The Institute of Science and Environment currently runs research activity in two distinct areas; The Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, and Experiential Learning in the Outdoors. We are dedicated to producing high-quality research that informs both teaching and positive change in the natural world.

Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (CNPPA)

“An international and national centre of excellence for the trans-disciplinary study of national park and protected area management – developing sustainable solutions to global challenges”

The Centre undertakes research into all aspects of National Park and protected area sustainability and leadership and builds on fourteen years of research experience conducting world class research on wildlife conservation around the globe.

Find out more


Experiential Learning in the Outdoors

Outdoor Studies has been a subject at the university and its legacy institutions for over fifty years. The research group works with international, national and local research needs in outdoor education, recreation, wellbeing and human nature relations, making best use of the location and Cumbrian needs and interests, and promoting research-led teaching and learning.

The group host the Outdoor Learning Research Hub national centre and  the NW Outdoor Learning Research Hub which is  part of a network that are coordinated by the University of Cumbria in partnership with the Institute for Outdoor Learning. The research team also have significant international collaborations involving partner universities in Norway, Germany, Australia and Canada. Members of the group currently sit on various editorial teams for relevant journals and take part in private research oriented consultancy. Details of our publications can be found on Insight.

Current research activity falls into four main areas; Citizenship and Environment, Outdoor Education, Health and Environment and Outdoor Recreation. This is supported by a growing number of PhD students and research assistants.

The institute looks to work collaboratively with other internal research hubs and centres in the university, the Brathay Research Hub, the Learning Away Consortium and the European Outdoor Education Network.

Read more about our research

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