Taught course

Outdoor Environmental Education

University of Hertfordshire · School of Social Science, Humanities and Education

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 (or equivalent) classification in any undergraduate degree or international equivalent qualification
  • GCSE or equivalent English Grade 4/Grade C and above
  • Applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide evidence of English language proficiency equivalent to overall IELTS Academic score 7.0 with 6.5 minimum in each band OR credits achieved through other education or allied programmes of study

Months of entry


Course content

Why choose Herts

  • Employment prospects: there is a significant call from government, national charities, conservation trusts and schools for outdoor environmental education. It is a growing sector in high demand. We offer opportunities to gain governing-body and nationally recognised qualifications in addition to your post graduate degree, making you highly employable.
  • Industry connections: our course places a strong emphasis on networking with experts and professionals in the sector. From our seminar series to real-world briefs, you’ll benefit from expert feedback and experience throughout your studies.
  • Teaching expertise: Benefit from the expert knowledge of our teaching team, which spans forest school education, outdoor learning for therapeutic-educational use, primary physical education and journeying education.

About the course

The climate emergency and global pandemic have highlighted the importance of spending time in natural environments. Our intrinsic link to the world around us is unbreakable. It demands care, respect and creative solutions. To keep ourselves safe, we have seen all aspects of life, from social, recreation, education, transportation and even employment, benefit from taking a nature-centred approach. Educators have moved away from stationary classrooms and utilised outdoor education more and more. There is a growing need to learn in and from our local environment. There is an urgent need to care for it. The environmental education sector is flourishing.
This course will empower you to enrich and radically transform educational practices, across a multitude of sectors. We’ll teach you underlying theories and how to apply them to practice. We’ll analyse sustainable development issues, biodiversity loss and the climate emergency. Together, we’ll examine equality of access to environmental education. You’ll develop a critical awareness of the impact of race, gender, disability, economics and government policy on the lives of learners, educators and organisations. Every step of the way, we’ll guide you to become a reflexive and inclusive educator. To foster environments and activities where everyone can join in. To learn, you must experience. To teach, you must first inspire. What greater inspiration is there than the natural world?

Why choose this course
  • You’re passionate about the natural world and want to increase people’s enjoyment and understanding of it
  • You want to improve mental and physical wellbeing by improving the human-nature connection
  • You understand nature is a powerful educator and are excited to work with and for the environment
  • You want to actively engage with environmental challenges and find creative solutions
  • You’re looking for course content, which is memorable, meaningful and impactful – similarly, that is exactly the type of educator you aspire to be
  • You want to learn from an expert teaching team who have experience and knowledge to share
  • You want to engage with practical fieldwork in every module
  • You want to feel empowered by a range of innovative assessment opportunities
  • You want to study in peri-urban, city, green and blue spaces
  • You share our passion to provide environmental education which doesn’t cost the earth.
What will I study
You’ll have the opportunity to master the multi-disciplinary field of outdoor environmental education through scenario-based learning. You’ll be encouraged to make meaningful connections between theory and experiential activities. For example, you could be asked to deliver a project through the lens of an educator, policy writer, government official or stakeholder. This will give you valuable insight into the complexity of situations and how to deliver measurable outcomes. Our course is designed with memorable and rich learning experiences at its heart. For example, you’ll design and manage learning activities as part of a ‘pop up’ outdoor environmental education centre at the University. Our unique curriculum offers transformative experiences for you to draw upon both as a learner and an educator.
You’ll immerse yourself in self-managed projects. Even while learning, we’ll be expecting you to make a social contribution. Each assignment is audience led, focussing on the requirements of an employer or public stakeholder. You’ll be encouraged to collect evidence and demonstrate your knowledge in a variety of ways. For example, you may choose the written word to demonstrate your understanding, or perhaps a podcast, video or photo essay is more your style? We encourage a creative approach to assignments, giving you the platform to make a social contribution in a powerful way.
We adopt a partnership approach to teaching and learning, which spans online, face-to-face and fieldwork activities. Our enriching environment inspires personal and professional growth through co-production. We’ll help you identify your passion, your core values and your voice within the sector. Throughout your journey, you’ll be encouraged to work with organisations and employers to gain industry knowledge, expert feedback, real-life experience and contacts. We really do believe that employer and sector collaboration is fundamental to our programme. In fact, our course has been influenced by the work of national organisations, like RSPB and YHA and we hope you’ll gain knowledge and experience of their work. We’ll invite you to attend a seminar series delivered by experts and practitioners in the field. This will increase your understanding of research, policy and practice. Together we’ll tackle complex and diverse topics. When you graduate, you’ll feel ready to become nature’s ally and step confidentially into the world of environmental education. Whichever sector you chose to continue your path, we’ll put you on the right footing to make a positive contribution. We will support you to plan your professional journey.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Mr Lewis Stockwell