Sport & Health

Certificate of Higher Education (Outdoor Activity)

As society becomes more affluent and time becomes more available, more and more individuals will be taking to the outdoors to enjoy its many charms. Empowering everybody with the skills to experience the outdoors safely is the privilege of those employed in the many facets of the outdoor industry.

The Certificate of Higher Education (Outdoor Activity) provides a balance of vocational experience and academic study that equips students with a foundation of practical training as an outdoor instructor to enable them to undertake a career in the outdoor activity/adventure industry.

The timetable below has been carefully structured to provide all the face-to-face tutor-led delivery in Semester 1 with Semester 2 dedicated to work-based learning and distance learning. This affords students the flexibility to race or work with cycling teams during the competitive road, BMX and mountain bike season.

Information about each module can be viewed by clicking on the module title within the table below.


The following information provides the entry requirements for this particular course.

UCAS Tariff Points


GCE A Levels

48 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above

Irish Certificate

48 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x B3 or H3 higher

Scottish Highers

48 UCAS tariff points, to include 1 x B & 1 x C

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

PPP (48)

BTEC Level 3 Diploma


Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Writtle University College welcomes applicants studying Access to HE Diploma courses. For more information please contact Admissions.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

The decision between further study and work is always a complex and difficult one to make .

The Certificate of Higher Education (Outdoor Activity) is aimed at those who wish to keep their academic options alive whilst also maximising their chances of a career in the outdoor industry.

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding is approached through an emphasis on student-centred learning. Integration of theoretical and practical learning ensures the strong vocational focus as a priority in the provision. The following list shows the variety of learning and teaching methods experienced on this course.

  • Lectures
  • Practical laboratory sessions
  • Coaching sessions in the field
  • Case studies
  • Seminars
  • Coursework

This course contains a variety of assessment methods to ensure practical and academic competence. The following list shows the variety of assessment methods experienced on this course.

  • Practical portfolios
  • Mini-projects
  • Reflective logbooks
  • Presentations
  • Critiques of literature
  • Composition of coaching and training plans
  • Peer and tutor observations
  • Reports
  • Case studies
  • Examinations

Employment opportunities in this ever increasing industry would include direct seasonal employment with Essex Outdoors or any similar business spread throughout the country if the student was not local to Essex.

Students could top up their Cert HE by entering the second year of Sport Science with outdoor activity or Sport and Exercise Performance BSc and increase their opportunities to include such careers as:

  • Physical Education Teachers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Sports Lecturers
  • Coaches
  • Personal Trainers
  • or enter Post-graduate study

All students will be trained in the five core disciplines of sailing, archery, paddleboarding, paddlesports and climbing, with additional training on handling and leading groups .

The potential for more than one qualification will depend entirely upon the drive and determination of the student. All students will receive Essex Safeguarding Children’s Board and Special Educational Needs and Disability training.