Published on 24 August 2016
A new degree starting at the University of the Sunshine Coast in 2017 will enable students to turn their passion for the outdoors and an active lifestyle into a career.
USC’s new Bachelor of Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies will equip graduates with the skills to work in coaching, environmental interpretation, outdoor and adventure activities, ecotourism and health education.
The hands-on program, which is not offered at any other Queensland university, incorporates a fieldwork component which will see students take part in expeditions and leadership experiences at sites like Fraser Island and the Noosa Biosphere.
Senior Lecturer in Recreation and Outdoor Environmental Studies Dr Glyn Thomas said students could choose elective courses based on their own interests, such as tourism, event management, sustainability or animal ecology.
“It’s the perfect degree for someone who doesn’t see themselves working in a traditional ‘9 to 5’ role in an office,” Dr Thomas said.
“Graduates will be helping people reconnect with nature and live active lifestyles. That could be anything from working as an outdoor leader, coach, environmental interpreter or in adventure tourism.
“As well as their core courses, students will select a minor in Geography, Biology, Maths, Drama, English, History, or Chemistry, which would give them the discipline studies needed if they chose to pursue a teaching qualification.”
Dr Thomas said the Sunshine Coast provided an ideal natural environment for this new degree, as well as a wide range of job opportunities.
“It’s a very experiential degree, with more than five weeks of outdoor environmental studies fieldwork days,” he said.
“The strong tourism industry region provides plenty of job prospects for someone with this qualification, and the ecotourism sector in particular is growing.
“The region also has large numbers of schools and outdoor education centres across the whole region, which offer more avenues for graduate employment.”
USC will introduce a range of new study programs in 2016, including a Bachelor of Midwifery and a dual Law/Environmental Management degree. For more information, go to www.usc.edu.au/learn.
— Gen Kennedy