Outdoor Adventure NQ Level 5
What is special about this course?
Do you love outdoor adventure? Would you like to share with others by pursuing a career in the great outdoors? Do you love spending time outdoors and the thrill of challenging activities?
This course is aimed at improving your personal competence in a range of outdoor adventure activities based on the Isle of Skye, in a world-class location. You will gain essential practical experience and accelerate your learning in challenging environments. Your study will be 65% practical and 35% theory. The course is part of the School of Adventure Studies, giving unparalleled access to tuition from highly skilled and active adventure-sector practitioners, to guide you on your way in developing sound skills and experience in mountain, river and sea environments. It will prepare you well for a career in the outdoors, covering a range of performance awards as well as the Paddlesport Instructor Award. We will support you in creating your own outdoor CV and finding a work experience placement that could lead to future employment.
It also provides a foundation for further academic study and the opportunity to progress to further courses within the School of Adventure Studies.
During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills. Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills.
Students must be 16 years of age at the start of the course.
Applicants should have at least three National 4s or above or equivalent; a passion for the outdoors (mountain and water environments)and a good level of fitness.
All candidates will attend an interview, and if you do not meet all the entry requirements this can be discussed and your previous experience may still qualify you for entry to this course.
Please note that you are required to have a satisfactory Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check to enable participation in work placement. This will be provided as a mandatory part of your course. Further information can be found here at mygov.scot
The course provides solid foundation skills in hillwalking, navigation (summer and winter), climbing, kayaking, canoeing and mountain biking. It also offers a chance to try additional activities such as skiing, snowboarding, coasteering and stand-up paddleboarding.
- paddle-sports and teamwork
- mountain sports and leadership
- mountain biking
- conservation and volunteering
- anatomy, physiology, fitness and exercise
- nutrition, health and wellbeing
- embedded development of core and essential skills
You will also have the opportunity to obtain awards including:
- British Canoeing: Paddlesport Instructor
- British Canoeing: Paddlesport Explore Award
- British Canoeing: Foundation Safety and Rescue Training
- HSE Outdoor First Aid (16 Hours)
- John Muir Trust Explore Award
- National Indoor Climbing Wall Achievement Scheme Levels 1 and 2
- Go Mountain Bike Awards
- NNAS Bronze and Silver Awards (navigation)
Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.
No other equipment needs to be purchased prior to the course starting. During the course all the major and essential items of equipment are provided, but it is helpful, if possible, to set aside a budget for purchasing your own accessories such as thermal underwear or gloves.
How will I study my course?
- Full Time
Four days per week.
Three of these days are usually practical and the fourth day is either classroom based or set aside for online timetabled learning.
Your timetabled learning will probably take place in and around our Broadford College Centre.
How long will my course last?26 Weeks
How will I be assessed?
A combination of approaches including observation of practical, teamwork and leadership skills, presentations, and written work.
Where can I study my course?
Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.
Late August/Early September 2023
For the latest information on fees please see our Fees & Funding information pages.
Students may qualify for bursary funding. Please contact our admissions team.
What can I do on completion of my course?
Once you’ve completed your course, you might like to consider our NQ in Outdoor Leadership in Fort William, or similar course at SCQF level 6.
NQ Outdoor Adventure develops resilience, confidence, problem solving and teamwork that can lay the foundation for a wide range of careers. Our graduates have gone on to work in the outdoor sector in a wide range of areas including bushcraft and glacier guiding, but have also put their skills to use progressing to further study and employment in paramedic science, early years education, police, and film-making - to name a few.
Is there more information available online?
You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.
I am from Edinburgh. I have always liked mountaineering and kayaking.
I chose this course because I wanted to gain more proficiency in the outdoors and I felt I was lacking experience in a few key areas such as water sports.
I am enjoying being challenged and I have really enjoyed being out of my comfort zone in activities I have never done before, such as climbing and mountain biking.
I plan to go on to do Outdoor Leadership next to gain more experience in the outdoor world and possibly become an instructor or similar.
I live on the Isle of Skye. I was a pool lifeguard and swimming teacher for six years before deciding to come to college. I chose to study outdoor adventure because I enjoy the outdoors and I wanted to learn about the outdoor activities that the course offers. I’ve enjoyed it as there’s a lot of practical days and plenty of new things to experience.
The course has helped me gain confidence in my abilities and has made me realise that I still enjoy working outdoors despite the Skye winter weather!
I hope to work full time for a local outdoor adventure company and hopefully gain my summer mountain leader and climbing wall instructor tickets soon.
Apply for Outdoor Adventure NQ
We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI West Highland 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 age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.