Available in clearing

 - Call +44 (0)1332 592019

Course details

Study options

Full-time: Four years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

72 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Oaklands Manor, Buxton Campus

Course description

If you have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly on to the honours degree programme, you can choose to start at foundation year stage.

This course is designed for ambitious go-getters with a passion for adventure sport and a genuine interest in coaching science. It will equip you with practical, research and professional skills which you can apply to a vast range of roles in the outdoor and adventure environment.

*Please note that the Foundation year of your course will be based at Kedleston Road campus in Derby, but you will be based at Oaklands Manor, Buxton, for the subsequent years of your course

A head start to study and career success

Embarking on your studies with a foundation year will stand you in good stead for the future. It is a wise choice if you have changed your mind about your career ambitions and want to gain a solid grounding in a new subject area. It is also an excellent route to the BSc (Hons) Adventure Sport and Coaching Science if you lack the formal qualifications to join our three-year degree directly.

The foundation year itself, for which you will be based at our Kedleston Road site in Derby, will inspire and motivate you to set your sights high. You’ll cover fundamental aspects of sport and exercise, human behaviour, physics, and human anatomy and physiology. We also help you improve your study skills and introduce you to research methods and data handling.

Because our degrees featuring a foundation year are continuous, you will not need to apply again for the full BSc (Hons). You will make a smooth transition to stage one of the honours degree and can gain this valuable and distinctive qualification in four years of study. 

Prepare for an action-packed career

The adventure sport industry offers limitless opportunities if you have the skills, knowledge, professionalism and drive to succeed, along with a love of the great outdoors.

This dynamic course equips you to scale the heights. You’ll cover the theoretical, practical and scientific aspects of coaching a variety of adventure sports within different outdoor environments.

There is no shortage of action and adrenaline on this degree. Climbing, adventure racing, caving, canoeing and kayaking – all will form part of your studies.  

Students sitting on a cliff

A dedicated centre for outdoor leadership

Our  is the ideal setting for nurturing a new generation of adventure sport coaches. Your studies will take place mainly in this impressive centre set amid 55 acres of mixed woodlands on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District. Among its many facilities are a 30 foot climbing wall, high and low rope courses and an artificial underground caving course.

To help get your studies off to a smooth start, we provide you with personal equipment to use during the course, including a rucksack, fleece, T-shirts, dry bag, first aid kit and maps of the area.

A strong focus on science

We ensure that your practical skills and experience are underpinned by a strong grasp of the science behind coaching. The course explores key areas such as anatomy and exercise physiology, the psychology of adventure sport, human endurance and sport performance analysis.

You’ll get to grips with up-to-the-minute equipment and technology for measuring performance, movement, health and fitness. The course includes sessions in the high-specification laboratories of our Kedleston Road site, which boasts our High Performance Resistance Training Facility, VICON 3D motion capture system and breath-by-breath analysis system. You can also make the most of our new .

Advance your own research

Research skills will be a key component of your studies. In your final year, you’ll undertake an independent study into a relevant subject of your choice, showcasing your findings at our annual student conference while finessing your communication and presentation skills. You could even choose to go on a research expedition to further your investigations. Recent examples of student research projects include monitoring the ecology of show caves in the Peak District.

There are also exciting opportunities to contribute to the pioneering sports science investigations being undertaken by the staff at Derby. Our students have, for instance, played their part in a global project to analyse a new battery of tests developed by the International Rock Climbing Research Association to assess climbers’ fitness.

Where learning is an adventure

From its moorland plateaus to its sweeping dales, rugged crags to deep caverns, the Peak District National Park offers the ideal backdrop for learning about adventure sport. It is a magnet for thrill-seekers who indulge in outdoor pursuits all year round.

Throughout your course, you will make the most of our location on the edge of some of the country’s most dramatic landscapes: a setting where you’ll enjoy real-world learning to the maximum.

We’ve even been voted one of the top ten ‘climber friendly’ universities. The British Mountaineering Council singled us out because of our impressive learning facilities and our proximity to imposing gritstone crags such as the Roaches and Stanage.

Head further afield too

Our  could take you beyond the Peak District to explore other parts of the country. In the past, our students have tested their skills with mountain biking in Snowdonia, sea cliff climbing on the Gower Peninsula, caving in the Yorkshire Dales, canoeing in Scotland and wild camping in the Lake District.

