BA Geography with Professional Placement
|Typical offer||A*AA–AAA; IB: 38–36; BTEC: D*DD-DDD|
This four-year version of the BA Geography degree includes a year spent undertaking a professional placement between the second and final years. You will spend this third year working in an appropriate organisation and you will apply the skills learnt during the first and second years, improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts and enhance employability.
Our BA Geography with Professional Placement programme will provide you with a broad understanding of the geographical aspects of human society and the physical environment, with the opportunity to specialise through module choices. Following a first year that provides a good foundation in human and physical geography, plus key skills, the second and final years offer you the opportunity to shape your degree to match your developing interests with an emphasis on human geography. You’ll choose from a range of optional modules which draw upon our research strengths, including historical geography, rural geography, nature-culture relations, cultural and political geography, and climate and society. You will also have the opportunity to undertake human geography research methods, participate in a human geography field trip, and carry out a human geography dissertation.
Through field work and other forms of experiential learning, the programme aims to promote your curiosity about social, cultural and natural environments and to enable you to develop a range of skills specific to the geographer as well as a series of cognitive, generic and transferable skills.
The programme is available as a four-year degree with the third year spent studying at a partner university abroad.
- Investigate the world through novel geographical lenses, explore the flows and spaces of globalisation, the importance of place and the shifting geographies of identity and culture
- Choose from a range of optional modules which draw upon our international research strengths, including environment and sustainability, political geography, global urban futures, historical and cultural geography, health geographies, and climate and society
- Through fieldwork and through experiential learning, engage your curiosity about the dynamics and consequences of social, cultural and environmental change and develop a range of geographical skills which are transferable to diverse workplaces
- Take the opportunity, in your third year of a four year programme, to study abroad or undertake a year’s work placement within an organisation relevant to your degree
- Option to select modules from physical geography in your second and final years
The first year of the BA Geography degree programme provides an excellent introduction to wide-ranging research areas in human geography (including globalisation, sustainability, place, identity and culture) and core academic skills development (independent learning, effective communication, and academic writing) and includes a residential field trip in the first term, during which you will develop a series of human geography research skills.
The second year offers a combination of core and optional modules in Human Geography, ranging from Nature, Development and Justice and Global Lives to Political and Social Geographies.
Modules at the interface between human and physical geography also enable students to examine the challenges of climate change and natural hazards. Core components of second year skills development are advanced research training and international residential fieldtrips, such as the Bay of Naples, Berlin, New York and Seville*.
The final year offers optional modules across a wide range of critical subject areas in human geography, in many cases directly linked to ongoing research being undertaken in the department (covering fields including refugee and asylum geographies, geographies of technology, material culture and low carbon societies). The final year also offers you the opportunity to undertake your own research project.
*Field course destinations are subject to change. Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs.
The University of Exeter is highly ranked in the UK and the Geography programme is one of the most renowned and developed undergraduate courses here. The quality of teaching is great and the lecturers are friendly and really helpful. Exeter does not only give me the opportunity of a well designed course and high quality education but also valuable life experiences.
Jessica, BA Geography.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted, or replaced as a consequence of the annual review of this programme.
You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
You may take elective modules up to 30 credits outside of the programme in each stage of the programme with permission as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
You are also permitted to take the five-credit module GEO3910 Professional Development Experience in Stages 2 and 3. Registration on this module is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, this module will not count towards progression or award calculation.
I think that the variety and flexibility of the programme is very important. Students have the opportunity to mix physical and human geography with other subjects and languages, and can also participate in studies abroad. The opportunities and support offered by the School are endless, from summer schemes to internships, and the lecturers are very helpful and supportive throughout.
Entry requirements 2020
GCE A-levels: Grade A in a Humanities or Social Science subject*.
IB: HL6 in a Humanities or Social Science subject.
BTEC: Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE A-level grade A in a Humanities or Social Science subject*.
Plus the following GCSEs: Grade C or 4 in English Language.
*GCE A-level Humanities/Social Science subjects include: Ancient History/History; Business/Business Studies; Economics; English; Geography; Government and Politics; Law; Media Studies; Philosophy; Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology.
International students should check details of our English language requirements.
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
You will be taught by expert research-active staff who cover a wide range of human and physical geography specialisms, ranging from climate change to popular culture. We have strong links with international, national, and local research projects around the globe, and staff draw upon the insights and examples these provide in their teaching.
Teaching is through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and field work. Tutorials complement lectures by encouraging you to explore issues in small group discussion meetings (between six and twelve students per group). We have well-equipped laboratories with the latest scientific teaching equipment. We believe every student benefits from being part of a research-inspired culture and taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and, in appropriate degree programmes, you will become an active member of a research team.
We have strong links with international, national and local research projects across every continent of the globe from Antarctica to Asia.
Technology Enabled Learning
All students have access to the latest geographical information systems (GIS), mapping statistics and coding software.
As support for lectures, seminars and tutorials, we frequently make use of video-conferencing and webcasting. We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increased interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment. For example, you may be set a collaborative or group learning project and find yourself utilising the University’s surface tables which offer multi-user capability; or you may be required to undertake learning before a class using material prepared by the lecturer, such as a video, reading or web application, and then during the actual class you will engage in a discussion, test or seminar about the material. In lectures we encourage student contribution through the use of smart phone interactive technology to ask questions, collect feedback and test the understanding and engagement of our students.
We have a virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as discussion forums, blogging and virtual field trips. The virtual field trips integrate video and audio data, maps, datasets, documents and published research to help you develop field work and analytical skills that are firmly grounded in the real world.
Your progress is monitored through tutorial work and practical assessments. The final degree mark is based on approximately 50 per cent exam-based and 50 per cent coursework-based assessments. The latter include a final year dissertation, which is an independent research project in which you study the topic that excites you most. The modules taken in the first year must be passed to progress to the second year but the marks obtained do not influence your final degree classification.
