Staff profile

Derek Burdett

Senior Outdoor Technician


Outdoor and Adventure Sport


College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Buxton Campus



As the Senior Outdoor Technician I manage the delivery of all the outdoor practical modules and residential trips. In addition to the logistical planning of equipment, transport, staffing, finance, timetabling, etc. I am also responsible for producing marketing materials for the department, and managing our Facebook Page

Teaching responsibilities

I am responsible for ensuring that the practical activity sessions delivered by myself and the other staff are relevant and relate to both the academic content of the lectures, and the National Governing Body Awards.

Professional interests

Though I have experience in a wide range of outdoor activities, my interests tend toward paddle sports. The range of activities covered by that title is huge, and my hope is try all of them at least once, developing my understanding of the sports, improving my qualifications, and gaining experience that I can then pass on to those that I coach.

Research interests

The use of mobile technology in coaching outdoor activities.

Membership of professional bodies

My National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications include:


Recent conferences

Author of The Adventure Toolkit, published by Vertebrate Publishing. A pocket sized book aimed at instructors, teachers and other people who work with groups in the outdoors.

Experience in industry

Since starting as an Instructor in North Wales in 1994, my career has taken me to centres throughout the UK and Europe, holding senior management positions and teaching a range of activities, from Archery, Bouldering, Caving, and Dragon Boating to Unicyling, Volleyball and White Water Rafting.

Prior to working for the University I was employed by World Challenge Expeditions as their UK Research and Development Manager, developing new activities, courses, programmes and venues, maintaining current arrangements, and working as a Course Leader on a wide variety of activities.

International experience

As a Leader on Overseas Expeditions I have taken groups on month long trips to Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, Iceland, Malaysia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Norway and Uganda. I often stay on in country and in the summer of 2013 stayed in Uganda to kayak the rapids of the White Nile.

We are hoping to expand the range of international trips that are offered to students, with both winter and summer options. These trips are likely to vary each year to give students a wide range of experiences that they can choose from over the three years.