Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons)

Course code N870

What is special about this course?

Adventure tourism is the fastest growing area of the tourism industry and has taken the adventure sector by storm in recent decades, bringing adventurous activity experiences into commercial tourism. New, fresh and continuously developing, our graduates have a fantastic opportunity to become a part of the story of shaping this dynamic sector.

The BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management focuses on tourism and business practices within the adventure sector, applied in the context of essential practical and professional skills for leadership and safety. Customers expect great service and a safe experience that will satisfy their dreams of adventure and adventure travel: you will learn the skills and knowledge to deliver and manage this, with a critical understanding of the ethical and professional values required.

You will cover outdoor skills practice, safety and leadership, tourism, research, business and entrepreneurship – all underpinned by a growing and deepening understanding of the meaning of 'adventure'.

BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management is based at the School of Adventure Studies and is part of the Adventure Pathways Scheme of programmes. You will be based in Fort William, in the hub of the Outdoor Capital of the UK, living and working at the foot of Ben Nevis, in a region that is unique for its rich variety of outdoor opportunities. This gives you access to a diverse and vibrant community of like-minded students, as well as flexibility to progress into an alternative future pathway such as Adventure Education or Adventure Performance and Coaching.

Future potential: broad skills for future jobs.
Unlock your potential and become a future-shaper of the adventure sector. Links with other programmes in the School of Adventure Studies will broaden your professional skills and expertise, giving you access to a diverse range of careers in many different adventurous settings – wherever your path takes you.

Be part of the story.
We work closely with Adventure Tourism providers and larger scale organisations (such as John Muir Trust, Nevis Landscape Partnership and the Knoydart Foundation), to give you direct access to professional-level experiences and practice at all levels. This brings a wide range of national and international links for opportunities like work placements, projects and shared practice.

Special features

  • Access to outstanding adventure facilities set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK
  • Receive tailored outdoor-activity skill development and professional NGB training and assessment with the School of Adventure Studies' 'practical credits system': continuous professional skills development throughout your degree and beyond
  • Be part of a vibrant and active student community of outdoor enthusiasts based in Fort William – within the Outdoor Capital of the UK
  • Easy transfer options available between adventure programmes within the School of Adventure Studies: BA (Hons) Adventure Education; BSc (Hons) Adventure Performance and Coaching; and BA (Hons) Marine and Coastal Tourism
  • Excellent links and work-placement opportunities with many adventure-based businesses and institutions in Scotland, the UK and internationally
  • Residential field trips, clubs, international expeditions and many other opportunities to enhance your skills and experience in adventure activities


We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR
  • 2 A levels at grade C or above
  • You will also be expected to be able to demonstrate an interest in, and a commitment to, practical outdoor activities, and preferably have an interest in a professional career in the outdoor sector
  • Personal practical outdoor experience is advantageous but not essential
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications and/or experience will be considered on an individual basis
  • This is a Category 1 PVG course: PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve target qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit our PVG scheme webpage

Advanced entry to year two or three:

  • Direct entry to year two or three may be possible with a relevant HNC/D, foundation degree etc. Applicants will be considered on an individual basis and may be required to attend an interview

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

For International students requiring Student Route sponsorship
Please note that international students with a Student Route visa can only take part in sports activities or as part of a work placement, as an amateur and not as a professional or semi-professional. You will not be allowed to become a member of a professional sports association while a student. This is due to ‘professional sportsperson’ restrictions imposed by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as outlined in their Student Route Policy Guidance.

