Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years
£9,250 per year (2019/20)
£13,250 per year (2019/20)
112 (September 2019 entry)
Oaklands Manor, Buxton Campus
Combine your passion for the great outdoors with high-level leadership and management skills on this innovative degree.
- 97% of our BA (Hons) Outdoor Leadership and Development students are satisfied with academic support provided on the course, and 90% are satisfied with the quality of teaching on the course (National Student Survey 2019)
- Boost your skills in all aspects of outdoor leadership, outdoor adventure and centre management
- Learn at our specialist Outdoor Leadership Centre on the edge of the Peak District National Park
- Enjoy work placement opportunities to put the theory into practice in real world settings
- Explore outdoor leadership in many different environments through regular fieldtrips: our students have even gained hands-on experience overseas
- Be inspired by our enthusiastic and expert staff who boast a wealth of professional experience in outdoor and adventure sport
Based at a working outdoor centre, this is a dynamic course bringing together exciting hands-on learning, theoretical knowledge, practical skills and research experience.
Leading the way to an action-packed career
We’ll equip you to lead a range of outdoor activities, supervise client groups, organise and develop outdoor courses, and manage outdoor centre facilities.
Through practical leadership and coaching scenarios, you’ll progress from instructor to course co-ordinator to centre manager level as you gain more experience on the course.
Our education modules will provide you with the opportunity for ‘live’ school sessions, Forest school days and curriculum planning to add to your portfolio of skills.
90%of students satisfied with teaching on the course*
97%of students satisfied with academic support on the course*
A unique centre for outdoor learning
You’ll study mainly at our outdoor centre, Oaklands Manor, 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 outdoor leaders. You’ll build your own skills in outdoor activities but also gain experience of running outdoor sessions for groups.
We provide you with personal equipment to use during your studies, including a rucksack, fleece, T-shirts, dry bag, first aid kit and the use of online mapping throughout your degree.
Reach your Peak
Where better to prepare for a career in outdoor leadership 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 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 and kayaking in Slovenia.
These experiences introduce you to outdoor leadership in a wider variety of environments and equip you for the workplace. They are also invaluable in helping you achieve additional qualifications to add to your CV – from mountain leadership to bush craft practitioner awards.
Find out more about our Outdoor Fieldtrips
Well prepared for the world of work
Our partnerships across the outdoor and adventure industry could help you secure a work placement or internship, so that you can put your learning into practice in the working environment.
You’ll also undertake ‘live’ consultancy projects to build your work-ready skills. Our students have, for example, contributed to the running of Buxton Adventure Festival and the annual Magnificent Walk which raises funds to protect the national park.
In your final year, you’ll undertake an independent study on a topic of your choice and present your findings at our annual student research conference. This experience enhances your research, communication and presentation skills – all of which will serve you well in your future career.
Dainora prepares for a career in the outdoors
A team to motivate you
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.
You’ll study core areas of outdoor leadership, outdoor adventure and management, which help to develop your research and practical skills throughout the course. Through real world learning opportunities, you will develop hands-on practical experience and have the opportunity to tailor your degree through optional modules to your chosen area of expertise.
You'll study modules such as:
- Research and Academic Skills
- Leadership of the Adventure Experience *
- Introduction to the Natural Environment
- Philosophical and Cultural Perspectives of Adventure
- Introduction to Outdoor Adventure *
- Risk Management in Adventure
- Outdoor Research
- Approaches to Programme Leadership and Management *
- Applied Coaching Practice
- Outdoor Experiential Education
- Outdoor Conservation
- Inclusive Adventure in the Outdoors *
Industrial Placement Year (optional)
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
- Management of the Adventure Experience *
- Adventurous Journeys
- The Outdoor Classroom
- Mountain Ecology
- Psychological Wellbeing and the Outdoors
* Module includes Professional Development Activities and/or 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.
Teaching and learning is accomplished through a variety of modes including traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars, and workshops. In addition, more innovative practical experiences are used, varying from half-day sessions, to week-long expeditions throughout the duration of the degree. The course also provides a unique real world learning environment via our operational outdoor centre, which provides hands-on experience within all areas of outdoor leadership, management and education in action.
A variety of assessment methods are employed to provide you with skills ready for industry. These methods include written assignments, poster and oral presentations, and practical assessments to ensure appropriate skill development and understanding.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
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.
Our course takes you on a journey into a rapidly evolving and dynamic industry. You’ll acquire both practical skills and expert knowledge which you can put to good use in leading challenging activities which enhance people’s quality of life.
Our graduates are fully prepared for careers in a range of professions including expedition leadership, outdoor and leisure facility management, outdoor activity instruction, youth work, outdoor sport development and the Armed Forces.
The research and analytical skills you gain on the course will also equip you for postgraduate level study or to gain teacher training qualifications.
Dr Linda Birch
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
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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
- A starter pack of equipment, including a Technical 45 litre Rucksack, pocket First Aid Kit, 40 Litre Dry Bag, Wicking t-shirt and a mid-layer fleece
- Equipment to support practical sessions including Technical Camping, Climbing, Kayaking and Caving - equipment includes tents, stoves, rucksacks, roll mats, compasses, ropes, harnesses, helmets, buoyancy aids, wetsuits, caving suits, wellington boots, rock shoes, belay devices, spray decks, paddling cags, throwlines, caving headtorches, kayaks, canoes, SRT sets and climbing racks
- DBS Check
- Accommodation and travel costs for residential trips that are part of your core modules
- Induction camp – Staffordshire
- End of year camp in year 1 - Lake District
- Year 2 practicals, previous destinations include - The Gower, Yorkshire Dales, Scotland, North Wales, Cheshire
- During Skills week, and at other times of the year, training courses are provided free of charge, or at a subsidised rate, depending on the level of qualification e.g. Lowland Leader, Single Pitch Award, Mountain Leader, Climbing Wall Award, British Canoeing 3 star Canoe, British Canoeing 3 star Kayak, British Canoeing Level 1 Coach, Local Cave & Mine Leader Award Level 1, Local Cave & Mine Leader Award Level 2 (we will contribute to or pay the full cost of additional qualifications which are arranged by us. For other additional qualifications you’re interested in, we may contribute to or fund these but this is at the Sport department’s discretion)
- Access to online mapping software throughout your degree
- Tuition from Mountain Guides, CIC Cave leaders and Level 5 Paddle Coaches
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- If not already owned, general outdoor clothing appropriate to the activities such as walking boots, waterproof trousers and jacket, hat, gloves, and warm Outdoor clothing - approximate cost is £50-£200
- Food and drink, camping stove gas cartridges for residential trips - approximate cost is £5
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Membership or Registration costs for National Governing Body Qualifications
- Optional study trips - previous destinations include Norway, Slovenia, Kalymnos and Yorkshire - approximate cost is £400-£600
- You may wish to undertake additional qualifications as part of your studies, costs will vary depending on your choice
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.