Adventure Education

NCFE Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity (Sport & Outdoor Activities)

Apply for 2024

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, local inland and coastal waters, College outdoor centre in Snowdonia, this comprehensive two 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. 

Careers Hub

We offer impartial careers guidance to all of our students, email to explore your next step or to book an appointment – we’re here to help.

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

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

Course details

Dates & Location

September 2024

  • NCFE Diploma Sport & Physical Activities (Outdoor) 
    • Year one- full time - 3 days per week

If you will be over 19 on the start date of your course you maybe required to pay tuition fees. Please contact to confirm.

Entry Requirements

You must have either:

  • 5 GCSEs, including English, mathematics and science at a grade 4 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.

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

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.


Our extensive Plumpton estate is the ideal place for you to experience all of our sport and outdoor activities, all with the beautiful backdrop of the South Downs.

  • Take to the water with our excellent choice of watersports including kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding

Whether you play on land or in the water, we’ve got excellent facilities at Plumpton, including our large sports field, multi-use sportshall with its own climbing wall and a brand new fully equipped gym.

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.

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


Programme Units Year 1
  • Exercise Health & Lifestyle
  • Preparing for a career in Sport
  • Principles & Practices in Outdoor Adventure
  • Alternative Pursuits for Outdoor Adventure
  • Skills for land-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Skills for Water-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Assessing Risk in Sport

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