Outdoor Education - Liverpool John Moores University

2018 entry

BSc (Hons) Outdoor Education

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: To be confirmed
Full time international tuition fee: To be confirmed
Full-time industrial placement year fee: To be confirmed

We are awaiting confirmation from the UK Government on what the 2018/19 undergraduate tuition fees will be. Fees will be shown here once an announcement has been made.

Course type

BSc (Hons)

UCAS info

Points required: 104

UCAS code: X9F8

Institute code: L51

Study mode

Three years full time, four to six years part time

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Outdoor Education at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal degree if you want to gain advanced outdoor adventure and leadership skills, and launch your career as an outdoor professional. LJMU is an accredited provider by Mountain Training, British Canoeing and the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

By coming onto this course, you will….

  • Rock climb, kayak, and mountaineer, with free outdoor adventure fieldtrips across UK mountain and river environments.
  • Get to work with top outdoor coaches and leading academics in outdoor education.
  • Gain National Governing Body awards in outdoor adventure leadership.
  • Have free use of extensive outdoor specialist equipment.
  • Follow your own interests in outdoor adventure, nature and the environment, and coaching and leadership.
  • Choose specialist modules in sports coaching, environmental education / geography, or physical education.

Discover the full spectrum of LJMU Sport - when it comes to sport, we've got it covere d

This course has been amazing. The opportunities it gives you for career development as well as outdoor adventure are not something to pass up. One of the best decisions I ever made.

David Snow, graduate

Choosing to study Outdoor Education at LJMU is a life changing experience. The course is intimate and well resourced, giving you access to top quality instructors, lecturers and researchers, enabling a well-rounded and all-encompassing university experience. The scope to diversify within the degree with renowned subject matter experts separates this course from others. The City of Liverpool is unlike any other, safe, friendly and with something for everybody; I cannot recommend either the course or the City enough.

Sam Camp, BSc (Hons) Outdoor Education graduate

Work-related learning

Translating your academic studies into essential professional experience.

A three-week work placement in outdoor organisation during the summer between Levels 5 and 6. This will give you the chance to develop your practical and leadership skills - an excellent opportunity to specialise in your outdoor career interests.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support.

From the moment you begin your studies at LJMU, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide one-to-one support and guidance. As well as discussing day-to-day course-related issues with you, they will help you to monitor your progress in academic study and outdoor skills development.

Course details

Are you passionate about doing a course that challenges, engages and inspires you to achieve your outdoor ambitions? The BSc (Hons) degree in Outdoor Education takes you on an adventure of learning in the outdoors; you will climb mountains, have lecturers in wild places, learn about the environment, and start your journey as an outdoor professional. Delivered at the first (and longest running) HE Outdoor Education provider in the UK, this is the ideal route to a career in the outdoor industry.

This course is designed for people who love adventure, the outdoors, nature and sport, and want to be able to share their enthusiasm for outdoor adventure with others, as well as passing on outdoor technical, coaching and leadership skills. This will ensure that you can be relied upon to lead and teach others safely and dynamically in the outdoors.

You will also become:

  • proficient in the history, theory and practice of outdoor learning
  • develop psychological and physiological approaches to outdoor adventure
  • embrace nature based learning and environmental education
  • understand geomorphology and interpretation of natural landscape
  • able to teach outdoor adventurous activities in a wide range of settings

On top of your degree studies, the course allows time for you to undertake additional subsidised outdoor National Governing Body awards to boost your teaching and leadership credentials. These include Mountain Training awards (for example the Mountain Leader Award, the Single Pitch Award, and Climbing Wall Award), and the British Canoe Union Awards (for example, the Star Awards and Foundation Safety and Rescue, and Levels 1 and 2 Paddlesports Coaching Awards.)

Furthermore, taking the Physical Education or Geography/Environmental Education pathways will qualify you to be able to make an application to go straight onto a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Physical Education or Geography once you have completed your degree and to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). 

The IM Marsh Campus where this course is based is renowned for its friendliness and strong sense of community.​ You can watch the campus video here.​

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study

Level 4

  • Developments in Outdoor Adventure Education
  • Geographical and Ecological Perspectives in Outdoor Education
  • Practical Skills in Adventure
  • Leadership in Outdoor Adventure: Mountains & Rivers
  • Psychology and Physiology of Outdoor Adventure
  • Professional Practices in Outdoor Adventure

Level 5

  • Environmental Perspectives in Outdoor Education
  • Practical Skills in Adventure
  • Leadership in Outdoor Adventure : Extreme Environments
  • Applied Psychological Perspectives in Outdoor Adventure
  • Professional Practices in Outdoor Adventure
  • Work Related Learning

The following options are typically offered:

  • Physical Education Teacher Education
  • Geomorphic Processes and Natural Hazards
  • Coaching Processes

Level 6

  • Outdoor and Adventure Education Dissertation
  • Advanced Professional Practices in Outdoor Education
  • Critical Perspectives in Outdoor Education 
  • Leadership in Outdoor Adventure 3
  • Work Related Learning 2

The following options are typically offered:

  • Physical Education Teacher Education 2
  • Evolution of Glacial, Fluvial and Karst Landscapes
  • Coaching Processes

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course.

