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BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure)

Learn practical outdoor adventure skills and coaching with superb professional instructors
Course description: 

This is a practical course based at Eaton Vale,  ideal for those wishing to pursue a career in the outdoor industry such as coaching, leadership, instructors as well as many other professions.

Outdoor adventure is the fastest growing industry in sport and now features in every school curriculum. The course will provide you with hands on experience of coaching school groups and operating an outdoor adventure centre as well as the technical skills in canoeing, kayaking, hill walking, mountain biking, bushcraft and rock climbing. In the past year we have had 100% of students complete the course.

In year 1 you will complete the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sports (Outdoor Adventure), progressing onto the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure) in year 2.

You will gain practical qualifications alongside course units which may include

• BCU UKCC Level 1 in Paddlesport
• Sports Leader BEAL Award in Basic Expedition Leadership
• Optional Mountain Bike and Mechanics Award
• Principles of anatomy and physiology
• The physiology of fitness
• Assessing risk in sport
• Principles and practices in outdoor adventure
• Skills for land and water based outdoor and adventurous activities
• Environmental education
• Outdoor and adventurous expeditions
• Alternative pursuits for outdoor adventure

For further information on the activities you could get up to on the course check the CCN Adventure channel. For example how to boil water in a paper bag, one match fire and how to fit a harness.

In past years 100% of students have progressed onto jobs or higher education in the outdoor adventure industry. Jobs include PGL coaches, instructors, outward bound leaders in the UK and abroad, around one third of students progress onto university based courses.

Where possible the course includes regular trips, visits and expeditions. These include white water rafting in Lee Valley White Water Centre and the National Watersports Centre in Nottingham; mountain biking in Thetford and Wales and a final expedition in year 2. In 2015 the students completed the amazing Summit to Sea challenge of climbing 3,300ft to the summit of Mount Snowden before cycling 347 miles to Lowestoft.

In addition to your main programme, you will study English and Maths. Depending on your grades on entry, you will study either Functional Skills or GCSEs English and Maths. Please check our English and Maths page for further information

Entry requirements: 

You will need either

  • A minimum of 4 GCSE's at C grade and/or grade 4-9, or
  • A First Diploma in a related subject at Merit level, or
  • Equivalent qualification at the appropriate level

All students will be interviewed by the Course Leader where you will be able to demonstrate a commitment to the course and show some understanding of the industry.

Due to the nature of the course, all applicants must be prepared to participate in outdoor, adventurous activities in all weathers.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods including some externally assessed core units and internally assessed mandatory and optional units. Assessment methods could include assignments, research projects and presentations.

Academic progression: 

Following the successful completion of the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sports (Outdoor Adventure), you can progress onto the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure) in year 2. Alternative level 3 courses are available at the College.

Following the completion of the second year, students will be able to progress on degree level courses. At City College Norwich we offer a Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Sport, Health and Exercise.

Career progression: 

The outdoor industries sector is due to increasing interest in outdoor sports, activity holidays and experiences. In addition to this from 2014 outdoor adventure features on the school curriculum as part of PE at Key Stages 2, 3, and 4. This means that there are more jobs for outdoor experts who are able to teach others. Your chances of finding work are better if you have skills and qualifications in more than one activity.

For further information check


As this is outdoor adventure course you will be expected to have your own equipment and kit. This can be purchased via the College at discounted prices and will cost in the region of £270 plus £80 for uniform.

If you already have some of your own kit, and as long as the course leader is happy with its suitability, you will be able to use your own.

In addition there may be other costs for some qualifications and trips. If you are over 19 years additional costs will also apply.

This is a Level 3 course:
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Course: Sports and Public Services
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One year
Outdoor Adventure at City College Norwich. Video made by a Level 3 Media student