2023: February, May, July

3 years

2023: A$16,400*
* fee per semester

Application due dates:
We are currently accepting applications for this course.


Launch an exciting career in the great outdoors, with Victoria University's Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership.

This unique degree is designed to meet the needs of the outdoor-education and recreation sectors, helping you create a rewarding lifelong career.

You'll learn to apply your on-campus study through a range of activities in our outdoor labs. This practical experience combined with your knowledge of the natural environment, group leadership and planning will open up diverse career possibilities in the following industries:

  • adventure tourism
  • adventure sports
  • environmental education
  • outdoor adventure
  • outdoor education
  • outdoor recreation
  • nature tourism.

We offer an exceptional opportunity to gain career experience through a paid internship with The Outdoor Education Group. This internship has been designed to work in tandem with your study, so you can apply best-practice theory to real situations.

Throughout the Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership program, the main themes will be explored through adventure-based activities such as:

  • bushwalking
  • canoeing
  • cycling
  • white-water rafting
  • alpine activities
  • rock-climbing.

Join VU for one of the most adrenaline-packed degrees in Australia!

Apply for our innovative paid internship program to gain invaluable work experience while you study.

Our partnership with the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) gives us paid internships for 35 of our students, who will work part time for the second and third year of their degrees. When you graduate, there's an exciting opportunity to apply for a two- to three-year full-time contract with OEG.

If you decide not to take up the industry internship, you can select another complementary major or two minors and further specialise in a professional area of your interest or passion.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Our Footscray Park Campus has everything you need, all set a pleasant stroll from the Maribyrnong River and parklands.

Facilities include:

  • aquatic and fitness centre
  • childcare services
  • learning common spaces with WiFi, tables and chairs
  • restaurants and cafés
  • state-of-the-art lecture theatres.

Our library gives you constant access to online resources from wherever you are. It also has the following for your use:

  • 14 group study rooms
  • 15 laptops for loan
  • 296 PCs and six Apple Macs
  • printing, copying and scanning
  • WiFi access.

At VU you can spend part of your degree studying overseas all while gaining credits towards your course.

Immerse yourself in a new culture and learn from a new perspective, while building experiences that will help you to stand out in the competitive job market.

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Get back to nature during your outdoor leadership degree


The Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership offers several career pathways:

  • camp program manager
  • environmental educator
  • outdoor educator
  • outdoor adventure guide, instructor or facilitator
  • park ranger
  • teaching (with additional Master of Teaching (Secondary Education))
  • business owner
  • eco and adventure tourism.

The nature-based outdoor economy offers many career opportunities. An industry-based report Outdoors Victoria and Sport and Recreation Victoria – Victoria’s nature based outdoor economy, indicates this industry is worth $7.4 billion annually to Victoria’s economy, employing 71,000 full-time jobs.

On graduation, you may continue on to our Master of Teaching (Secondary) to become a registered teacher.

Course structure

To attain the Bachelor of Outdoor Leadership, students will be required to complete 288 credit points consisting of:

  • 96 credit points of First Year Core units
  • 96 credit points of Professional Core units

Plus one of the following:
Option A: 

  • 96 credit points of SMAOLI Outdoor Leadership Industry Internship Major studies

Option B:

  • 96 credit points of Major studies from the approved list

Option C:

  • 96 credit points of Minor studies from the approved list

First Year Core Units

Professional Core Units



We are the first Australian university to use a 'block' model of learning, where you study one unit at a time rather than juggling several at once.

Introduced in 2018, the VU Block Model has improved our student results and achievements, and has won awards for innovation and excellence. Initially for first-year students, it now applies to all students studying at our Melbourne campuses.

You'll study in short bursts, called blocks, of three 2-3 hour face-to-face teaching sessions per week.

Each block focuses on one unit (subject) and is only four weeks long, with up to four days between. Our two semesters have four blocks each, and there are optional blocks over winter and summer where you can catch up on a missed unit.

Some courses have labs and pracs too, and these are generally scheduled on the same days as teaching sessions. There are also workshops where you'll develop your study skills and prepare for your future career.

Find out more about the VU Block Model.

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Integrate knowledge and skills related to Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure Sports to become a leader in their area of expertise;  
  2. Develop evidence based practice in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure Sports to support a diverse range of individual, group, community and stakeholder needs;  
  3. Demonstrate skill specific knowledge and technique in a broad range of outdoor adventure activities to use as a platform for the development of meta-skills related to Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure Sports;  
  4. Exhibit knowledge related to the natural and cultural history, land management, hydrology, geology, and ecology directly relevant to selected natural environments and outdoor experiences;  
  5. Synthesise information gathered from outdoor leadership research to develop knowledge and understanding of professional identity and practice; and,  
  6. Evaluate a diverse range of policies and procedures to enable the safe delivery and implementation of field based programs related to Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure Sports.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.


Victoria University is committed to providing a transparent admissions process. Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Applicants for this course will need to have met the academic requirements and prerequisites for this course outlined below.

Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee entry into this course. Past academic performance may be considered.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate (VCE or equivalent) including Units 3 and 4: a study score of at least 25 in English (EAL) or 20 in any other English (or equivalent).
Completion of an Australian Advanced Diploma or Diploma (or equivalent).
IELTS (or equivalent): Overall score or 6.0 (with no band less than 6.0 in Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking).
Completion of a Foundation course or equivalent.

Find out if you meet the entry requirements, including English language and academic requirements.

Additional information

Due to the nature of the field teaching components of this course students should note that some unit delivery will take place outside of the normal university hours. Please note that SOL2010 Natural Environments 2 will be delivered during 2B4, however the field teaching will take place after the end of the 2B4 block due to environmental constraints.

Students wishing to undertake SMAOLI Outdoor Leadership Industry Internship major will be required to undertake a selection process, managed by the organisation offering the internship through their standard employment process, to ensure their suitability for the available internship options. This selection process will take place in the second half of the first year of study.

Students may incur a levy of approximately $2000 across the duration of the course for transport, accommodation and camping fees associated with field teaching. This levy will be charged at a unit level depending on the requirements specific to the unit.

Students will require a Working with Children Check and National Police Check to be eligible to undertake and participate in workplace visits, placements or projects. Use the following site links to obtain additional information:

Students will need to undertake an industry standard first aid course and an industry recognised aquatic rescue course by the end of their first year to satisfy Industry risk management and VIT requirements. The Australian Adventure Activity Standards (AAAS) will determine the standard for these courses.

Pathways & credits

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

If you have completed any of the following course(s), you will be guaranteed a place in this course. In some cases you may receive credit for your previous study, reducing the time it takes to complete your course.

You will be guaranteed entry only.

You will be guaranteed entry only.

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed any of the following course(s), you will be guaranteed a place in this course. In some cases you may receive credit for your previous study, reducing the time it takes to complete your course.

Diploma of Sport

SEDA Group, Australia

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course chair or academic adviser.

How to apply

We are currently accepting international applications, and we welcome you to apply for this course.

Click 'apply' to begin, and we will guide you through the application process.


If you have questions, please get in touch:

Information and fees listed above are for non-resident students. Fees are accurate at the time of viewing and will be subject to annual increases. Some courses require students to purchase equipment or clothing that they will need in the course. These equipment or clothing costs are not included in the course fees listed above – check your Letter of Offer for an estimate on non-tuition-fee-related expenses.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this course information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that course information is current with the Student Contact Centre.