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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.       

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

  • 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 education, outdoor adventure, environmental education, or with organisations like the National Trust
  • Diverse array of topics, including the woodland classroom, bush craft, expedition leadership, as well as outdoor instructor qualifications
  • An inter-disciplinary approach, drawing on Worcester’s established strengths in education, sports science and outdoor leadership

"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

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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.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from   

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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

  • 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?

Teaching and Learning

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.

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-education-university-worcester

    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 taught on a wide range of interesting courses here including Geography (PGCE and Undergraduate) Pedagogy and Management, Professional Studies, Foundation Subjects, Beyond the Classroom, English.

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

  • 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 then moved across to the Institute of Education, to work in Initial Teacher Education, focusing on the areas where he trained and taught in schools namely, physical education and science. 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.

    Since joining the University, Andy has become more involved and interested in the development of Primary Science teaching, he enjoys working with the Post Graduate and undergraduate Teacher Training Students. he now shares the responsibility for leading Primary Science for our post graduate and undergraduate programmes.

  • Colin_Wood

    Colin Wood

    Colin Wood teaches Outdoor Adventure 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.

  • billy-hunt-sport-university-worcester_rdax_200x267

    Billy Hunt

    Billy was appointed to an MSc Teaching Studentship in the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science in September 2013 after recently graduating from the University of Worcester with a degree in Sports Coaching Science with PE.

    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, with two successful ascents to the summit of Kilimanjaro.

  • Dan_Hughes_rdax_200x268

    Dan Hughes

    Dan is a university tutor and module leader for PGCE and Undergraduate Primary English at the University of Worcester. He also teaches on the PGCE and Undergraduate Primary PE courses.  He also works as a school experience tutor, link tutor and personal academic tutor as part of Primary ITT.     

    Before joining the University, Dan worked in primary schools in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  As both subject leader and phase leader, he has led teams and helped develop curriculum initiatives.  As well as this, he recently set up an educational training business, supporting schools with the teaching of reading and writing in both key stage 1 and 2 alongside providing some training in local nurseries.  

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Jayne Spiller

    Prior to joining the University of Worcester, Jayne lived and taught in north London for 15 years before taking on advisory work for Local Authorities in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.  Jayne was also employed by the National Strategies to work with schools and local authorities across the West Midlands on raising standards of mathematics.

    Jayne’s background is in school improvement where she has worked with schools to develop effective teaching and learning practices which result in improving in standards in primary schools. Mostly these schools are in challenging circumstances.



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.

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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 basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


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 do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

UCAS Code - NX75

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.



Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

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

Admissions office

01905 855111  

Course Leader

Stephen Pickering
01905 54 2080