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What makes Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sport Coaching at Worcester special?

Our Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching degree will prepare you for an exciting career in the outdoor industry. We offer a diverse range of modules, so you'll be able to tailor your degree and explore your interests. You will also develop your professional portfolio of practical skills, by applying your learning to sessions in the field.

The programme is taught by our highly experienced team of staff, drawn from a range of outdoor adventure backgrounds. Our graduates have worked around the world as wilderness guides, outdoor educators, leaders in adventure travel companies and schools

*Subject to approval



Key features

  • Course content developed collaboratively with employers through our employer’s advice group, ensuring the skills developed are a perfect fit for a career in the outdoor industry.
  • Run in association with Herefordshire, Ludlow, and North Shropshire College (Holme Lacy Campus).
  • Opportunities to gain a range of relevant outdoor qualifications from Mountain Training and British Canoeing.
  • Opportunity to spend a semester overseas studying in Norway or the USA.
  • Under its previous title (BSc Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Management) this course had 100% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020


a group of students are sitting and chatting

It’s not too late to apply!

You can still apply to study with us after the January UCAS deadline. Don’t be tempted to rush an application together as fast as you can, you still want to make sure your application and personal statement are as good as possible.

Your teachers can still write you a reference after the January deadline so make sure to let them know you’re applying to university

"The academic teaching staff are fantastic; they are passionate and highly knowledgeable which has been inspirational for me as a student. Practical delivery is superb; the staff are compelling coaches and have a sound methods for developing industry leading outdoor graduates. The balance of topics available in the syllabus is great; science, geography, and facilitation are all contemporary and relevant. The services provided by the university including the Library, Lakeside Campus and First Point are of exceptional worth to students. The campuses are clean and getting greener which is great to see.”

James Blackbourn

Institute for Outdoor Learning logo

This Higher Education course is seeking accreditation by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

96 UCAS Tariff points (for example, CCC at A Level), and GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above. A Disclosure and Barring Service may be required.

Shortlisted applicants may be invited to interview.

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1


  • Foundations of Outdoor Leadership
  • Water Based Personal Skills
  • Land Based Personal Skills


  • Foundations of Adventure Sport Coaching
  • Understanding Adventurous Environments
  • Optional Language modules

Year 2


  • The Research Process
  • Applied Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Psychological Approaches to Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Pedagogy in Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Environmental Practice in Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Physiology of Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Water Based Coaching
  • Land Based Coaching

Year 3


  • Dissertation
  • Expedition Leadership
  • Professional Placement (OLAC)
  • Contemporary Issues (OLAC)
  • Critical Learning & Teaching (OLAC)
  • Environmental Ethics in Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching
  • Developing Professional Practice in Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching

A student view on Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sport Coaching at Worcester

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of workshops, lectures, seminars, outdoor and laboratory practicals. Workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures, and laboratory practicals are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work. The outdoor practicals will be based in a variety of locations, locally and further afield, and are focused on developing the skills and knowledge required to safely and effectively lead and coach a variety of adventurous activities. In the first two years, you will develop an understanding of the scientific and professional context of outdoor adventure activities, with the chance to gain skills and experience in both water and land-based activities.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years. You have an opportunity to undertake a work-based placement during the summer break between years 2 & 3. There are also opportunities for a semester overseas during year 2; Minnesota in semester 1 and Norway in semester 2. In the final year, you will conduct an Expedition Leadership module and a research project in an area of your choice, as well as studying a range of modules in areas such as environmental ethics, developing professional practice and understanding contemporary issues.

Opportunities exist to gain additional, optional, National Governing Body Awards in a range of adventurous activities and to take part in additional trips.

NB. these may incur additional costs on top of your tuition fees.

Please visit the Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Management Facebook page

(This page will be changed to the new course title once the new course title is approved. This will not pose a technical problem to those students who have access to the current Facebook page)

Contact time

In a typical week, you will have a round 12-16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the modules being studied and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. In the summer break between year 2 and year 3 students will spend 15 days on placement.

Throughout year 1 and year 2, there are full-day off-site practical modules, which will include overnight trips away. In year 3 there is a 5-day mountain-based journey.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24-28 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, undertaking further adventurous activity practice and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


3 years full time


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

Students will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy. The majority of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The assessment strategy for Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching is designed to assess the students' knowledge and skills across practical, theoretical and work based learning. The strategy at all levels includes written assessments to assess subject knowledge and the exploration of ideas; reflective assignments to enable students to engage with and lead their own learning and personal development; and presentations to support student development in terms of delivery skills and sharing of knowledge. In addition there are practical assessments throughout the programme of study that assess personal ability, leadership and coaching across a range of outdoor adventure activities. Final year students undertake a work-based placement, where students are assessed on their ability to apply knowledge and skills developed through the programme of study to reflect on professional practice.

