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

Semester 1 compulsory papers
515009 Nutrition, Activity and Health
555301 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
515206 Managing Sport and Recreation
555201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

Semester 2
515568 Land Based Pursuits
515569 Water Based Pursuits
516557 Sport and Recreation in Society
516554 Outdoor Leadership

Year 2

Core papers (across all Bachelor of Sport and recreation majors)
516001 Industry Experience and Research

516023 Legal Issues for Sport and Recreation

Outdoor Education papers
516550 Group Development and Facilitation in the Outdoors
516551 Advanced Pursuit Practice
516552 Ngahere/Bushcraft

516546 Teaching and Leadership in the Outdoors

You also undertake two industry placements of 30 hours each.

Plus two optional papers.

Year 3 papers

You complete two outdoor education papers:
517041 Outdoor Education Theory and Practice
517042 Outdoor Philosophy

Plus two optional papers.

Cooperative Education
You also undertake a major cooperative education placement which takes approximately two days per week throughout your final year of study, with some examples of placements, such as Camp Adair, Bigfoot Adventures, Dilworth School Rural Campus, St Cuthbert’s College, Kahunui Campus and Marine Education Recreation Centre (MERC).

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

Other courses you may be interested in

Bachelor of Sport and Recreation & Bachelor of Business conjoint degree

Postgraduate pathways - Sport and Exercise


Last updated: 04-Dec-2015 10.39am

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