Programme specification document (PDF)

Teaching and learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources.

We use a range of outdoor venues during the course, with regular trips to Snowdonia, the Peak District, the Lake District, the Cairngorms and the Yorkshire Dales for more site-specific activities such as mountain training, climbing and field studies.


Your lecturers

Expert tuition and support.

The Outdoor Education staff are all research active and engage professionally with a range of outdoor-related organisations and professional bodies, such as the Institute for Outdoor Learning, British Mountaineering Council, British Canoe Union, Outward Bound and British Exploring Society.

Their expert topic areas include:

  • expeditions
  • outdoor leadership
  • adventure and outdoor therapy
  • environmental education
  • geomorphology
  • psychology of outdoor education
  • mountaineering
  • paddlesports

They also regularly publish outdoor-related books, research papers and articles, sit on the editorial boards of key academic journals (such as the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning) and regularly present at national and international conferences. On top of this, they are actively involved in international outdoor committees and in developing international collaborative research partnerships, for example with the Penn State University and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The staff bring a wide range of outdoor industry-related experience and are qualified and experienced teachers. Some have been awarded University Teaching and Research Awards and Fellowships and the team is regularly nominated by students for the Liverpool Students' Union Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose.

We realise that all students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use at least three assessment methods for each module. They include:    

  • field and library-based reports (normally 1,000 - 3,000 words)
  • practical skills performance (such as climbing, paddle sports, mountain walking)
  • short talks to peers
  • formal seminar/conference presentations
  • e-portfolios
  • poster presentations
  • reflective logs
  • exams (seen and unseen)
  • online tests
  • peer assessment
  • 9,000-word dissertation

NGB Sport Awards can also contribute marks to your modules. Your written work will be submitted online and you will receive written feedback within three weeks and face-to-face feedback for some modules. Constructive feedback is particularly important for helping you to identify your strengths, as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications


Application and selection

​In addition to the minimum academic qualifications outlined above, potential students should already have developed an awareness of the role, strengths and importance of outdoor education in developing first hand, positive learning experiences which significantly contribute to a participant’s personal, social and educational developments.

You should have a commitment to, and experience in, either a variety of outdoor pursuits at a relatively low level, or experience in one major adventure activity to a higher standard. The major outdoor pursuits experience could come from any of the following activities: canoeing, rock climbing, hill walking, orienteering, skiing, sailing, windsurfing, mountain biking and/or caving.

Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate independence and extensive planning in their outdoor pursuits activities, who are committed to or working towards National Governing Body Awards, are members of activity clubs or who have gained experience in the outdoor industry (eg adventure activity/holiday companies, commercial centres, leisure centres, or in the voluntary sector such as scouts, youth work or voluntary instructors in local authority outdoor/field study centres).

Evidence of expedition planning and participation is a valuable addition to your profile, eg. an independent expedition, a school expedition, Raleigh, Sail Training Association, BSES Expeditions. Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (D of E) and Basic Expedition Leaders Award (BELA) are also highly regarded.

A DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly CRB) is a requirement of entry onto this course which involves working with children or vulnerable adults during placements. The regulations on declaring criminal convictions on a UCAS application form can be found on the UCAS website.

GCSE and equivalents

  • Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below: • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
  • Subject specific requirements: Applicants should have or expect to have at least 2 A Levels or equivalent, one of which should be subject-related (inclusive of Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Education, Sports Science, Leisure Studies are accepted)
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: BCC
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • BTEC certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • 90 credit diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma subjects / grades required: D*D if studied on its own or to the total of 104 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: DMM required from a subject-related BTEC (inclusive of Geography, Geology, Environmental Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Land and the Environment, Physical Education, Sports Science, Leisure Studies are accepted).

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Access programme must have been taken be in a relevant subject area, minimum of 9 Distinctions and 36 merits

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 IB Diploma Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 104 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects

Additional entry requirement information

​Please contact the University if you have any questions regarding the relevance of your qualifications.

Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)


6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Can this course be deferred?


Is a DBS check required?


Is RPL accepted on this programme?


