MA - Outdoor and Experiential Learning

If you love the outdoors and are passionate about helping others become the best they can be, to be confident in who they are and the contribution they are making to society, the environment and the planet, then this outdoor education masters program is for you.

Our outdoor education masters will challenge your current understanding and practice by looking through the alternative lens of outdoor experiential learning.

Outdoor and Experiential Learning cover image

Course Overview

Nature plays a pivotal role in developing and sustaining our social, mental and physical wellbeing. It can changes lives and provide opportunities for everyone, regardless of background, especially in cities like London. Located in East London, this outdoor postgraduate degree proposes that rural and urban differences should not form barriers to outdoor learning. As the first National Park City in the World, London provides the perfect place for you to immerse yourself in all bushcraft education and outdoor recreation the city can offer.

Many students who undertake the MA are already employed and are looking to extend their expertise in a particular area to enhance their experience, their employment prospects or are looking for a change of career. Graduates have successfully gained employment as educators, outdoor practitioners, environmental consultants, development trainers, outdoor mental health practitioners or armed services personnel, for example.

On this course you will...

  • Gain hands-on experience with internationally renowned bushcraft expert, Dr Lisa Fenton.
  • Explore the therapeutic opportunities that outdoor spaces and their experiences can offer youth.
  • Discover the relationship between urban and outdoor spaces in the world's first National Park City and England's capital, London.
  • Break free from traditional forms of education.
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Course Structure

What you will learn

A unique highlight of the programme is the exploration of the histories and principles of bushcraft. It will consider the historical literature associated with the rise of bushcraft, from the eighteenth century to the present day. Developing critical reflection, practical innovation and highlighting how its principles are relevant to so many. Fieldwork to enhance the experiential rudiments of ethnobotany and ethnobiology will include visits to public areas in London, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens.

You will also explore the process of 'experience' to examine your previous knowledge of learning and illustrate how narrow organised education is. The examination of sensation, perception, cognition and agency then shows how we can identify specific 'tools' to use in our own settings. Practical and immersive sessions are designed to challenge accepted understandings as well as being revealing, optimistic, empowering and engaging.

Year One
  • Introduction to Outdoor and Experiential Learning
    Explore the processes and definitions of Outdoor and Experiential Learning.
  • The Reflexive Practitioner
    Examine the concept of ‘world views’ and explore their impact on professional practice.
  • Know Your Place - Place Responsive Approaches to the Outdoors
    The module explores different ways in which we and others create space and how that can help us consider how these different “lenses” shape our place.
  • Histories and Principles of Bushcraft
    Explore the history and growth of bushcraft as a practice and an ideology.
  • Therapeutic Opportunities in the Outdoors
    Reflectively explore individual therapeutic relationships with the outdoors. This module typically contains a residential aspect.
  • Independent Inquiry
    The aim of the module is to support students in planning, conducting and writing up an applied research or evaluation project within the field.
  • Dissertation
    Design and conduct a substantial piece of independent supervised research.

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