BA (Hons) in Adventure Performance and Coaching


Program Description

What is special about this course?

BA (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching brings a unique focus on sports science to the domain of adventure coaching. You will combine the skills and knowledge of the applied sports scientist with those of a modern adventure professional in ever-changing outdoor environments, preparing you to coach and guide the next generation of adventure athletes and participants.

Be part of a rapidly evolving sector, where the demand for healthy active lifestyles has brought about a drive for greater achievements in adventure sports and for the life-enhancing benefits of participation. With over 21 Olympic adventure sports disciplines, adventure sports performance and competition is a global phenomenon, and participants are demanding higher outcomes in their chosen areas, informed by expert coaches and leaders.

This programme will provide you with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the key elements of sports science while teaching you to apply them to the outdoor and adventure environment – all underpinned by a growing and deepening understanding of the meaning of ‘adventure’.

Special features

  • Access to outstanding adventure facilities set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK
  • Receive tailored outdoor-activity skill development and professional NGB training and assessment with the School of Adventure Studies' 'practical credits system': continuous professional skills development throughout your degree and beyond
  • Be part of a vibrant and active student community of outdoor enthusiasts based in Fort William – within the Outdoor Capital of the UK
  • Easy transfer options available between adventure programmes within the School of Adventure Studies: Adventure Tourism Management; Adventure Education; and Marine and Coastal Tourism
  • Excellent links and work-placement opportunities with many adventure-based businesses and institutions in Scotland, the UK and internationally
  • Residential field trips, clubs, international expeditions and many other opportunities to enhance your skills and experience in adventure activities


We offer modern student accommodation in Fort William ideally suited to students on this course.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • You will also be expected to be able to demonstrate an interest in, and a commitment to, practical outdoor activities, and preferably have an interest in a professional career in the outdoor sector
  • The personal practical outdoor experience is advantageous but not essential
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • Successful applicants will be required to complete a PVG Disclosure Check and become PVG Scheme Members in order to undertake this course

Advanced entry to year two or three:

  • Direct entry to year two or three may be possible with a relevant HNC/D, foundation degree etc. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis

Access routes

Students eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP) will be able to apply for entry to BA (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching with a grade profile of CCC in one of the below courses:

  • Access to: Arts and Humanities (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Teaching (North East Scotland College)
  • Access to: Celtic Studies incorporating Primary Education with Gaelic (Newbattle Abbey College)
  • Access to: Community, Education and Humanities (Dundee & Angus College)
  • Access to: Degree Studies (Forth Valley College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Arts, Social Sciences and Primary Education) (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Fife College)
  • Access to: Humanities (Perth College UHI)
  • Access to: Languages with Business (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: Languages, Arts and Social Sciences (Edinburgh College)
  • Access to: University Study (Dundee & Angus College)
  • NQ Access to: Social Sciences (West Lothian College)
  • NQ Access to: Teaching (West Lothian College)


Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules may include:

  • Introduction to professional adventure practice
  • Adventure geography: the Scottish perspective
  • Introduction to sports coaching and leadership

You will also choose three option modules which may include:

  • Human structure and function
  • Activity performance and skill acquisition
  • Foundations of outdoor learning
  • Adventure education journeys
  • Introduction to adventure tourism
  • Marine and coastal tourism in the UK
  • Preparing for work-based and placement learning
  • Adventure markets: products and services
Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules include:

  • Sport and exercise physiology
  • Performance and analysis of specialist skills
  • Understanding adventure
  • Adventure operations and risk management
  • Principles of sport and exercise psychology

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Applied coaching and leadership
  • Work placement: team working and communication
  • Team working and communication
  • Outdoor learning, teaching and practice
  • Contemporary issues in management
Year 3 - BA

Core modules include:

  • Design, manage and evaluate human fitness and physical performance
  • Applied sport and exercise psychology
  • Planning international expeditions
  • Research methods (sport)

You will also choose three option modules which may include:

  • Sports nutrition and dietary considerations
  • Strength and conditioning
  • International expedition leadership
  • Work placement: industry-specific skills
Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules include:

  • Adventure psychology: skills and behaviours
  • Advanced applications of coaching and instruction
  • Inclusive adventure
  • Perceptions of risk and decision-making

You will also choose a double credit project or research-based module, either:

  • Dissertation (sport)
  • Adventure pathways professional project (major expedition venture or legacy project)

What can I do on completion of my course?

With a degree in Adventure Performance and Coaching, you will hold a valuable array of knowledge and skills that are transferable to any of the various aspects of the UK or international adventure sector. The specific pathway you take will be vital in helping you shape your own chosen career. Adventure coaching covers a wide range of career pathways and specialist fields, including:

  • Adventure sport coach
  • Guiding and instructing in adventurous activities
  • Applied sports scientist or performance analyst
  • Strength and conditioning coach
  • Sports development officer and talent identification
  • Leadership and management roles in activity organisations

Your career will grow and change as the years go on, and your degree will prepare you for other related areas and possible future growth, so you may also find yourself involved in:

  • International expeditions
  • Adventure tourism
  • Adventure education
  • Marine wildlife tourism
  • Adventure therapy
  • Military or emergency services
  • Higher-level adventure sector leadership - shaping future policy and practice

Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

The University of the Highlands and Islands is an integrated university encompassing both further and higher education.

The University of the Highlands and Islands is an integrated university encompassing both further and higher education. Read less
Perth , Shetland , Scalloway , Kirkwall , Thurso , Stornoway , Dingwall , Inverness , Elgin , Kilbeg , Fort William , Oban , Dungooley + 12 More Less