Outdoor Adventure (Sports)

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Qualification type: Diploma
Level: Level 3
Awarding body Pearson
Academic year: 2017/2018
Start date September 2017
Duration 2 years
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Full time

Course overview

This course provides you with the opportunity to acquire substantial vocational expertise for the outdoor industry. Practical units will make use of the region’s countryside and indoor adventure venues to develop skills in disciplines such us kayaking, canoeing, navigation and rock climbing.  Meanwhile, theoretical units will provide the scientific and technical knowledge required to succeed in coaching and leadership, whilst enabling students to progress to higher education pathways.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme.  You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course.

To develop your employability opportunities you may also be given enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs grades A*-C including English or an appropriate level 2 qualification (at a merit if graded) and a satisfactory school report. We will request a school or college report and you will attend an interview at the college.

You should be able to swim 50m prior to enrolment.

This course does not require you to be experienced in outdoor/adventurous activities upon entry.

A good level of ICT knowledge is required

How to enquire/apply

To apply for this course please click the apply button and complete the online application form. If you have any queries with regards to your application or would like further information and support please contact our Admissions Team on 01325 503035.

Studying and learning

Mandatory units

  • Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport
  • The physiology of fitness
  • Assessing risk in sport
  • Fitness training and programming
  • Leadership in sport
  • Principles and practices in outdoor adventure
  • Equipment and facilities for outdoor and adventurous activities

Specialist units

  • Skills for land-based
  • Skills for water-based
  • Leading water-based
  • Leading land-based
  • Alternative pursuits for outdoor adventure
  • Impact and sustainability in outdoor adventure

Full coaching and training will be provided throughout the course. However it is vital that you are fully aware of the environmental conditions that can be experienced in the UK, and are prepared to accept them as part of your learning.

What next


This course provides you with UCAS points; the key to entering university courses. Many foundation degrees are also offered at local colleges, and provide a more gradual and vocationally orientated progression route.

  • BSc/BA Outdoor Education/Leadership
  • FD Outdoor Leadership
  • BA Environmental Studies
  • BSc Sport and Exercise (Coaching)


You have the opportunity to access National Governing Body Qualifications (at your own cost) throughout the course. Links with employers and training providers will guide this. Typical awards accomplished include:

  • BCU - 2 star/ foundation safety and rescue – assessed internally
  • BCU UKCC Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddle Sport
  • SPA Training
  • Level 2 Award in Assisting in Basic Expedition Leadership

This will support progression into employment in Outdoor Centres, coaching and privately run venues.

The outdoor industry can be an extremely rewarding environment to work in. Career opportunities are diverse; ranging from working in disability-specific outdoor centres through to self-employed coaching opportunities. Some careers will require further study at higher education level, for example teaching or centre management. Hence, this programme offers a maximum of 280 UCAS points (depending on performance) to enable progression to higher education.

Previous students have gone on to work as Trainers of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Educational Outdoor Therapists, Snowboard Instructors, Stunt Actors or joined the Royal Navy.

Information, advice and support

Darlington College offers a wide range of support including careers guidance, financial assistance, additional learning support, childcare and many more. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Student Services Team on 01325 503030 and they will direct your call to the appropriate college support team.

Fees and funding

This course is free if you are 16-18 years of age on August 31 of the calendar year in which you begin your studies.

If you are 19 - 23 years of age fees may apply. However help may be available. To see if you can receive any funding call our Student Services Team on 01325 503030.

Course fees are payable to Darlington College. Registration and membership fees may be payable. All course fees are per year.

If you are 24+ then this course qualifies for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. Full details on the www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk

What if I need support?

Here at the college we have outstanding support. Our support staff are dedicated to providing you with all the help and guidance you may need throughout your college journey.

You might need help and advice on a wide range of issues such as childcare, counselling and additional learning support. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Course and Information Team, who will direct your call to the appropriate member of the college support team, call: 01325 503030.

Enquiry Form

If you have any questions about this course, send us a message using the form below.