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Undergraduate Study

BA/BSc Geography - 2025 entry

Please note: The below is for 2025 entries. Click here for 2024 entries.
UCAS code F807
Duration 3 years
Entry year 2025
Campus Penryn Campus
Discipline Geography

Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 725818

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A-Level: AAB - ABB
IB: 34/665 - 32/655

Contextual offers

A-Level: BBB - BBC
IB: 30/555 - 28/554

Prof. Placement/Study Abroad:
A-Level: ABB - BBB
IB: 32/655 - 30/555


  • Explore key global challenges of the 21st century by examining both human and physical issues and, importantly, the connections between the two
  • Gain an appreciation of global challenges from multiple perspectives with an understanding of the interactions between people, places and events
  • Highly flexible programme offers an innovative, contemporary and holistic approach to Geography
  • Your choice of dissertation topic and selection of modules will determine whether you graduate with a BA or a BSc
  • Hands-on fieldwork is an integral part of all our programmes, with options in the South West and further afield

View 2024 Entry

Request a prospectus

Open Days and visiting us

How to apply


Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 50 in the world for Geography

QS World University Subject Rankings 2024

Top 10 in the UK for Geography and Environmental Science

10th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Spend a year studying abroad or on a professional placement

Field courses available in each year of study

The biggest highlight of my course so far was the field trip to West Penwith*, as I built close relationships with my course mates. We shared lots of joy and fun together, and applied the knowledge gained through lecture-based modules to real situations in Cornwall.

My favourite part of the programme has been the module about climate change, as it delivers lots of information about how human activities have impacted global warming and the potential solutions. I also really like the diverse range of teaching styles, the helpful lecturers and how friendly the university is to international students.

I finished the INTO Foundation Programme at the Streatham Campus last year and found everyone really friendly. Also, the University of Exeter is recognised as a top-notch institution with highly-ranked research and excellent teaching.

The Penryn Campus is like a small community with lots of nice and friendly students and teachers. The environment on campus is amazing. We are surrounded by aesthetic landscapes and lots of green spaces. I feel like I belong to the campus. I am a member of the FXU Basketball Club, the FXU Christian Union and the Geography Society.

My group explored the relationships between the Cornish landscape and Cornish society. I learnt valuable techniques that I can use in my future career, such as collecting data and analysing it in order to produce reliable findings. It was a wonderful experience to work in the field and apply what I have learnt in the lectures.

After I have graduated, I think I will study a master's degree here at Exeter. I am considering an MSc in Climate Change, or an MA in International Development.

*Field course destinations are subject to change.

Read more from Marky, from Hong Kong

Marky, from Hong Kong

BA/BSc Geography

Entry requirements (typical offer)

Qualification Typical offer Required subjects
A-Level AAB - ABB

AAA - AAB (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement)
No required subjects
IB 34/665 - 32/655

36/666 - 34/665 (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement)
No required subjects

DDM (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement)
No required subjects
GCSE C or 4 English Language
Access to HE 30 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade - 24 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade.

30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement)
No required subjects
T-Level Distinction T-level in Design and Development for Engineering & Manufacturing OR Agriculture, Land Management & Production only.
Contextual Offer

A-Level: BBB - BBC
IB: 30/555 - 28/554

Prof. Placement/Study Abroad:
A-Level: ABB - BBB
IB: 32/655 - 30/555

Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.

Other accepted qualifications

View other accepted qualifications

English language requirements

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply

Course content

This programme will broaden your horizons by breaking down the barriers between disciplines to allow you to gain a holistic understanding of the interactions between people, places, and events. You will also have the flexibility to engage with specific human and/or physical geography topics as part of your degree.

The structure encourages you to pursue the topics that fascinate and capture your imagination. Following a first year of interdisciplinary modules that tackle broad issues, you can tailor your degree by choosing a thematic route through a series of more specialist modules in the second and final years. In essence, this exciting approach combines an all-round training in geography with the flexibility to graduate with either a BA or BSc degree, depending on your choice of optional modules.

