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7EDU2025Connecting to Nature and Place through Outdoor Learning

About the course

There is a strong government and public focus on how outdoor environmental education can enrich and radically transform educational practices. This course is a chance to try something different, to expand your toolset and see where it takes you. When you complete this course, you’ll have the skills to plan, identify and apply key theoretical concepts to your educational practice. Plus, if you’d like to continue your studies, you can use the credits from this module towards a PgCert Outdoor Environmental Education the following academic year.

Have you ever wondered how natural settings can foster learning and personal growth? This module will invite you to join critical discussions about the environment, ecology and social justice. We’ll examine how a connection to place can help develop a sense of identity. How it can help learners to overcome fears and limiting beliefs. How all types of education are ultimately enhanced by tactile and place-based learning.

This short course is for everyone who is interested in working with nature to empower potential. If you’re thinking of turning your passion into something more, this course will give you a valuable taster experience. You could be a teacher, a learning support assistant or a coach. Perhaps you work in human resource management and want to enrich training opportunities for staff? Or maybe you want to do something completely different with your life and are looking for the opportunity to test out a new career?

Whatever your background, whatever your goal, we’ll take you on a journey to discover how the environment can positively influence our lives and life itself. How parks, agriculture land and a local coastline can have a huge impact on mental health. A connection to our environment can form a powerful bond that inspires us all to protect it. By working with the environment, we ultimately work for it and reach our own potential along the way.

Teaching methods

This short course is led by Frances Harris who is an international leader in nature connection education. You’ll benefit from her research in environmental education and natural resource management, developing new ways of thinking to enhance your practice. We’ll challenge you to think about your own connection to the environment. You’ll learn how to model contemporary and established theory. To empower your learners to cultivate meaningful connections to nature. Place based education has the power to foster positive attitudes towards the environment, the self and others. When we feel positive, we learn better. The quality of thinking is improved and with it the actions we take.

We’ll teach you through a range of workshops, practical fieldwork and online learning activities. You’ll experience a range of non-traditional outdoor learning spaces so you can critically evaluate these settings alongside educational practices and theory. You’ll learn about the socio-ecological justice issues faced by learners in current outdoor environmental education. These may span issues of race, gender, disability, economic and material resources, legality and policy. Will you help to break down barriers? We’ll encourage you to generate ideas to engage disadvantaged groups and hard to reach communities. To ensure that all communities can feel a sense of belonging to natural places.

Course experts

Dr Frances Harris
Course Leader
Find out more about Dr Frances Harris

Mr Lewis Stockwell
Programme Leader
Find out more about Mr Lewis Stockwell



Start DateEnd DateYearLocationLink
13/09/202431/01/20251UH Hatfield CampusApply online (Part Time)


Start DateEnd DateYearLocationLink
13/09/202531/01/20261UH Hatfield CampusApply online (Part Time)

Course fees

The fee for this short course is £1580