Top navigation bar Bottom navigation bar

Leisure courses

Access courses

Outdoor Adventure (Level 3) (Specialist Diploma)

This course is ideal if you wish to build upon your knowledge to develop a career in the exciting and developing outdoor industry. The course will provide you with a fantastic combination of theory and vocational training: it’s a full-time study option, and is ideal if you are looking for a practical course with excellent career prospects. The course is designed to give you detailed knowledge and practical skills for the outdoor adventure industry. You will study a wide range of units associated with coaching, leadership and skills development.

sam gale

Before attending the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (Isle of Wight 2nd Year Residential) a lot of students that had little to no interest in sailing were apprehensive to how the week was going to go, some even felt as if they had wasted their money. That notion changed very quickly as the first day of activities played out. 

Throughout the week I heard everybody explaining their excitement for certain activities or explaining their overwhelming enthusiasm for the activities they’ve completed that day. My personal experience was a little different, after word of mouth of the last years trip, I had the assumption that the sailing was going to be hands on, adrenaline pumped and fast however this was not the case. The week was a lot more laid back and the instructing staff were amazing making what seemed extremely difficult quite easy. 

Sailing on the yacht was inspirational and has changed my life completely as after the experience I knew that I wanted to go into yacht sailing. We stayed on the yacht overnight which gave us an introduction to what sleeping aboard was like, granted it was on the dock but the experience was still there. Hearing the wind, feeling the tide and sleeping in a small space with a leecloth which is a sheet of material that stops you falling out of the bed in the night (or day depending on which watch you are on.) At the end of the week we were given a talk about the sailing industry which has opened my eyes to the cadetship and broadened my career path. Amazing trip, amazing people, amazing experience, amazing end to the course.

Sam- Outdoor Adventure Advanced Level 3 (Specialist Diploma)

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 4 GCSEs 9–4 ideally including English and maths OR
  • Outdoor Adventure or Sport at Level 2

Course content

During the course you will study a number of units, including:

  • Principles and practices in outdoor adventure
  • Skills for land-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Skills for water-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Outdoor and adventurous activities expeditions
  • Taking responsibility for a sail craft
  • Managing and operating a water sports centre
  • Work experience
  • Equipment and facilities for outdoor and adventurous activities
  • GCSEs or Functional Skills in English and Maths (if required).

During the summer term of your first year you will have the opportunity to undertake a group expedition and will be required to attend various residential trips. In your first year, you will undertake practical work experience at the Shuttleworth Activity Centre. During the second year you will complete an extended work placement in an outdoor centre or related organisation either locally, nationally or abroad. Throughout both years there will also be various day trips and opportunities to go on practical days away. As well as the chance to improve or learn new practical skills, these are often employment-focused and as well as winter sports trips, include outdoor residential trips to Wales and the Isle of Wight.

As part of your studies you will also be able to take additional qualifications in sailing, power boating, kayaking, canoeing, climbing and an emergency first aid at work course. The course will be based primarily at the Shuttleworth Campus, however other venues used include Grafham Water Centre, Big Rock Climbing Centre and further afield locations such as the Peak District and Snowdonia.

Assessment methods

All BTEC work will be assessed through assignments, which can consist of written essays, presentations, group discussion, practical observation and academic posters. Functional Skills/GCSEs will be assessed through formal exams.


Sports & Outdoor Activities Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma

  • National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • English and maths qualifications if required

  • You can also gain up to 112 UCAS points.
Further study and career options

On successful completion you could progress either onto employment or onto our Sport (Leisure Management) HNC. This course is the perfect lead-in to jobs in the outdoor sector. Many students start their careers as outdoor instructors and work their way up to leadership roles within a few years of experience in the field. 

Additional information

To take part in this course you will be required to purchase clothing such as wetsuits, costing approximately £200, trips throughout the year £400 and NGB qualifications approximately £200 (optional)

As well as hosting an exclusive careers event, we have regular guest speakers throughout the year and these can include: National Park Rangers, National Governing Body representatives, exclusive interviews with outdoor centre mangers and other leading outdoor professionals. We have also organised charity events at our Shuttleworth Activity Centre, raising money for environmental projects with National Park Rangers in the Peak District.

If commuting to Shuttleworth College will be difficult for you, then you can choose to live in our halls of residence on campus. Priority is given to those who live the furthest distance from the College so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. Visit our accommodation page for more information

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Shuttleworth College SOB1236

Apply Online

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

Shuttleworth College Enquiry Form


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.