Focus is placed on key areas of the coaching process, skill acquisition, applied psychology/physiology, reflective practice and risk management.

A range of optional modules is also available allowing you to individually tailor your learning programme. The study of a foreign language, for example, adds to your chances of developing a career overseas and experience abroad helps consolidate the language and cultural skills essential to mobility and indeed to an increasing number of professional outdoor qualifications.

You'll be encouraged to approach all the modules with an open mind and form personal values and opinions based on the evidence available. The course and module content have been designed to ensure that successful graduates have developed the intellect, knowledge and skills to work in a coaching capacity within and beyond the outdoor sector.

Course subject to change

This course is subject to formal course review and reapproval by the University as part of its normal cycle of regular review (a process called Periodic Review). Course information and programme specifications are updated and reviewed as part of this process and course structure and content may be changed to enable the University to deliver a better quality of educational experience to students. This can be in response to various factors including: student feedback; annual reports from external examiners; feedback from the sector or industry advisors or as part of the regular review process by course teams.

This process may well result in changes to the structure and content of the current course as outlined in this Handbook. Any changes made as a result of the process will be immediately included in the course documentation and all students holding current offers will be provided with revised versions prior to the commencement of their programme. If you are not satisfied with the changes, you will be offered the opportunity to withdraw from the programme and, if required, reasonable support to transfer to another provider.

Course Specification and Handbook

For a concise summary of the main features of this course, see our course specification.
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

Apply Now

Applications are now welcome for September 2016 places.

Contact Us

+44(0)1772 892400

Fees 2017/18

Full-time: £9,250 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540 per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)

Sandwich (Optional):

£900 per year (UK / EU)

Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated and may be subject to increase annually in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rate

Further information:

For 2016/17 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Industry Links

With all staff having industry experience as guides, coaches and leaders, links with the sector remain broad and current. Sector specialists have been active partners in designing and updating the programme. Strong links exist with institutions such as the Institute for Outdoor Learning, with opportunities to work towards the RPIOL and APIOL awards, Glenmore Lodge and Plas Y Brenin, plus local centres such as Hothersall Lodge and Westview Climbing Wall.

A full menu of National Governing Body awards is available, and CWA, SPA, ML, BCU-UKCC Level 1/2 and first aid courses are run throughout the year dependent on student requirements. Other courses, such as in mountain biking and white water rafting have been run dependent on demand.

Learning Environment and Assessment

You will on average, attend six hours of lectures and six hours of seminars, tutorials and/or workshops per week, with personal study also forming an integral part of the course. You will have excellent opportunities to apply theoretical underpinnings within real outdoor/adventure experiences. This is achieved through a number of week-long residentials during the 1st and 2nd years of the course.

Assessments throughout the course are varied and include practical tasks, essays, reports, group and individual presentations, portfolios and reflective logs. There are no end of year exams. In the final year, students also embark on a substantial piece of independent study.

The modules I studied were interesting, educational and discussion based, which suited my learning. The lecturing staff were helpful and created a relaxed environment to learn.

Gareth Thomas

Opportunities for exciting summer work placements were provided year on year and potential employers’ reference requests were happily provided by lecturing staff with exceptional care and consideration. The course has ultimately equipped me to follow my career aspirations into teaching, securing me a place on a highly competitive PGCE.

Dave Jewitt


This course has been designed to thoroughly prepare you for a diverse range of career opportunities, from coaching and performance enhancement to sports management and public services. Students have gone on to work in New Zealand, the Himalayas, USA and India. A number of graduates also work as full-time permanent river guides in the Swiss and Austrian Alps after having completed a foreign language module as part of their course.

There are well defined postgraduate progression routes at UCLan. There are also two doctoral routes, one the traditional PhD, the other the professional doctorate or DProf within the Institute of Coaching and Performance. The latter is an innovative approach to Level 8 study with an emphasis on practice-based expertise.

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