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Sport (Outdoor Adventure) HND

  • HE

This programme is aimed at anyone with an enthusiasm for outdoor adventure, sport, exercise and health, coaching, teaching, sports management, sports marketing or development. All modules integrate theory and practice using the experience gained from involvement in outdoor adventure and sport.

Entry requirements

To begin this course you will need:

  • English GCSE at grade A*-C/Functional Skills at Level 2 AND
  • At least 48 UCAS points from a Level 3 Diploma in Sport, Outdoor Adventure or other related subject area OR
  • Access to Higher Education Certificate in a related subject area

Applicants from A-Level programmes with relevant experience will also be considered, as will mature students, who will be considered individually on experience rather than qualifications.  Mature applicants who do not meet the advertised academic entry requirements may be required to complete a ‘bridging assignment’ to demonstrate their writing and referencing skills.

Entry will also be subject to a successful interview, where you will be asked to produce evidence of your prior experience.

Course content

The aim of this course is to provide you with the necessary specialist knowledge required to use sport and outdoor equipment, develop the knowledge and skills to coach outdoor adventurous activities and to demonstrate the required professionalism to work within the sport and outdoor adventure industry. You will also gain a diverse range of subject specific knowledge from specialist units selected to offer a broad understanding of the outdoor adventure, sport and leisure industry.

During this course you will study the following core compulsory units:

  • Research Project
  • Outdoor Facility Management
  • Adventure Programming
  • Entrepreneurism in Sport

You will also study the following specialist units:

  • Work Experience
  • Personal and Professional Development
  • Adventure Therapy Facilitation

There are also work placement opportunities available. Part of the development of employability skills in both years will be working as an instructor for Shuttleworth Activity Centre delivering to schools groups and also students studying on the BTEC Level 3 course.

The second year will entail a compulsory work placement with an employer in the outdoor adventurous or sport sector.

Each year on the course there will be compulsory residential trips but also optional extra trips such as skiing in Italy, climbing in Spain or yachting in Croatia. These will vary depending on cohort size/take up.

Day trips to outdoor centres will be an integral part of the course.

Assessment methods

You will learn through a variety of teaching methods including practical activities, guest speakers, visits to sport and leisure industry facilities and organisations and traditional seminars and research projects

Coursework for assessment includes written reports, presentations, practical observations and timed assignments

You will also be required to carry out an extensive work experience placement within the sports industry and complete a research project linked to the Managing Resources in Sports and Leisure Management unit.


Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure Management)


  • Outdoor First Aid
  • UKCC Level 1 or 2 Paddlesports Coach
  • RYA Sailing Dinghy Instructor
  • MLTE Climbing Wall Award

(These are all non-compulsory and incur an extra cost to be discussed at interview.)

Further study and career options

On completing the HND you will be able to apply through UCAS for direct entry on to the second or third year of a degree programme, or seek employment within the outdoor adventure, sport and leisure industry.

Roles in the outdoor adventure industry often start with working as a seasonal instructor at an outdoor centre or on an activity holiday, followed by a move up the ladder to a full-time instructor, a senior instructor and, finally, managing an entire centre.

In the private sector, there are some opportunities to move into overseeing several centres or working at a head office.

In the public sector, promotion usually means moving into more senior administrative work in leisure services or education. Some administrative posts are also available with national governing bodies (NGBs) and sports councils.

Progression within outdoor activities could mean setting up your own business, perhaps concentrating on newer markets for leisure and corporate clients. It is not unusual for such businesses to avoid the liability of owning a centre and to hire venues to deliver their services from. Freelance work is also possible, focusing on advising or training providers. The industry has a relatively high number of freelance instructors working for a range of different centres.

There are some opportunities to teach outdoor pursuits in urban areas, where indoor facilities are available for climbing, canoeing and skiing and local canals or urban lakes can be used for outdoor activities. Involvement in this type of provision can be a way into leisure management in its broadest sense.

A move into further or higher education lecturing or school teaching is possible for those with appropriate qualifications. Outside the broad field of education, other opportunities exist in specialist outdoor equipment manufacture and retail, as well as in visitor and countryside centres.

Large organisations in the private sector provide opportunities to work abroad (especially in the USA and Australia). Outdoor education is sometimes called experiential education in the USA.

Additional information

This course will help you gain the knowledge and skills required for a management role in the sports and leisure industry. It will enable you to make effective contributions in the private, public and voluntary sectors with the expertise required by communities, providers and performers.

The practical programme will be designed to develop higher-level skills in activities alongside developing coaching and leadership skills in delivery. The focus will be on Sailing, Climbing, Kayaking and Canoeing but other areas will also be introduced.

Shuttleworth College run a careers and work placement event each year attended by employers such PGL, Rockley and UKSA, and local providers such as Grafham Water Centre, Fairland’s Valley Outdoor Centre and Big Rock Climbing.

You will also work on learning/developing transferable skills including:

  • Leadership and management skills
  • Team working skills and the ability to motivate and inspire others
  • Group facilitation skills, allowing even those with a limited range of technical outdoor skills to work with groups
  • Written and oral communication skills and the ability to establish a rapport with a range of people
  • Customer service skills
  • Decision-making skills and the ability to stay calm in difficult and challenging situations
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Financial skills, such as being able to manage a budget
  • Commercial awareness and marketing
  • Imaginative and innovative approach to working in the field
  • Flexibility in order to meet business and client needs

Additional costs



Mandatory/ Optional

Estimated cost

Instructor/Coaching Courses

1 and 2

Optional but encouraged

Variable depending on the National Governing Body and Level of Course between £100 and £300

Residential 1 and 2 Mandatory Est. £300
Expedition 1 and 2 Mandatory Est. £100


1 and 2


Ski Trip

Spain Climbing Trip

Croatia Yacht Trip

Uniform  1 only Mandatory  Course Polo/Hoody or Softshell jacket. £50-£100 


1 only


Require wetsuit (5mm) £100+, wetsuit boots £30, walking boots £100, waterproof trousers £50, waterproof jacket £75 + fleeces, gloves, hats, sports/gym kit. (If already owned, no need to purchase)

Study requires extensive reading and access to reference works. Recommended texts are available in the Learning Resources Centre at College, however availability may be limited so students may wish to purchase their own copies.

1 and 2


Approximately £30

Travel costs associated with transport to work placement

 1 and 2


Variable depending on mode and starting point.

How to apply

To enrol on this course you must apply through the University & Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) using the institution code B23 and the course code SOA1. Visit or call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 7 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Please note: You will be required to attend college 3 days per week (Days to be confirmed)

Course Information & How to Apply

You will need to complete a UCAS online application form to apply for this course, available at The codes needed are located in the 'How to apply' section above. Please call the College on 01234 291000 if you have any queries about your application.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 27/09/2021 £5895 Shuttleworth College H1638

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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.