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Professional Studies - Outdoor Education, Outdoor Learning, Adventure Education - MA/PGDip/PGCert

Course content

This Professional Studies (Outdoor Education/Outdoor Learning/Adventure Education) MA is the ideal course for ambitious professionals with a keen interest in developments within their field.

The project-based, work-centred course enables students to develop a critical appreciation of fundamental changes in their profession. All the while, students will work on acquiring the skills necessary to deal with the challenges these changes present. This responsive approach is grounded in the concept of action research, which encourages students to react to and explore issues as and when they emerge within their professional context. This flexible course is carefully structured, with three supervised projects based on a theme related to your field.

You’ll be supported throughout the course with project templates which clearly outline structure, content and the research process.

On this course, you’ll be assigned a project supervisor for each stage. Your supervisor will have expertise in the chosen area so that they can provide you with tailored guidance and support throughout. If necessary, a second supervisor will be introduced.

Students will also take part in research workshops in which they’ll explore particular research themes with other students. As a participant on this course, you’ll enjoy full access to a wide range of electronic resources, as well as additional tutorial support where necessary. It is anticipated that one of the course projects will lead to a joint publication between supervisor and student.


Each stage of the programme is delivered through a project.

1st Year - PG Cert - Conceptual & Theoretical Discourses
There is the opportunity to consider the debates that constitute the terms of reference for Outdoor Education or Outdoor Learning or Adventure Education within organisations. For example: debates relating to the range and scope of the outdoor industry or field; ideology and outdoor interventions; the changing approaches and influences in education outdoors; the application of theory to Outdoor Education or Outdoor Learning or Adventure Education processes. This is an individual tutorial based course, in person in Plymouth and/or via Skype, telephone or email, whatever suits you best.

2nd Year - PG Dip - Contemporary Contextual Issues
This section will look at the students professional practice and how the policy drivers and process impact the provision of Outdoor Education or Outdoor Learning. This will include exploring the development of policy networks, the role of stakeholders, evaluation of the policy process and concepts and constructions of professionalism.

3rd Year - MA Masters Project - Developmental Considerations
This is an opportunity for the student to engage in a research project about their professional practice in context, with a focus on developmental based project work. For example direct engagement in some aspect of the strategic planning process within the student’s professional area. This may concern multi-agency and partnership work and could focus on participants or staff, pedagogy, programme design and implementation of strategies and initiatives.

More Information

Assessment of each stage of the programme will be based on the grade awarded for the completed project, formative assessment will also be provided at two points during the year in order to provide students with an indication of their progress.

Visit the Professional Studies - Outdoor Education, Outdoor Learning, Adventure Education - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the Plymouth Marjon University (St Mark & St John) website for more details!




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