Postgraduate study

Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgDip

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Full-time, Part-time

Accreditation

Funding opportunities

Placements/internships

The combination of academic courses and practical courses (especially residential ones) created plenty of opportunities to observe and reflect on different teaching practices. The courses were all very different, and I thoroughly enjoyed that diversity as I believed they helped me reflect and improve my own practice.

Charlotte Megret MSc Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education 2020
Charlotte Megret               MSc Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education 2020

Applications Open October 1, 2021

Due to high demand, we encourage you to apply as soon as applications open. We may put in place a managed process, which may include a waiting list if we reach maximum capacity.

Internationally-renowned

Unique in Europe, and one of only a few in the world, this internationally-respected MSc programme offers you the chance to develop a holistic approach to outdoor education with a specific emphasis on environmental and sustainability education.

This programme will prepare you for a career in which you will facilitate learning that focuses on themes of environmental, sustainability, and ecological education.

Exit routes

There are three possible exit levels:

  • Certificate (60 credits)
  • Diploma (120 credits)
  • Masters (180 credits)

The Certificate programme provides a broad theoretical coverage of the field of study.

The Diploma extends this with further academic study and a Professional Development Programme (involving field courses such as canoeing, introduction to group leadership and navigation techniques, and a teaching placement/practicum), which provides a broad base for a professional career in outdoor environmental and sustainability education.

The Masters extends this further still with a dissertation.

What will I learn?

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 consider a range of connected subject areas as well as the particular demands for teaching these in a variety of settings, from schools, residential centres, and ranger sites, to charitable/not-for-profit organisations.

You will develop your intellectual skills through critically assessing theoretical, professional, and academic issues while honing transferable skills such as environmental literacy and oral communication.

You will also expand your understanding and personal practice of educating outdoors through a range of professional development activities.

Courses take place at our Edinburgh campus and multiple bases in the Highlands of Scotland from where you will journey by boat or on foot to live and learn in the outdoors.

Accreditation

This programme benefits from affiliation with the University's Global Environment and Society Academy.

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:

  • Interpreting the Landscape
  • Outdoor Environmental Education: Concept-based Practice
  • Ecology and Field Studies

For the Postgraduate Diploma, in addition to the above courses, you will complete:

  • Education for Environmental Citizenship
  • Introduction to Learning for Sustainability
  • Experiential Education
  • Outdoor Environmental Education Praxis

For the Masters, in addition to the above courses, you will complete:

  • Dissertation or Applied Project

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. If you register to study on a 'part-time intermittent' basis (routes signified by 'ICL') you will pay the academic tuition fees on a course-by-course basis, rather than paying for the entire programme at the outset.

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:

  • Land-based competency
  • Canoeing
  • Four-week (20) professional placement
  • Two-day specialist outdoor first aid course
  • 'Outdoor Environmental Education in Practice' course

Optional courses may include summer hill-walking, winter hill-walking, rock-climbing, sea-kayaking, river kayaking, bushcraft/nature connection, 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. Students on the Postgraduate Certificate may also take some of the skills courses at additional cost.

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.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc15 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc30 MonthsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
PgDip (ICL)Up to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2021/22
PgCert (ICL)Up to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2021/22
PgDip1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
PgDip2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

To facilitate and broaden direct experience of teaching outdoors, course members undertake a 4-week (20 day) 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.

Graduates are employed worldwide in all aspects of the Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education sector, such as in residential outdoor education centres, wilderness expeditions, environmental education programmes, and school, college and university outdoor education programmes.

Examples of recent graduate roles include:

  • conservation work (public and charitable organisations, UK and international)
  • education/environmental policy development
  • environmental education programmes
  • management development
  • National Outdoor Leadership School
  • non-profit organisations (environmental and/or personal & social development focused)
  • organisations working with marginalised young people
  • Outward Bound
  • self-employed in guiding/interpretation/education
  • summer camp organisations
  • therapeutic work with young people and adults

Completion of the MSc degree will enable you to continue onto advanced research. You will also develop highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied in any field.

Courses take place at our Edinburgh campus and multiple bases in the Highlands of Scotland from where you will journey by boat or on foot to live and learn in the outdoors.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component and 6.5 in writing.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component and 23 in writing. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 169 in each component 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 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Part-time fees

If you register to study on a 'part-time intermittent' basis (routes signified by 'ICL') you will pay the academic tuition fees on a course-by-course basis, rather than paying for the entire programme at the outset.

All part-time students (30 month and ICL) are required to pay any additional fees associated with the Professional Development Programme in two payments:

  • Half in Year 1
  • Second half in Year 2 of your studies

The Professional Development Programme is not part of the Postgraduate Certificate.

Full-time students Professional Development Programme fees are included in their over all programme fee.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MSc15 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees
MSc30 MonthsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Up to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Up to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgDip1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
PgDip2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Moray House Country Scholarship

Moray House School of Education and Sport is pleased to offer five £10,000 scholarships to study a Master’s degree programme commencing in September 2022. These will be based on merit and available to applicants from the eligible countries.

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
  • your tuition fee 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 and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2022/23:

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 25 October 2021 15 December 2021
2 17 December 2021 24 February 2022
3 11 March 2022 10 May 2022
4 8 June 2022 20 July 2022

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