Level 3

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These include positions in outdoor centres as activity instructors, expedition leaders/support staff, teaching roles and specialist adventure sport coaches.

Located in the centre of a National Park and making full use of the extensive College estate, the South Downs, the College Water Sports Academy and College outdoor centre in Snowdonia, this comprehensive one year course covers a wide range of specialist subject areas, leading to the development of organisational and leadership skills alongside practical skills in a range of land and water based activities.

This makes the course ideally suited to individuals who have an interest or aptitude for adventure sport. Jobs in the outdoor sector require the ability to work with, and relate to, a diverse range of people in a variety of formal and informal situations. A high level of self-motivation linked to sound organisational skills is essential to developing a successful career. Students will need to demonstrate a keen interest in developing both their own technical skills and those of others.

Although it is not necessary to have a high level of fitness, students will be required to undertake a range of physical activity in order to meet the course requirements.

Work Experience

Study programmes include a minimum of compulsory work experience hours achieved through one day a week or block placements. The amount of hours required is dependent on the study programme. 

Industry Work Placement

All students aged 16-18 on our Level 2 & Level 3 programmes will now have to take part in an exciting and compulsory 50-day industry placement programme alongside completion of their vocational course. The programme will give you the chance to gain valuable skills in a real working environment whilst being paired with your ideal employer.

Our mission is to pair students with their ideal employer and to support them continuously during the placement.

There is flexibility on how students complete the placement; it can be during non-college weekdays, weekends, in blocks or over the holiday period. You will receive all of the necessary information during your interview, and if you have any queries in the meantime please contact workexperience@plumpton.ac.uk

Additional Qualifications

There will be opportunities throughout the year to study additional qualifications that relate to the Outdoor Education Sector. These may include:

  • NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme)
  • BMC (British Mountaineering Council)NICAS (National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme)
  • RYA (Royal Yachting Association)
  • BCU (British Canoe Union)
  • Appropriate first aid qualifications
  • College award, functional skills or GCSEs in English and Maths
Student putting up a tent, threading poll through the canvasStudent servicing a mountain bikeStudent receiving a briefingStudent kayaking on a lakeStudent climbingGroup of students and a tutor with a mountain bike
Entry Requirements:

You must have either:

  • 4 GCSE passes, including English and Mathematics at grade C or above,
  • An Intermediate GNVQ in a related subject plus 2 GCSEs including English & Maths
  • A Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in a related subject at Merit level or above plus 2 GCSEs including English & Maths at C or above
  • To progress from Subsidiary Diploma to Diploma or Extended Diploma, students must achieve a merit grade at Subsidiary Diploma and be recommended by their tutor for progression.

Mature students who do not possess any of the above qualifications will be considered individually.

Dates & Location:

September 2019

  • Subsidiary Diploma - One year full time - 3 days per week
  • Diploma - Two years full time - 3 days per week
  • Extended Diploma - Two years
  • Full time - 3 to 4 days per week

Katy Wilfort

Student, Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Outdoor Adventure)

My Favourite part of the course was all the watersports that I got to enjoy. Having the chance to try different activities led to my passion for sailing and enabled me to complete my Dinghy Instructor qualification, and a great job at the end of my course.

Future Opportunities

Following successful completion of the Subsidiary Diploma, students may progress onto the Extended Diploma or pursue a career in the Outdoor/Adventure Education industry.

Those students who wish to further pursue their National Governing Body awards with Plumpton College can progress directly on the Instructor Training Course (details on application).

Following completion of the Diplomas, students may progress onto Higher Education courses or pursue a career in the Outdoor/Adventure Education industry.


Indicative Programme Content

The programme is made up of 7 units – 1 core unit and 6 specialist units. All students must complete the 7 units to complete the course.

Core Units

  • Fitness testing and training

Specialist Units

  • Principles & Practices in Outdoor Adventure
  • The Physiology of Fitness
  • Outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Assessing Risk in Sport
  • Principles of Anatomy and Physiology in Sport
  • Sports Coaching
  • English & maths
  • Skills for land & Water based Outdoor Adventurous Activities

Indicative Programme Content - Diploma (two years)

The course is made up of 13 units. These units are based on a modular system allowing for flexibility of Work Experience opportunities. Over two years students will study the following units:

Core Units

  • Principles of anatomy and physiology in sport
  • The physiology of fitness
  • Assessing risk in sport
  • Fitness training and programming
  • Leadership in sport
  • Principles and practices in outdoor adventure
  • Equipment and facilities for outdoor and adventurous activities

Specialist Units (two years)

  • Sports coaching
  • Organising Sports Events
  • Physical education and the care of children and young people
  • Fitness Training & Programming
  • Leadership in Sport
  • Equipment & Facilities for Outdoor Adventurous Activities
  • Outdoor Adventurous Expeditions
  • Organising Sports Events
  • Work Experience in Sport
  • English & maths

In addition to the units above additional units also include:

  • Leading land and Water based Outdoor Adventurous Activities
  • Sport as a business
  • Physical Education and care of Children and Young people
  • Environmental Education for Outdoor Adventure
  • Alternative pursuits for Outdoor Adventure

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