Andy Macbeth, MSc Outdoor Education 2020
'Using the outdoors as a teaching and learning environment while promoting sustainable thinking and practice has never been more important and this course has given me the skills and confidence to feel that my practice in this area will help make a positive difference.'
What were you doing before you studied at the University of Edinburgh?
I was working as a Sales Director in the Advertising Industry.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh?
Because of the MSc Outdoor Education's reputation as the best course of its kind globally and because I happen to live in the city!
Why did you choose to study this degree?
Career change – I intend to open my own company based on Outdoor Education when I graduate. Outdoor Education has been an area of interest for many years and having the opportunity to pivot away from a corporate career into creating a business built around a childhood passion of mine was too good to miss.
What did you enjoy most about the programme?
The mix of academic and practical modules and the vibrant learning community. Both the student cohort and academic staff work really closely together and are all very supportive and engaged in making sure we get the most out of the experience.
What specific skills did you develop?
Academic thinking and writing are key skills that I have developed which allow me to access and use the whole world of research and writing that exists out there to marshal my own thoughts and create my own voice on issues of outdoor education and environmental sustainability. I have also learned a plethora of practical skills which will be of use to me from navigation to using crampons and an ice-axe to tying a bowline. Thanks Prof Nicol!
What was the most useful thing you learned in your lectures, workshops and tutorials?
Approaching all the reading and information provided to us critically and then synthesizing and aggregating all the knowledge into a personal ethos and framework for practice.
Why would you recommend the programme to others?
It is the most rigorous, comprehensive and enjoyable l
earning experience I have ever taken part in both academically and professionally and I would highly recommend it to anybody.
In what way do you think the degree will contribute to your career?
It has shaped my thinking around how I will set up my future business, the courses it will offer and the goals it will pursue. Using the outdoors as a teaching and learning environment while promoting sustainable thinking and practice has never been more important and this course has given me the skills and confidence to feel that my practice in this area will help make a positive difference.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying this programme at Edinburgh?
If at all possible, do the course full time. The additional benefit of close contact with your cohort and teaching staff is invaluable as everyone is so passionate about the course and supportive.