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Outdoor Adventure Education (BA)

Wales’ leading Outdoor Adventure Education degree successfully blends theory with practice to purposefully meet the growing career opportunities within the outdoor sector.

The programme is based at our newly refurbished activity base, Cynefin, which has direct access onto the River Towy, the Wales Coast Path, our own bushcraft and campsite, and our professionally built bike track. From this fantastic base, we explore the amazing local outdoor venues for coasteering, climbing, white water kayaking, expeditions, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, open water swimming, and… well pretty much anything you can do outdoors!

The Covid pandemic has really highlighted just how important exercise and being in the outdoors are in relation to physical and mental health. There is no doubt that once this is over, the areas studied within the Outdoor Adventure Education programme at UWTSD are going to be of increasing importance, both in relation to short-term recovery and the longer-term impacts of Covid. 

40 Credits icon

Do you speak Welsh? 40 credits of this course are available in Welsh. More information can be found on the Welsh version of this page.


BA Outdoor Adventure Education
UCAS Code:  3L2N
Apply via UCAS

MA Outdoor Education
Apply via UWTSD 

Phd Outdoor Education
Apply via UWTSD

Book an Open Day Book a Taster Day Request a Call Back Apply Now
Contact Name: Denise Leonard

Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year

Why choose this course

  • Unique location with great access to mountains, crags, coast, rivers and bike trails.
  • Fantastic self-contained resource base- with purpose built bike track, river access, bushcraft area and teaching facility
  • Excellent links with employers locally and nationally
  • Opportunity to study abroad in Norway, Canada or America
  • Several governing body awards are incorporated into modules and other awards are provided at heavily subsidised rates
  • All modules have a practical component and there are no written exams!
  • We offer an extensive range of extracurricular activities including expeditions at cost price.

What you will learn

Course Overview

The Outdoor Adventure Education degree has a fundamental emphasis on exploring the relationship between sound theory and good practice.

Progressive in nature: Initially students are provided with foundation skills both within academic skills and practical activities. Subsequently this foundation together with on-going support enables students to engage positively with challenges of both a physical and intellectual nature. The outcome is that students develop as critically aware and reflective individuals able to deal proactively with the dynamic and challenging situations that are commonplace in abroad range of current and future working environments.

The BA Outdoor Adventure Education is studied on the Carmarthen campus, which offers a friendly and very personal learning experience.  All the lecturing staff are based on campus and are easily accessible for tutorials to support your studies. Lecturing staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, are accredited by the Institute of Outdoor Learning and have Masters Degrees or Doctoral qualifications.  Additionally all Outdoor Education staff have extensive practical experience and hold a broad range of governing body awards.

The campus is only 15 miles West of the Brecon Beacons National Park and the fantastic mountain bike trails of Brechfa.  More biking is just down the road at Afan Argoed, Glyncorrwg, and Bike Park Wales.  For water lovers, we have a partnership with a local paddlesport centre with excellent access to recreational and competitive equipment and coaching. 

The nearby Gower peninsular and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park offer unrivaled opportunities for coasteering, surfing, sea kayaking and sea cliff climbing.  On campus Outdoor Adventure Education students enjoy free access to the swimming pool, health suite, and climbing wall.  The Students’ Union provides an extensive array of sporting clubs and leisure activities.

Module Topics
  • Sustainability and expeditions
  • Independent study or project
  • Adventure leadership
  • Personal safety and assessing risk in adventurous activities
  • Adventure and the environment
  • Investigating critical incidents
  • Adventure and the curriculum
  • Health and wellbeing in the outdoors
  • Academic research and writing
  • Creativity and digital skills in outdoor adventure
  • Social and cultural perspectives on outdoor adventure
  • National Governing Body Awards.

In line with the philosophy underpinning the degree, there is a strong emphasis on learning and teaching methods in the assessment of modules. While good quality of personal performance is encouraged, it is not a focus of assessment in the practical based modules.

