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University of Cumbria: Outdoor and Experiential Learning (London)

Institution University of Cumbria View institution profile
Department Forestry and Outdoors
Study type Taught


If you love the outdoors and are passionate about helping others to be confident in who they are and the contribution they are making to society, the environment and the planet, then this Master's in Outdoor and Experiential Learning is for you.

Previous graduates have gained employment as educators, outdoor practitioners, environmental consultants, development trainers, mental health practitioners.

COURSE OVERVIEW This course uses the fundamental process of actual lived experience to explore the cultural, ecological and political lenses which influence our thoughts and behaviour. In contrast to more formal approaches to learning, this course exemplifies experiential learning in its delivery, as well as in the content of its curriculum.

You will consider the histories, contemporary application and growth of outdoor and experiential learning at the intersections of professional practice, pedagogy and philosophy via debate & discussion, creative reflection, critical analysis and critique of research and evidence.

The course is transdisciplinary, and teaches across disciplines as varied as anthropology, philosophy, Bushcraft, therapeutic landscapes, art, pedagogy, eco-psychology, outdoor and environmental education, experiential learning, social science, environmental humanities, to name only a few.

ON THIS COURSE YOU WILL... - Have the opportunity to be creative and critical in challenging accepted ideas about both the contexts of experiential learning and about yourself.

  • Meet vibrant students of different ages and cultures, sharing conversations that will challenge your most basic perceptions.

  • Explore options for your personal and professional lives derived from many disciplines and cultures based on a reconsideration of the very processes of sensation, perception and cognition.

  • Have first hand experience in an array of environments exploring topics ranging from Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), human-environment relationships, health and wellbeing, therapeutic landscapes, and many more.

  • Be taught by an internationally renowned, highly-qualified, experienced, empathetic, and diverse staff team with a breadth of expertise in pathway areas and in creative and imaginative teaching and learning.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN A unique highlight of the programme is the exploration of the histories and principles of bushcraft. It will consider the historical literature associated with the rise of bushcraft, from the eighteenth century to the present day. Developing critical reflection, practical innovation and highlighting how its principles are relevant to so many. Fieldwork to enhance the experiential rudiments of ethnobotany and ethnobiology will include visits to public areas in London, such as the Royal Botanic Gardens.

You will also explore the process of 'experience' to examine your previous knowledge of learning and illustrate how narrow organised education is. The examination of sensation, perception, cognition and agency then shows how we can identify specific 'tools' to use in our own settings. Practical and immersive sessions are designed to challenge accepted understandings as well as being revealing, optimistic, empowering and engaging.

Modules - Introduction to Outdoor and Experiential Learning

  • The Reflexive Practitioner

  • Know Your Place - Place Responsive Approaches to the Outdoors

  • Histories and Principles of Bushcraft

  • Therapeutic Opportunities in the Outdoors

  • Independent Inquiry

  • Dissertation


University of Cumbria


The Postgraduate Experience
Based across some of the North West’s most beautiful and historic locations, as well as England’s iconic capital city, The University of Cumbria is a vibrant and inspiring place. Combining experience, quality-teaching and dedicated student support, we’ve helped over 45,000 students to make their impact on the world.

Courses and Qualifications
The University is made up of five academic institutes:

  • Business, Industry and Leadership
  • Arts
  • Education
  • Health
  • Science and Environment.

Within each department, there are four different varieties of postgraduate degrees available:

  • Masters (MA, MSc or MBA)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (PgC) …
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