Sport & Health

Foundation Degree (FdSc) Sport and Exercise Science (Outdoor Activity)

The Outdoor Education industry constantly seeks new, passionate and motivated individuals to lead, teach and empower less confident others with the skills to enjoy and play in the outdoor world.  The Sport and Exercise Science Outdoor Activity foundation degree provides much of the theoretical knowledge of sports science required for the broader needs of sport in general but also combines with outdoor specialists to provide professional and high quality training in five core skills (archery, paddleboarding, paddlesport, sailing and climbing) during the first year of the course before going on to focus in one or more specialised disciplines within the second year.

The motivated and successful student will be offered the chance for interview at
Essex Outdoors for paid seasonal placement and work experience that is tailored to their two years of study. Additionally we have teamed up with PGL Travel to offer our students a preferential placement interview for one of their national sites as a paid seasonal instructor! These fantastic opportunities will provide students with the chance to get paid industry experience whilst studying towards their qualification.

The Sport and Exercise Science with Outdoor Activity graduate will have gained the knowledge and experience for a career in the Outdoor Education industry but will also have the opportunity to further their academic vocation with the potential to top up to the BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Coaching) degree - taught here at Writtle University College - if they wished to pursue a sports science profession.


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


BTEC Level 3 Diploma


C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma

Pass 48

C & G Level 3 Diploma

Merit 48

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.

This course is aimed at the student who wishes to keep their academic options alive whilst also maximising their chances of a career in the outdoor industry .

Combining the fundamentals of a sports science degree with five of the core outdoor skills in year 1 and an in-depth specialism in year 2, this degree will equip the successful applicant with the opportunities of becoming an outdoor instructor but also providing the possibility of continuing their academic study to complete a full BSc (Hons) degree.

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.

  • Lectures
  • Practical laboratory sessions
  • Coaching sessions in the field
  • Case studies
  • Seminars
  • Coursework
  • Work-based learning

Assessment Methods

This course provides a mix of assessment methods including.

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

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. Additionally Writtle University College have teamed up with PGL Travel to offer our students a preferential placement interview for one of their national sites as a paid seasonal instructor! This fantastic opportunity will provide students with the chance to get paid industry experience whilst studying towards their qualification.

Students could top up their FdSc by entering the third year BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Coaching) 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 .

These basic skills will allow the student to choose a discipline in their second year to specialise in, gaining registered qualifications in that field. The potential for more than one qualification will depend entirely upon the drive and determination of the student as well as the time available within their second year of study. All students will receive Essex Safeguarding Children's Board and Special Educational Needs and Disability training.

No specialist equipment is needed as all requirements will be facilitated by Essex Outdoors during their training, although general sporting clothing is highly recommended for practical sessions .

There may well be an additional cost for a trip in year 2 (£200) although the exact details cannot be confirmed at present.