Through the lenses of cultural, environmental and outdoor educational theories, it explores personal and social development, using lectures, seminars and outdoor experiences. Whether you're already involved in outdoor activities or new to the field, our course will extend your understanding and knowledge. The principles of outdoor and experiential learning have recently branched out into Health and Wellbeing and Bushcraft education. Therefore, to reflect this contemporary trend, there are 3 pathways to choose from in order to complete the MA/PGDip qualifications:
- Outdoor & Experiential Learning
- Outdoor & Experiential Learning (Bushcraft)
- Outdoor & Experiential Learning (Health & Wellbeing)
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. Graduates may also use this academic experience to enhance existing roles by enriching their philosophical underpinnings or to revisit old concepts and practices to see them in a new light.
The MA and PGDip in Outdoor and Experiential Learning (Pathways) have been developed in order to explore and reflect a broad range of social, educational and environmental themes that underpin a contemporary, transdisciplinary and transcultural approach to outdoor and experiential learning.
The course considers the histories, contemporary application and growth of outdoor and experiential learning at the intersections of professional practice, pedagogy and philosophy via debate & discussion, creative reflection, critical analysis and critique of research and evidence. Teaching will predominantly take place through 5-day block modules located in and around the stunning Ambleside campus in the heart of the Lake District national park.
- Introduction to Outdoor and Experiential Learning
- This module aims to explore the processes and definitions of Outdoor and Experiential Learning.
- The Reflexive Practitioner
- The aims of this module are to examine the concept of ‘world views’ and explore their impact on professional practice.
- Independent Inquiry
- The aim of the module is to support students in the planning, conducting and writing up of an applied research or evaluation project within the field of outdoor and experiential learning.
- To provide you with the opportunity to design and conduct a substantial piece of independent supervised research.
Know Your Place - Place Responsive Approaches to the Outdoors:
The module explores different ways in which we and others create a place which can help us consider how these different “lenses” shape our perception of place. We aim to diversify our ideas and develop critical and reflective interpreters who create innovative and effective ways of interpreting place for themselves and others.
Learning from Adventurous Journeys:
This residential module aims to widen your perception and perspectives of adventure, adventurous journeys and the range of client groups involved in using adventure as a context for learning.
Histories and Principles of Bushcraft:
The module considers the history and growth of Bushcraft as a practice and an ideology.
Cultures & Practices of Bushcraft:
This residential module explores the problematics and the potential of Bushcraft as a transformative concept in the modern world.
Querying Therapeutic Landscapes and Outdoor Psychotherapies:
This module will introduce and critique the theoretical underpinnings of outdoor psychotherapies and therapeutic landscapes research and applications.
Therapeutic Opportunities in the Outdoors:
This residential module offers a reflective exploration of the student’s own therapeutic relationship with the outdoors.
For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.
Assessment, Feedback, and Teaching and Learning methods
Full details are available in the programme specification.
The teaching timetable should be available from the end of August. Access to the timetable is through the Student Hub – you will be able to access the Student Hub after you have completed online registration. The teaching day is 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday; please keep your other commitments open until confirmation of your teaching timetable, and bear in mind that many courses will offer placements or fieldwork which sometimes extends into the evenings and weekends.
Have a question about our entry requirements?
1st or 2nd class honours degree.
Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course, please contact the Enquiry Centre for further details.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) may be considered for relevant prior learning at the same academic level.
Degree and/or relevant professional work experience required.
Applications are welcome from people with a good first degree (normally U.K. 2:2 or above) and/or relevant work experience. It is hoped that the course will attract students from a variety of backgrounds and first degree subject areas from outdoor related areas through to youth work, social work, education and those with more philosophical backgrounds. International students are welcome to apply. The course can be studied full-time or part-time. Modules are taught in one week blocks. You are also welcome to apply to take modules individually.
Making your application
Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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:
We have a wide range of scholarships, bursaries, grants and funds available to support you throughout your studies with us. This includes the Cumbria Bursary - a non-repayable bursary designed to support first year students with a household income of less than £25,000.Student Finance
All students will need to purchase stationery, course books and personal equipment. Extra costs may also be applicable to cover field trips, membership fees etc.
Resources and facilities
We have access to the Outdoor Stores equipment, such as climbing gear, canoe and kayak equipment, caving equipment, etc. Also, we have access to the UoC's fleet of minibuses. Academic resources include photocopying equipment, computers (including Blackboard, online library and other intranet resources).