Outdoor Education major: Bachelor of Sport and Recreation

Jonny Moncur
Student Profile – Jonny Moncur

Building a career around a passion for the outdoors has delivered the elusive work-life balance for Jonny Moncur who now works as operations manager for mobile outdoor education company Bigfoot Adventures. Read more of Jonny's story.

The clean, green outdoor environment of Aotearoa – New Zealand is the perfect location to experience the outdoors, and is home to a bustling tourism and adventure industry. A qualification in outdoor education provides you the skill set to work in this environment, teaching and leading others. Graduates skilled in outdoor education work in many fields. They teach in schools, work in outdoor pursuit centres, operate adventure tourism ventures and – given the right experience – progress into management.

Through this degree, you encounter New Zealand’s varied and unique environment and learn from some of the country’s most experienced staff in outdoor education. AUT staff have worked and adventured in some of the worlds most exciting places including Antarctica, Nepal, North and South America, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the Alps of France, Austria and Switzerland. They are all deeply passionate about the outdoors.

The major is not a standalone teaching qualification. To become a registered secondary school teacher, you need to complete this degree and then continue into AUT’s 1-year Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (subject to meeting entry and selection criteria).

Bachelor of Sport and Recreation: degree outline

Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the Academic calendar.

Year 1

SPOR503 Contemporary Issues in Sport and Recreation
HEAL507 Health and Environment
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
SPOR502 Innovative Planning in Sport and Recreation
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
SPOR504 Leadership in Sport and the Outdoors
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
SPOR511 Skill Learning in Sport and Recreation
SPSC501 Sport and Exercise Science Fundamentals
SPOR501 Sport and Recreation in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Year 2

In addition to your Year 2 core papers and your selected elective paper from the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation, you complete:

SPOR602 Land Based Pursuits (Te Karo Whenua)
SPOR603 Water Based Pursuits (Nga Waka)
SPOR619 Ngahere/Bushcraft
SPOR618 Advanced Pursuit Practice
SPOR615 Teaching and Leadership in the Outdoors

This year also includes two work placements of 30-40 hours, designed to introduce you to the workplace and help you identify where you want to complete your third-year workplace experience. 

Year 3

In Year 3 you complete core papers, two optional or elective papers from the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation and:

SPOR707 Pedagogy and Performance
SPOR708 Outdoor Education

Workplace Experience

In your third year you complete 350-400 hours in an organisation which includes working on a project related to your major through the Co-operative Education papers. This takes approximately two days per week

Recent placements included:

  • Bigfoot Adventures
  • Camp Adair
  • Dilworth School Rural Campus
  • Kahunui Campus, St Cuthbert's College
  • Sir Peter Blake Marine Education Centre (MERC)
  • St Cuthbert's College 

Career opportunities

  • Adventure consultancy
  • Adventure educator
  • Adventure tourism
  • Corporate development trainer
  • Commercial guide
  • Environmental interpretation
  • Industrial rope access
  • Instructing outdoor pursuits – white water kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling and bush survival
  • Outdoor education instructor
  • Outdoor education teacher *
  • Recreation management
  • Safety auditor
  • Youth worker
* Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching (1 additional year of full time study, subject to meeting entry and selection criteria).

Graduates and students of sport and recreation

Other majors in Bachelor of Sport and Recreation



Last updated: 01-Oct-2016 2.12pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.