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.
Pathway Options and How to Apply
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Why choose this course
- 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.
What you will learn
- Blended learning delivery (two weekends per module plus tutorials and eLearning support)
- Creative and diverse assessment methods
- Eligible for postgraduate loan support
- Extensive outdoor sector networks and professional links
- Flexible study options with three exit awards to suit student requirements
- Full-time (1-2 years) and part-time (2-4 years) modes of study
- Internationally renowned guest speakers
- Outdoor and experiential focus to all outdoor weekend workshops
- Research active and published staff and students who are passionate about outdoor pedagogy
- Socio-cultural perspective on key issues
- Subsidised access to expeditions
- Subsidised NGB qualification opportunities
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 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
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.
Outdoor Education (MA)
Graduation June 2018
From Left: Carol Decker, Rhys Green, Anna Gordon (IOL finalist), Dr. Nalda Wainwright, Dr. Andy Williams, Barrie Whitehead, John Godley (IOL dissertation winner)
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
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.
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
Arwel Phillips PhD 2013-17
"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."
Barrie Whitehead MA Outdoor Education 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."
Graham French (2012-16 and PhD MA Outdoor Education
"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."
Jason Wragg MA Outdoor Education 2014-16
"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."
Visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section to find out more.
There are no study abroad opportunities for this programme.