Skip to content


What makes Primary and Outdoor Education at Worcester special?

The environment around us is perhaps the greatest classroom of all, where our abundant natural resources make for exciting teaching resources. This programme explores how the outdoors and our environment can enhance a child's learning, both in a traditional school setting and through outdoor adventure activities. The University of Worcester works in partnership with Herefordshire and Ludlow College to provide an excellent blend of core skills and knowledge with specialist teaching. The University of Worcester is the only University in Europe to offer Primary and Outdoor Education and as a result we benefit from the experience of students from Europe as well as the U.K.

An increasing amount of research is recognising the benefits that young people gain from learning in the fresh air and freedom of the outdoors. Whether you are targeting a future career as a primary school teacher, or planning to work in environmental education more widely, this degree provides an extensive base of core skills, with a fresh approach that will enable you to work creatively with young people.



Key features

  • 100% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2019)
  • Progression pathway in to a career as a teacher with a further year of postgraduate study leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Excellent preparation for a range of future careers, including primary teaching, outdoor adventure, environmental education, or with organisations like the National Trust
  • Diverse array of topics, including the woodland classroom, bush craft and expedition leadership
  • An inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on Worcester's established strengths in education, sports science and outdoor leadership
Students walking past red brick buildings

Places available for 2019

We have places available on a range of courses starting this September.

Find out more and register your interest for Clearing 2019
100% satisfaction logo

This course received 100% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2019)

More about our NSS results
  • Register your interest
    Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

"I have chosen this course because it is unique. It is one of the only ones in the country and it opens up a wide range of different opportunities."

Louise, Herefordshire

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104 UCAS Tariff points

You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.

Other information

If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available at the Home Office website.

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

Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our open days are the perfect way to find out.

Book your place

Open Events at Herefordshire and Ludlow College

There's no better way of finding out about studying at Herefordshire and Ludlow College than joining them at one of their Open Events.

Herefordshire and Ludlow College Open Days
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

  • Introduction to Outdoor learning
  • Outdoor Adventurous Activities Personal skills
  • Outdoor Safety Management
  • Teaching the Curriculum Through the Outdoors
  • Child Development
  • Introduction to Primary Teaching

Year 2

  • Outdoor Adventurous Activities Leadership
  • Teaching and Learning in the Outdoors
  • Planning and preparation for Outdoor Learning
  • Research in Education
  • Philosophies of Education
  • Wider Professional Practice

Year 3

  • Understanding the Residential Experience
  • Outdoor Activities and the Natural Environment
  • Contemporary Issues in Outdoor Learning (Primary)
  • Professional Values
  • Creative learning in the Outdoor Environment
  • Independent Study
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

You are taught through a combination of practice and theory. The lectures and seminars tend to be interactive and blend theory with practice. There is an emphasis on discussion and active participation. There are also a series of practical sessions throughout the year that include canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, bushcraft and other outdoor learning activities. These are used to develop personal skills and learn how to work with children outdoors.

We have a strong personal academic programme, where each student is assigned a tutor. Your tutor will guide you through your academic journey with regular formal tutorials, as well as the opportunity for informal tutorial assistance throughout the year. The tutors work in collaboration with student services, who are able to provide further specific support related to learning, managing learning difficulties, living away from home and managing money and social situations.

Many of the modules include placement opportunities in school settings or in outdoor education establishments.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 14 - 18 contact hours of teaching.

Typically, contact time will be structured around:

  • 10 hours of interactive workshops, lectures and seminars, many of which will include some practical work and some class based work.
  • 6 hours of outdoor activities
  • Additional tutorial time on occasions
  • Additional time to prepare for sessions and prepare for group tasks like presentations.
  • You are likely to undertake at least two placements per year in a school or outdoor education setting. These placements range in length from four days to two weeks in the first two years and for longer in Year 3 when they support your research-based dissertation.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 28 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities to both prepare for lectures and to follow up on lectures, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

A range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources, supports independent learning.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through a broad range of assessments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments that are graded. The grades awarded in years two and three count towards the overall degree classification. You will need to pass all modules to complete your degree successfully. Assessment methods include essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and a final year research based dissertation.

