BSc Geography

UCAS codeF800
Duration3 years
Typical offerAAA-AAB; IB: 36-34
Location Streatham (Exeter)


Our BSc Geography programme offers you the opportunity to tailor your physical geography degree to suit your developing interests. The first year of the programme provides an excellent grounding in both physical and human geography and ensures you develop the core skills required to progress successfully. The second and final years allow for greater flexibility and specialisation with an emphasis on physical geography. You can choose from a diverse set of optional modules which span a breadth of topics including areas in which we have a particular strength such as hydrology, geomorphology and earth surface processes, Quaternary environmental and climatic change, and GIS. You will also have the opportunity to undertake physical geography research methods, participate in a physical geography field trip, and carry out a physical geography dissertation.

Through field work and other forms of experiential learning the programme aims to promote your curiosity about natural, social and cultural 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.

Why study Geography at our Streatham Campus, Exeter?

  • Join a large community of Geography students and staff - a thriving and vibrant environment in which to study
  • Flexible degree structures and a wide selection of optional modules allow you to tailor your study to suit your developing interests
  • Choice of exciting field courses in the UK and abroad
  • Excellent facilities managed by experienced and dedicated technical support staff:
    • well equipped laboratories including a £3.7million sediment research centre
    • GIS laboratories with high spec work stations
    • computer rooms
    • technical workshop
    • cartographic studio
    • good provision of technical equipment for field study
  • Opportunities to develop the vocational skills highly sought by employers

Programme variations

The teaching at Exeter is fantastic, with enthusiastic tutors freely available to discuss topics and concepts with you, in a lively research-orientated department. This means that your lecturers are at the forefront of the latest concepts to have come from academia. With many opportunities for students to get involved with the department, I found both my confidence and key skills improved, and a sense of pride gained as I was ‘giving back’ to a department that has given me so much. Combine fantastic teaching, excellent resources and a beautiful location, and you have the reason for choosing to pursue studying Geography at the University of Exeter.

Tim Wright, Geography Graduate.

Programme structure

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.

Year 1

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory modules

GEO1211Earth System Science: The History of Our Planet 15
GEO1212Earth System Science: The Future of Our Planet 15
GEO1310Geographies of Environment and Sustainability 15
GEO1311Study Skills for Physical Geographers 15
GEO1315Research Methods for Geographers15
GEO1316Concepts in Geography15

Optional modules

GEO1105Geographies of Place, Identity and Culture 15
GEO1106Geographies of Global Change 15

Year 2

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory modules

* You must choose 30-60 credits from the Physical Geography modules contained within the list [Physical Geography second year].

GEO2307Physical Geography Field Trip 15
GEO2320Applied GIS for Physical Geographers 15
GEO2330Research Methods for Physical Geography 15
GEO2331Research Design in Physical Geography 15
Physical Geography second year [* see note above]
GEO2221Catchment Hydrology and Geomorphology15
GEO2226Biogeography and Ecosystems15
GEO2228Cold Climate Geomorphology15
GEO2230Reconstructing Past Environments15

Optional modules

You may then choose 0-30 credits from other level 5 Geography modules listed below.

GEO2119Historical Cultural Geographies 15
GEO2120Political Geographies 15
GEO2122Social Geography 15
GEO2131Nature Development and Justice 15
GEO2312Theory, Space and Society 15
GEO2315Learning from Experience 15
GEO2316Volatile Planet 15
GEO2317Climate Change: Science and Society 15

Year 3

30-45 credits of compulsory modules, 75-90 credits of optional modules

Compulsory modules

* You must choose either GEO3321 or GEO3322.

GEO3321BSc Dissertation [* see note above]45
GEO3322BSc Dissertation [* see note above]30

Optional modules

GEO3101Gender and Geography 15
GEO3117Geographies of Rurality 15
GEO3121Cultural Geographies of Landscape 15
GEO3127Geographies of Transport and Mobility 15
GEO3128Geographies of the State 15
GEO3129Images of the Earth 15
GEO3131Geographies of Creativity, Economy and Society 15
GEO3132Geographies of Heritage and Memory 15
GEO3133NIMBYism and the Low Carbon Transition 15
GEO3134Making Carbon Public: Risk, Climate and the Politics of Energy 15
GEO3136Geographies of Science, Politics and Publics15
GEO3220The Cryosphere 15
GEO3222Dating Techniques 15
GEO3225Climate Change and its Impacts 15
GEO3227Weather 15
GEO3228Environmental Modelling 15
GEO3229Tropical Palaeoecology and Palaecoclimatology 15
GEO3230Tropical Forests in a Changing World 15
GEO3231The Oceans and Climate 15
GEO3232Peatland Ecosystems 15
GEO3233Environmental Feedbacks to Climate Change 15
GEO3234Landscape Dynamics 15

Entry requirements 2015

Typical offer

AAA-AAB; IB: 36-34

Required subjects

GCE AL Science subject Grade B;  IB HL5 Science subject.

