Applied Outdoor Adventure
Faculty of Sport, Leisure and Tourism
Level Location Length UCAS Fee Ask Apply
Higher Education - Foundation Degree Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre, Exeter This is a two year, full time programme. X900 FdA/AOA Click here for info

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

The Applied Outdoor Adventure programme enables you to obtain the knowledge and qualifications required for working or even starting your own business in the Outdoor Industry.

You will study at a state of the art outdoor education centre within the heart of Exeter. This unique learning environment ensures that you will have hands on experience of working and operating within the real world of outdoor education. You will experience a variety of outdoor activities and work within an operational outdoor pursuits centre working with schools, colleges and the community. Employer involvement and hands on learning are integral to the programme. You will benefit from the college’s employer links.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways including coursework, exams and presentations. The programme will combine the development of personal practical skills as well as the theoretical aspects covered within lectures, seminars, workshops, group activities and research.

What topics will I study?

Year 1 Modules

  • Experiential learning: Land and Water Skills
  • Outdoor Business and Finance (Awaiting validation)
  • The Nature and Scope of the Outdoor Industry
  • Work Based Learning
  • The Science of Self for Outdoor Adventure
  • Study Skills

Year 2 Modules

  • Outdoor Adventurous Journeys in a Mountainous and Water Environment
  • Coaching in the Outdoor Industry (Awaiting validation)
  • Outdoor Environments and Expeditions
  • Outdoor and Environmental Education
  • Research Project

Please note, some modules are awaiting validation. 

This course is awarded by the UCP Marjon.

Click here to view the Programme Handbook

What experiences will I get?

You will be studying in a commercially run Outdoor Education Centre, while seeing first-hand how the Outdoor Induistry operates alongside your studies. You will have opportunities to take part in NGB courses, as well as working with some of our Partners at TrekCo, PGL and Countess Wear Forest School.

There are residentials throughout the year, including White Wakter Kayaking and Mountain Biking in the Alps, Skiing in Les Arcs, Mountaineering in North Wales and Sea Kayak Expeditions along the South West coast, as well as others.

What are the entry requirements?

You will need 64 UCAS tariff points (minimum) from AS Level, A Level or AVCE programmes, BTEC National Diploma/Certificate, GNVQ Advanced, an appropriate NVQ at Level 3, an Access to Higher Education Diploma or other qualifications deemed equivalent to the above. Please note, an A Level in General Studies does not count towards the 64 UCAS tariff points.

You should have some experience of outdoor sports, a positive attitude and a commitment to independent studies.

What facilities are there?

Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre - A £5.6 million outdoor education centre for Devon situated in the heart of Exeter nestling between the River Exe and the Exeter shipping canal offers the perfect base from where to study Outdoor Adventure and experience what it is like to operate in the industry.

What can the course lead on to?

You could progress on to the Outdoor Adventure Education (BA Hons) degree at the University of St Mark & St John. Alternatively you could establish your own business or seek employment in the outdoor adventure industry. Transferrable skills such as business management, marketing methods, leadership, coaching and assessment of risk also lend themselves to other outdoor careers, such as the armed forces.

Previous students have found work in the Outdoor Industry with some of our partnered organisations, such as PGL, TrekCo and Haven Banks OEC. 

Others have started their own businesses, for example most recently one of our students has started an outdoor business working with children with special need.

Alternatively you could progress on to the third top up year at the University of St Mark & St John, which about 50% of our students do, or find other alternative top up courses, even in New Zealand. 

Are there any additional costs?

  • National Governing Body awards available at additional cost

  • Residential trips, some of these will incur an additional cost

What do our students think?

I enrolled on the Applied Outdoor Education course because I have always had a fascination for getting out and about. From a young age I was climbing up trees, muddy banks and rock faces. Since I have been at Exeter College I have massively improved my water skills in canoes and kayaks. This is essential as we are all about to try for our 2star canoeing and kayaking. Other areas that I have improved are my climbing strength and techniques, mountain biking and also my fitness. I have enjoyed how we can have one on one’s with any of our lecturers at very short notice and if you can’t see them you will have an e-mail reply within 24 hours. I also love the extra skill sessions that we are given, this is a whole day when we can do any activities to improve our skills, techniques and performance."  Andrew

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