Joining forces with Kingston University

Kingston and Elmbridge BSAC have joined forces with Kingston University to help deliver a BA Honours degree in Outdoor Education. It is hoped that the course will commence in September 2006, subject to validation by the University’s Validation Panel for new degrees.

The degree is designed for those students who have a love for the outdoors and who see themselves working in the outdoor education and leisure sector, either with a local authority or privately owned company.

The degree will contain a mix of theory and practical study that will allow students to investigate a broad range of subjects, including education, business and management, geographical interpretation of landscape, ecology and historical influences on the landscape. Practical activities will include diving, sea kayaking, mountain leadership and climbing, which will be underpinned by psychology and physiology relating to how performance is affected in an outdoor setting.

This degree is distinctly different from any other that the University provides, the more so because of it’s practical (adventurous) activities. Needless to say, diving is seen as a significant part of this and its inclusion has been made possible by the sterling efforts of Brian Deluce at the Club.

The course will, naturally, focus on outdoor settings, and any practical work will take place initially in the immediate locality, e.g., Wimbledon Common, the North Downs, the Thames and local climbing walls, and then move further afield to the Lake District, the Peak District and NorthWales. The diving will follow courses laid down by the British Sub Aqua Club and students will study and train for both the Ocean and Sports Diver Awards, though it will not be a requirement of the degree that they pass these. For the diving module, as with all practical modules, the University is required to have it’s own assessment format that is not linked to any National Governing Body award.

Where dives take place on the south coast it may well be that other course modules use this as an opportunity to study other aspects of Outdoor Education, including coastal erosion, marine life and the Jurassic Coastline leading west from Lulworth Cove. Students may even experience cliff climbing at these times!

It is hoped that this innovative degree, the only one of its kind in SE England, is a success, for the University believes that there are many frustrated outdoor enthusiasts who would like to undertake a course of this nature but who cannot afford to live away from home. Both Brian and I feel that any links between the University and the Club can only be of mutual benefit to both. Let us hope so.

If you wish to know more, or know of anyone who would, please speak with me at the Club.