FDA Outdoor Education

Course details

UCAS Course code X900

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Looking for a dynamic course that will give you the opportunities and knowledge to be a skilled outdoor educator? Then we're here for you! We offer development in a range of professional and educational skills that will help you in your career path, suiting any number of outdoor-based positions. You'll gain an advanced understanding of the practical and contemporary issues around the outdoor sector, setting you apart from your peers in the field.

With the Cumbrian mountain environment literally on our doorstop, you have easy access to climbing, mountaineering, white water and educational venues. We offer field trips to Scotland and mainland Europe to give you plenty of chance to put your knowledge to the test. As one of the biggest outdoor educational schools in the world, you can be confident that our world class course and staff team will help you develop all the skills necessary for a quality career.

Many of our full-time programmes can be studied over a longer period on a part-time basis. Please contact the course enquiries team for further details.

Experiential learning forms the heart of the programme and in providing significant opportunities to undertake practical activities and through working with external groups the FdA Outdoor Education programme is designed to equip students with the key transferable skills that will enable them to perform effectively both in further academic study and also in future employment.

The opportunity to undertake an organised period of work experience to further enhance this development of transferable skills and further develop a network of employment contacts is provided through both the Journey Module at Level 4 and the Research and Professional Practice Module at Level 5.

Throughout the programme students will be introduced to concepts, knowledge and skills related to the subject area of outdoor education which can be further explored and critically appraised through progression onto the BA (Hons) Outdoor Education top-up year.

There is the opportunity for you to work towards and complete National Governing Body awards as a part of our comprehensive Professional Development Programme.

Year one

Compulsory modules

  • Water
  • Rock
  • Mountain
  • Wood
  • Urban
  • Journey

Year two

Compulsory modules

  • Research and Professional Practice
  • Coaching Adventurous Activities
  • Curriculum Design
  • Personal Development Through the Outdoors
  • Commerciality, You and the Outdoor Sector

Optional modules (subject to availability and demand)

  • Traditional and Innovative Approaches in the Outdoors
  • Physical Grography for Outdoor Educators
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Recreation in Woodlands

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

48 UCAS tariff points.

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

2018 entry

48 UCAS tariff points.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

Due to our excellent reputation in the field of Outdoor Studies, we receive a high volume of applications for this course.
All places are offered subject to successful Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.
Applications are welcome from mature students returning to education.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website www.ucas.com provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact enquirycentre@cumbria.ac.uk for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk

We have had students move on to working in the outdoor education field in centres and youth organisations, providing instruction for mountain biking, mountaineering and water sports. You'll be well equipped for employment with several work placement opportunities throughout the programme, opening up new doors to help you get the career you want.

Situated in the heart of the Lake District National Park, our Ambleside campus offers easy access to a wide range of crags, lakes, caves and rivers. It also has good motorway access to mountainous areas further afield in Scotland, Snowdonia and the Peak District.

We offer excellent resources to help students learn and develop, from fleets of canoes and kayaks to high rope courses. Your academic skills and knowledge development are well supported through campus and online activities.

In the first few weeks of the course you will be allocated a personal tutor, attending group and individual tutorials to support your work. You'll get plenty of attention focused on your development, allowing you to ask questions and get advice from our well trained staff to help in any areas you need.