MA Outdoor Education

Why choose MA Outdoor Education at UWTSD? 

  • Socio-cultural approach to Outdoor Education to better understand why we have the outdoor sector that we have, as well as possible alternatives.
  • Course learning experiences include a combination of experientially focused weekend workshops, Skype tutorials, and e-learning materials.
  • Practical experiences include Mountain Bothy, Solo camping, walking/cycling for health, and coasteering experiences.
  • Creative assessment tasks including 1 to 1 discussions, seminars and local research projects.
  • Strong links to local and national outdoor sector employers, expeditions, and training. 
  • Applied research focus.


Key Facts

Institution Code: T80

Scholarships and Bursaries

Faculty of Business and Management
Contact Name:
Dr Andy Williams
Contact Email:

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  • Due to the positive experience of studying though the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and their accommodating and flexible approach to academic studies, I decided to further my personal academic development with the university by undertaking a PhD research degree.

    Arwel PhillipsPhD 2013-17

  • I have done lots of challenges in my time, but this one (MA Outdoor Education) has tested me to the point of tears… I have learnt an awful lot, going through this process, and it has certainly challenged my way of thinking, however most importantly it has led me to the area which most interests me and what I want to explore more... just this week I had the confidence to go to the inaugural sports coaching Applied Coaching Research conference... I would never have trodden this path if I hadn’t attended Trinity Saint David.

    Barrie WhiteheadMA Outdoor Education 2013-17

  • When I started the MA Outdoor education course, my aim was very much to become a better practitioner. The course delivered on that aim, but not in the way I had expected, as I learned to be far more reflective than I had been, and gained a deeper understanding of the pedagogy and practice of outdoor education. Thus, I have definitely become a better practitioner, not through simply learning about practice, but by gaining a critical understanding of both the discipline and my own approaches to delivery. I have been able to apply this critical understanding to enhance my own practice and knowledge further, and the course allowed me to take the next step in my career, moving to a role where I have opportunities to impact the sector as a whole.

    Graham French (2012-16 and PhDMA Outdoor Education

  • Undertaking the MA Outdoor Education at UWTSD has truly been an experience that has developed me and my career prospects. Initially I found undertaking my new studies a challenge, having been away from education for a long period of time. However the format of learning, a mixture of online learning and weekend sessions provides a great learning environment that supports everyone on the course.

    Jason WraggMA Outdoor Education 2014-16

The MA Outdoor Education programme has been developed to meet the needs of practitioners and graduates working in outdoor education in the UK and further afield. It brings theory and practice together to develop a higher level understanding of outdoor education as a distinctively alternative form of learning. The course is unique in the UK in adopting a sociocultural approach to
better understanding a range of key issues including the nature of adventure, sense of place pedagogy, informal learning, facilitating experiential learning, relationships with nature and healthy outdoor communities. In addition, it supports students in conducting smallscale research studies to inform evidence-based practice.

Part One

Part One of the programme consists of four x 30 credit taught modules.
• Philosophical and Cultural Perspectives on Outdoor Education
• Facilitating Learning through Experience
• Debates in Outdoor Education
• Research Methods OR Internship (Students choose one after discussion with the Programme Director)

Part Two 

Part Two of the programme is a 60 credit (15,000 word) dissertation module.

The programme is modular and has three named awards:
Postgraduate Certificate - Two taught modules (60 credits)
Postgraduate Diploma - Four taught modules (120 credits)
MA Outdoor Education - Four taught modules

  • Full-time (1-2 years) and part-time (2-4 years) modes of study
  • Blended learning delivery (two weekends per module plus tutorials and eLearning support)
  • Socio-cultural perspective on key issues
  • Outdoor and experiential focus to all outdoor weekend workshops
  • Internationally renowned guest speakers
  • Flexible study options with three exit awards to suit student requirements
  • Research active and published staff and students who are passionate about outdoor pedagogy
  • Creative and diverse assessment methods
  • Subsidised access to expeditions
  • Subsidised NGB qualification opportunities
  • Extensive outdoor sector networks and professional links
  • Eligible for postgraduate loan support


The programme uses a range of assessment techniques designed to develop postgraduate level knowledge, skills and competencies. These include: seminar presentations, research proposals, research reports, essays, reflective journals, academic interviews and blogs.

All assessments link theory with practice and require students to undertake empirical research as the basis for further developing their critical skills and an evidence-based personal philosophy of Outdoor Education. 

