PgDip Outdoor Environmental Education
Why choose Herts?
- Excellent reputation: Ranked 1st as best university provider for Teacher Training in the UK (NSS).
- Employment prospects: There is a significant call from the government, national charities, conservation trusts and schools for outdoor environmental education. It is a growing sector in high demand. We offer opportunities to gain governing body and nationally recognised qualifications in addition to your postgraduate degree, making you highly employable.
- Industry connections: Our course places a strong emphasis on networking with experts and professionals in the sector. From our seminar series to real-world briefs, you’ll benefit from expert feedback and experience throughout your studies.
Entry requirements and key information
- 2:2 (or equivalent) classification in any undergraduate degree or international equivalent qualification.
- GCSE or equivalent English Grade 4/Grade C and above
- Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide evidence of English language proficiency equivalent to overall IELTS Academic score 7.0 with 6.5 minimum in each band OR Credits achieved through other education or allied programmes of study
School of study
School of Social Science, Humanities and Education
- Full Time, 1 Years
- Part Time, 2 Years
- University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
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There is a rising demand for outdoor environmental education provision, from early years to life-long learning. Education policies around the globe are highlighting the need to engage with nature and mitigate the future climate crisis. This rewarding sector covers every aspect of life. From sport and leisure, hospitality and tourism to conservation, local government, education, healthcare and wellbeing.
The practical fieldwork experience you’ll gain in farmland, peri-urban, waterscapes and cities will stand you in good stead for careers in an abundance of sectors. In the field of education, you could work in mainstream and special education, alternative provision, higher education, adult learning centres, home-schooling networks and organised youth activities. In leisure, you could work for an adventure education provider. While in the environment sector, you could work for a wildlife trust as an education officer. You could begin to lay the groundwork as an entrepreneur and develop plans to start your own environmental education business or charity. Wherever you imagine yourself working, whoever you imagine helping, the outdoor sector holds a plethora of opportunities for making a positive contribution in society and in nature.
This is a developmental course, which incorporates and builds on the PgCert award. In two semesters, full time (four semesters part-time), you’ll build a strong foundation in outdoor environmental education theory and practice. You’ll be able to see the results of your work in a short space of time. Best of all, you’ll have the opportunity to continue your studies onto the mastery course, the MSc, if you want. This developmental course will give you knowledge and inspiration to re-energise your current role while providing the foundation for further study. So whether you’re a teaching assistant looking for news ideas to engage the students you work with, or a coach, outdoor leader or teacher looking for development opportunities, this course is for you.
What job can I get?
This course gives you the flexibility to apply your passion for the great outdoors to any role. Whether you want to be a forest school leader or lead guided walks for the over 50’s, the possibilities are endless. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of being a park ranger, a farm educator or running an educational programme for visitors at a nature reserve? Maybe you imagine working with nature to improve mental health. If so, you could work as a lifestyle coach, an outdoor counsellor or a community activator. Perhaps you have an idea for a programme, an activity or an event? Whatever your goal, together we’ll create the right environment for you to thrive. Wherever your dream is to work, we’ll give you the skills to get there.
You may want to apply the knowledge you gain from this course into your current job. For example, if you’re an early childhood practitioner, primary, secondary or specialist teacher, every subject you teach can benefit from using the natural world to inspire. Incorporating outdoor activities in the curriculum, whether it be through the Duke of Edinburgh award, a citizen science programme or the first 10 minutes of a lesson, can help focus, stimulate and encourage new ways of thinking and learning. You’ll help your learners gain a meaningful connection with their mind, nature and physical activity so they can reach their full potential. Whatever you chose to do, we’ll set you on a path to discover a new world of possibility.
About the course
The climate emergency and global pandemic have highlighted the importance of spending time in natural environments. Our intrinsic link to the world around us is unbreakable. It demands care, respect and creative solutions. To keep ourselves safe, we have seen all aspects of life, from social, recreation, education, transportation and even employment, benefit from taking a nature-centred approach. Educators have moved away from stationary classrooms and utilised outdoor education more and more. There is a growing need to learn in and from our local environment. There is an urgent need to care for it. The environmental education sector is flourishing.
This course will help you gain a solid foundation to nurture change in educational practices in a multitude of sectors. We’ll teach you underlying theories and how to apply them to practice. We’ll analyse sustainable development issues, biodiversity loss and the climate emergency. Together, we’ll examine equality of access to environmental education. You’ll develop a critical awareness of the impact of race, gender, disability, economics and government policy on the lives of learners, educators and organisations. Every step of the way, we’ll guide you to become a reflexive and inclusive educator. To foster environments and activities where everyone can join in. To learn, you must experience. To teach, you must first inspire. What greater inspiration is there than the natural world?
Why choose this course?
- You understand nature is a powerful educator and are excited to work with and for the environment
- You want to actively engage with environmental challenges and find creative solutions
- You want to improve mental and physical wellbeing by improving the human-nature connection
- You’re looking for course content, which is memorable, meaningful and impactful – similarly that is exactly the type of educator you aspire to be
- You want the opportunity to gain nationally recognised awards in outdoor education to increase your employability
- You want to see quick results by studying full-time across two semesters (or 4 semesters part-time)
- You want the possibility of topping up your diploma to a full MSc in one additional semester (full time)
- You want to engage with practical fieldwork in every module
- You want to feel empowered by a range of innovative assessment opportunities
- You share our passion to provide environmental education which doesn’t cost the earth.