International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding that you may be eligible for from either LJMU or the government. This section will give you information about grants and loans as well as targeted support for students with children, adult dependants or those with a disability.

Please note that the amount of money you will receive as a student is dependent on where in the UK you normally live (i.e. England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland).

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all new full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, they are based on excellence. If successful, you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course subject to satisfactory progress. Scholarships are worth between £1,000 and £10,000 per year. The money you receive doesn’t have to be paid back.

LJMU bursary

The LJMU bursary is automatically paid to eligible students – you do not need to apply for it. The annual bursary is £500, which works out at £1,500 over a three year degree.

LJMU bursaries are means-tested and you don’t have to pay them back; they are intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student.

Tuition fees

In 2017 LJMU charged a tuition fee of £9,250* for the majority of its full time undergraduate programmes and £6,935 per year for its part time courses. You will be charged a fee for each year of your course. The University reserves the right to increase fees up to the maximum permitted by law or government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. Generally, these fee increases are linked to RPIX inflation (Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront - subject to meeting eligibility criteria, you can take out a tuition fee loan for each year of your course.

You can also take out a maintenance or living cost loan for each year of your course to cover your living expenses, such as rent and food.

You don’t start repaying your student loans until after you’ve left university and start earning at least £21,000.**

For more information on eligibility and tuition fee loans, go to: 


LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at the University. Your tuition fee will cover or contribute to, as appropriate, expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placements
  • UK field trips and other educational visits
  • student exchanges
  • DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly CRB)
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership

*Based on 2017 entry.

** Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Living expenses (maintenance) loan

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible full-time undergraduate students can also apply for a maintenance loan to cover your living costs. If you’re eligible, you can take out a loan for each year of your course.

The amount you’ll receive will depend on where in the UK you normally live and your household income. This money will be paid into your bank or building society account in three instalments and it’s up to you to budget for your living costs.

The government has stated that it intends to introduce a pro rata maintenance loan for part time students from England from the 2018/19 academic year.

For more information on student loans, go to: www.gov.uk/studentfinance

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Paying back your student loans

You only start repaying your student loans the April after you have graduated or left university and start earning £21,000* or above. Repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you have borrowed from the Student Loans Company. Repayments are currently set at 9% of any income over the threshold (which is currently set at £21,000).*

*Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Career prospects

Economic growth in the outdoor and leisure industries is set to exceed the national UK average over the next 10 years and our graduates enjoy outstanding career prospects.

You could expect to work in: 

  • outdoor centre teaching
  • overseas expedition leading
  • outdoor coaching
  • PE teaching
  • geography teaching
  • environmental education
  • field studies teaching
  • development training
  • outdoor skills training
  • adventure tourism

If, by the end of your course, you decide to pursue a career in PE or Geography teaching, you will need to do a one-year PGDE, for which this course is eligible as you could have studied relevant modules in physical education or geography depending on which specialised option pathways you choose.

CareerSmart programme

All students in their first year of study will have an opportunity to engage with the CareerSmart programme as an integral part of a core module of study. Once you have completed this, a wide range of other career-related provision and services will be available to support your development throughout your studies.

The new CareerSmart e-learning tool will introduce you to the steps involved in making informed choices about your career. It will enable you to consider your strengths and development areas, your career motivators, the options available to you and the necessary steps to take to achieve your career goals. 


Professional accreditation / links

The Outdoor Education programme has built an extensive range of employer and work-based placement links over 45 years. These include schools, LEA and private outdoor education centres, expedition and outdoor organisations, field study centres and environmental education initiatives, youth development organisations, and adventure tourism providers.

Alongside this course you will have the opportunity to acquire a number of key outdoor leadership National Governing Body awards, as LJMU is a provider of Mountain Training National Governing Body Awards and British Canoe Union Awards, able to offer accredited training and assessments in these areas.

We provide training leading to:

  • Mountain Training Mountain Leader and Single Pitch Rock Climbing Awards
  • British Canoe Union Star Tests, FSRT and UKCC Paddlesports Coaching Awards
  • British Orienteering Federation Awards
  • Forest Schools knowledge
  • An accredited 16-hour outdoor first aid qualification

There is an additional charge for some of these courses, though they are all heavily subsidised by the University to ensure they are affordable for all students.

Please note, you cannot be accredited with attendance on National Governing Body Awards unless you satisfy the qualification prerequisites and registration requirements, which are required by the each related National Governing Body.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

For details on application processes and eligibility criteria, go to: www.ljmu.ac.uk/scholarships

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country, please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are liable to pay a minimum deposit of 50% of their tuition fees before their CAS can be issued. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of the given enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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