Graduate applicants must, as a minimum, hold a 2.1 undergraduate degree qualification.

Applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree are also welcome to apply and consideration is given to professional and recreational experience, other educational awards, written and verbal communication skills and career aspirations

Prior to applying perspective applicants should consider the following;

Are you inspired by the potential of Outdoor Education to offer an alternative approach to learning and teaching?
Are you motivated to learn from other cultures?
Do you want to improve your understanding and expertise to develop the work you do or move on to new opportunities?
Do you want to make a difference to the lifestyle, health and well-being of others?
Are you looking to gain a higher level academic qualification to enhance your career prospects?

If so then this Master’s programme is for YOU!

The degree would be of particular interest to outdoor professionals who are:

  • Seeking career advancement as teachers, centre managers, youth workers, community development officers, environmental education officers, adventure guides, outdoor instructors and recent graduates.
  • Wishing to undertake Continuing Professional development
  • Considering further study at PhD level

It will be of particular interest to outdoor professionals who are:

  •  Inquisitive & critical in their outlook
  •  Inspired by the potential of Outdoor Education to offer an alternative approach to learning & teaching
  •  Motivated to challenge their own beliefs and learn from other cultures

To find out more about UWTSD Postgraduate fees -

The course is eligible for Postgraduate Student Loan support

To find out more about UWTSD Postgraduate loans visit - postgraduate-loans-/

In addition, a number of bursaries are available to Postgraduate students after they register for the programme. For more information on Postgraduate bursaries contact the Programme Director.

Course fees do not include;

Weekend workshop accommodation and living costs.(These have to be met by the student.) 

A range of reasonable hotels, B&B's and onsite accommodation/food outlets are available in the local area.

  • Demonstrate effective communication and presentation skills.
  • Work effectively, both independently and with others.
  • Demonstrate responsibility for their learning and continuing personal and professional development.
  • Self-appraise and reflect on their practice.
  • Use information and communication technology (ICT), including word processing, databases, internet communication, information retrieval and online searches.
  • Interpret and present relevant numerical information.
  • Develop an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

Full and part time opportunities are available for students to study at Doctorate level for a PhD within the discipline areas of Outdoor Education and Physical Education. Applicants interested in Doctoral level research should contact Dr. Andy Williams

Located at its spiritual home in Carmarthen, outdoor education has been a niche area of learning at UWTSD for more than 40
years. With quick and easy access to the Pembrokeshire and the Brecon Beacons National Parks, Gower Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty, Cambrian Mountains and the superb coast, cliffs, and beaches of South Wales, students are ideally located to study and develop their Outdoor Education knowledge and practice.

The MA Outdoor Education programme in Carmarthen is unique in the UK as the only postgraduate level programme to look at outdoor education through a sociocultural lens. The programme’s popularity is evidenced by its longevity, having run for more than 10 years and is noteworthy by its capacity to attract students from mainland Europe, the Indian sub-continent, and North America, as well as from Britain and Ireland.

The programme has been at the forefront of postgraduate academic development, in a number of ways including; innovating a ‘blended learning’ approach to best meet the needs of students, merging theory with practice during weekend workshops
to underpin the experiential focus of the course and, along with the use of creative assessment methods, support students in
balancing personal responsibilities, work and academic study in the real world.

A Brief Record of Outdoor Education at UWTSD (Carmarthen)

  • 1970’s Outdoor Education as part of 4 year BEd teacher training degree.
  • 1980’s First international expeditions to France and Spain. 1996 BA Outdoor Education(first 3year joint honors degree intake).
  • 1998 BA Outdoor Education (first 3 year single honours degree).
  • 2005 MA Outdoor Education (first postgraduate intake).
  • 2007 MA Outdoor Education (first Master’s OEd graduates).
  • 2008 Centre for Outdoor Education Research established.
  • 2008 EOE holds its annual conference in Carmarthen.
  • 2010 MA Outdoor Education (introduces ‘blended learning’ approach).
  • 2011 MA Outdoor Education (outreach delivery in Bala, Nth Wales).
  • 2013 Second Outdoor Health, Pedagogy and Lifestyle Conference.
  • 2016 First MA graduates register for Phd Outdoor Education at UWTSD.
  • 2017 Bespoke Cynefin Outdoor Learning Centre located in Carmarthen.
  • 2018 First full time Phd Scholarships available.

For further information and programme fees contact:

Dr. Andy Williams (Programme Director) on 01267 676647