We are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment in which you can build confidence and mastery of Geography. As well as a minimum of 10 hours of direct contact time with your lecturers per week, all students have a personal and academic tutor who is available for advice and support throughout their studies and to support the transition to university-level learning. In addition, all students in Geography are represented through Student-Staff Liaison Committees and can regularly feedback through module and course evaluations.
There are also a number of services where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
I think the personal tutor system is a very valuable part of the Geography programme – they are always available to discuss any problems or queries you may have. The staff members Geography are also extremely supportive, and all the lecturers are really passionate and enthusiastic about their topics.
Field work is an important component of our Geography degrees and you’ll participate in a number of field courses throughout your degree.
In the second and final years, field trips provide an opportunity for you to develop and apply your research skills to wider environments. The main residential field class runs in the second year. Previous destinations have included the Bay of Naples, Berlin, Brazil, California, Iceland, New York and Seville*.
You will be introduced to key geographical research techniques in core modules and field courses during the first two years of your degree. First and second year modules provide training in research design, quantitative and qualitative analytical techniques that form the basis of your geographical investigation in your final year.
Residential field trips in the UK help you apply what you are learning about, how to conduct research as geographers and observe geographical processes in action.
*Field course destinations are subject to change. Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs.
Find out more
Visit our Fieldwork page for more information.
I have found the degree both informative and thoroughly enjoyable, due to the wide variety of modules available. The flexibility of the programme means that if you find a particular area really interesting then you can study it in more depth. The field trips, both local and international, enable a learning culture outside of the lecture theatre.
Keri, Geography Graduate
No matter what your ambitions, aspirations or career choice may be there has never been a better, or more significant, time to study Geography.
Key global issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion are not only at the forefront of socio-political philosophies and attitudes, but are also deep-rooted within geography, making it one of the most relevant courses that you could choose to study.
A Geography degree from the University of Exeter will equip you with the experience and skills to help you progress into further study or employment. The breadth of career opportunities open to geography graduates is vast, with recent graduates starting careers in planning, environmental and sustainability projects, water analysis, insurance, teaching and more – both in the UK and overseas.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates.
Supporting your career in Geography
Each year Geography students are able to access a huge range of opportunities when considering their future career options. Recent events have included, career insights with visiting alumni, career conversations with employers on campus, mock interviews with visiting employers and alumni, immersion day at the Met Office, the Life and Environmental Sciences Careers Fair, nature and conservation training courses.
Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Ambassador Scheme
As a Geography student you will have the opportunity to apply for the RGS Ambassador Scheme. The scheme recruits, trains and supports geographers currently at university and graduate geographers from the work place to act as ambassadors for geography in the classroom. This is a great way to introduce younger students to the benefits of studying geography and to encourage them to pursue the subject beyond the compulsory stages. The ambassadors act as positive role models for pupils and can illustrate, with enthusiasm, both the specific and transferable skills they have developed as a geographer. For more information you can visit the RGS Ambassador Scheme website.
Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Geography undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
Recent graduates are now working for:
- Barratt Developments
- British Red Cross
- Cancer Research UK
- Civil Service
- Down's Syndrome Association
- FleishmanHillard Fishburn
- Flint Group Insurance
- Food and Drink Federation
- Mayfair Capital
- Ministry of Defence
- Mott Macdonald
- Natural England
- Octopus Energy
- South West Water
- Southdowns Environmental Consultants
- Test Valley Borough Council
- The Carbon Trust
- Willis Towers Watson
Recent graduates are now working as:
- Associate Management Consultant
- Audit Trainee
- Business Analyst
- Conservation Adviser
- Environmental Technician
- Financial Accountant
- Flood risk engineer
- Freelance Writer
- Geography Teacher
- GIS Consultant
- Graduate Soil Scientist
- Graduate Surveyor
- Insurance Broker
- Investor Relations Coordinator
- Marketing executive
- Planning Support Officer
- Police Officer
- Qualitative Research Executive
- Recruitment/HR Coordinator
- Sustainability and Environmental Policy Executive
Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation from a Geography undergraduate degree. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the subjects of study and institutions are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MA Climate Change: History, Culture, Society
- MA Conflict, Security and Development
- MA Environment, Development and Policy
- MA Landscape Architecture
- MRes Critical Human Geographies
- MSc Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
- MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy
- MSc Oceanography
- PGCE Primary
- PGCE Geography
- MSc Real Estate Development
- MSc Spatial Planning and Development
- MSc International Development
- MSC International Management
- MSc Marketing
- MSc Applied Meteorology
- MSc Construction Cost Management
- MSc Environment and Human Health
- MSc in Public Health
- MSc in Rural Land and Business Management
The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you wish to follow after graduation, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.
One of the greatest characteristics of pursuing a degree in geography is the flexibility it provides, extending into disciplines you would not associate with the subject.
Robert, Geography with European Study
These four-year programmes give you the opportunity to spend the third year of your degree on a student-organised work placement with an organisation relevant to your degree. You will be supported through your placement by a programme director who will provide high quality advice and support and gain insightful and valuable experience of a professional workplace prior to graduating. The professional placement year counts towards your degree through the completion of your placement and associated coursework and contributes to your final degree classification and ‘with Professional Placement’ will be recorded on your degree certificate. During your first, second and final years of study, you will follow the same programme of study as the BA Geography.
We have established collaborations with local, national and international organisations that you can consider when applying for placement positions.
You will gain valuable experience from the work placement: you will learn to apply the skills learnt during the first and second years, improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts and enhance employability. Work placements allow you to develop your career focus and are extremely valued by employers.