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PgD - 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 postgraduate diploma will challenge your current understanding and practice by looking through the alternative lens of outdoor experiential learning.

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Outdoor and Experiential Learning cover image

Course Overview

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 PGDip qualification.

- Outdoor & Experiential Learning
- Outdoor & Experiential Learning (Bushcraft)
- Outdoor & Experiential Learning (Health & Wellbeing)

On this course you will...

  • Be part of a Lake District campus that prioritises hands-on and skills-based learning.
  • Be part of an innovative and creative course that is tailored to the individual for professional development and enhanced employability
  • Develop high level research skills and evidence-based research
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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.

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.

  • 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.
  • *Exact modules will vary depending on pathway chosen. Please refer to the Programme Specification for detailed module information.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.