In a typical year a student would be expected to successfully complete:

Year 1

1 Presentation
2 Presentations in pairs or groups
4 Assignments
2 Reflective portfolios
1 Video catalogue
1 Personal skills test

Year 2

3 Reflective portfolios
1 Research proposal
2 Assignments
1 Delivery of a student led session
1 Activity plan
1 Evaluation
1 Case Study

Year 3

1 Research based dissertation of 8,000 words
1 Report
2 Presentations
4 Assignments
1 Session plan and evaluation
1 Poster presentation
1 Reflective report


You will have an opportunity to meet with your academic tutor for help with planning and structuring your work prior to submission. You will receive written feedback on all of your assessments, which will support your learning. Feedback will be used in tutorials with your personal academic tutor to help you make progress with your academic development.

We provide written feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

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 from Hereford and Ludlow College.

All of the lecturers hold a Masters in their field. Practical based lecturers have qualifications to match the demands of the industry such as Mountain Leader certification, BCU Coaching qualifications and Outdoor First Aid. The Course Leader is currently undertaking doctoral research, published in the field of outdoor education, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a consultant for the Geographical Association.


Stephen Pickering

Stephen lectures on the BA (Hons) Primary Teacher Training route and also on the PGCE in Primary Education, where he is also a tutor. Stephens still seeks the opportunity to teach in primary schools and has also worked with children in schools and here at the university on a number of different programmes and experiences. Stephen taught in a range of schools over a period of fifteen years, including teaching abroad, before working as the Education for Sustainable Development Officer for Worcestershire District Council.

Stephen has written widely for Teaching Geography, Primary Teaching, Primary Geography, Development Education Review, Tide and Routledge.


Billy Hunt

Billy returned to the University of Worcester as an associate lecturer in PE and Outdoor Education for Herefordshire and Ludlow College in 2016 following the completion of an MSc Teaching Studentship in the School of Sport and Exercise Science.

Previously, Billy has worked with adults and young people in the outdoor education industry in a variety of settings including local authority education centres, charity challenges and personal development expeditions to Africa.

Dr Jenny Hatley

Jenny has taught in primary schools in both the state and independent sectors for 15 years and has taught in every year group from Reception to Year 8. During this time she has been lead teacher for PSHE and Citizenship, working with senior leaders and staff teams to develop whole school curricula for PSHE and Relationships and Sex Education.

She has also worked in Sweden as Associate School Leader, working with free schools to develop whole school provision in IT and working with leaders and staff to embed provision within teaching practice and the curriculum.  Jenny has also taught in Higher Education and enjoys bringing a critical eye and research base to studies in Education.

Andy Plant

Andy first joined the University of Worcester from an Advisory role with Hereford and Worcester Education Authority, where he worked with primary and secondary schools across both counties. He originally was a member of the then, School of PE and Sports Science, lecturing on a variety of modules mostly in Physical Education and Coaching.

He has taught in a number of schools and undertaken a number of roles across both primary and secondary age groups, including the role of Head of faculty in a large Secondary School and as a deputy Head Teacher in a Middle School.

Linzi McKerr

Linzi joined the University of Worcester in 2003 after a career in teaching across primary, middle and secondary schools. She worked as Assistant Head of English, within a department of 19 staff, which included staff training and development. She has always been keen to mentor student teachers on the undergraduate and post graduate routes in her classroom, and enjoyed the reflection on her professional practice that these experiences offered.

She enjoys working collaboratively with students and staff, leading into her research areas with other colleagues at the University.


Where could it take you?

The course is appropriate for individuals wanting to become primary teachers and gain QTS status in the future and also to those wanting to work with children in alternative educational contexts.

Graduates entering initial primary teacher training would benefit from a specialism for outdoor learning. Graduates choosing to work in an alternative educational context might pursue careers with outdoor education organisations or in peripatetic instruction in educational contexts including schools.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

Request or download a prospectus

Request now

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £12,400 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 2019/20 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional Costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.

Travel costs for placements vary depending on the location of schools and your mode of transport, sometimes these may be reclaimed depending on your individual circumstances.

There are opportunities to gain subsidised certification for a wide range of outdoor education qualifications like, for example, First Aid, Mountain Leadership, Rock climbing. These are entirely voluntary and some will incur subsidised costs.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply