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VCE Outdoor and Environmental Studies provides students with the skills and knowledge to safely participate in activities in outdoor environments and to respect and value diverse environments. The blend of direct practical experience of outdoor environments with theory-based study enables informed understanding of human relationships with nature.

Historically, humans have modified outdoor environments to meet survival, commercial, conservation and recreation needs. Outdoor environments have become places of adventure, relaxation, scientific study, social action and enterprise. Outdoor environments also provide space for connectedness with nature and opportunities for reflection upon the past, present and future. These varying values and approaches generate a range of impacts on outdoor environments and can result in pressures and tensions between user groups, leading to issues concerning the preservation and sustainability of outdoor environments. Outdoor and Environmental Studies enables students to critically analyse these different relationships, effects and issues, providing the knowledge and skills to participate in and contribute to contemporary society.

Outdoor and Environmental Studies offers students a range of pathways including further formal study in areas where interaction with outdoor environments is central, such as natural resource management, nature-based tourism, outdoor leading and guiding, environmental research and policy, education, and agriculture.


This study enables students to:

  • develop experiential relationships with, and knowledge of, outdoor environments

  • develop an understanding of the ecological, historical, economic and social factors that have

    affected and will continue to affect outdoor environments over time

  • develop skills, knowledge and behaviours that promote safe and sustainable interaction with

    outdoor environments

  • identify and analyse the strategies used to protect, conserve and manage outdoor

    environments in a sustainable manner

  • understand the implications of increasing awareness of sustainable environmental


  • critically analyse interactions with outdoor environments in shaping Australian cultural




The study is made up of four units:
Unit 1: Exploring outdoor experiences
Unit 2: Discovering outdoor environments
Unit 3: Relationships with outdoor environments
Unit 4: Sustainable outdoor relationships

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