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Institute of Technology or Polytechnic

Ara Institute of Canterbury
Ara Institute of Canterbury logo

New Zealand Diploma in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled)

This course is available


Level of Study



1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2023


Ara Institute of Canterbury


Prepare for an adventurous career in the outdoors.

This programme has been designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge the industry requires to meet increasing demand for outdoor leaders and guides, and to prepare you for a varied, rewarding and adventurous career.

Learning from some of the most qualified educators and instructors in the country you'll become technically competent in a range of outdoor pursuits including sea kayaking, rock climbing, bush walking and mountain biking. You'll gain skills in leadership, sustainability and environmental education, supervision and instruction. You'll also learn how to plan, prepare, instruct and guide participants in a range of outdoor activities while maintaining safe, ethical and professional practice in familiar an unfamiliar outdoor environments. This will include assessing and managing emergency care situations in isolated locations.

During your studies you'll gain an understanding and respect for the tikanga and kawa of local iwi and/or hapu and other cultural groups while operating in a range of outdoor contexts.

You'll learn through a mix of group tutorials, practical outdoor activities, field trips, online learning and work-integrated experiences. The latter includes opportunities to lead clients - e.g. secondary school students and individuals with disabilities - in outdoor activities, giving you real-world workplace experience.

Career opportunities

Employment opportunities for qualified outdoor instructors and guides are growing as tourist numbers increase. This nationally recognised qualification includes a variety of embedded industry awards (in rock and abseil, sea kayaking, mountain biking and white water kayaking) ensuring a broad range of career opportunities for you as a graduate.

Study pathways

On completion of this programme you can progress to a Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education.

Entry criteria

Academic requirements

New Zealand Certificate in Outdoor and Adventure Education (Multi-skilled) (Level 4)

Alternative requirements

Still want to study but don't meet the Academic Requirements?

If you show that you have equivalent skills for tertiary study gained through study, work and/or life experience, you may be able to gain alternative entry.

English Language requirements:

IELTS test - Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5


TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) - Score of 550 (with an essay score of 5 TWE)

TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) - Score of 46 (with a writing score of 14)

Cambridge English Qualifications - B2 First or B2 First for schools with a score of 162. No less than 154 in each skill

Pearson Test of English (Academic) - PTE (Academic) score of 42 with no band score lower than 36

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