This year comprises modules that examine modern challenges – from local landscape evolution to global environmental change – from multiple geographical perspectives. It provides you with an excellent foundation, ensuring you develop the relevant skills and knowledge to progress your studies in subsequent years.

90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
GEO1401B Approaches to Geographical Knowledge 15
GEO1405B Earth System Science 15
GEO1413 The Geography of Cornwall 15
GEO1414 Geography Tutorials 15
GEO1418 Granite Landscapes and Society 15
GEO1419 Introduction to data science 15

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
GeoP S1 BA-BSc Geog opt 2021-2
GEO1420 Atmospheric and Oceanic Systems, Their Interactions and Importance 15
BIO1431 Introduction to Human Sciences 15
HIC1306 World History: Globalisation 15
LAW1016C A Legal Foundation for Environmental Protection 15
POC1021 Key Concepts in Politics and International Relations 15
POC1026 Power, Inequality and Global Justice 15
TRU1113 Literature and the History of Ideas 30
GEO1408B Global Issues in Environmental Science 15
HIC1305 World History: Science, Environment and Sustainability 15

Build on what you have learnt in your first year and continue to study some core integrated modules. You will also have the opportunity to take specific human and/or physical geography modules, enabling you to start tailoring your studies to suit your developing interests. Year 2 also includes a residential trip to the Isles of Scilly.

45 credits of compulsory modules, 75 credits of optional modules

b You may not take GEO2449 and LES2002 in the same academic year. 

c The field course module, GEO2460 is compulsory. If you are unable to take the field course, you will be required to take another optional module.

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
GEO2460 Environment and Sustainability on the Isles of Scilly [See note c above]15
GEO2461 Second Year Tutorials 15
GEO2462 Research Design and Methods 15

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
GeoP S2 BA-BSc Geog opt 2021-2
BIO2451 Evolution of Human Societies 15
GEO2440 Geographical Information Science and Systems 15
GEO2441 Remote Sensing for Environmental Management 15
GEO2442 The Politics of Climate Change and Energy 15
GEO2444 Landscape Evolution 15
GEO2445 Rural Social Issues 15
GEO2450 Biogeography 15
GEO2451 Ice Sheets: Glaciology, Climate and the Oceans 15
GEO2454 Waste and Society 15
GEO2457 Physical Ocean Processes 15
GEO2458 People and Nature 15
LAW2016C Environmental Regulation and Redress 15
GEO2456 Social and Cultural Geographies 15
POC2120 Power and Democracy 15
POC2114 Green Politics in Theory and Practice 15
POC2108 Political Geographies: Local to Global 15
POC2123 Politics of the Middle East 15
ECE2001 Oceans and Human Health 15
ECE2002 Health, Place and Wellbeing 15
GeoP Employability opt 2021-2 [See note b above]
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15

Find out more about study abroad or a professional placement under Course variants

with Professional Placement

120 credits of compulsory modules

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
GEO3324 Professional Placement 120

with Study Abroad

120 credits of compulsory modules

For your year abroad you will agree a suite of modules in your host institution with the College Study Abroad Coordinator. Details of individual modules that may be taken whilst abroad can be found by accessing the partner institution’s factfile at and navigating to the “Course Requirements” section of that factfile where a link to the modules on offer in the partner institution is displayed.

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
GEO3508 One Year Study Abroad 120

A significant focus in your final year is the research-led dissertation, for which you will receive individual supervision from an expert in your chosen field. You will also choose optional modules from a selection covering both human and physical geography specialisms aligned to the research expertise of our academics. Another highlight is the residential field course, where you will be immersed in a new environment and taught how to understand its environmental and cultural challenges from multiple geographical perspectives.

