Outdoor and Environmental Education

Our philosophy

Over many years we have developed a suite of programmes which address current global issues, outdoor, environmental, and sustainability education that is at the international forefront of the profession.


Our philosophy and vision

We are an intentional learning community striving to cultivate a caring relationship between people and planet. Individually and collectively, we seek to flourish by exploring our own stories, accepting the limits of our knowledge and experience, and becoming more potent agents of change. Together, we flourish through an ethical and internationally diverse group of individuals. We achieve this through respectful questioning, deep listening, challenging dialogue, and informed action. 

You are invited to join us as we co-create:

  • A courageous enthusiasm to determine the knowledge, skills and dispositions required to thrive in the outdoor, environmental and sustainability education sector.
  • A commitment to, and passion for, expanding technical skills and competencies beyond the programme.
  • An openness for developing critical awareness, judgement, and communication skills, and the confidence to make decisions and take responsibility for these, in our learning, teaching and leading.
  • An exploration of contemporary ways of learning, teaching and leading through a variety of places and spaces, and the pedagogical opportunities and affordances various contexts provide.
  • A space to develop a mutually respectful learning environment where all students, staff, community are valued along with the more than human world.
  • A restless pursuit of continuous, reflexive and critical thoughtfulness.
  • Mutually supportive and caring relationships with ourselves, others and the planet.
  • A willingness to more deeply understand the world’s inequalities, injustices, prejudices and privileges, and take positive steps towards creating a more equitable society.
  • An ethos of interdisciplinarity, beyond individual courses and subjects, where we engage in a critical questioning of what we know (and do not know), how we know it, and how this knowledge can be used as a force for good. 
  • A motivation for embracing other ways of being and doing outdoor learning through embracing the potential for learning within a transcultural group of learners who all bring knowledge and experiences of value.
  • A readiness for embracing learning as ‘becoming’ for each of us through personal reflection, criticality, embracing complexity, and sitting together with the hard and uncomfortable.

The discipline

An experiential approach is the essence of Outdoor and Environmental Education, while the more academic aspects of the programme draw upon a shared practical experience. The breadth and diversity implicit in 'learning outdoors' demand attention to matters of interdisciplinarity and holism. These are addressed by relating theory to practice and careful co-ordination and cross-referencing of aspects of the programme.

Practical and professional skills

To be a critically aware professional in this field demands practical involvement and teaching competence. Consequently the programmes have both an academic and a practical 'competency' element. Throughout there will be an emphasis on practical experience in the field. This reflects the experiential concept of outdoor and environmental education, where there is direct contact with the outdoors and a freedom from the constraints of an urban environment. The programmes will provide opportunities for gaining instructional training as well as skills in a range of outdoor activities and in living in a variety of residential situations.

The programmes offer students opportunities to gain a broad knowledge of the environment and will enable them to identify affordances of places and spaces and to develop an understanding of the dynamics, balances and fragility of a variety of natural landscapes and waterscapes. The intention of the programmes is to generate debate on the questions posed by the dominant role of human beings in the environment.

Practical and professional skill development is an integral part of the programme. For more information please see the Professional Development Programme.

Professional Development Programme


Any educational activity that takes place outdoors raises particular safety issues and must operate in a framework of safe and professional practice. The programmes in outdoor and environmental education are underpinned by a comprehensive health and safety policy designed in collaboration with sector experts. Further to this, health and safety considerations are built into the educational process, allowing learners to develop both practical skills in and theoretical perspectives on risk management.