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Start Date

3 year(s) full-time


Program Code

414503 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time


Assumed Knowledge

Entry Scores
2024 Guaranteed Entry
Year 12 (ATAR-based): 70.00
Year 12 (Grades-based): B,B,B
View Guaranteed Entry Info
2023 Cut-Offs
Year 12 (ATAR-based):
- Internal: 65.00
View full entry requirements

Degree overview

  • Graduate ready to become a recognised leader in outdoor education, adventure therapy, ecotourism and environmental interpretation.
  • Develop in-demand skills and knowledge in broadly applicable areas such as health and wellbeing, environmental leadership, social justice and sustainable living.
  • Engage with more than 400 hours of practical experience and fieldwork in a wide range of real-world settings throughout your studies.
  • Undertake early-career professional development in outdoor education and leadership from your first year of study.
  • Study courses providing outdoor leadership accreditation.
  • Study with South Australia’s No.1 university for graduate skills in environmental science.1
  • Learn from nationally recognised outdoor leaders and educators with a curriculum informed by well above world-class research in environmental sciences and management.2
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities,3 we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and in a career the next.

1ComparED (QILT) Student Experience Survey 2021-22, Agriculture and Environmental Studies – Skills Development Indicator (Undergraduate). SA public universities. 22018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). 3Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.



As the only degree of its kind in South Australia, the Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Leadership combines foundational environmental science and outdoor leadership concepts to equip future outdoor education professionals with a broadly applicable set of skills and knowledge.

This unique degree equips you will develop foundational skills and knowledge for a rewarding career in nature-based tourism, environmental interpretation, experiential education, adventure therapy or adventure-based leadership. Develop the reflective, evaluative and critical-thinking skills required to implement and lead culturally aware and environmentally sustainable outdoor experiences.

You can tailor your studies to your specific career goals with five specialisation options including community engagement and sustainability, management, counselling, Aboriginal cultures, and biology.

Further your studies by choosing from over twelve postgraduate programs including Master of Environmental Science, Master of Social Work, Master of Aboriginal Studies or a Master of Teaching.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This degree explores an integrated range of industry-relevant topics balancing core concepts of bioscience and social science. Through your studies, you’ll develop core knowledge and skills in biodiversity, ecology, coastal environments, earth systems, sustainable ecosystems and caring for Country.

Your final year will strengthen your understanding of professional practice and advanced environmental science, as well as develop your specialised management skills to transition you into the workforce.

As well as placement opportunities within leading industry environments, you can apply your learned skills through intensive fieldwork including:

  • leading an introductory kayaking or canoeing experience for UniSA students
  • planning and implementing a four-day experiential learning program
  • conducting interpretive experiences such as a ‘Water Workshop’ at a primary school
  • undertaking a week-long immersive field trip including a day of service learning in areas such as the Nantawarrina Indigenous Protected Area

Develop in-demand research skills alongside world-class researchers during your degree, focusing on areas such as species study, laboratory analysis of soils and contamination, sampling, field-based data collection, and critical analysis of human-nature interactions.

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Biodiversity for the Environment BIOL 1014 4.5
Earth and Climate Systems EART 1010 4.5
Environment, Society and Climate ENVT 1013 4.5
Foundations of Outdoor Leadership HLTH 2024 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Soils in the Australian Landscape EART 1011 4.5
Sustainable Ecosystems BIOL 1015 4.5
Caring for Country ENVT 1017 4.5
Group and Team Leadership HLTH 1017 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Coastal Environments BIOL 4001 4.5
Elective 1 4.5
Environmental Interpretation and Community Engagement ENVT 3016 4.5
Life on Earth A BIOL 2045 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Life on Earth B BIOL 2046 4.5
Outdoor, Wilderness and Adventure Education HLTH 3052 4.5
Leadership in Terrestrial Environments HLTH 3051 4.5
Elective 2 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Leadership in Aquatic Environments HLTH 3050 4.5
Park and Ecotourism Management ENVT 2004 4.5
Elective 3 4.5
Elective 4 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Professional Practice in Outdoor Leadership HLTH 3068 4.5
Leadership in Recreation and Sport SPRC 3018 4.5
Elective 5 4.5
Elective 6 4.5

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week. 