45 credits of compulsory modules, 75 credits of optional modules (you will have the option of taking a field course in your final stage but the location has not yet been finalised)

b You may not take GEO2449 and LES2002 in the same academic year. Additionally, 

d You must choose one of the two Dissertation modules. To exit with the award BSc (Hons) you must select GEO3439 and to exit with the award of BA (Hons) you must select GEO3438. Changes to your dissertation topic and to your choice of award (ie BA or BSc) will not be possible beyond 1 December in the final stage.

Compulsory modules

CodeModule Credits
GEO3439 BSc Dissertation in Geography [See note d above]40
GEO3438 BA Dissertation in Geography [See note d above]40
GEO3471 Preparing to Graduate 5

Optional modules

CodeModule Credits
GeoP SF BA-BSc Geog opt 2021-2
GEO3437B Climate Change and Society 15
BIO3428 The Complexity of Human Societies 15
GEO3448 Quaternary Environmental Change 15
GEO3452 Literature Review in Environment and Society 15
GEO3454 Antarctica: Science from a Frozen Continent 15
GEO3455 Marine Climate and Environmental Change 15
GEO3457 Geographies of Democracy 15
GEO3458 Marine and Coastal Sustainability 15
GEO3461 Arctic Frontiers: Can We Preserve the Arctic Environment? 15
GEO3466 Biological Oceanography 15
GEO3467 Human-Animal Interactions 15
LAW3016C Legal Response to Environmental Destruction 15
BIO3434 Major Transitions in Evolutionary History 15
BIO3135 Human Behavioural Ecology 15
POC3107 The Politics of Statelessness 15
POC3117 The Politics of Climate Change 15
POC3129 The Far Right in Europe 15
GEO3469 Catastropolis 15
ECE3001 Living with Environmental Change 15
ECE3002 Frontiers of Global Health 15
GeoP Employability opt 2021-2 [See note b above]
GEO2449 Green Consultants 15
LES2002 Workplace Learning 15

Course variants

UCAS code: F8D8

Why choose a professional placement year?

In your professional placement year you will learn to apply the knowledge learnt during your first and second years, improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts and enhance your employability. Work placements allow you to gain experience of a professional workplace prior to graduating and develop your career focus, and are extremely valued by employers.

Where can I do my placement?

On the professional placement between your second and final years, you will gain valuable experience by spending a year working within an organisation appropriate to your degree. We have established collaborations with local, national and international organisations that you can consider when applying for placement positions.

Previous students have undertaken work placements at:

  • Echo Foundation
  • Field Studies Council
  • JBA Consulting
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Schaeffler Group
  • Wild Planet Trust

What support is available during my placement?

The module convenor provides support while you are researching and applying for positions and you are encouraged to consider a range of organisations, including consultancies, charities, NGOs, research institutes and universities.

Does it count towards my degree?

The professional placement year counts towards your degree through the completion of your placement and associated coursework. It contributes to your final degree classification, and the words ‘with Professional Placement’ will appear in your degree title.

How does it affect my tuition fee?

If you spend a full year on a work placement (in the UK or abroad) you will pay a reduced fee. Find out more in the fees section

How do I apply?

You can apply to BA/BSc Geography with Professional Placement directly through UCAS using the code above. 

How are the placements organised?

You are responsible for organising your own placement; however, we have established collaborations with local, national and international organisations that you can consider when applying for placement positions.

UCAS code: F8D7

Why study abroad?

Students who have studied abroad demonstrate initiative, independence, motivation and, depending on where they stay, may also have gained a working knowledge of another language – all qualities employers are looking for.

Where can I study abroad?

On this four-year variant of the BA/BSc Geography degree you will spend your third year at one of our international exchange partner universities in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China or Japan.

You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the Study Abroad website.

What will I study whilst I am abroad?

Whilst abroad you will study approved modules at the host university equivalent to 120 Exeter credits; these will be credited towards your degree, which you would then complete after four years of study rather than three.

Does it count towards my degree?

Yes: your work during the year abroad is assessed and contributes to your final degree classification. The words ‘with Study Abroad’ will appear in your degree title and 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/BSc Geography (see Course content).

How does it affect my tuition fee?