Some of our students have seized the opportunity to head overseas too. We have previously, for example, organised optional expeditions that feature ice climbing in Norway and sport climbing on the Greek island of Kalymnos. One of our most recent trips saw kayaking enthusiasts expand their white water river experience in Slovenia.

Boost your professional credibility

Various modules on this course feature placement opportunities so that you can put your learning into practice in a workplace environment. You could also choose to work with outdoor companies during your summer break. Some students have delivered specialist outdoor activities at summer camps overseas or have acted as instructors for teenagers taking part in the National Citizen Service scheme.

We also support you to work towards National Governing Body coaching qualifications in specific sports, which will make an eye-catching addition to your CV. In addition, you can achieve specialist Rescue Emergency Care (REC) first aid awards.

Support every step of the way

Our teaching team is made up of experienced professionals who have a high profile in outdoor and adventure sport as instructors, leaders, coaches and international competitors. Passionate about their subject, they will give you all the guidance and advice you need to succeed in your learning.

Further inspiration comes from our thriving network of contacts in adventure sport and coaching. They deliver specialist tuition and guest lectures to enrich your study experience. They could even give you ideas for careers you might not have considered before: recent lectures have, for instance, covered adventure photography and adventure journalism.

University of Derby athlete overlaid on neon green chevrons pointing right on a black background

Our Clearing hotline is now open

It’s not too late to secure your place for September. Call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)1332 592019 to secure your place for 2019.

Contact our Clearing teamContact our Clearing team

What you will study

You’ll study core modules in adventure sport coaching science and develop practical, research and professional skills throughout the course. You’ll develop your knowledge of human performance in diverse outdoor environments for adventure sport events and have the option to specialise in areas such as adapted adventurous activity provision and adventure sport science.

You'll study modules such as:

You'll study at our Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus during this year

  • English
  • Maths
  • Study Skills in Science
  • Research Methods in Data Handling
  • Foundation in Sport and Exercise
  • Fundamentals of Human Behaviour
  • Fundamentals of Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • The Art of Sport and Exercise: A Foundation

If you already have level 2 English and Maths, you will not be required to take English and Maths core modules.


  • Research and Academic Skills * (core)
  • Introduction to Adventure Sport Coaching Δ (core)
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology * (core)
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology (core)
  • Coaching and Skill Acquisition * (core)
  • Risk Management in Adventure * (core)
  • Outdoor Research * (core)
  • Applied Coaching Practice (core)
  • Principles and Practices of Training * (core)
  • Performance Analysis and Coaching Technologies (prescribed)
  • Environmental Physiology of Adventure Sport (prescribed)
  • Psychology of Adventure Sport (prescribed)


This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Independent Study * (core)
  • Advanced Coaching Practice *Δ (core)
  • Adventure and Human Endurance (prescribed)
  • Applied Physiology of Adventure Sport (prescribed)
  • Psychological Wellbeing and the Outdoors (prescribed)

* Module includes Professional Development Activities

Δ Module includes Work Placement

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Adventure Sport and Coaching Science

The best way to find out if studying at Buxton is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

Learning is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, and workshops based at our specialist estate, Oaklands Manor. Workshops will offer the opportunity to conduct a variety of laboratory-based sessions at our Buxton and Derby campuses. You will experience a diverse range of outdoor environments, such as the Peak District, Snowdonia, the Lake District, and Scotland. You’ll also have an optional research expedition in your final year of study.


A variety of written and practical assessments are used to enable learning and skill development. Assessment methods may include written assignments, poster and oral presentations, case studies, reflective writing, examinations, coaching sessions, conducting performance analysis, and small research projects. This range of techniques provides excellent opportunities to develop industry relevant skills.

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSE

GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at L2 as part of your course of study.

IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


The outdoor and adventure sport sector is expanding rapidly. Interest in adventure travel, outdoor pursuits and healthier lifestyles is burgeoning while adventure sports competitions are growing in status and popularity. It all adds up to exciting career possibilities for skilled professionals who can develop and lead adventure sports or who can help athletes improve their performance.

Our innovative course equips you to work in areas such as coaching within adventure sports, sport science support for performance coaching, personal coaching and training, and overseas expedition leadership. You could also embark on careers in broader fields such as public services, the Armed Forces, sport development and research.

If you are interested in postgraduate study, this degree gives you the knowledge, critical thinking and independent learning skills to achieve at the next level. You could consider the MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science and the MRes (Sport and Exercise) at the University of Derby. You could also explore the potential of teacher training.

Programme leader

Dr Linda Birch

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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