Available in clearing

 - Call +44 (0)1332 592019

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

120 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Oaklands Manor, Buxton Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Love to be active and out in the elements? Looking for a career to match? This degree offers a unique opportunity to hit the heights with a successful future in adventure sport.

If you’re interested in outdoor adventure sports, the art of coaching and the science underpinning human performance, this course offers an inspirational learning experience.

Outdoor students at Derby at skills week

Energise your career plans

You’ll cover the theoretical, practical and scientific aspects of coaching a variety of adventure sports within different outdoor environments. Climbing, adventure racing, caving, canoeing and kayaking – all will form part of your studies.

Our focus is on developing your practical, research and professional skills so that you are fully equipped for a career in an industry which offers boundless opportunities.

Join the action at our outdoor leadership centre

You’ll study mainly at our  on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District. Set in 55 acres of mixed woodlands, its attractions include a 30 foot climbing wall, high and low rope courses and an artificial underground caving course. It’s the ideal setting for the next generation of adventure sport coaches.

We will provide you with personal equipment to use during your studies, including a rucksack, fleece, T-shirts, dry bag, first aid kit and maps of the area.

Outdoor degree alpine skills training based in Chamonix in the French Alps

Achieve peak performance

Where better to prepare for a career in adventure sport than the Peak District? The perfect setting for outdoor pursuits all year round, it’s a stunning natural classroom where you’ll enjoy real-world learning to the maximum.

Our proximity to classic gritstone crags such as the Roaches and Stanage – together with our exceptional facilities – earned us a place in the top ten list of ‘climber friendly’ universities drawn up by the British Mountaineering Council.

Fieldtrips to challenge you

Fieldtrips are one of the most exhilarating features of this course. Apart from regular excursions into the Peak District, our students have found themselves mountain biking in Snowdonia, sea cliff climbing on the Gower Peninsula, caving in the Yorkshire Dales, canoeing in Scotland or wild camping in the Lake District.

There may be opportunities to head overseas too. Over the last two years, our students pushed their abilities to the limit with ice climbing in Norway, sport climbing on the Greek island of Kalymnos and kayaking in Slovenia.

These experiences are also invaluable in helping you to achieve additional coaching qualifications in specific disciplines to add to your CV.


Find out more about our Outdoor Fieldtrips

Kayaking in Slovenia
Sea cliff climbing in Snowdonia

Explore the science behind coaching

Our course gives you an in-depth understanding of issues such as anatomy and exercise physiology, the psychology of adventure sport, sport performance analysis and human endurance.

Laboratory-based sessions will take place at both our Buxton and Derby campuses. We have impressive sport and exercise facilities boasting the latest equipment and software for measuring performance, movement, health and fitness.

Throughout the degree you will build important research skills and there is the option to go on a research expedition in your final year. You could also get involved in exciting sports science investigations underway at the University. Our students have, for instance, been part of a global project to analyse a new battery of tests developed by the International Rock Climbing Research Association to assess climbers’ fitness.

Well placed for future success

We have strong links with organisations across the adventure sport industry which will open doors for you. Various modules on this course feature placement opportunities to help you put your learning into practice in the working environment.

In your final year, you’ll undertake an independent study into a theme of your choice and present your findings at our annual student conference. This experience enhances your research, communication and presentation skills – all of which will serve you well in your future career.

Guidance from an expert team

You’ll learn from highly qualified experts who have a wealth of professional experience in outdoor and adventure sport as instructors, leaders, coaches and international competitors.

We also call on our extensive contacts across the sector to add an extra dimension to your studies through specialist tuition and guest lectures. These could open up even more career avenues for you: recent talks 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:

  • Research and Academic Skills *
  • Introduction to Adventure Sport Coaching Δ
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Psychology*
  • Principles of Sport and Exercise Physiology
  • Coaching and Skill Acquisition *
  • Risk Management in Adventure *
  • 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 points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
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

£1,155 per module


£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.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

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


This is an innovative programme, developing skills and knowledge which will set you apart in the job market. It equips you to work in areas such as coaching within adventure sports, sport science support for performance coaching, personal coaching and training, expedition overseas leadership.

You could also consider roles in broader fields such as public services, the Armed Forces, sport development and research.

In addition, there is the opportunity to take your learning to the next level, with postgraduate study – including the MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Science and the MRes (Sport and Exercise) at the University of Derby. You could explore the potential of teacher training too. 

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.

Contact us Contact us

† 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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