If you spend a full academic year studying abroad you will pay a reduced fee for that year. Find out more in the fees section.

How do I apply?

You can apply directly to this programme through UCAS using the code above. To be eligible for a Study Abroad place, we would expect you to successfully complete your Year 1 studies with an average mark of at least 60%.

Occasionally it is possible to transfer onto this programme from the standard BA/BSc Geography course in your second year, if you have appropriate language skills and have achieved a mark of 60% or more in year 1.

Further information

For further information on where you can go and all topics surrounding study abroad, see the Study Abroad website.


Fieldwork is an integral part of your degree, and crucial to our teaching in Geography.

Cornwall is an exceptional place in which to study issues related to the environment and sustainability. It is a perfect living laboratory which offers a diverse range of marine and terrestrial habitats, a wealth of natural resources, and creative and resilient communities. Throughout your first year, local field trips will provide a comprehensive introduction to physical and human aspects of the region.

In Year 2 you will undertake a week-long residential field course on the Isles of Scilly*. It will enable you to develop the conceptual, analytical and practical research skills necessary for you to carry out independent research work. 

Cornwall has an incredible diversity of cultural, ecological and physical landscapes, and the wider region has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a high density of conservation areas and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It has been recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) containing some of Britain's finest coastal scenery, including Land's End and the Lizard peninsula, and provides a perfect setting for geographical exploration.

During the residential field course in the third year (destination to be confirmed) you will be immersed in the scientific, environmental and cultural geography of a completely new landscape.

We also make the most of our location in the South West of England, organising a range of day trips each year as part of modules. These provide fantastic opportunities to study distinctive human and physical processes.

» Find out more about our Geography field courses

*Field course destinations are subject to change. Some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry

UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £29,700 per year

Year abroad

If you choose the four-year version of this degree programme and spend a full academic year studying abroad, you will pay a reduced fee of 15 per cent of the maximum fee for that year.

Professional placement year

If you choose the four-year version of this degree programme and spend a full year on a work placement (in the UK or abroad) you will pay a reduced fee of 20 per cent of the maximum fee for that year.


Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs. When participating in field courses, you will be required to cover any visa costs and, if necessary, purchase anti-malarial medication and relevant immunisations. You may also need to provide your own specialist personal equipment appropriate to the field course destination. You may incur additional costs depending on the specific demands of the research project chosen.


The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.

* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.

Find out more about tuition fees and scholarships

Learning and teaching

Where will I study?

At the Penryn Campus in Cornwall you will be welcomed into an intimate and supportive learning environment that encourages enthusiasm and passion for Geography, and promotes interest in the global challenges geographers seek to address. You will benefit from a welcoming atmosphere, excellent student-to-staff ratios, small group tutorials and friendly, accessible staff. Research undertaken at the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) – which leads research into various aspects of the relationship between people and the environment – inspires much of the teaching in Geography.

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials and small group discussion meetings
  • Field Work
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Independent study
  • Access to the latest geographical information systems (GIS), mapping statistics and coding software
  • Interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment
  • Access to detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums, blogging and virtual field trips
  • Virtual field trips which integrate video and audio data, maps, datasets, documents and published research

Learn from experts

We believe every student benefits from being part of a research-inspired culture. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and be taught by expert staff who are actively engaged in research on a wide range of specialisms, including climate change, remote sensing, landscape evolution, energy policy, environment and sustainability, social innovation and cultural landscapes. Teaching and research activities emphasise the value of holistic thinking – looking beyond traditional boundaries to the complex interactions between human societies and non-human environments.

We have strong links with research projects across every continent of the globe from Antarctica to Asia.


Your progress is monitored through tutorial work and practical assessments. The final degree mark is based on a combination of exam-based and coursework-based assessments (see table above). The modules taken in Year 1 must be passed to progress to Year 2, but the marks obtained do not influence your final degree classification.

Your final year dissertation is an independent research project in which you study the topic that excites you most, with expert supervision and support. 

