Kyle Ormiston

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Outdoor Education


Kyle Ormiston

The main benefit of studying at Stirling and especially within this course is the synergy of knowledge and skills from being well versed in a wide variety of subjects in earth sciences and human/physical geography as well as being nurtured through the Mountain Leader course where you can apply this knowledge in an outdoor setting with groups to enrich days out in the hills with these snippets of knowledge. However, even if working within the outdoors as a guide/instructor is not your end goal the knowledge to keep yourself and a team of people safe in that environment can and will have a beneficial effect on any fieldwork you may embark on in the future. Personally, I found it fascinating being able to, one day, be learning about the glacial time periods of Scotland and how they helped to form the landscape I grew up in and then on another within the same week actually be outside looking at and seeing for myself the types of formations that they created. 

Another crucial benefit of studying here is the support you are given to actually learn, train and go through the assessment for the Mountain Leader course. The university pays for ongoing training before you even embark on your official ML training giving you a leg up over others. They provide a residential navigation course with experienced ML’s and are always on hand to answer any questions and to point you in the right direction when trying to fulfil the requirements of the qualification. The delivery of the content overall is paced in a way where anyone, even if you don’t have extensive experience in the outdoors can achieve the ML award within the courses timeline granted you enjoy going out into the mountains. Not to mention you don’t pay for any of it! Leaving you with a little extra money to access the personal kit required.

This course has already impacted my career and I have not even left university yet, gaining the ML and other uni related group working experience has meant that I could seek out job opportunities in confidence within the outdoor industry during my summer breaks. I currently work in a small role as duty instructor for Outward Bound with the potential for exciting job opportunities in the future. The ML also opens up a range of freelance work where you can take groups hillwalking for guiding companies or help out and different outdoor centres it likely the most desired qualification within the industry and serves as an excellent way to get a foot in the door. Looking forward to the future the course has inspired me to take my knowledge of the environment and earth science and couple them with the experience and skillset of being an outdoor instructor and aspiring mountaineer. Before the course I had little direction where I wanted to go with my career but now I can see myself doing a whole host of jobs including becoming an arctic field guide or research expedition leader, the course is just the start of the journey and it’s left up to you what you do with it.