Module JXH-1023:
Practical Water Based Skills

Module Facts

Run by School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Ms Trys Burke

Overall aims and purpose

Based in the stunning surroundings of Snowdonia's rivers and valleys, and the accompanying rugged coastline of North Wales, the aim of this module is to provide students with practical water based activities in which the scientific studies of human responses to the outdoors and performance in the outdoors can be examined. Students will have practical days out across the whole of North Wales where water based skills will be taught on the lakes, rivers, estuaries and coastline of this stunning area.

Course content

Water based skills ensures that all students are equipped with a solid platform from which they can develop as an academic and improve their leadership skills, both during their time as an undergraduate and beyond. The first year focuses on the acquisition of basic practical skills associated with canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding in inland and coastal environments. Practical activity are supported by short classroom sessions aimed at developing awareness and understanding associated with safe participation in canoeing and kayaking. Basic skill development will focus on the competencies required to operate safely as a group member in inland and coastal environments. Participation in this module will require a commitment of time and effort by all participants in an outdoor, often cold and potentially hazardous environment.

Throughout this practical module there is the opportunity to gain nationally recognised governing body (British Canoeing) awards for personal performance and safety and rescue training. It is not compulsory to purchase any of the British Canoeing certificates some students do not intend to work in the outdoor sector and so do not need the certificates. This is fine and many students in the past have done this. However, if you do wish to purchase a certificate there is a charge required by British Canoeing and this will need to be paid by you. See below for the current fees and the dates you will need to pay them by:

  • 1* and 2* certificates, £7 (£6 for BC/CW members*) - paid in May
  • 3* certificates, £25 (£12.50*) - as and when achieved, usually in year 2
  • Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning Certificate, £10 (£5*) - April
  • Foundation Safety & Rescue Training Certificate (FSRT), £10 (£5) - February

*British Canoeing/Canoe Wales Membership is £45 per annum please call Val Ephraim the Administrator at Canoe Wales on 01678 521199 if you wish to become a member of Canoe Wales.

If you have never paddled before you can expect to reach 1 Star and complete the coastal navigation and tidal planning course by the end of year 1. If you come with prior experience all of the above can be achieved.

Assessment Criteria


Basic awareness and understanding associated with safe participation in canoeing and kayaking.

NB. To ensure learning outcomes are met and health and safety is maintained, practical sessions are compulsory. If you miss more than one practical session without genuine mitigating circumstances you will fail the module (due to not meeting the learning outcomes).


Good awareness and understanding associated with safe participation in canoeing and kayaking. Ability to adapt to changing environmental hazards. Good skill development in the competencies required to operate safely as a group member in inland and coastal environments.


Excellent awareness, understanding associated with safe participation in canoeing and kayaking. Excellent ability to adapt to changing environmental hazards. Excellent skill development in the competencies required to operate safely as a group member in inland and coastal environments.

Learning outcomes

  1. Participate safely, within a group, while canoeing and kayaking in inland and coastal environments.

  2. Identify, understand and adapt to the changing environmental hazards associated with canoeing and kayaking.

  3. Develop and understand basic competencies and skills that underpin safe participation in canoeing and kayaking.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Introductory Guide to Paddlesports 45
Tidal planning and safety and rescue 45
Ongoing practical assessments 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops 64
Private study 20
Seminar 16

Transferable skills

  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
  • describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
  • work effectively independently and with others
  • plan and design practical activities using appropriate techniques and procedures whilst demonstrating high levels of relevant skills
  • recognise and respond to moral, ethical, sustainability and safety issues that directly pertain to the context of study including relevant legislation and professional codes of conduct
  • undertake fieldwork with continuous regard for safety and risk assessment.
  • develop transferable skills of relevance to careers outside of sport, health and exercise sciences.
  • communicate succinctly at a level appropriate to different audiences.


Reading list

BCU Canoe & Kayak Handbook: (Ed) Franco Ferrero: ISBN: 0-9531956-5-1

Sea Kayak Navigation: Franco Ferrero: ISBN: 0-9531956-1-9

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Pre-requisite of:

Courses including this module