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Outdoor Education MA

The MA in Outdoor Education provides a postgraduate qualification for managers, teachers, leaders and professionals in Outdoor Education who want to demonstrate excellence in their chosen field by achieving a recognised benchmark whilst being free to choose a learning route designed to meet their individual needs and those of the organizations in which they operate.

A key feature of the degree is the use made of work based learning and action research methods in a structured and rigorous process. This places an emphasis on using real-time business / organisational / theoretical issues as the basis for action, learning and change, providing benefits for both the individual and their organisation.

At the heart of the programme are the Work Based Projects. These are designed to equip students with enhanced knowledge, skills, practice and expertise in their field and may be chosen from a bank of questions or self designed. They enable the student to explore areas of their professional practice and develop new knowledge and skill within a specific context. Students are encouraged to explore a range of learning areas in their work based projects and Dissertation modules, these might include: organisational and strategic management; teaching and learning in the outdoors; personal development and experiential learning; environmental and aesthetic aspects of practice, international approaches to outdoor education; safety and risk management, as well as topics related to specific outdoor activities.

Postgraduate Loans

Postgraduate Loans of up to £10,609 are now available for UK students. For more information visit our postgraduate loans page


Entry requirements

This course is based around professional practice and is only open to applicants who are engaged in outdoor education and have the opportunity and relevant permission to conduct research in the work place.

Students must normally have a 2:1 classification in a related degree. Students who hold a related degree with a classification of either 2:2 (or below), or an unrelated degree will be considered on a case by case basis and may be required to submit a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate outdoor education experience.

Admissions procedures

All applicants for this course will be interviewed, and selection to the course will be based on the selection criteria. As student numbers are limited on this course, admission may be delayed until there is space on the course

Admissions/selection criteria

Applicants who fulfil the entry requirements will be selected on their ability to demonstrate through their application and at interview knowledge, skills and experience in the following areas:
• active and current professional involvement in outdoor education;
• academic interest in the theory and practice of outdoor education;
• study skills including independent and team working

Mature Students

UW values diversity in its student body and applications from mature students are very welcome. Students with few or no formal qualifications should contact the Registry Admissions Office (01905 855111) or the Course Leader (01905 542235) with details of their age, any work undertaken, including caring or organised voluntary work, and any other relevant experience.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Candidates with an acceptable academic background and/or relevant work experience may apply for Accreditation of prior learning (APL) and experience (APEL). It is advisable for candidates to discuss this with the Course Leader initially, although claims for APL or APEL may be made during the course. The programmes follow the UW Policy for Accreditation of Prior Learning (2007).

Please contact the Registry Admissions Office for further information or guidance on 01905 855111.

Study options

Part-time only

Work-based learning

Email and Web based support

Continuing professional development

Flexible approach means you can study at your own pace


Get in touch

Colin Wood
01905 542235

How to apply

Make an application

Apply for September 2018 enrolment

Apply for this course - part time

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions office on 01905 855111 or

Course content


  • Professional Development Profiling
  • Research Methods (taught or distance learning)
  • Work based Project A
  • Work based Project B
  • Work based Project C
  • Reflecting on Practice and Research
  • Dissertation


A wide variety of assignment methods are used, including projects, reflections, research proposals, case studies, data handling assignments and research findings through to the Dissertation.