BA (Hons) in Adventure Tourism Management


Program Description

What is special about this course?

Adventure tourism is the fastest-growing area of the tourism industry and has taken the adventure sector by storm in recent decades, bringing adventurous activity experiences into commercial tourism. New, fresh and continuously developing, our graduates have a fantastic opportunity to become a part of the story of shaping this dynamic sector.

The BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management focuses on tourism and business practices within the adventure sector, applied in the context of essential, practical, professional skills for leadership and safety. Customers expect great service and safe experience that will satisfy their dreams of adventure and adventure travel: you will learn the skills and knowledge to deliver and manage this, with a critical understanding of the ethical and professional values required.

You will cover outdoor skills practice, safety and leadership, tourism, research, business and entrepreneurship – 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 Education; Adventure Performance and Coaching; 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
  • 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 Tourism Management 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 are:

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

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Adventure markets: products and services
  • Adventure education journeys
  • Activity performance and skill acquisition
  • Preparing for work-based and placement learning
Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Understanding adventure
  • Contemporary issues in management
  • Event planning and organisation
  • Adventure operations and risk management
  • Adventure tourism guiding and interpretation

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Applied coaching and leadership
  • Work placement: team working and communication
  • Performance and analysis of specialist skills
  • Atmosphere, weather and climate
  • Outdoor learning and teaching practice
  • Retailing
  • Nature and learning
  • Contemporary marketing
  • Management accounting
  • Society history of the Highlands and Islands
  • Social history of the Highlands and Islands
Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Management of adventure tourism
  • Planning international expeditions
  • Research skills

Option modules may include:

  • Developing entrepreneurial effectiveness
  • Niche tourism
  • Climate change
  • International expedition leadership
  • Adventure therapy
  • Sustainable tourism and the environment
  • Work placement: industry-specific skills
Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Critical perspectives on adventure
  • Emergent tourism trends
  • Inclusive adventure
  • Perceptions of risk and decision-making

You will also choose one of the following double credit project or research-based modules:

  • Dissertation
  • Professional adventure project (major expedition venture or legacy project)
  • Research and plan a new business venture

What can I do on completion of my course?

With a degree in Adventure Tourism Management, 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 Tourism covers a wide range of career pathways and specialist fields, including:

  • Starting and building your own Adventure Tourism business
  • Guiding, coaching and instructing in adventurous activities
  • International expeditions
  • Working in events organisation
  • Leadership and Management roles in activity organisations
  • Tourism policy or risk management positions
  • Working in NGOs and NGBs, such as Sportscotland, Snowsport Scotland, Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Scottish Canoe Association
  • Countryside ranger and environmental interpretation

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:

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

Last updated Jul 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