What will I study?
In this developmental course, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the multi-disciplinary field of outdoor environmental education through scenario-based learning. You’ll be encouraged to make meaningful connections between theory and experiential activities. For example, you could be asked to deliver a project through the lens of an educator, policy writer, government official or stakeholder. This will give you a valuable insight into the complexity of situations and how to deliver measurable outcomes. Our course is designed with memorable and rich learning experiences at its heart. For example, you’ll design and manage learning activities as part of a ‘pop up’ outdoor environmental education centre at the University. Our unique curriculum offers transformative experiences for you to draw upon both as a learner and an educator.
You’ll immerse yourself in self-managed projects. Even while learning, we’ll be expecting you to make a social contribution. Each assignment is audience led, focussing on the requirements of an employer or public stakeholder. You’ll be encouraged to collect evidence and demonstrate your knowledge in a variety of ways. For example, you may choose the written word to demonstrate your understanding, or perhaps a podcast, video or photo essay is more your style? We encourage a creative approach to assignments, giving you the platform to make a social contribution in a powerful way.
We adopt a partnership approach to teaching and learning, which spans online, face-to-face and fieldwork activities. Our enriching environment inspires personal and professional growth through co-production. We’ll help you identify your passion, your core values and your voice within the sector. Throughout your journey, you’ll be encouraged to work with organisations and employers to gain industry knowledge, expert feedback, real-life experience and contacts. We really do believe that employer and sector collaboration is fundamental to our programme. In fact, our course has been influenced by the work of national organisations, like RSPB and YHA and we hope you’ll gain knowledge and experience of their work. We’ll invite you to attend a seminar series delivered by experts and practitioners in the field. This will increase your understanding of research, policy and practice. Together we’ll tackle complex and diverse topics. When you graduate, you’ll feel ready to become nature’s ally and step confidentially into the world of environmental education. Whichever sector you chose to continue your path, we’ll put you on the right footing to make a positive contribution. We will support you to plan your professional journey.
|Skills for Outdoor Environmental Education||0 Credits||Compulsory|
|Introduction to Outdoor Environmental Education: Theories in Practice||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Connecting to Nature and Place through Outdoor Learning||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Pathways to Inquiry||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Climate Catastrophe and Educational Environments||30 Credits||Compulsory|
Dr Barry Costas
Find out more about Dr Barry Costas
Dr Frances Harris
Find out more about Dr Frances Harris
Mr Lewis Stockwell
Programme Leader and Admissions Tutor
Find out more about Mr Lewis Stockwell
Further course information
|Course fact sheets|
|MSc Outdoor Environmental Education||Download|
|MSc Outdoor Environmental Education||Download|
Sandwich placement or study abroad year
Applications open to international and EU students
At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.
In the School of Education, you’ll benefit from a dedicated personal tutor, access to practical workshops and small group supervision. Our programme team offer regular drop-in hours, both face to face and online. Plus there’s an outdoor education reading group which you’re encouraged to join. You’ll be able to graduate from this course and the end of two semesters (full-time or 4 semester part-time), which means you’ll be able to make a positive difference in your chosen area incredibly quickly. We are sure that you’ll enjoy learning with us, so we have designed this course with progression in mind – as long as you successfully complete the PgDip, you can carry on to complete the MSc Outdoor Environmental Education.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to develop life-long professional relationships and friendship through significant fieldwork experiences. We make use of the latest curriculum design and planning methods to make sure you have the best experience we can provide for you. For instance, no module is planned or taught in isolation, which means that all of your tutors are fully aware of what you have been learning prior to your sessions with them and where you’ll head next. We’ll teach ‘on the go’ and ‘around the place’ to model excellent outdoor learning and teaching, so that you can use similar strategies in your future work. We’ll explain how we came to make our decisions for activities and talk you through how we might vary the curriculum in different settings, scenarios, age groups and abilities. We know that the course will be exciting, challenging, rewarding and ultimately life-enhancing. These ideas are at the centre of your student experience.
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Funding and fees
Other financial support
Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students
- £9000 for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £750 per 15 credits for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £15450 for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £1290 per 15 credits for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £15450 for the 2023/2024 academic year
- £1290 per 15 credits for the 2023/2024 academic year
Students may only be eligible for a UK student finance loan by continuing onto the MSc Outdoor Environmental Education (as per current UK guidelines). Students who only wish to undertake this course and not progress onto the MSc will be ineligible for a UK student finance loan.
* Find out about our Herts graduate/alumni 20% discount on tuition fees
Read about funding opportunities on the AgriFood Charities Partnership website
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University's Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed "When tuition fees change"), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
View detailed information about tuition fees
Living costs / accommodation
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
View detailed information about our accommodation
How to apply
International/EU applicants without pre-settled status in the UK
Apply through our international/EU application portal
Home and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK
Start Date End Date Link 13/09/2023 31/05/2024 Apply online (Full Time) 13/09/2023 31/05/2024 Apply online (Part Time)
Start Date End Date Link 13/09/2024 31/05/2025 Apply online (Full Time) 13/09/2024 31/05/2025 Apply online (Part Time)