Outdoor Adventure Leadership

Outdoor Adventure Leadership BA (Hons)

This unique course is designed to match the requirements of the professional outdoor adventure industry, with a student-based approach allowing for individual interests to be explored. The course considers how engagement with the theoretical aspect of the subject can inform, challenge and support the real world practical context. In doing so, this situates you in a very strong position for employment within a wide range of academic and vocational contexts.

Delivery of the programme is through a range of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions. A number of week long residentials also form part of the delivery. These not only provide opportunity to develop practical skills, but also offer contextual examples to increase your understanding between academic theories and real world practice. Assessment modes include essays, portfolios, individual/group presentations, practical observations and reflective logs. There are no end of year exams.

This course is accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full Time - 3 Years with Sandwich 4 Years. Part Time - Part-time – up to six years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, None

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Sport And Exercise Sciences at UCLan is 3rd in the North West for learning opportunities - National Student Survey 2019.
  • You will have the opportunity to access National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications via a structured enhancement programme.
  • This course is accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Introduction to Outdoor Adventure Leadership (80 Credit)
  • Teaching, Learning & Coaching in The Outdoors (40 Credit)

Year 2

  • Group Leadership & Reflective Practice (40 Credit)
  • Applied Research & Professional Skills (40 Credit)

Select from:

  • Expedition Planning, Preparation & Participation (40 Credit)
  • Adventure Sports Coaching (40 Credit)

Year 3/4

  • Leadership for change (40 Credit)

Select from:

  • Double Research Project (40 Credit)
  • Entrepreneurship & Enterprise in Sport Heath & Wellbeing (40 Credit)
  • Consultancy Project (40 Credit)

Select from:

  • Applied Work in The Outdoors (40 Credit)
  • Performance Enhancement Coaching (40 Credit)
  • Creative Pedagogy in The Outdoors (40 Credit)

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU). Sandwich year out £1,000 (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit  - Distinction, Distinction, Merit

BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction -  Distinction*, Distinction*

Pass Access Course: 106 - 112 UCAS Points

International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects

IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5

GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

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

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

Why Study this course?

The BA (Hons) Outdoor Adventure Leadership is a dynamic course that examines a range of leadership, coaching and educational issues within the outdoor/adventure sector. Furthermore the modules encourage core knowledge and understanding to be developed through interactive lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions.

Both National and International work experience, fieldwork and expedition opportunities are encouraged and form an integral part of the programme.

Opportunity to access National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications via a structured enhancement programme are also offered.

A range of optional modules throughout the programme is also available which allow you to individually tailor your learning programme.

Both 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 and leadership capacity within and beyond the outdoor sector.


"Thank you for your input to the IOL Conference. Both the senior officers of the IOL and the conference attendees noted the quality of the research projects that your students presented, their professionalism, knowledge and industry relevance. It was noticeable how engaged the IOL audience were with your students, many of whom are employers in the North West of England and their feedback was outstanding – several of them specifically mentioned to me how great it was that there was student input of this type and that the students really were empowered to engage in professional discussions with leaders and practitioners from across the field.

I must say that there is a marked difference between the apparent quality of the students from UCLan versus other universities attending – this must be down to your staff team, the way you have structured the course to engage with the industry."

Tim Deighton IOL National Development Officer.

"UCLan is in the vanguard of improving the quality of Higher Education in the outdoors. The student research presentation highlighted the quality of the investigations being carried out and reflects exceptionally well on the staff and students of UCLan alike”.

Andy Robinson, CEO Institute for Outdoor Learning

UCLan Outdoors Graduate testimonials:

"I am currently employed as an Assistant Instructor with the Outward Bound Trust. The role requires me to work as a duty instructor for a set number of nights a week, the rest of my time I may assist sessions and shadow other practitioners. This role allows me to gain experience and qualifications prior to becoming a full instructor with the trust"

Alex, BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership

"The BA in Outdoor Leadership from UCLan has equipped me extremely well for a future in the outdoor industry. One could argue that the course had been designed for the job I now hold, in particular the emphasis on experiential learning and reflective practice. 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. The university staff have been incredibly supportive, providing professional references and solutions to issues regarding the course or the outdoor industry, in addition to their lecturing and their own research"

Emily, BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership

"To prospective students I would recommend making the most of the opportunities provided by the university, specifically the teaching staff with their years of experience in the industry. Work hard, both academically as well as gaining national governing body awards, and you will be rewarded when you look for a career in the outdoor industry upon graduation

David, BA (Hons) Adventure Sports Coaching

Industry Links

  • CCUSA advanced selection and preferential rates for outdoor industry work opportunities
  • Outward Bound India (Himalaya), Hong Kong and the UK – sandwich year placement
  • High Adventure work opportunities linked to course programme
  • Hothersall Lodge - Lancashire County Council Outdoor Education Centre
  • Institute for Outdoor Learning – conferences and research
  • Cotswold Outdoor – Preston

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Delivery of the programme is through a range of lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions. A number of week long residentials also form part of the delivery.

Assessment modes include essays, portfolios, individual/group presentations, practical observations and reflective logs. There are no end of year exams

In the final year, students embark on a substantial piece of self generated independent study.

The academic team are all actively engaged with Doctoral level research across a range of outdoor/adventure areas. These include Decision Making, Social Interaction, Environmental & Educational Issues, Leadership and the ‘Active Ageing’ population.

Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre

UCLan Sports Arena

Work experience and international opportunities

Why choose UCLan?

  • International opportunities
  • Programme designed by industry specialists
  • Week long practical residentials
  • Practical skills development weeks
  • Expanding (optional) international internship programme
  • Wide range of work experience opportunities
  • Strong links with industry
  • Research inspired learning
  • Team based research opportunities
  • Synergy between small scale research and employability
  • Interdisciplinary and joint collaborative research opportunities
  • Access to National Governing Body awards
  • National and international expedition opportunities

Graduate Careers

  • Uniformed Services
  • Public Services
  • Teaching
  • Outdoor Activity Centres
  • Own Business
  • Freelance instructors – national and international


Progression routes

  • Post Graduate Research
  • Post Graduate Education e.g MA Outdoor Practice programme starting September 2017

UCLan Sport

Professional Accreditation

CIMSPA Education Partner

You’ll receive membership of CIMSPA – the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity – as part of the course. This allows you to attend seminars and meetings, where you learn more about the industry, in practice, and enhances employability.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

James Nolan

James Nolan

Outdoor Adventure Leadership, 2018

2018 Outdoor Leadership graduate, James Nolan tells us about his UCLan experience and how it’s led to numerous worldwide opportunities that include living and working in both India & California.

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Sport and Health Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.