Matt Groves


Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management and BSc (Hons) Adventure Education


I have been at West Highland College since 2006, and have helped pioneer the development of the School of Adventure Studies and its suite of programmes.  Prior to that, I came from an active and varied 17 year career in the outdoor sector, which has been driven by an on-going passion for all forms of mountain sports; particularly rock climbing, hill walking and mountaineering, as well as skiing and paddlesports.  Through these interests I have fostered an equal passion for understanding the underpinning ideas behind these activities as a professional practitioner, coach and educator. 

My career has taken me throughout the UK and abroad, as well as experiencing a huge range of professional leadership and management roles in diverse areas from adventure education and management training to ski guiding and winter mountaineering.  This passion continues in an active and varied life with the School of Adventure Studies, where professional values and skills are still fully embedded in the work we do.

Teaching Responsibilities

Over the years, I have designed and taught on many modules and courses within the School of Adventure Studies.  The main areas that I have been involved in teaching have revolved around aspects of professional practice, adventure sports coaching, leadership and decision making.

I am currently directly leading and teaching on three modules at 1st and 4th year levels:

  • Adventure Education Journeys (year 1)
  • Perceptions of Risk and Decision Making (year 4)
  • Professional Adventure Project (year 4)

Other Professional Roles and Responsibilities


As Programme Leader I oversee the delivery and student progress on the degree programmes with a team of staff, as well as the strategic development of the curriculum, including new post-graduate development.  I am also an external examiner to the University of Cumbria. 


My current research interests are in the psychology of decision making in complex environments, and I support the progress of research projects within the team.

In November 2014, I presented the research paper “Risk perceptions, attitudes and behaviours: perspectives on transceiver use in Scottish mountaineering,” at the 3rd International Adventure Conference in Sogndal, Norway.

Academic Qualifications

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), June 2017
  • Msc Managing Sustainable Mountain Development
  • PGCE Outdoor Activities, University of Bangor, June 2000
  • BA (Hons) Sport and Recreation Studies, Staffordshire University, June 1995

Highest National Governing Body and other Awards/Positions held

MLTUKMountaineering Instructor Certificate (MIC)
SSS Ski Instructor
SCA Level 3 Coach, Sea Kayak
SCA Level 3 Coach, Open Canoe


  • General Teaching Council for Scotland: fully registered, Outdoor Education and Physical Education
  • Association of Mountaineering Instructors (full member)
  • Scottish Canoe Association (full member)

What is your main outdoor interest?

I am always happiest out climbing or skiing the backcountry on a big mountain, or paddling in my open canoe, either on my own, with family or with friends. Underneath it all though, I simply love being physically active and focussed in big mountain landscapes - it's where the inspiration began, and what I'll always go back to!

In more recent years I have devoted most of my spare time to life's greatest adventure, bringing on my two new junior apprentices, Finlay (born 2008) and Torrin (born 2010)!