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

112 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Oaklands Manor, Buxton Campus

Course description

First year Outdoor students participating in skills week activities

Combine your passion for the great outdoors with high-level leadership and management skills on this innovative degree. 

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**National Student Survey 2019
97%of students satisfied with academic support on the course**National Student Survey 2019
Dainora Jureviciute on the beach with her climbing gear

Outdoor Leadership: Dainora's leap of faith

After joining our degree in Outdoor Leadership, Dainora is already getting paid to teach the activities she loves.

Find out about Dainora's action packed-experienceFind out about Dainora's action packed-experience

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.

Joshua kayaking in Slovenia
"I've been on multiple field trips to Slovenia, Morocco and North Wales. They have supported my studies and given me time to experiment with the theory I've learnt." Josh Anderson, current student

Challenging fieldtrips

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

Work placement in China teaching adventurous activities

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.

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 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 *

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 *

Optional modules:

  • 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.

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Outdoor Leadership and Management

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

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.

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points112 (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


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.

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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