In the first year, the assessment is weighted towards practical assessment of personal skill, individual written assignments, reflective writing with a focus on academic skills development, and group presentations. In the second year, the practical assessments are focused on the delivery, coaching and leadership of outdoor adventure activities, written assignments that require application of a wider range of knowledge, individual presentations and reflective writing related to professional practice. In the final year, there are a wide variety of assessment options with a strong focus on research-based written work and individual presentations.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience.

Teaching is informed by the research, consultancy, and the majority of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Meet The Team

lee pritchard 2

Lee Pritchard

Lee Pritchard is Course Leader for the BSc Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching (OLAC) programme. Holding a BEd (Hons) in Outdoor and Science Education and an MSc Coaching, he has worked extensively in the outdoor adventure field both in the UK and overseas.

He is, amongst other things, a mountaineering instructor, Level 4 kayak coach and Forest School practitioner.

In addition to working on academic and practical aspects of the OLAC programme, with a focus on practical skill development, the outdoor industry and expedition leadership, he is involved in the delivery of Mountain Training awards, leading expeditions overseas, climbing as often as possible, and running trips for students to the mountains of Scotland in winter and the French alps in summer.


Colin Wood

Colin teaches Outdoor Education and Work-Based Learning at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is involved in research in both areas and leads the innovative MA in Outdoor Education, which supports outdoor professionals wishing to study in their workplace.

Previously, Colin taught at Herefordshire College of Technology and before that had a long career in Outdoor Education working in senior posts around the world for a variety organisations. Colin's work spanned corporate development, outdoor recreation, sail training and expeditionary learning including leading numerous jungle expeditions.


Where could it take you?


Our Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching degree will prepare you for a range of careers in the outdoor industry. Previous graduates have secured work in a range of settings, including:

  • Outdoor centres
  • Commercial activity centres
  • Trek leaders at holiday companies
  • Development training organisations
  • Higher Education
  • Self-employment
  • Military careers
  • Teaching


Employability Schemes

The School has a number of initiatives in place in order to develop the employability of the SSES students: School of Sport & Exercise Science "Earn As You Learn (EAYL)" & "Learn As You Volunteer (LAYV)" schemes - opportunities for sport students to engage in meaningful employment during their time of study at the University of Worcester is promoted, marketed and coordinated by the School of Sport & Exercise Science. A designated EAYL coordinator has the responsibility of managing this activity and publicising using a variety of social  media (Twitter: @EAYLatUW; Facebook: EAYLatUW; Instagram: uw_eayl).

In order to further prepare and support students’ employability a work-based module including a placement takes place in the final year, the focus being on the student gaining relevant experience in the diverse and challenging outdoor industry. In the field of Outdoor leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching gaining long term sustainable work is dependent on a number of variables one of which being the holding of National Governing Body (NGB) Awards such as the Mountain Leader Award, British Canoe Union Coaching qualifications and a relevant outdoor focused first aid certificate .

These awards do not form part of the programme of study but are offered as optional additionality; it is an indicator of the students’ commitment to their career development that a large number have completed these awards during their time at UW. By gaining these awards students have access to paid work at local centres and climbing walls during term time allowing them to “earn as they learn” whilst further developing their industry specific experience and knowledge. This access to NGB awards was highlighted by students and the External Examiner as playing a vital role in developing their employability and adding value to their university experience . The course is currently seeking re -accreditation by the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL), one of only three undergraduate courses in the UK to hold this recognition.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

A mature student's view on Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sport Coaching at Worcester


How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2023/24 academic year is £14,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2023/24 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Students will need to provide their own hill walking and backpacking equipment including tents and sleeping bags.

Trips away as part of mandatory modules incur no extra cost.

Some of the qualifications on offer will incur additional costs, but these are offered at a greatly reduced rate.

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses. If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.



Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £122 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £207 per week (2023/24 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Sports Scholarships

At Worcester we are committed to supporting elite and talented sports performers who are dedicated to both sporting and academic success. Our sports scholarships are available for a range of team and individual sports. For further information, visit our sports scholarships pages.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Outdoor Leadership & Adventure Sports Coaching BSc (Hons) -  XN92

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Lee Pritchard

Course Manager