Courses in

Outdoor Education

GMIT Outdoor Education Students on Lough Mask

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 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

Places: 45

CAO Round 1 Points: 240 (2020)

Why Study?

This four year programme contains an exciting mix of academic study and training in adventure sports.

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. 

You will build an understanding of the developmental role of outdoor education and explore and examine the Irish landscape, heritage and ecology.

Mayo's mountain's and wild Atlantic coast provide an ideal location for this programme of study.


Student Handbook

For answers to many of the questions we are asked by prospective students, see our Student Handbook here.


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. 



Programme Modules

This is a 4 year degree, and there are a number of distinct strands.

1. Environmental and Cultural Landscape strand

With modules in:

  • Earth Processes
  • Environmental Studies
  • Irish Cultural Landscape
  • Human Activity in the Environment
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Management

2. Psychology and Teaching / Facilitation strand

With modules in

  • Communications
  • Leadership and Facilitation
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Experiential Education
  • Teaching and Outdoor Education Philosophy
  • Coaching and Performance Enhancement
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Expeditions

3. Safety and First Aid strand

With modules in:

  • Safety and Legislation
  • Health and Fitness
  • Emergency Procedures
  • First Aid
  • Water Safety
  • Work Experience

4. Adventure Sports Strand

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

The adventure sports covered include:

  • Kayaking (river and sea)
  • Rock climbing
  • Surfing
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
  • Hillwalking
  • Caving
  • Orienteering
  • Windsurfing
  • Coasteering
  • Mountain biking 

There are also four elective areas to choose from. These are:

  1. Social Care
  2. Early Childhood Education
  3. Business
  4. Languages

The wide range of elective modules allows students to tailor the programme to their specific interest.


Career Opportunities

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
  • Social care organisations
  • Environmental education organisations
  • Adventure tourism
  • Youth services 

Graduates are employed as facilitators, youth development officers, care workers, instructors, coaches, managers and field studies officers.

Graduates are also employed in the area of Rural and Community Development, Environmental Management, Countryside Recreation, Sport Development and Eco/Rural tourism. 

Forest schools, green exercise and nature therapy are significant growth areas for future employment.

Post-graduate Studies: 

To date some of the programmes that the graduates of the BA(Hons) in Outdoor Education have pursued include:

  • MSc in Coastal Zone Management
  • MSc in Sustainable Rural Development
  • MSc in Sustainable Architecture
  • MSc In environmental Protection and Conservation
  • MSc In Ecological Assessment
  • MA in Counselling
  • MA in Ethics
  • MA in Community and Youth Work
  • MA in Management for Community and Voluntary Services
  • MA in Development Studies
  • Graduate Diploma in Education
  • Graduate Diploma in Addiction Studies
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Geography

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.


BA in Outdoor Education, GMIT Mayo

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Mark O'Connor, Outdoor Education graduate, GMIT Mayo

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Contact Us

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Orla Prendergast

Phone: + 353 (0) 94-904 3159


GMIT Outdoor Education student groupGMIT Outdoor Education students surfingGMIT Outdoor Education students on Lough MaskGMIT Outdoor Education students walking on the Bangor TrailGMIT Outdoor Education students rockclimbing on Achill Island