Outdoor Leadership BA (Hons)

Outdoor Leadership 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

  • UCAS Code:

    NX23; Short form: BA/OS

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

This dynamic course will give you the practical and leadership knowledge you need to be an effective outdoor leader, at the forefront of modern practice. As well as developing an in-depth understanding of the practical, theoretical and contemporary issues within Outdoor Leadership, you’ll get real-world hands-on experience through a number of week-long residentials throughout the academic year - and to further boost your employability, you’ll be encouraged to take part in 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 : 30 level 3 credits at Merit
International Baccalaureate : 25 Points
GCSEs : 5 at grade C including Maths and English
IELTS : grade 6 with no subscore lower than 5.5

Entry Requirements 2017/18

112 - 128 UCAS points at A2; General Studies accepted
BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit - Distinction, Distinction, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction* Distinction*
Pass access to HE with 112 Points
International Baccalaureate 28 - 30P
5 GCSEs at Grade C including Maths and English or equivalent
IELTS 6.0 with no component lower than 5.5

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Please note this course is withdrawn from 2017 entry and is being replaced with BA (Hons) Outdoor Adventure Leadership.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

  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Managing Risk in Adventure
  • An Introduction to Experiential Learning and Reflective Practice
  • Personal Professional Development
  • Teaching and Learning in The Outdoors

Optional Modules:

  • Principles of Adventure Sports Performance
  • Language

Year 2

Core Modules:

  • Group Leadership
  • Applied Professional Development
  • Reflective Practice and Professional Development
  • Expedition Preparation and Planning
  • Developing Research Skills

Optional Modules:

  • Applied Environmental Considerations
  • Programme Design for Outdoor Activities
  • Managing Outdoor Performer Interactions
  • Language
  • For those students with an appropriate career development strategy, there also exists the option for a one-year work-based-learning placement, to be accessed between the second and third year.

Year 3

Core Modules:

  • Leadership and Change

Optional Modules:

  • Single Research Project
  • Consultancy Project
  • Dissertation
  • Sustainable Outdoor Practice
  • Conditioning for Adventure Sports
  • Working with Children in the Outdoors
  • Personal, Social & Emotional Development through Outdoor Activities
  • Adventure Tourism
  • The Outdoor Image: Pedagogies and Aesthetics in Outdoor Education
  • Outdoor Professional Experience

Further Information

The BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership is a dynamic course that examines a range of contemporary issues relating to the practice of leadership within and outside the outdoor sector. The planning and undertaking of fieldwork and expedition opportunities, nationally and internationally, is a feature of the Outdoor Leadership programme alongside reflective practice, risk management and practical development.

Learn from teaching staff who are experts in their field and regularly undertake consultancy work for national and international governing bodies. Please take a look at our staff profiles: Paul Gray, Mark Hickman, Allison Inkster, Loel Collins, Rosemary Powell.

You’ll also have the chance to gain industry-required National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications via a structured enhancement programme organised in conjunction with the course. Our graduates are targeted by international, national and local employers, and work experience/internship opportunities are offered each year.

A range of option modules is also available allowing you to individually tailor your learning programme. The course and module content have been designed to ensure that successful graduates have developed the intellect, knowledge and skills to work in a leadership capacity within and beyond the outdoor sector.

The study of a foreign language 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.


UCLan has one of the most comprehensive outdoor programmes of any institution and has been designed for very serious candidates.

Trail Magazine 


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

DBS Checks

This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.

Industry Links

The Outdoors staff have industry experience as guides, coaches and leaders, links with the sector remain broad and current.

Sector specialists were active partners in designing the degree and its recent update, and strong links exist with the Institute for Outdoor Learning, with opportunities to work towards the RPIOL and APIOL awards, Glenmore Lodge and Plas Y Brenin, plus local centres Hothersall Lodge and Westview Climbing Wall.

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.

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 mountain biking and white water rafting have been run dependent on demand.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Students on average attend six hours of lectures and six hours of seminars, tutorials or workshops per week; with personal study also forming an integral part 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.

I can confidently say that I would not have been considered for my current job role without the knowledge and skills I developed during my three years on the course.

Alex Weir


This course has been designed to thoroughly prepare you for a diverse range of career opportunities, from leadership in dynamic environments to coaching and performance enhancement in a variety of areas such as 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. UCLan offers masters pathways for further development into Level 7 study. There are 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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