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The University of Edinburgh: Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Moray House School of Education and Sport
Study type Taught



Unique in Europe, and one of only a few in the world, this internationally-respected MSc programme offers you the chance to develop a holistic approach to outdoor education with a specific emphasis on environmental and sustainability education.

This programme will prepare you for a career in which you will facilitate learning that focuses on themes of environmental, sustainability, and ecological education.

Exit routes

There are three possible exit levels:

  • Certificate (60 credits)

  • Diploma (120 credits)

  • Masters (180 credits)

The Certificate programme provides a broad theoretical coverage of the field of study.

The Diploma extends this with further academic study and a Professional Development Programme, which provides a broad base for a professional career in outdoor environmental and sustainability education. This involves field courses such as:

  • canoeing

  • introduction to group leadership and navigation techniques

  • a teaching placement/practicum

The Masters extends this further still with a dissertation.

What will I learn?

The emphasis - whether Certificate, Diploma, or Masters - is on developing the knowledge, understanding, and judgement necessary to facilitate meaningful learning in, for, and through the outdoors.

You will consider a range of connected subject areas as well as the particular demands for teaching these in a variety of settings, including:

  • schools

  • residential centres

  • ranger sites

  • charitable/not-for-profit organisations

You will develop your intellectual skills through critically assessing theoretical, professional, and academic issues. You will hone transferable skills such as environmental literacy and oral communication.

You will also expand your understanding and personal practice of educating outdoors through a range of professional development activities.

Courses take place at our Edinburgh campus and multiple bases in the Highlands of Scotland from where you will journey by boat or on foot to live and learn in the outdoors.


This programme benefits from affiliation with the University's Global Environment and Society Academy.


Postgraduate Certificate - PgCert

Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip

University of Edinburgh 


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