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  • Climbing courses and qualifications

    We offer a range of training programmes to suit your level of expertise from private lessons to schools, youth and corporate groups.

    Lessons are available Monday-Friday 12-10pm and weekends 10am-5pm. Cost includes entry, equipment and instructor.

    To book any course for all enquiries email climb@brookes.ac.uk.

    See our current prices »


    Adult novice climbing course

    Within the ideal conditions of the indoors beginners can experience the challenge of climbing for the first time, learning the basic skills on our bouldering wall.

    Monday evenings 6-8pm. Our four week novice course is run over a calendar month and is the most cost effective way to get started. Qualified instructors with all safety equipment provide guidance and tuition through this eight-hour course. Our novice course will introduce you to rope work, rock climbing techniques, safe fitting and use of equipment.

    Lead climbing course

    This course, is designed to allow any bottom rope climber to safely progress to the sharp end of the rope. Leading is potentially dangerous so during this course our instructors will ensure you gain best practice techniques for sport leading.

    Refresher lessons

    If you’re returning to climbing after a break and would like to be supervised and checked over then you can book an instructor for one hour session just to guide you back into the sport, or to go over a specific topic with you.

    Private lessons

    Ideal as a treat or gift small group sessions or 1:1 lessons can allow you to progress much faster toward you goal of safe independence climbing indoors, our lessons will move you at your own pace, in your own direction.

    Kids open session

    Mondays and Fridays 4.30-6pm. This session is designed for 5yrs+. Cost includes entry and supervision. The session is a supervised climbing experience of bouldering and bottom-roped climbing run by our experienced instructor team. Places can be booked in advance on 01865 48 4373.

    Kids open session: School Holiday Specials

    Tuesday and Thursday afternoons - Please check times and availability via climb@brookes.ac.uk  

    Adult open session

    Thursdays 7-9pm. Cost includes entry, equipment and supervision. The session is a supervised climbing experience designed for new climbers who have undertaken our novice courses or lessons but would still like some guidance. The session is run by our experienced instructor team. Places can be booked in advance on 01865 48 4373


    NICAS logo


    NICAS has five progressive levels of award for complete novices to expert climbers. The scheme is split into two parts and takes a minimum of 80 hours to complete Levels 1 to 4 and an additional year to complete Level 5. Part one contains Levels 1 to 3 and part two contains Levels 4 and 5.

    The Five NICAS Levels

    1. New Climber - An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

    2. Foundation Climber - Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

    3. Technical Climber - A more advanced top-roping and bouldering award that focusses on developing technique and movement skills. Achievement at this level is broadly equivalent to a pass at GCSE.

    4. Lead Climber - Concentrating on the skills required to lead climb proficiently. Aimed at developing a self-motivated climber who has a wide range of skills and has reached a high level of competence, with a desire to progress by identifying and setting goals.

    5. Advanced Climber - The top-level award that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing, as well as experience of local and national competitions.


    NICAS Rock Stars Club

    Sundays: 7-9yrs (9.30am-11:00am). 9-10yrs (11:00am-12:30pm) 11-12yrs (1:00pm-2:30pm) and 13-14yrs (2:30pm-4:00pm) 14-17yrs (4:00pm-5:30pm).

    NICAS Open Sessions

    Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30pm-6:00pm and Friday 6:00pm-7:30pm


    National Climbing Qualifications and Personal Rock Skills




    Rock Skills

    A Rock Skills Introduction is ideal for beginner climbers; those who have never climbed on rock and those with limited experience of climbing indoors.

    One day course. 12 years plus, no experience required.

    Rock Skills Intermediate is aimed at people with some experience of climbing who want to improve their movement skills, develop their ropework skills and learn about traditional protection.

    Two day course. 13 years plus, Completion of a Rock Skills Introduction course OR have logged 10 routes on walls or outdoor crags; and have logged 10 belays of a fellow climber.


    Neil Champion Mountaineering, in conjunction with Brookes Sport, is running a Climbing Wall Instructor and Climbing Wall Development Instructor courses based from Brookes Climb.

    This Mountain Training qualification scheme is for those who are currently involved or keen to become involved in climbing instruction.

    Details of the syllabus can be viewed on the Mountain Training website. Please note that in order to participate in this course you must have registered with Mountain Training prior to the start of the course.


    Climbing Wall Instructor

    The Climbing Wall Instructor trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on purpose built artificial climbing walls and boulders. It is ideal for people who work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers. 

    Climbing Wall Instructor Training

    This two day course covers party supervision, safety and coaching movement skills. 

    Climbing Wall Instructor Assessment

    This is a one day assessment. Candidates must have attended a training course and have logged 30 visits to a climbing wall.


    Climbing Wall Development Instructor

    The Climbing Wall Development Instructor trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to develop climbers beyond the basic skills. This includes teaching lead climbing on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection.

    Climbing Wall Development Instructor Training

    This one day course covers the skills needed to teach lead climbing indoors. Trainees must hold the either the Climbing Wall Instructor or Rock Climbing instructor award.

    Climbing Wall Development Instructor Assessment

    This is a one day assessment. Candidates must have attended a training course and have logged 100 lead climbs 50% at French 6a or above.

    For all qualifications, trainees must register with the  Mountain Training Association.

    To register for any of these courses please contact climb@brookes.ac.uk.