Master Tracker

Master Tracker Program (Level 5 Diploma in Tracking) v2

Coming in 2021…

Woodlife is offering this unique tracking package. As far as we know this is the only package of its type in the world. 

The program will be a fundamental to expert level tracking program, which is flexible, affordable and comprehensive.

Born about by the Coronavirus lockdown of 2020, the Master Tracker program will be the only tracking course in the world offering combinations of online learning, online support, online resources and talks from expert trackers and instructors with the option of attending practical courses in forest locations.

The program will be UK-based but most modules are suitable for all countries and environments. Bolt-on environments will be available at a later date.

What is it?

The Master Tracker is a complete program in 4 modules designed to be undertaken within 12 months. We recognise that people have other commitments, so the program is flexible both in terms of completion times and payment plans. Most of the learning material is online affording the participant the flexibility of learning in their own time and at a location of their choice.

With the completion of each module you will progress quickly through a structured learning program which leads you from the fundamentals of tracking to advanced levels. These aren’t just field guides – the program is designed to set you on your journey to become a Master Tracker. You won’t be a Master tracker at the end of it – but you will be well on the way!

How does it work?

Within the program each module has a number of topics and subjects. The theoretical subject matter will be put on an online learning platform accessible from anywhere in the world. The material is not just reading material, YouTube videos or online PowerPoints – it is a structured interactive learning program developed by a qualified online course designer. It even has its own mobile device app so that modules can be downloaded for access even without internet connection. 

The program involves learning about tracking subjects and progressing through the modules. You may elect to study the whole program, individual modules or even just certain topics/subjects. 

As well as access to online learning you will have access to online resources, live talks and webinars, and interactive online classroom sessions led by expert trackers and instructors. If you miss a live classroom session, don’t worry – it will be available to you in the resource area after the session. There will be an active online social area with a discussion briefing/debriefing facility and a live video-link facility for one-to-one sessions.

As tracking is fundamentally a practical skill, you will have tasks to carry out at your leisure and in your own environment. You will also have the option of consolidating your learning with us at our UK Forest location during the 4 optional weekends designed to address the subjects within each module. There will be 2 weekends in the spring and 2 in the autumn. 

The payment plans are also flexible. The basic subscription gives you access to the online learning site, the online resources and the social area. Once you have subscribed you can access the modules or subjects you have elected to study. An interactive e-book[1] will also be available which contains all the content and more. It will be free of charge for those on the fully-inclusive plan or as an additional cost to other plans.

What is a Level 5 Diploma?

The Master Tracker program is designed around a Level 5 Diploma qualification. This is based on OFQUAL’s Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). The levels (1-7) are levels of difficulty. RQF also consider the depth of learning in the Total Qualification Time (TQT) taken to achieve the subject in terms of Awards, Certificates and Diplomas. We consider the amount of time to complete this program (360 hours) constitutes a Diploma, which is equivalent to a first-year degree. The program is not accredited with an awarding body at this time; therefore, you will not receive an official qualification – but you will receive a certificate of completion from us.

To obtain the Master Tracker Diploma Level 5 you must complete all subjects in each of the four modules including the assignments and assessments and be signed off by a Woodlife instructor.

What are the main topics?

There are 92 subjects included in the 4 modules. The main topics are:

  • Foundations and fundamentals of tracking including tracking methods and techniques
  • Animal families
  • Animal tracks and signs
  • Environments, terrains and substrates
  • Fieldcraft
  • Human tracking
  • Advanced tracking subjects
  • Birds, reptiles and insects tracking

What are the subjects?

The topics and subjects under each module are listed separately (below.)

How do I know I’ve been successful?

You will have an online learning profile which tracks your progress. Any assignments, tasks and assessments will be visible to you and an online tutor will assist you.

To complete the whole Master Tracker program i.e. Level 5 Diploma you must:

  • Complete each module including the topics, subjects and the activities within it. There are questions, quiz’s, tasks and practical assignments to complete.
  • Successfully complete the end of module knowledge and understanding assessments.
  • Successfully complete the practical assessments.
  • Be signed off by one of our tracking instructors.

Environmental bolt-ons

The Master Tracker program is aimed at those who will be tracking in a UK environment although 85% of subject material is applicable to any environment. However, for those overseas students or trackers wishing to track in other environments there will be environmental bolt-ons at a later stage. Planned bolt-ons include:

  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Central Europe
  • North America

Plans and Costs at a Glance

Full Package

Includes all online content, subscription to basecamp, online talks, tutorage, and four consolidation weekends in Hatfield Forest. On successful completion the participant will be awarded the Level 5 Diploma.


This plan suits the online user who may not necessarily wish to attend the weekend courses; however, these will still available as an option. Each of the four modules are available to study separately allowing you to plan and study each module at a time[2] Only when all subjects are completed within each of the four modules will the participant be awarded the Level 5 Diploma.


The Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) route allows the participant to select subjects, talks and online content as he/she wishes. The costs of each subject reflect the depth of content of each subject. Some subjects are grouped into topic packs as each individual subject may be too short to be included as a separate subject. Some subjects are free of charge once the participant registers for the online site. Only when all subjects are completed will the participant be awarded the Level 5 Diploma.

[1] Available on Apple books only initially

[2] Module 4 is not yet available


Subjects in the first 3 modules include:






Fundamentals (introductory material)

Introduction, History and reasons to track

Qualities of a tracker

Required knowledge

Art & Science

Principles of tracking

Evidence spoor

Sit spots

Zone in

Concentric circles

Dirt time


Notes for nature

Taking notes


Sound maps


Nature detective


Ground sign

Air top sign


Track terminology

Compression shapes


Ageing (basics)

Action indicators (basic)

Lost spoor tracked out




Language of the forest

Visual Behaviour


Bird Behaviour


Baits and calls





Tracking Theory


Types methods and styles of tracking





Tracking Techniques

1 Pack A



4 Pack B






10 Pack C










Ageing Tracks and Signs


Animal tracks & signs


Foot, leg and print morphology


Trails & runs


Homes and dens


Hair & fur


Feeding signs




Gait patterns


Gait & track analysis


Field craft


1 – Sight – Stare


2 – Sight – Shape, Silhouette, Shine


3 – Touch – Speed, Vibration


4 – Smell & Taste – Scent


5 – Hearing – Sound, Silence


6 – Dark Adaptation


7 – Other Senses


8 – Stalking strategy


The Quarry








Homodinae (Intro)




Muridae and others


Environments & Substrates








Natures calendar