Outdoor Education MSc, PgCert (ICL), PgDip
Awards: MSc, PgCert (ICL), PgDip
Study modes: Full-time, Part-time, Part-time Intermittent Study
Programme website: Outdoor Education
For over 40 years, the Postgraduate Diploma in Outdoor Education, and for almost 20 years, the MSc in Outdoor Education, have been the world's leading graduate programme in the field, providing a broad base for a professional career in outdoor education.
There are three possible exit levels: Certificate (60 credits), Diploma (120 credits), or Masters (180 credits). The Certificate programme provides a broad theoretical coverage of the field of outdoor education. The Diploma extends this with further academic study and a Professional Development Programme (involving field courses, such as a canoe descent of the River Spey, winter hillwalking, and a teaching placement/practicum), which provides a broad base for a professional career in outdoor education. The Masters extends this further still with a dissertation.
The emphasis - whether Certificate, Diploma, or Masters - is on developing the knowledge, understanding, and judgement necessary to facilitate meaningful learning in, for, and through the outdoors.
You will develop your intellectual skills through critically assessing theoretical, professional, and academic issues surrounding outdoor education, while honing transferable skills such as environmental literacy and oral communication. You will also expand your understanding and personal practice of outdoor education through a range of professional development activities.
Courses take place at our Edinburgh campus and the University's two residential outdoor centres in the highlands of Scotland, from where you will journey by boat or on foot to live and learn in the outdoors.
Learning will take the form of lectures, seminars, group discussions, student presentations, field courses, self-study, and work experience/practicum.
For the Postgraduate Certificate you will complete the following courses:
- Personal and Social Development and Outdoor Education (20 credits)
- Outdoor Environmental Education: Concept-based Practice (20 credits)
- Experiential Education (10 credits)
- Sources of Knowledge (10 credits)
For the Postgraduate Diploma, in addition to the above courses, you will complete:
- Ecology and Field Studies (20 credits)
- Interpreting the Landscape (20 credits)
- Social Theory and Outdoor Education (20 credits)
For the Masters, in addition to the above courses, you will complete:
- Dissertation (60 credits)
The Masters and Diploma programmes can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. The Certificate is by nature a part-time programme of study.
Professional Development Programme
For the Masters and Diploma, as part of your Professional Development Programme (PDP), you will complete several field courses, some of which are compulsory and others optional. Compulsory courses may include:
- Canoeing on the River Spey
- Cairngorm hill-walking
- Winter mountaineering
- West Coast sea kayaking
- a four-week professional placement/practicum
- a two-day specialist outdoor first aid course
- an 'Outdoor Education in Practice’ course
Optional courses may include rock-climbing, river kayaking, bushcraft, wilderness first aid. Additional costs are associated with the optional elements of the Professional Development Programme; please contact the Programme Director for more information on these.
Find out more about compulsory and optional courses
We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.
|MSc||Outdoor Education||15 Months||Full-time||Programme structure 2019/20|
|MSc||Outdoor Education||30 Months||Part-time||Programme structure 2019/20|
|PgCert (ICL)||Outdoor Education||Up to 2 Years||Part-time Intermittent Study||Programme structure 2019/20|
|PgDip||Outdoor Education||1 Year||Full-time||Programme structure 2019/20|
|PgDip||Outdoor Education||2 Years||Part-time||Programme structure 2019/20|
To facilitate and broaden direct experience of teaching outdoors, course members undertake a 4-week professional placement. The placement occurs at a stage in the programme when students are able to make a useful contribution to the agencies they choose to work with and are able to relate their experience to theoretical material covered in class. Placement agencies range from those focusing on environmental education, to inner city projects, special needs organisations, management training, outdoor education centres, and many more.
Our graduates have been employed throughout the world in all aspects of the sector, such as residential outdoor education centres, organisations working with marginalised young people, management development, wilderness expeditions, environmental education programmes, and school, college, and university outdoor education programmes.
While the programme does not offer a formal teaching qualification, recent graduates have been successful in gaining accreditation by the General Teaching Council of Scotland to teach Outdoor Education in schools. In addition, you will develop highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied in any field.
Completion of the MSc degree also enables you to continue onto advanced research and a possible academic career.
A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, as well as outdoor education experience.
We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.
Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:
English language requirements
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module and 6.5 in writing)
TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each section and 23 in writing)
PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections and 61 in writing)
CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module and 176 in writing)
Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
Degrees taught and assessed in English
We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:
We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.
If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*
(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 09/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
Find out more about our language requirements:
If you register to study on a part-time basis you will pay the academic tuition fees on a course-by-course basis, rather than paying for the entire programme at the outset. As fees change each year, the total cost will depend on the length of time you take to complete your programme. Part-time students are required to pay any additional fees associated with the Professional Development Programme in the year of study wherein the fees were incurred. (The Professional Development Programme is not part of the Postgraduate Certificate.)
|MSc||Outdoor Education||15 Months||Full-time||Tuition fees|
|MSc||Outdoor Education||30 Months||Part-time||Tuition fees|
|PgCert (ICL)||Outdoor Education||Up to 2 Years||Part-time Intermittent Study||Tuition fees|
|PgDip||Outdoor Education||1 Year||Full-time||Tuition fees|
|PgDip||Outdoor Education||2 Years||Part-time||Tuition fees|
UK government postgraduate loans
If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)
Other funding opportunities
Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:
- Moray House School of Education
- Old Moray House
- Holyrood Campus
- EH8 8AQ
Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
MSc Outdoor Education - 15 Months (Full-time)
MSc Outdoor Education - 30 Months (Part-time)
PgCert Outdoor Education (ICL) 1-2 Years (Part-time Intermittent Study)
PgDip Outdoor Education - 1 Year (Full-time)
PgDip Outdoor Education - 2 Years (Part-time)
|Programme start date||Application deadline|
|2 September 2019||23 August 2019|
We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.
- Moray House School of Education
- Old Moray House
- Holyrood Campus
- EH8 8AQ