Year 1 - CertHE

Core modules are:

  • Introduction to adventure tourism (S1)
  • Adventure geography: the Scottish perspective (S1)
  • Introduction to professional adventure practice (S1)
  • Adventure markets: products and services (S2)
  • Introduction to sports coaching and leadership (S2)

You will also choose one further option module, from:

  • Ecological principles, biodiversity and identification skills (SC)
  • Activity performance and skill acquisition (SC)
  • Adventure education journeys (S2)

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • The contemporary workplace (S1)
  • Adventure operations and risk management (S1)
  • Adventure tourism guiding and interpretation (S2)
  • Understanding adventure (S2)

You will also choose two option modules, which may include:

  • Retailing (S1)
  • Outdoor learning and teaching practice (SC)
  • Work placement: team working and communication (SC)
  • Technology and social media in adventure practice (S2)
  • Marketing fundamentals (S2)
  • Management accounting (S2)

Year 3 - BA

Core modules are:

  • Sustainable management of adventure tourism (S1)
  • Planning international expeditions (S1)
  • Research skills (S2)

You will also choose three option modules which may include:

  • Adventure therapy (S1)
  • Geomorphology: reading the landscapes of outdoor practice (S1)
  • Developing entrepreneurial effectiveness (S1)
  • Climate change (S1)
  • Work placement: industry specific skills (SC)
  • International expedition leadership (S2)
  • Sustainable tourism and the environment (S2)
  • An anthropology of place: adventure education and cultural perspectives on nature (S2)
  • Niche tourism (S2)

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

Core modules are:

  • Critical perspectives of adventure tourism (S1)
  • Perceptions of risk and decision making (S1)
  • Inclusive adventure (S2)
  • Emergent tourism trends (S2)

You will also choose one of the following double-credit research project modules to follow through the year:

  • Dissertation
  • Professional adventure project (legacy project or major expedition venture)
  • Research and plan a new business venture

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time

You will learn through a combination of face-to-face lectures and tutorials in the classroom, with some teaching by video conference from our other campuses, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE). There are also opportunities for work placements at different levels of the programme.

You will also spend a significant amount of time increasing your skills through practical, experiential learning. The main disciplines included are mountaineering and climbing, paddle sports and mountain biking, with a wide scope for progression and application of theories throughout the four years of study, through field work and industry activity.

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 4 years
  • Part-time: 8 years


Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides - Fort William campus

Start date

  • September


For students normally domiciled in Scotland, with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

This includes

  • EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status in the UK,
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled status in the UK
  • EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.
Degrees 2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £915 £915
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £305 £305

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Full-time Level 2023-24 2024-25
Year 1 CertHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 2 DipHE £9,250 £9,250
Year 3 Degree £9,250 £9,250
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,542.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals without settled or pre-settled status in the UK

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the Scottish Government confirmed that EU/EEA and Swiss nationals, who do not have settled or pre-settled status, will be considered as international for fee purposes. Students will get an automatic scholarship of £3,000 per annum and the 4th year of study will be free for those studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

This includes EEA/Swiss nationals with pre-settled status who are not self-employed or migrant workers in the UK.

Year Level 2023-24 Full-time With scholarship 2024-25 Full-time
With scholarship
Year 1 CertHE £13,980 £10,980 £14,988 £11,988
Year 2 DipHE £13,980 £10,980 £14,988 £11,988
Year 3 Degree £13,980 £10,980 £14,988 £11,988
Year 4 Honours £13,980 Free £14,988 Free

Students will need Student Route visa sponsorship to study on the UK.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2023-24 2024-25
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £13,980 £14,988
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £6,990 £7,494
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £2,330 £2,498

Part-time study is not open to international students requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time rest of the UK, EU and international undergraduate students for continuous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.


UHI has a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards, and discretionary fund opportunities available to new and current students. Please use the A-Z of funds or use the filter to see which ones may be relevant to you. All students are welcome to apply.

Further information on funding your studies is also available, please see the attached link or contact the relevant UHI partner.

Additional costs

Personal Outdoor Equipment and Clothing
All essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and specialist equipment can be accessed from our comprehensive stores, but students will need to purchase their own personal clothing, waterproofs and footwear for most activities (with the exception of very specialised footwear such as winter boots). As a professional practitioner you are also expected to consider purchasing your own personal equipment as your involvement and skills grow. Excellent deals on prices from a range of suppliers are available for students.