GCE AL/AS science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths*; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Statistics.

 *If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one 'science' but could count as two A-levels towards our general requirements.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

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.

You will be taught in a variety of settings including:

  • Lectures, seminars, and workshops;
  • Practical classes – these provide training in research methods and design, and include the use of IT and quantitative and qualitative methods, ,and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Fieldwork (both local and international, day trips and residential);
  • Tutorials – small group teaching, led by your academic tutor, with a focus on key academic skills and personal development. Here you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss in more depth issues from across the programme, and to develop your skills through presentations and group work
  • Individual progress meetings with your academic tutor.

Technology Enabled Learning

All students have access to the latest Geographic Information Systems, Earth Observation and mapping software. As support for lectures, seminars and tutorials, we frequently make use of video-conferencing and webcasting. We are actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning. 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.

Academic support

We are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment in which you can build confidence and mastery of Geography. The ambience is one of informality. Members of teaching staff either maintain an open door policy for student enquiries or have regular office hours when they can be consulted. From day one you are allocated a personal tutor who acts as a mentor on academic work, as well as a source of advice for accessing wider student services should you require them. In addition, all students in Geography are represented through Student-Staff Liaison Committees and can regularly feedback through module and course evaluations.


  • Examinations account for around 50-60 per cent of your final mark.
  • Coursework-based assessment accounts for around 40-50 per cent of your final mark.

Assessment methods will vary depending on your choice of optional modules.

You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but these results won’t count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years all contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree.

I chose the University of Exeter to study BSc Geography because of all the available resources on the doorstep such as the Jurassic coast. The university also has great research community, with the latest information being fed to the students through  lectures and tutorials. Since being here I have really valued the fact that we have the leading experts in their field teaching us as they are writing the textbook!

Emily Hargreaves, BSc Geography, Streatham Campus.

Field work

Field work is an important component of our Geography degrees and you’ll participate in a number of field courses throughout your degree.

In Year 1, local field trips will provide an introduction to physical and human aspects of the local region.

In Year 2, you’ll go on a residential field course (normally one week’s duration) where you’ll have the opportunity to apply your research and practical skills. Recent destinations have included:

  • Brazil
  • Cumbria
  • New York City
  • Seville
  • South Africa

Find out more about undergraduate field work.

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 Jenner, BA Geography Graduate


A Geography degree from the University of Exeter will equip you with a wide range of skills suitable for progressing onto further study or employment. The breadth of career opportunities open to geography graduates is vast, with research, planning and management careers in government, the commercial sector and regional councils providing many positions, as well as roles within not-for-profit organisations.

We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. Visit our Careers and Employability web page for more information.

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 want to follow after graduation, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.

Graduate destinations

Below are a few examples* of initial jobs undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Geography undergraduate programmes. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

Job titleOrganisation
Graduate Surveyor
Geographic Information Systems Technician
Audit Associate
Trainee Tutor
Sustainability Assistant
Flood Risk Analyst
Climate Change Researcher
Graduate Account Executive
Financial Research Analyst
Affordable Warmth Projects Assistant
Operations Management Graduate Trainee
Immigration Caseworker
Assistant Catastrophe Exposure Analyst
Planning Assistant
Performance and Efficiency Analyst
Recruitment Consultant
Data Analyst
HR Administrator
Marketing Assistant
Thales Business Graduate
Research Consultant
Regen SW
Sanctuary Housing
Thames Water
Field Studies Council
Environment Agency
The Climate Group
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
Menzies LLP
United Sustainable Energy Agency
Financial Times Ltd
UK Border Agency
South West Water
English Heritage
London Borough Newham Council
Department for Transport
Thales UK
Spencer Ogden
National Trust

Further study

Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation. Below are a few examples* of further study undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Geography undergraduate programmes. Please note that, due to data protection, the subjects of study and institutions are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

 Subject areaInstitution
Teacher training
Real estate
Rural surveying
International development
Climate science
Food economics
Energy policy
Oil and gas management
Sustainable development
Surveying and land/environmental management
International relations
Environmental mapping
International management
University of Exeter
Cranfield University
College of Law
Royal Agricultural College
Oxford University
University of East Anglia
Durham University
University of Bristol
The University of Nottingham
University College London
University of Warwick
Lancaster University
University of Reading

Find out more

Further information about the opportunities the University of Exeter offers to maximise our graduates’ employment prospects can be found on the CareerZone website.

* This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2011/12.

After my degree I hope to go into travel or environmental journalism, and the flexibility of my programme means that I am gaining knowledge in a wide variety of areas and keeping my options open for the future.

Lara Langston, BSc Geography, Streatham Campus

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 725818

Website: Visit the Geography website

How to apply Get a prospectus Visit subject website Print course

View our Geography brochure

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