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Bachelor of Outdoor and Environmental Leadership

Why this Degree

Gain a competitive edge with this unique and experiential degree, tailored to meet growing industry demand for outdoor adventure guides, educational practitioners and environmental leaders.

UniSA's curriculum is based on well above world-class research in environmental sciences and management,1 with a focus on experiential learning. You'll develop a holistic understanding of bioscience and social science concepts to become a recognised leader in growing professions such as outdoor education, adventure therapy, ecotourism and environmental interpretation.   

UniSA gives you the freedom to align your studies with your interests and career goals. You can major in ecosystem sciences or select courses in the areas of community engagement and sustainability, management, counselling and interpersonal skills, Aboriginal cultures and biology.

Apply your learned skills and knowledge during more than 400 hours of intensive and immersive industry placement and fieldwork, including the opportunity to lead groups in outdoor programs and undertake self-reliant adventure trips.

Depending on your courses studied, you may be eligible to register for qualifications such as a Bushwalking Assistant Leader with Bushwalking Leadership South Australia, a Paddle Supervisor with Paddle Australia, or as a Rock-climbing Assistant Guide with the South Australian Rockclimbing Education Association (SAREA).

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Career outcomes

Your career

The field of outdoor environmental leadership presents an exciting career opportunity. Employment in arts and recreation services is projected to grow by 10.1 over the next five years.1

Outdoor environmental leaders are employed in a wide range of settings, with the versatility of expertise applicable to the global industry of nature-based leadership and environmental interpretation. Graduates can embark on exciting careers such as:

  • Outdoor education practitioner: facilitate nature-based outdoor learning experiences for personal and group development, health and wellbeing, environmental learning, sustainability and social justice.
  • Community development officer: design, implement and lead initiatives and collective solutions to address issues associated with recreational, health, housing and other community welfare matters.
  • Ecotourism guide: plan and lead culturally aware and environmentally sustainable experiences to assist with nature-based therapy and responsible tourism practices.
  • Outdoor adventure instructor: provide adventure-based learning experiences with accreditation in bushwalking, kayaking and rock-climbing.
  • Youth worker: collaborate with social workers, psychologists and support agencies to provide therapeutic outdoor experiences for at-risk youth and community members.
  • Environmental interpretation officer: provide guidance and consultation for human interaction with natural environments and educate visitors and tourists in areas of cultural and conservationist significance.

By choosing two human biology electives, you can undertake the Master of Teaching (Secondary) and be able to teach Biology, Environmental Science and Outdoor Education up to Year 12. Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) and Master of teaching (Primary), are also options. Visit 'How do I become a secondary teacher?' for more information.

1Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021.

Industry facts


To November 2026, employment in the arts and recreation services industry is projected to increase by 8.8%.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021


Employment for specialist managers including environmental managers in Australia is projected to increase by 17.5% by November 2026.

Australian Government National Skills Commission Employment Projections 2021

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • Go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply.
  • You will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application.

Alternative Pathways


There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:
SAIBT Diploma of Health Science


This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses are home to fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student sports and fitness facilities, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • career services and mentoring
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your study spaces

Outdoor and environmental leadership students get to study in UniSA’s dedicated biology laboratory as part of their studies. You'll also have access to UniSA Sport gym facilities, including a rock-climbing wall and pools. Plus, enjoy a range of on-campus spaces including modern lecture theatres, libraries, collaborative teaching rooms and relaxed student lounges.

Your study spaces

Your program director

I am excited to collaborate with some amazing researchers and teachers to deliver this degree that combines a passion for the outdoors and the environment where students graduate industry-ready and with excellent postgraduate options. Graduates will take on the challenge to develop individuals and communities to promote knowledge and positive relationships essential for the well-being and future of individuals, society and our environment.

Dr Scott Polley

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Scott Polley
Portrait image for Dr Scott Polley

Dr Scott Polley

Program Director


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