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Outdoor Adventure Education

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

a man sailing in the sea

Availability & Details

Outdoor Adventure - BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma SF-ODAD3E-D(0000)000

South Downs Campus

Type of study
Full Time, Vocational

Academic Year 2023-24 (2 years)

Examination board

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How to apply

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This newly updated specification is written by outdoor industry experts and will provide you with the most current skills, techniques and knowledge to support your progression within the outdoor industry.

You will normally complete the course and can go straight into employment either within the UK or abroad or on to Higher Education (university).

You will have opportunities to take part in various activities like climbing, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, mountaineering, and more. There will also be the chance to participate in residential trips within the UK and Europe. The College has extensive facilities, which include a purpose-built climbing wall, a fleet of kayaks and canoes, surfboards, an outdoor store and more, to help learning with the adventurous activities.

There will be a focus on you gaining real-life experience by undertaking work placements to understand the demands of working within this sector. A large part of this course focuses on skill progression within a range of activities but will also require a level of commitment from you to advance your own development outside of the normal college time, to make you more employable.  

Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including English Language, Science and preferably Mathematics.

On this two-year course at HSDC South Downs, you will study the following units:

  • Careers in the Sport and Active Leisure Industry
  • Health, Wellbeing and Sport
  • Personal Skills Development in Outdoor Activities
  • Applied Leadership and Instructing in Outdoor Activity
  • Research Project in Sport
  • Health and Safety Factors in Outdoor Learning
  • Outdoor Activity Provision
  • Impacts and Sustainability of Outdoor Activities
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Fitness Training
  • Organising Events in Sport and Physical Activities
  • Expedition Experience

There will be a mix of both theory and practical work. This will take place on-campus and at various locations in the local area. There will also be several day trips to facilities further afield when required.

The course is 100% coursework but some additional qualifications may require theory tests and practical assessments.

In 2019, 80% of students progressed into outdoor industry-related work or Higher Education including, PGL, Foxlease Activity Centre, Manor Adventure Centre, Marwell Activity Centre, Red/White Spider Climbing, Plymouth University and Chichester University. 20% of students are continuing the journey in Further Education.

In 2018, 60% of students progressed into outdoor industry-related work or Higher Education including, Camp America, Peter Ashley Activity Centre, Marine Superstore and Red/White Spider Climbing. 40% of students progressed into other industry areas like teaching and the Armed Forces.

With have links with organisations such as PGL, Andrew Simpson Water Sports, Neilson, Interski, Peter Ashley Activity Centre, The Adventure Brand, Marwell Activity Centre, Cobnor Activity Centre, RNLI and Fairthorne Manor.

I studied Outdoor Adventure at HSDC and I am now going to work in the industry as an activity instructor at Foxlease Activity Centre in the New Forest. Studying on the course has really helped me improve my confidence and take part in lots of amazing opportunities that I wouldn't have otherwise done. You gain loads of transferable skills that will help you in the future, the lecturers are really supportive and give you loads of great advice you can use in your coursework and in practical areas as well. The past two years have been awesome and I look forward to my adventure continuing.

Hannah Burns, Extended Diploma in Outdoor Adventure 2017-2019

I studied Outdoor Adventure at HSDC. I am now going on to work as a seasonal instructor at Marwell Activity Centre. The course has helped me greatly in being able to get this job. It is an outstanding course which helps you develop your confidence, social skills, gain experience and have lots of fun. The teachers are very supportive and genuinely want the best for their students and aren't just there for the money. Thank You to Ellis, Paul, Neil and Lucy for an unbelievable adventure.

Owen Sadler, Extended Diploma in Outdoor Adventure 2017-2019