Taking modules outside of your programme

Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a foreign language

You can boost your employability by using up to 30 credits each year to study a foreign language. If you study the language for more than one year you may be entitled to have ‘with proficiency in’ added to your degree certificate. The Foreign Language Centre will be offering modules in French and Spanish language from complete beginners up to advanced levels, plus German and Mandarin Chinese from beginner’s level.

If you achieve at least 60 credits in a language via our Foreign Language Centre you may be able to have the words ‘with proficiency in’ and the language added to your degree title.

Further details can be found on the Foreign Language Centre web pages.

Proficiency in Law

Students on this course are now able to add ‘with proficiency in Law’ to their degree title, by gaining a strand of additional legal knowledge and skills that adds value to their degree.

The ‘With proficiency in Law’ modules being offered to non-law students provide a theoretical and technical basis for understanding the regulatory and legal frameworks that you might encounter within your main field of study. These modules lend themselves strongly to students wishing to develop their skillset to work across the environment and sustainability sector and in wider business.

If you accrue at least 60 credits in elective law modules you will have ‘with proficiency in Law’ added to your degree title.

Academic support

As well as a minimum of 10 hours of direct contact time with your lecturers per week in your first year, 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 are represented through Student-Staff Liaison Committees and can regularly feedback through module and course evaluations.

You will have the opportunity to participate in a Student Mentoring Scheme in Year 1, matching you with a Year 2 or Year 3 student who can answer your questions, offer advice and moral support to smooth your transition to university.


We have a large variety of equipment that can be used on student research projects. These include a wide range of devices to assess soil, water and air conditions and a cutting edge handheld XRF analyser to directly measure heavy metal concentrations in soil and river sediment. Digital media such as iPads, cameras and voice recorders are also available.

Optional modules outside of this course

Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.

Proficiency in a second subject

If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.

  • A Foreign Language
  • Data Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Law
  • Leadership
  • Social Data Science

Find out more about proficiency options

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Your future

Employer-valued skills this course develops

Students studying Geography develop both a depth and breadth of knowledge, skills and experiences that make them highly employable across a diverse range of careers.

These skills include:

  • Data gathering
  • Information retrieval
  • Problem solving
  • Project planning and management
  • Organising and communicating information
  • Report production and presentation (written and oral)
  • Plus the ability to work effectively on your own and as part of a team.

Supporting your career in Geography

We put on a range of employability sessions for students which include:

  • career talks with visiting alumni and employers from a range of backgrounds,
  • career conversations and employability seminar series events with employers,
  • a Careers in Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection Careers and Networking event
  • visits to the Met Office and UKHO
  • an annual Careers Fair
  • and opportunities to access high-quality work placements through an employability optional module.

Careers services

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.

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

Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Ambassador Scheme

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 workplace to act as ambassadors for geography in the classroom. 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.

Career paths

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.

Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Geography degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.

Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates from our Geography undergraduate programmes*.

Recent graduates are now working as:

  • Chartered and certified accountants
  • Business and related research professionals
  • Data analysts
  • Brokers
  • Property, housing and estate managers
  • Marketing associate professionals
  • Estimators, valuers and assessors
  • Project support officers
  • Primary and secondary education teaching professionals
  • Information technology professionals

Recent graduates are now working for:

  • Babcock International
  • BNP Paribas
  • Centrica
  • Environment Agency
  • Ernst & Young
  • European Space Agency
  • NHS
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Oxborough Surveyors LLP
  • Skanska
  • UK Hydrographic Office

Further study

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*.

  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • MA Quantity Surveying
  • MRes Sustainable Development
  • MSc Environmental Consultancy
  • MSc Flood and Coastal Engineering
  • MSc Geospatial Sciences
  • MSc International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Public Health
  • MSc Rural Land and Business Management
  • MSc Transport and Planning

*This information has been taken from aggregating the responses from full-time, first degree, UK domiciled students who completed 2017/18 and 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes surveys. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.

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