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Outdoor Adventure Advanced (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.

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 4 GCSEs A*-C (including English), OR
  • Sport Level 2 BTEC Diploma at a Merit grade with Functional Skills

You will also need a keen interest in outdoor related pursuits.

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.


Year 1: Skills & Activities for Sport & Active Leisure (Outdoor Education) BTEC Level 3 Diploma
Year 2: Sailing and Watersports BTEC Level 3 Diploma


  • National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications
  • Emergency First Aid at Work QNUK Level 2 Award
  • English and maths skills
  • Work experience
  • Personal development skills
  • Study skills
  • Employability skills

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 pay a fee of approximately £200 for required college clothing (including wetsuit, wetsuit boots, water proofs and walking boots). The College has links with retailers which enable us to offer students reduced price equipment at the start of the course. You will meet some of these during induction week. There are also trips throughout the duration of the course totaling to £380.

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 DateFeesLocationCourse Code
1 year 16/09/2019 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Shuttleworth College B1236

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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.  
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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.
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