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Outdoor Adventure - Level 3 - Full-time (North Devon)

Level 3 Vocational
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Two years

Want a career in the great outdoors? Love life and adventure? Want to explore more of the wonderful outdoors? Up for an adventure? If you can answer yes to all of the above then this is the course for you; lots of practical to back up the theoretical aspects of living and working in the adventure industry.

An open mind, willingness to try anything and a sense of adventure are essential!


This study programme covers the theoretical and practical aspects of a wide range of land and water based outdoor adventurous activities. We aim to make the course as practical as possible and therefore being cold, wet and muddy comes with the territory - but that's all part of the adventure and challenge.

The course includes a wide range of outdoor adventurous activities including climbing, kayaking/canoeing, mountain biking, and navigation/orienteering amongst others.

Practical activities encompass - environmental knowledge and risk awareness, and making full use of our local, national and international rivers, crags and mountains.

Year 1 Units include:
- Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport
- The physiology of fitness
- Assessing risk in sport
- Outdoor and adventurous activities
- Principles and practices in outdoor adventure
- Skills for land-based outdoor and adventurous activities
- Skills for water-based outdoor and adventurous activities

Year 2 Units include:
- Fitness training and programming
- Leadership in sport
- Equipment and facilities
- Leading land based
- Leading water based
- Outdoor and adventurous expeditions
Units are assessed via assignments and projects that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands.

Assignments are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction, and from these, an overall grade for the qualification is awarded. All the additional courses are assessed via specific NGB standards.
To be accepted onto a two-year Level 3 programme, all entrants must hold at least a grade 4 in GCSE Maths and a grade 4 in GCSE English, as well as at least three other GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Certain subjects require a minimum of GCSE grade 6.

You can apply with a Merit in a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in a related subject. Suitability will be discussed during the interview process.
Practical experience in at least one relevant outdoor activity and genuine commitment to outdoor adventure is also important.
Entry requirements for mature learners will be discussed on an individual basis.
Most students go onto gain employment in either the outdoor activity industry or with the public services. There are many apprenticeships and jobs available throughout the UK and each year some students go on to work abroad.

Some second year students go on to university to study a variety of subjects, including outdoor education teaching, geography, psychology, environmental studies, public services, sports science and many more.
A variety of specialist equipment is available for student use including harnesses, ropes, helmets, kayaks, canoes, mountain bikes, surf boards and expedition equipment such as tents and stoves.

The college climbing wall is excellent with over 30 graded routes up to 8m high. We also have onsite teambuilding resources that will be used however, as much time as possible will be spent outside using local crags, moors, estuaries, rivers and lakes.

We are in a great location and often can be found:
- Climbing on Baggy Point, Valley of the Rocks and the tors of Dartmoor
- Kayaking/canoeing on the rivers Taw, Torridge, Exe and Barle
- Navigating on Exmoor and Dartmoor
- Mountain biking at Haldon and Cardingham
The course fee is approximately £550 and this covers a residential (including food, board, travel, activities), course fleece, use of college equipment, and travel to practical sessions each week.
You have to pay for any activity certificates you pass during the course and registration with NGB's.
Entry to climbing walls.
Travel/board to work experience.
Please contact the Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422 for more information.
Q: What type of assignments are there?
A: The assignments are all based on realistic, practical outdoor scenarios and include practical assessments, songs and poems, essays, reports, presentations, interviews, videos, sketches, displays and posters.

Q: Do I need to have all my own kit?
A: No. All specialist kit is provided for you; you're not expected to purchase this. All you need to provide is your personal kit for the practical days - warm clothes, waterproofs, walking boots and the all important food and drink!

Q: How much theory is there?
A: The course is designed to be as practical as possible and therefore a lot of the theoretical aspects of the course are covered during activities. The essential theory, such as health and safety in the outdoors and the principles of outdoor activities, is covered through short lectures and seminars.

Q: What happens if the weather is too bad for a practical session to take place?
A: This never happens! No practical has ever been cancelled in over 10 years. Plans/venues can and do regularly change but that's what life is like when working in the outdoors - it part of the fun and the challenge.

Q: How safe is it?
A: We have an excellent safety record but we are doing 'REAL' activities in 'REAL' environments so you can expect to get cold, wet and muddy; cuts and bruises are regular experiences.