Explore nature, body and mind in social education work

VIA Nature in Social Education  


Want to explore the wonders of nature in a social education setting? Care about democracy? Are health and well-being important aspects in your social work? Join the “Nature, Health and Democracy”.

About the programme


Title: VIA Nature in Social Education

Duration of the programme: 1 semester (30 ECTS)

Semester start - semester end: 6 February 2017 - 16 June 2017

Application deadline: 

  • Autumn: 1 May
  • Spring: 1 November

Study location: Aarhus. Read about Campus Aarhus C (in English)

Language: The programme is taught in English.

Structure and content
The programme focuses on how children and teenagers can benefit from outdoor activity.

The Danish pedagogical tradition strongly emphasises the free and self-governed child and youth. A person who can be stimulated to have a good life through inspiring environments in a democratic context. 

The applicants for this program may be international and Danish students studying to be pedagogues, educators og social workers. As well as students within the fields of nature, health and outdoor activities. It also includes people who are interested in finding new opportunities and ways of working using outdoor environments to improve learning and living conditions for children and youth.

This course will focus on:

  • The importance of nature, health and democracy.
  • How movement, nature, and experiences in nature can be of importance in pedagogical practice.
  • How children and youth can benefit from experiencing nature and their physical surroundings. And, thereby,  heightening their body-awareness, pleasure in activity, performance and health.
  • How social educators can include different types of outdoor activities and environments in pedagogical projects aiming at experience, learning and democratic formation.
  • The course provides in this way students with relevant knowledge, competencies, and skills to include nature, health, and physical activity in the pedagogical practice with children and youth.

The program includes the following four areas:

  • Theories and methodology of Danish pedagogy. 
  • Democracy in theory and in pedagogical practice.
  • The importance of nature, outdoor life, health, play and movement in pedagogical practice.
  • Placement and observation in pedagogical institutions.

Competences at the program

During the program, the students will develop competencies in reflecting and carrying out social pedagogical care work. And they will develop competencies in using nature, and movement in the outdoor environment as a method in pedagogical work.

The program consists of three modules according to the current Danish Study Program for education of pedagogues.

    Read about Course modules

    Read about the three modules for the programme (in English)

    More information

    Read about the aim and learning outcome (in English).

    This international programme focuses on how children and youth can benefit from experiencing nature and physical surroundings.
    Nature, Health and Democracy is for international and Danish students.

    In order to be accepted into the semester for VIA Nature in Social Education, we require that you are able to follow the semester and complete examinations in English (equivalent to level B2) upon arrival.

    Students must have completed the first year of study at either university or another institute of higher education.

    How to apply
    Application deadline is in May and November every year.

    You can participate in the exchange programme in both spring and autumn semester.

    Autumn semester

    Application deadline: 1 May

    Spring semester

    Application deadline: 1 November

      Who can apply?

      The applicants for this programme are usually international and Danish students studying to be educators and social workers, as well as students within the fields of nature, health and outdoor activities.

      In addition, some applicants are people who are interested in finding new opportunities and ways of working with the outdoor environment to improve learning and living conditions.


      You have to fill in an online application form.

      Go to the application form (use Google Chrome or Firefox when you fill in the form)

      Fees and tuition
      Get information about tuition fee.

      If you are studying at an institution with a bilateral partner agreement with VIA University College, your participation in the exchange programme is tuition-free. 

      Students from institutions without a bilateral partner agreement must pay EUR 4.000.

      Read about fees and finances.

      Student counselling
      We are ready to help you with any questions you might have before you apply.

      Contact us if you have any questions regarding your attendance at Nature, Health and Democracy in Aarhus.

      Please contact our student counsellor:

      Ulla Røjmer Nordstrøm:
      T: +45 87 55 35 18
      E: urn@via.dk

      You are always welcome to contact us if you have any questions.

      VIA University College
      Education and Social Studies
      Ceresbyen 24
      8000 Aarhus C
      DK - Denmark

      T: +45 87 55 00 00
      E: urn@via.dk 

      Read about VIA Campus Aarhus C (in English).