Outdoor Adventure SCQF 5 (Broadford) NQ

What is special about this course?

Do you love outdoor adventure? Would you like to share with others by pursuing a career in the great outdoors? Do you love spending time outdoors and the thrill of challenging activities?

This course is aimed at improving your personal competence in a range of outdoor adventure activities based on the Isle of Skye, in a world-class location. You will gain essential practical experience and accelerate your learning in challenging environments. Your study will be 65% practical and 35% theory. The course is part of the School of Adventure Studies, giving unparalleled access to tuition from highly skilled and active adventure-sector practitioners, to guide you on your way in developing sound skills and experience in mountain, river and sea environments. It will prepare you well for a career in the outdoors, covering a range of performance awards. We will support you in creating your own outdoor CV and finding a work experience placement that could lead to future employment. 

It also provides a foundation for further academic study and the opportunity to progress to further courses within the School of Adventure Studies.

During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills.  Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills

Entry requirements

  • Students must be 16 years of age at the start of the course.
  • Applicants should have at least three National 4s or above or equivalent; a passion for the outdoors (mountain and water environments) and a good level of fitness.
  • If you do not meet all the entry requirements this can be discussed and your previous experience may still qualify you for entry to this course. We’ll be inviting you by email to attend course information sessions between now and the start of your course. We’d urge you to come along if at all possible.
  • Please note that you are required to have a satisfactory Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check to enable participation in work placement. This will be provided as a mandatory part of your course. Further information can be found here at mygov.scot

The course provides solid foundation skills in hillwalking, navigation (summer and winter), climbing, kayaking, canoeing and mountain biking.  It also offers a chance to try additional activities such as skiing, snowboarding, coasteering and stand-up paddleboarding.

Areas covered:

  • paddle-sports and teamwork
  • mountain sports and leadership
  • mountain biking
  • conservation and volunteering
  • anatomy, physiology, fitness and exercise
  • nutrition, health and wellbeing
  • embedded development of core and essential skills

You will also have the opportunity to obtain awards including:

  • BC Paddlesport Awards
  • BC Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Course
  • BC Sea Kayak Safety and Rescue Course
  • HSE Outdoor First Aid (16 Hours)
  • John Muir Trust Discover Award
  • National Indoor Climbing Wall Achievement Scheme Levels 1 and 2
  • Go Mountain Bike Awards
  • NNAS Bronze and Silver Awards (navigation)


Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

If students are in receipt of bursary, course PPE will be purchased for them through the bursary. If a student is not eligible for bursary, they will be required to supply their own at their own cost.
The required personal protective equipment is:

  • Suitable hard shell waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Hill walking boots (B1 are adequate)

We can provide advice on this if required.
No other equipment needs to be purchased prior to the course starting. During the course all the major and essential items of equipment are provided, but it is helpful, if possible, to set aside a budget for purchasing your own accessories such as thermal underwear or gloves.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Four days per week.
  • Three of these days are usually practical and the fourth day is either classroom based or set aside for online timetabled learning.
  • Your timetabled learning will probably take place in and around our Broadford College Centre. 


How long will my course last?

26 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Broadford

Start date

Early October - early May


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


Students may qualify for bursary funding. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

  • Once you’ve completed your course, you might like to consider our NQ in Outdoor Leadership in Fort William, or similar course at SCQF level 6.
  • NQ Outdoor Adventure develops resilience, confidence, problem solving and teamwork that can lay the foundation for a wide range of careers.  Our graduates have gone on to work in the outdoor sector in a wide range of areas including bushcraft and glacier guiding, but have also put their skills to use progressing to further study and employment in paramedic science, early years education, police, and film-making - to name a few.

Is there more information available online?

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You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

  I came to Broadford to study Outdoor Adventure. That changed everything and made me realise that this is the industry I want to work in. It was a great course, and it gave me a good grounding in a wide variety of outdoor activities. I wanted to carry on to the next level and so I went on to Fort William to study Outdoor Leadership. That gave me the skills needed to organise and lead groups in adventure activities. These two courses gave me what I needed to look for employment. After an amazing work placement as a glacier guide in Iceland, I then got work in Ireland with residential outdoor centres providing supervised outdoor activities for school groups. I’ve just finished a season with them. I am staying over the winter in Ireland, being put through various certificates by my employer and then using them over the coming summer season. 

Jamie Bradley 

I live on the Isle of Skye. I was a pool lifeguard and swimming teacher for six years before deciding to come to college. I chose to study outdoor adventure because I enjoy the outdoors and I wanted to learn about the outdoor activities that the course offers. I’ve enjoyed it as there’s a lot of practical days and plenty of new things to experience. 

The course has helped me gain confidence in my abilities and has made me realise that I still enjoy working outdoors despite the Skye winter weather! 

I hope to work full time for a local outdoor adventure company and hopefully gain my summer mountain leader and climbing wall instructor tickets soon. 

Ilana Paterson

Apply for Outdoor Adventure SCQF 5 (Broadford) NQ

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides. UHI North, West and Hebrides operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.