Outdoor Adventure

BSc (Hons) *

2023/24 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Sport


Coleraine campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2023


"To lead, inspire and shape the future of outdoor adventure"


Do you have a thirst for adventure? Do you enjoy the outdoors? If so, would you like to develop a career in the outdoor and adventurous activities? This course is designed to take you on a challenging and enjoyable journey using the outdoor environment as a basis for developing your applied knowledge and practical skills. Active learning is central to the programme, providing you with opportunities to develop your personal skills in range of outdoor activities, achieve industry qualifications and develop your connection to the outdoor environment. The course is delivered through a partnership between Ulster University, Sport Northern Ireland and Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, all our staff are active in the outdoors, passionate and are industry recognised educators. The stunning scenery of Northern Ireland provides the backdrop for the course, much of your learning will take place in locations such as the Mourne Mountains and the North Coast of Northern Ireland. These inspiring environments the backdrop for your own adventure.

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About this course


You will attend two week long residentuals per academic year, these will be based out of Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.

The rest of your study will be based at the Coleraine Campus (11 weeks per semester). This will consist of lectures, workshops, practical sessions and seminars, typically around 12 to 15 hours per week, the rest of your time each week will consist of independent study.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The teaching, learning and assessment strategy for Outdoor Adventure is designed to develop and assess your knowledge and skills across practical, theoretical and work-based learning. The strategy at all levels includes encouraging your active engagement with a broad range of land and water based outdoor activities, developing your ability to connect with and understand the outdoor environment and supporting the development of your leadership skills. A wide range of assessment strategies are employed to assess your subject knowledge and your ability to apply this knowledge in an outdoor environment, these include; reflective assignments to enable you to engage with and lead your own learning and personal development, presentations to support the development of your delivery skills and sharing of knowledge. In addition there are practical assessments throughout the programme of study that assess personal ability, leadership and coaching across a range of outdoor adventure activities. There are opportunities in year two and three for you to participate in a work-based placement, where you are assessed on your ability to apply knowledge and skills developed through the programme of study and to reflect on professional practice.

In first year, teaching, learning and assessment is focused on your personal and practical skills; there are individual written assignments; reflective journals with a focus on skill development; and group presentations. In second year the focus is on delivery and leadership of outdoor adventure activities, practical and written assignments that require application of a wider range of knowledge, paired or individual presentations and reflective writing with a focus on professional practice. In final year the focus is much more self-directed, opportunities for independent research combined with expeditions, entrepreneurship and embedding of professional skills. Throughout your whole programme of study the focus is to develop you as a skilled outdoor professional with the ability to inspire, communicate effectively, think critically and innovate.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Academic profile

Teaching staff are all active outdoor adventure specialists holding academic and professional qualifications in water and land based activities.

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Coleraine campus

The feeling of community at our Coleraine campus makes for a warm and welcoming student experience.


A laid-back campus at the heart of a global tourist attraction.

Find out more - information about accommodation  

Sports Facilities

Our Campus in Coleraine boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor facilities that are open all year round to students and members of the public.

Find out more - information about sport  

Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  

Coleraine campus location info

  Find out more about our Coleraine campus


Ulster University
Cromore Road
County Londonderry
BT52 1SA

T: 028 7012 3456

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

The A Level requirement for this course is BCC. Applicants can satisfy the requirement for the A level grade C by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DDD in a relevant subject.


BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DMM in a relevant subject.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:

A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate

A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details.

Irish Leaving Certificate

The Irish Leaving Certificate requirement for this course is 112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of four subjects at Higher level and one subject at Ordinary level. Higher level subjects must include two from History, English, Geography, Economics or RE. The overall profile must also include English and Mathematics minimum H6 at Higher Level or Grade O4 at Ordinary level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBCCC. To include at least two of the following subjects from: English, History, Geography, PE, Psychology, Politics or Sociology at the appropriate level.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCD to include at least one subject from English, History, Geography, PE, Psychology, Politics or Sociology at the appropriate grades.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at Higher level). To include at least one of the following subjects at higher level from: English, History, Geography, Psychology or Social and Cultural Anthropology at the appropriate grades.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile 63% in a relevant area.


GCSE Profile to include English Language, Mathematics and a Science at grade C/4. Essential/Key Skills in Application of Number is not regarded as an acceptable to GCSE Mathematics.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI. The cost for this is payable by the applicant and is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed by http://www.accessni.gov.uk.

It is expected that students will have an interest in outdoor adventure and ideally have, or be in the process of obtaining a relevant national governing body coaching award.

A selection process will be employed if the number of eligible applicants exceeds the places on the programme. It is anticipated that this would involve assessment of personal statements and an interview process.

Places are limited to 20 per academic year.

Careers & opportunities

Career options

Graduates can pursue careers in the following contexts: educational welfare, local government, educational and community development, youth work, social/educational research, environmental education, charities at home and abroad; further and higher education, international development, as well as training roles in business-contexts, in human resources and in marketing. Typically, graduates will find themselves in roles where they use their graduate skills to create learning/training content and supporting materials, to mentor adults and young people, to train/teach a variety of learners using a variety of traditional and innovative tools.

Career opportunities include:

  • Outdoor adventure & recreation industry
  • Outdoor adventure activity instructor
  • Outdoor adventure guide
  • Youth development and education sectors - outdoor adventure
  • Travel / tour guide
  • Outdoor learning tutor / facilitator in leadership, education & development
  • Expedition leader
  • Social enterprise / own business
  • Charity
  • Progression to postgraduate study

Work placement / study abroad

Work based learning is central to your study. You will have opportunities to particpate in work placements which reflect the broad landscape of the outdoor adventure and recreation industry. These will include, commerial, educational, community and charity settings.


Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

In this section

Additional mandatory costs

To be confirmed - students will be required to have their own personal clothing / kit for land and water based outdoor activities. Specialist equipment will be provided.

Expeditions and study abroad opportunties will incur additional costs for students. These costs are yet to be determined.

Students are responsible for registration fees related to professional qualifications.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition feesWhere a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering)vaccinations , security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi are also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Robin Gregg

Course Director

E: r.gregg@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit


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