Students learn how to present a balanced evidenced argument through their formal written work, as well as via individual and group presentations. Within the final year students will design and conduct their own research project in a specialist area of their choice. Specific types of assessments include; essays, presentations (group and individual), reflective journals and practical tasks.

Graduate Attributes Framework

This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.

The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving. 

Outdoor Adventure, Cynefin and Graduates Success

Explore Outdoor Adventure Education at UWTSD Carmarthen

Key Information

Entry Criteria

96 UCAS points or subject to interview. We also welcome applications from mature students (21 or over) with relevant outdoor experience.

Career Opportunities

Our Outdoor Adventure Education graduates pursue a broad range of career paths:

  • Teacher training courses (primary or secondary)
  • Graduate schemes with environmental organisations or services such as the army police or fire service. 
  • Graduate placements with outdoor education centres
  • Freelance or start up their own businesses
  • Several students have been taken on as employees following successful work placements with the youth service.  
  • Postgraduate study on our Master’s degree in Outdoor Education
Additional Costs

All first-year students are required to have a range of technical clothing for both comfort and safety, as well as some additional equipment such as a large dry bag and a changing robe. There is a week-long residential as part of the Semester 2 programme.

These additional costs (up to £1000 per student) for the first year of the programme are covered by the University to ensure there are no barriers to participation.

In the second year, there will be a second 5-day residential trip which is heavily subsidised and therefore costs around £120 per student including food and accommodation.

Student Quotes

Erin Smith (First year student 2018)

“I have had more adventures in three months at Trinity than I have in the rest of my life”.

Peter Savage (Graduate) www.Savage-Adventures.com

"While still a student on the UWTSD Outdoor Adventurous Education programme I established Savage adventures, knowing the level of skills and opportunities students are provided during their time there I am always reassured when hiring a UWTSD graduates. Having the ability to demonstrate practical skills is a necessity in the outdoors but understanding the underpinning theoretical reasons and self-reflections of outdoors is often over looked. While we are not the largest employers in the area, Savage Adventures was made from passion for the outdoors and ensure this by using inspiring outdoor professionals from UWTSD programmes."

Damian James (Graduate)

“As a graduate of the UWTSD Outdoor Education programme myself, I am always reassured when recruiting UWTSD graduates. Experience shows they will have the necessary practical skills, but also a keen understanding of the fundamentals of outdoor learning and therefore the ability to reflect upon their own practice. Swansea Council is one of the largest employers of outdoor professionals in the south west Wales area and many of its cohort is made up of UWTSD graduates”

Samantha Newbury (Graduate)
"My name is Samantha Newbery and I recently graduated from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Carmarthen Campus, with a BA in Outdoor Adventure Education.
I found that the course has a good balance between academic classroom work and outdoor experiences. This structure helped prepare and develop me to become an outdoor instructor. 
Throughout my three years the lecturers inspired and challenged me with their wide range of knowledge in both the academic and instructing aspects of outdoor adventure education, and they have continued to facilitate my personal development as an outdoor educator.

Through the course structure and delivery I have gained knowledge and skills that have enabled me to both participate and instruct a range of outdoor activities and advance my career since graduating."

Bursary / Scholarship Information

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study.  To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries

Study Abroad Opportunities

The Outdoor Adventure Education programme is enhanced with our established partnership with the university of South East Norway which offers an outstanding opportunity to study abroad for a semester in the second year. 


Please visit our Accommodation pages for more information

Further Information
'We have had a close relationship with the team at the University of Wales Trinity St Davids and for many years we have employed graduates from the course and have been extremely impressed with the professional approach of the students that have come to us. 
Over the years the students have shown a great understanding of our industry and find it easy to work with a variety of groups of any age or ability. The students knowledge of how people learn and teaching styles enable them to progress and move onto further employment all over the world. It has been a pleasure to work with the University and students and we look forward to many more years of partnership.'
Gareth Bryant Centre Manger Llandysul paddlers Canoe Centre.
Llandysul Paddlers Canoe Centre is based in West Wales next tthe river Teifi.