Module costs
Introduction to Sports Coaching and Leadership (core, year 1)
: this includes an opportunity to complete training for a UK National Governing Body qualification in climbing, paddlesports or mountain biking.  The course is free of charge but you will need to pay for your own membership and registration fees with the relevant NGB.  This cost can range from approximately £50-£100, depending on the NGB.

Adventure Education Journeys (optional, year 1): there is a mandatory residential experience in this module at Outward Bound Loch Eil, costing approximately £90 for 3 days full-board. This cost is 50% subsidised by the School of Adventure Studies.

International Expedition Leadership (optional year 3): this involves undertaking an international expedition, which is subsidised by UHI North, West and Hebrides.  Depending on the specific plan, you should budget for up to £1000.  There may be opportunities to gain funds to support this expedition through grant funding sources or sponsorship, which would be your responsibility to obtain.

What can I do on completion of my course?

With a degree in Adventure Tourism Management you will hold a valuable array of knowledge and skills that are transferable to any of the various aspects of the UK or international adventure sector. The specific pathway you take will be vital in helping you shape your own chosen career.

Adventure Tourism covers a wide range of career pathways and specialist fields, including:

  • Starting and building your own Adventure Tourism business
  • Guiding, coaching and instructing in adventurous activities
  • International expeditions
  • Working in events organisation
  • Leadership and Management roles in activity organisations
  • Tourism policy or risk management positions
  • Working in NGOs and NGBs, such as Sportscotland, Snowsport Scotland, Mountaineering Council of Scotland, Scottish Canoe Association
  • Countryside ranger and environmental interpretation

Your career will grow and change as the years go on, and your degree will prepare you for other related areas and possible future growth, so you may also find yourself involved in:

  • Adventure education
  • Marine wildlife tourism
  • Military or emergency services
  • Higher level adventure sector leadership – shaping future policy and practice

Can I progress into further study?

Current potential progression opportunities for BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management graduates include:


Is there more information available online?

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I’m currently in my 4th year with UHI West Highland in Fort William. I am a climber and a Summer Mountain Leader and most of my time is spent in the mountains. The course has been very useful for developing critical thinking and understanding very complex key issues in Tourism Management. The course provides the knowledge base and skillset required to work successfully as an adventure activity provider. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning about the bigger picture of the Adventure Sector. I have enjoyed living in Fort William and expanding my network with other like-minded people. One piece of advice I would give to anyone starting the course is to remember to get outside and work towards the relevant NGB qualifications.

Fraser Stephen is studying the BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management at UHI West Highland.

Growing up in the Highlands, I loved being in the outdoors and I had lots of opportunities.

I chose this course because I wanted to expand my understanding of adventure and become a better advocate for our industry.

The degree has been packed full of great content. I have learned such a lot and I’ve been able to apply it. In the months ahead, I will be going to Knoydart to carry out sessions, I will go to Badaguish to use technology to enhance experiences in sports and I am involved in a Family Cycling Festival with the Fort William Foxes and West Highland Wheelers.

It’s great putting what you’ve learned into play, in a safe environment to make mistakes and learn from them with your lecturers, instructors and class mates alongside.

Access to NGBs for improving your skill set is invaluable as is access to the library. Having lecturers point me in the best direction for literature has been a privilege. I have increased my knowledge and understanding of the industry.

After the degree - a master’s, create my own business or do some travelling? The list is endless but after completing the degree it opens doors for jobs I'd like to pursue.

Rhiannan MacIntosh is studying the BA (Hons) Adventure Tourism Management at UHI West Highland.

This course felt right for me because of what it has to offer and how different it is to other courses around the world. It's very unique and it was the perfect choice for me- I didn’t consider any other universities. 
When it comes to UHI I love how like-minded and friendly people are, the lecturers are also extremely interesting and have hundreds of incredible stories to tell. The Highlands of Scotland has the most stunning scenery and we get to go out and enjoy it on our practical days. At UHI, each day is different, you’ll find yourself sat in the classroom on a Monday and on a Thursday you're out playing in the hills. 

Tiandra Anderson studied the Adventure Tourism Management at UHI West Highland.

Apply for Adventure Tourism Management BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024

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