Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons)

What is special about this course?

Adventure tourism is the fastest growing area of the tourism industry and has taken the adventure sector by storm in recent decades. Customers expect great service, and a safe experience that will satisfy their dreams of adventure and adventure travel: you will learn the skills and knowledge to deliver this. Despite its growth, adventure tourism is a young industry allowing our graduates to become part of the story of shaping this dynamic sector.

The BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management focuses on tourism and business practices within the adventure sector, applied in the context of essential practical professional skills for leadership and safety.

You will cover outdoor skills practice, safety and leadership, tourism, research, business and entrepreneurship – all underpinned by a growing and deepening understanding of the meaning of 'adventure'.

Special features

  • Applying cutting edge theory and research to the exciting and dynamic adventure sector
  • 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 Performance and Coaching, and Marine and Coastal Tourism
  • A ‘practical credits’ scheme helps you choose your areas for development and engage in an individualised approach to your own outdoor activity skill development and professional NGB training and assessment
  • Strong links with many adventure-based businesses in Scotland and throughout the UK, including Scotland’s national centre, Glenmore Lodge
  • Excellent work-based placement opportunities around the UK and abroad
  • Residential field trips, clubs, expeditions and many other opportunities to enhance your skills and experience in adventure activities
  • Access to outstanding adventure facilities set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK

Entry requirements

  • 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.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • 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:
Introduction to adventure tourism

  • Adventure markets: products and services
  • Foundations of outdoor learning
  • Adventure education journeys
  • Marine and coastal tourism in the UK
  • Human structure and function
  • Activity performance and skill acquisition
  • Preparing for workbased and placement learning

Year 3 - BA

Core modules include:

  • Risk and incident management
  • Management of adventure tourism
  • Planning international expeditions
  • Research skills

Option modules may include:

  • Developing entrepreneurial effectiveness
  • Niche tourism
  • Climate change
  • Small business planning
  • Work placement: industry specific skills

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules include:

  • Understanding adventure
  • Contemporary issues in management
  • Event planning and organisation
  • Adventure operations and risk management

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Applied coaching and leadership
  • Work placement: team working and communication
  • Performance and analysis of specialist skills
  • Atmosphere, weather and climate
  • Outdoor learning and teaching practice
  • Retailing
  • Nature and learning
  • Contemporary marketing
  • Management accounting
  • Society and culture in mountain regions
  • Social history of the Highlands and Islands

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules include:

  • Critical perspectives of adventure
  • Emergent tourism trends
  • Inclusive adventure
  • perceptions of risk and decision-making

You will also choose a double credit project or research based module:

  • Dissertation
  • Adventure pathways professional project (major expedition venture or legacy project)
  • Research and plan a new business venture

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • 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 adventure practical 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.
  • 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.
  • As well as other practical activities, you will have the option of undertaking an international expedition in the 4th year. Depending on the specific plan, you should budget for up to £1000 to ensure you have sufficient funds to complete.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 8 years


Where can I study my course?

Start date


How much will my course cost?

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

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:

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £8,000 p.a. £8,000 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free** free**

**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) -  £1,340 (2016-17 and 2017-18)

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.


International students

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:

  2016-17 2017-18
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £10,000 £10,500
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year*** £5,040 £5,250
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)*** £1,680 £1,750

***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.

What funding can I apply for?

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact West Highland College UHI for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

With a degree in Adventure Tourism Management 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 Tourism covers a wide range of career pathways and specialist fields, including:

  • Start and build your own Adventure Tourism business.
  • Working in events organisation.
  • Working in NGOs and NGBs, such as Sportscotland, Snowsport Scotland, Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Scottish Canoe Association.
  • Countryside ranger and environmental interpretation.

Your career will grow and change as the years go on, and you may develop a career in any one of a range of exciting areas, so you may also find yourself involved in:

  • Guiding, coaching and instructing in adventurous activities
  • International expeditions
  • Adventure education
  • Marine wildlife tourism

Can I progress into further study?

Current potential progression opportunities for BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management graduates include:


Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students are saying

“I travelled up to Fort William every year to watch the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and ride bikes at the weekends. Once I found out that there was an Adventure Tourism Management degree I moved to study at the West Highland College UHI campus and simultaneously started up my own freelance mountain bike guide business. The area surrounding the college was the main driving factor for me if I am honest, it was a bonus that I could gain an honours degree while living here.

Mark Clark, BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management graduate, is currently a freelance mountain bike guide and owner of Stoked to Coach. He also works as a guide for H&I Adventures who operate mountain bike tours worldwide.

There are days spent in lectures and assignments to complete but the majority of modules involve some activity. It doesn't matter if you are a novice or an expert as activity groups are set up for all abilities. The work in lectures really helps you get the most from the adventure trips though. I have been to Bosnia to see the development and opportunities for adventure tourism in the country.

I've also been to Spain for a week long expedition in the Sierra Nevada, including the highest peak, then a week's climbing in El Chorro and I am heading to Morocco in May with the department for an expedition in the Atlas Mountains.

Alastair Buchanan, BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management, West Highland College UHI, Fort William

I chose to study Adventure Tourism Management at West Highland College UHI because I've always had an interest in the outdoors and thought it would be a good idea to combine my passion with a job.

The college is set in close proximity to one of the greatest outdoor playgrounds in the UK: where else could you go ice climbing, kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, and mountaineering as part of your studies?!

The teaching is first class, the lecturers are all very approachable and friendly, and they share the same passion for the outdoors.

After graduation I aim to work in an outdoor centre for a few years before working as a freelance instructor, either in the UK or abroad.

Craig McKay, BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management, West Highland College UHI.

Apply for Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2018

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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