What is special about this course?
BA (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching brings a unique focus on sports science to the domain of adventure coaching. You will combine the skills and knowledge of the applied sports scientist with those of a modern adventure professional in ever-changing outdoor environments, preparing you to coach and guide the next generation of adventure athletes and participants.
Be part of a rapidly evolving sector, where the demand for healthy active lifestyles has brought about a drive for greater achievements in adventure sports and for the life-enhancing benefits of participation. With over 21 Olympic adventure sports disciplines, adventure sports performance and competition is a global phenomenon, and participants are demanding higher outcomes in their chosen areas, informed by expert coaches and leaders.
This programme will provide you with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key elements of sports science, while teaching you to apply them to the outdoor and adventure environment – all underpinned by a growing and deepening understanding of the meaning of ‘adventure’.
- Access to outstanding adventure facilities set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK
- Receive tailored outdoor-activity skill development and professional NGB training and assessment with the School of Adventure Studies' 'practical credits system': continuous professional skills development throughout your degree and beyond
- Be part of a vibrant and active student community of outdoor enthusiasts based in Fort William – within the Outdoor Capital of the UK
- Easy transfer options available between adventure programmes within the School of Adventure Studies: Adventure Tourism Management; Adventure Education; and Marine and Coastal Tourism
- Excellent links and work-placement opportunities with many adventure-based businesses and institutions in Scotland, the UK and internationally
- Residential field trips, clubs, international expeditions and many other opportunities to enhance your skills and experience in adventure activities
We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.
- 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
- 2 A levels at grade C or above
- You will also be expected to be able to demonstrate an interest in, and a commitment to, practical outdoor activities, and preferably have an interest in a professional career in the outdoor sector
- Personal practical outdoor experience is advantageous but not essential
- Applicants with other relevant qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis
- Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course
Advanced entry to year two or three:
- Direct entry to year two or three may be possible with a relevant HNC/D, foundation degree etc. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis
Relevant Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP):
- Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
- Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
- Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
- Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
- Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
- Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
- Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
- Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
- Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
- Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
- Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
- Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
- NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
- NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)
Year 1 - CertHE
Core modules may include:
- Introduction to professional adventure practice
- Adventure geography: the Scottish perspective
- Introduction to sports coaching and leadership
You will also choose three option modules which may include:
- Human structure and function
- Activity performance and skill acquisition
- Foundations of outdoor learning
- Adventure education journeys
- Introduction to adventure tourism
- Marine and coastal tourism in the UK
- Preparing for workbased and placement learning
- Adventure markets: products and services
Year 2 - DipHE
Core modules include:
- Sport and exercise physiology
- Performance and analysis of specialist skills
- Understanding adventure
- Adventure operations and risk management
- Principles of sport and exercise psychology
You will also choose one option module which may include:
- Applied coaching and leadership
- Work placement: team working and communication
- Team working and communication
- Outdoor learning, teaching and practice
- Contemporary issues in management
Year 3 - BA
Core modules include:
- Design, manage and evaluate human fitness and physical performance
- Applied sport and exercise psychology
- Planning international expeditions
- Research methods (sport)
You will also choose three option modules which may include:
- Sports nutrition and dietary considerations
- Strength and conditioning
- International expedition leadership
- Work placement: industry specific skills
Year 4 - BA (Hons)
Core modules include:
- Adventure psychology: skills and behaviours
- Advanced applications of coaching and instruction
- Inclusive adventure
- Perceptions of risk and decision-making
You will also choose a double credit project or research based module, either:
- Dissertation (sport)
- Adventure pathways professional project (major expedition venture or legacy project)
How will I study my course?
You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, with some teaching by video conference from our other campuses, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE). There are also opportunities for work placements at different levels of the programme.
You will also spend a significant amount of time increasing your skills through practical, experiential learning. The main disciplines included are mountaineering and climbing, paddle sports and mountain biking, with a wide scope for progression and application of theories throughout the four years of study, through field work and industry activity.
Personal Outdoor Equipment and Clothing
All essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and specialist equipment can be accessed from our comprehensive stores, but students will need to purchase their own personal clothing, waterproofs and footwear for most activities (with the exception of very specialised footwear such as winter boots). As a professional practitioner you are also expected to consider purchasing your own personal equipment as your involvement and skills grow. Excellent deals on prices from a range of suppliers are available for students.
Introduction to Sports Coaching and Leadership (core, year 1): this includes an opportunity to complete training for a UK National Governing Body qualification in climbing, paddlesports or mountain biking. The course is free of charge but you will need to pay for your own membership and registration fees with the relevant NGB. This cost can range from approximately £50-£100, depending on the NGB.
Adventure Education Journeys (optional, year 1): there is a mandatory residential experience in this module at Outward Bound Loch Eil, costing approximately £80 for 3 days full-board. This cost is 50% subsidised by the School of Adventure Studies.
International Expedition Leadership (optional year 3): this involves undertaking an international expedition, which is subsidised by West Highland College. Depending on the specific plan, you should budget for up to £1000. There may be opportunities to gain funds to support this expedition through grant funding sources or sponsorship, which would be your responsibility to obtain.
How long will my course last?
- Full-time: 4 years
- Part-time: 8 years
Where can I study my course?
- West Highland College UHI - Fort William
For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:
|Full-time (120 credit modules) per year||£1,820||£1,820|
|Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year||£645||£645|
|Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)||£215||£215|
*The Home-Scotland/EU fee rate is set by the Scottish Government and will be confirmed by March 2019.
Rest of UK students
For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:
**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500 (2018-19 and 2019-20).
Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.
There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.
For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:
|Full-time (120 credit modules) per year||£11,100||£11,650|
|Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year**||£5,550||£5,820|
|Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)**||£1,850||£1,940|
**There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international students.
Further information on international course fees.
A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.
External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.
What can I do on completion of my course?
With a degree in Adventure Performance and Coaching you will hold a valuable array of knowledge and skills that are transferable to any of the various aspects of the UK or international adventure sector. The specific pathway you take will be vital in helping you shape your own chosen career. Adventure coaching covers a wide range of career pathways and specialist fields, including:
- Adventure sport coach
- Guiding and instructing in adventurous activities
- Applied sport scientist or performance analyst
- Strength and conditioning coach
- Sports development officer and talent identification
- Leadership and management roles in activity organisations
Your career will grow and change as the years go on, and your degree will prepare you for other related areas and possible future growth, so you may also find yourself involved in:
- International expeditions
- Adventure tourism
- Adventure education
- Marine wildlife tourism
- Adventure therapy
- Military or emergency services
- Higher level adventure sector leadership - shaping future policy and practice
Can I progress into further study?
You can progress from the BA (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching to the following postgraduate course:
Is there more information available online?
You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.