Adventure Performance and Coaching BSc (Hons)

UCAS code N876

What is special about this course?

The BSc (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 who demand greater outcomes in their adventure sport.

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’.

*This course is replacing the BA (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching.

Special features

  • 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

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • These must include either Science or PE
  • 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 and may be required to attend an interview

Access routes

SWAP Access courses

If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

For International students requiring Tier 4 sponsorship
Please note that international students with a Tier 4 visa can only take part in sports activities or as part of a work placement, as an amateur and not as a professional or semi-professional. You will not be allowed to become a member of a professional sports association while a student. This is due to ‘professional sportsperson’ restrictions imposed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as outlined in their Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules may include:

  • Adventure geography: the Scottish perspective
  • Human structure and function
  • Introduction to professional adventure practice
  • Introduction to sports coaching and leadership

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Activity performance and skill acquisition
  • Adventure education journeys
  • Adventure markets: products and services

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules may include:

  • Adventure operations and risk management
  • Applied coaching and leadership
  • Performance and analysis of specialist skills
  • Principles of sport and exercise psychology
  • Sport and exercise physiology

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Understanding adventure
  • Work placement: team working and communication

Year 3 - BSc

Core modules include:

  • Applied sport and exercise psychology
  • Design, manage and evaluate human fitness and physical performance
  • Planning international expeditions
  • Research methods (sport and fitness)

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • International expedition leadership
  • Sports nutrition and dietary considerations
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Work placement: industry specific skills

Year 4 - BSc (Hons)

Core modules include:

  • Advanced applications of coaching and instruction
  • Adventure psychology: skills and behaviours
  • Inclusive adventure
  • Perceptions of risk and decision-making

You will also choose one double credit project or research based module from the following:

  • Dissertation (sport)
  • Professional adventure project (legacy project or major expedition venture)

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)

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.


How long will my course last?


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

Where can I study my course?

  • West Highland College UHI - based in Fort William

Start date

  • September

Fees

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:

Study Mode2019-202020-21
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, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term-time address in Scotland the following fees apply:

YearLevel2019-20 Full-time2020-21 Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

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 while 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:

Study Mode2019-202020-21
Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £12,800 £13,200
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £6,420 £6,600
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £2,140 £2,200

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

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.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

Additional Costs

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.

Module costs
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.

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
  • Applied sport scientist or performance analyst
  • Guiding and instructing in adventurous activities
  • Leadership and management roles in activity organisations
  • Sports development officer and talent identification
  • Strength and conditioning coach

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:

  • Adventure education
  • Adventure therapy
  • Adventure tourism
  • Higher level adventure sector leadership - shaping future policy and practice
  • International expeditions
  • Marine wildlife tourism
  • Military or emergency services

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BSc (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching to the following postgraduate course:

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

I completed an HND Coaching and Developing Sport at Perth College UHI before transferring to Fort William to focus on Adventure Performance and Coaching. Moving was the right decision.

As part of the course a group of students went to the Adirondack State Park in America and done a six day paddling expedition. What an amazing opportunity to have the freedom and ownership of the project. To plan it entirely and then actually achieve it was brilliant.

My plan is to work with schools or local authorities on long term development and preparation for Duke of Edinburgh Award groups, or expeditions on water. 

Will Holland is in his fourth year of the BA (Hons)
Adventure Performance and Coaching at our West
Highland College UHI campus.

Apply for Adventure Performance and Coaching BSc (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate 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.