Courses in

Outdoor Education


Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography and Outdoor Education

Learning through adventure

Discipline: Outdoor Education

Programme Code: 


Location: Mayo

NFQ Level: 8

Programme Duration: Four years

Mode of Study: Full time

Application Route: Apply through the CAO

Entry Requirements: The general minimum Leaving Certificate entry requirement is a Grade O6/H7 or better in six Leaving Certificate subjects including English or Irish and Mathematics, two of which must be passed in higher level papers at Grade H5 or high

Places: 20

CAO Round 1 Points: 240 (2020)

Why Study?

This course combines the study of the Environment, Landscape and Adventure. Outdoor Education and adventure activities are reliant on the natural environment for its location as a classroom and for inspiration.

Graduates will be empowered to promote careful use and management of an increasingly threatened natural world and to educate others in wise use and sustainable practise. Graduates will be well placed to manage the different and sometimes conflicting interests between rural land uses such as farming, tourism, outdoor recreation, nature conservation, forestry and alternative energy solutions.

Graduates will also have the skills to deliver and facilitate adventure activities programmes and interpret the ecology and landscape history of the countryside for their clients and students.

You will work towards National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications in a range of adventure sports while building experience in implementing educational and adventure tourism programmes. Mayo's mountain's and wild Atlantic coast provide an ideal location for this programme of study.

The course will also allow progression to the Professional Master of Education to teach Geography and as well as access a wide range of careers of relevance to geography, the environment and the outdoors.


Student Experience

Aisling Deasy BA (Hons) Outdoor Education and Leisure recently participated in a GMIT Instagram takeover. Click HERE to see Aisling share her experience of the course and of studying at the Mayo campus.


Find out what previous graduates have to say here.

Programme Modules

There are four distinct study areas.

1. Geography, Environmental and Cultural Landscape strand

With modules in:

  • Earth Processes
  • Environmental Studies
  • Geographies of Rural Development
  • Society and Environment
  • Irish Cultural Landscape
  • Human Activity and the Environment
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Digital Mapping and Multimedia
  • Adventure Tourism

2. Teaching / Facilitation/ Psychology strand

With modules in:

  • Communications
  • Leadership and Facilitation
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Experiential Education
  • Teaching and Outdoor Education Philosophy
  • Coaching and Performance Enhancement
  • Expedition Planning and Facilitation

3. Safety and First Aid strand

With modules in:

  • Safety and Legislation
  • Health and Fitness
  • Emergency and Rescue Procedures
  • First Aid
  • Water Safety

4. Adventure Sports Strand

With modules in:

  • Adventure Activities: Personal Skills
  • Adventure Activities: Learning To Lead
  • Adventure Activities: Leadership Outdoors
  • Work Experience

The adventure sports covered include:

  • Kayaking (river and sea)
  • Rock climbing
  • Surfing
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
  • Hillwalking
  • Caving
  • Orienteering
  • Coasteering
  • Mountain biking
  • Bushcraft and Leave no Trace

Career Opportunities

There are a wide variety of career opportunities. Graduates may progress to the Post-Graduate Master of Education programme to teach Geography at second level.

Graduates can pursue careers in the area of Environmental Management, Spatial Planning, Nature Conservation, Geographical Information Systems, Countryside Recreation and Trail Design, Rural and Community Development, Environmental Education and Activism, Sport Development and Eco/Adventure Tourism.

The therapeutic, educational, developmental and recreational aspects of outdoor education are now widely recognised and utilised within many sectors in Ireland, such as:

  • Schools
  • Outdoor education centres
  • Environmental education organisations
  • Adventure tourism
  • Outdoor Recreation Management
  • Youth Services

Graduates will find employment as facilitators, youth development officers, outdoor instructors, coaches, managers and field studies officers.

Post-graduate Studies: 

GMIT Level 8 qualifications are recognised worldwide for postgraduate entry.

Graduates of this programme may progress to the Post-Graduate Master of Education programme for Geography.

Disciplines in which graduates can undertake post-graduate study also include:

  • Planning and Development
  • Rural Sustainability
  • Rural Development
  • Education
  • Ecology
  • Rural Conservation Management
  • Countryside Recreation Management
  • Environmental Resource Management
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Community and Voluntary Services

Essential Information: 

Students need to be able to swim 50m in order to take part in the watersports activities.

All technical and essential safety equipment will be supplied, but students are expected to supply some of their own personal clothing.

Please email for an equipment list and additional information.

For more course information, please see the Prospective Student Handbook 2021 here. 

BA in Outdoor Education, GMIT Mayo

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Mark O'Connor, Outdoor Education graduate, GMIT Mayo

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Contact Us

Orla Prendergast

Phone: +353 (0)94 904 3159


Check out our Facebook page and Instagram account to see what's happening on the Outdoor Education courses at GMIT. 

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