Outdoor Activity Leadership (Sport) with NGB's

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Qualification type: Diploma and Sub Diploma
Level: Level 3
Awarding body Pearson
Academic year: 2018/2019
Start date September 2018
Duration 1 or 2 years (discussed at interview)
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Full time

Course overview

This new and dynamic study programme provides students with the opportunity to acquire substantial knowledge and vocational expertise for the outdoor industry. It is composed of a main qualification, the Sub Diploma in Sport Coaching and Leadership which is delivered alongside a range of industry-recognised awards and qualifications from the National Governing Bodies (NGB’s) pertinent to the profession.

Practical units will make use of the region’s countryside and indoor adventure venues to develop skills in disciplines such us kayaking, canoeing, navigation, mountain biking 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.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold 4 GCSE’s between grades 4-9. These must include English or maths.

You will be required to attend an interview for all college courses and we will request a report from your previous school, college and/or employer. Prior experience of an outdoor activity is advised but not essential as full training will be given.

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

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 112 UCAS points (depending on performance) to enable progression to Higher Education.

This programme does not require students to be experienced in outdoor/adventurous activities upon entry. Full coaching and training will be provided throughout the course. However it is vital that all students are fully aware of the environmental conditions that can be experienced in the UK, and are prepared to accept them as part of their learning. Students should be able to swim 50m without assistance in a pool prior to enrolment, and must be able to participate fully in all practical sessions to meet the statement of physical competence published by some NGB’s.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Sport. Units may be subject to change.

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training and Programming for Health, Sport and Well-being
  • Professional Development in the Sports Industry
  • Sports Leadership
  • Investigating Business in Sport and the Active Leisure Industry
  • Skill Acquisition in Sport
  • Principles and Practices for Outdoor and Adventurous Activities
  • Coaching for Performance
  • Sports Psychology


National Governing Body awards, which may include:

  • British Canoeing Awards:
    • 1, 2, 3 star personal performance in canoe and kayak
    • White-water kayak leader training/assessment
    • Foundation safety and rescue training
    • Paddlesport leader training and assessment
    • Coaching development modules
  • Sports Leaders UK
    • Level 3 qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership
  • British Mountaineering Council
    • Climbing Wall Award
    • Single Pitch Award training
  • Bike Maintenance
  • Safeguarding Award
  • Outdoor First Aid (16hr)
How will I be assessed

This programme contains substantial practical elements supported by more theoretic units which allow reflection and application of experience. Seminars, practical sessions and research sessions will develop autonomy and encourage ownership of personal development. You will eventually lead groups both, within the college and externally, in preparation for employment or further training.

Internally assessed units will use formative and summative methods including written reports, presentations, posters/leaflets, video production and practical assessments.

Things you may need

Section Uniform (approximately £70).

Specialist individual equipment: For example wetsuit boots/walking boots/waterproofs (approximately £100).


NOTE: Some National Governing Body registration and course fees are not included in the programme, and membership of NGB’s will be mandatory in some instances. This will be encouraged as part of professional practice in the industry. These may vary. See contact below for further information.

What next

Employment: The study programme comprises a substantial degree of practical vocational experience through internal training, external partnerships and work-experience. Students have the opportunity to access a broad range of national governing body qualifications (some at their own cost) throughout the programme. Links with employers and training providers will guide this.  As a consequence, many past students have progressed directly into the industry as instructors, working for employers such as Plas Y Brenin, PGL and national Outdoor retailers.

Higher Education: This programme provides students 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. Typical progression routes include:

•         BSc/BA Outdoor Education/Leadership

•         FD Outdoor Leadership

•         BA Environmental Studies

•         BSc Sport and Exercise (Coaching)

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.

Monday, 30th April 2018 - 2pm-5pm

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