Undergraduate Study

BSc Geography - 2021 entry

Please note: The below is for 2021 entries. Click here for 2020 entries.
UCAS code F800
Duration 3 years
Entry year 2021
Contact

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

Entry requirements

A levels: AAA - AAB
IB: 36/666 - 34/665
BTEC: DDD

View full entry requirements

Campus Streatham Campus
Discipline Geography

Overview

  • Learn from leaders in their fields about critical global issues and challenges affecting environments and societies around the world
  • Tailor your degree to your developing interests, with optional modules in biogeography, tropical coastal environments, fire ecology and fire management, geomorphology, hydrology and sea-level and the cryosphere
  • Develop sought-after skills such as statistical analysis, learning to code for data analysis, geospatial investigation, image analysis and data collection in the field
  • Well-equipped experimental laboratories include the latest Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software supported by dedicated staff, and a £3.7 million sediment research centre
  • Join a friendly and active student community: the Geography Society (GeogSoc) is one of the university’s largest and provides members with regular socials, sports teams, weekend trips and the famous GeogSoc ball

View 2020 Entry

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Open days and visiting us

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Top 50 in the world for Geography

QS World University Rankings 2020

8th in the UK for Geography and Environmental Science

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

Learn from experts on field courses around the world

Spend a year studying abroad or on a professional placement

Exeter has more than you could want; you are so close to the beach and the city has great shops, food and places to visit, such as the cathedral and the quay.

I love how much enthusiasm the academics all have for their subjects, whether that be climate change or the history of the planet, they engage you throughout.

There are so many opportunities at the University of Exeter to further your learning and get involved with new things. My favourite aspect of the programme is the huge range of topics. The lectures are always so interesting and interactive, and make you want to go and find out more about what the academics are so passionate about.

All the lecturers have office hours, which is a great opportunity to seek clarification or ask questions about what was said in the lecture or in reading. As well as giving academic advice and support, my personal tutor also tells me about all the places to check out in Exeter, such as bike and running routes!

Since coming to university I’ve done lots of new things. I picked up Korfball, which is a great way to meet people from other years, to destress and is very fun! I also go along to the Missing Maps events, which I will be helping to run next year, and on walks with the Out of Doors Society.

During the first term I took part in a field trip to Slapton Sands* to look at the impact of climate change on the area. This was so much fun and a great way to get to know the lecturers and other people on your course. It was also great to see how the work you do in the field transpires to the literature. While the days were jam packed, we had lots of opportunities to socialise and bond with course mates.

Geography at the University of Exeter is great, and the academics are incredible. Eventually I would like to go into the charity sector and I know that the Careers Zone will support me, even once I have graduated. It’s also just a £3 train journey to the beach from campus, which is great to escape to all year round!

*Field course destinations are subject to change.

Read more

Charlotte

BSc Geography

Entry requirements

Qualification Required grades Required subjects
A-Level AAA - AAB

A*AA - AAA (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
B in a science subject*

A in a science subject* (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
IB 36/666 - 34/665

38/766 - 36/666 (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
HL5 in a science subject*

HL6 in a science subject* (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
BTEC DDD

D*DD - DDD (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma are also required to achieve A-level grade B in a science subject*

Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma are also required to achieve A-level grade A in a science subject* (with Study Abroad/Professional Placement/European Study)
GCSE C or 4 English Language
Contextual Offer

A-Level: BBB
IB: 30
BTEC: DDM

Specific requirements must still be achieved, therefore where a grade A is required, offers will be ABC or ACC. Find out more about contextual offers.

International equivalences

View EU and international equivalences

NB General Studies is not included in any offer.

*Accepted science subjects: Biology/Human Biology; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Life and Health Sciences (Double Award only), Marine Science; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Sport Science; Statistics.

Course content

Our BSc Geography course allows you to follow your interests in physical geography whilst giving you the flexibility to take optional modules in human geography or beyond the department in each year.

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’ll choose from a range of optional modules which draw upon our research strengths, including Catchment Hydrology and Geomorphology, Landscape Systems Management, The Cryosphere, Climate Change and its Impacts, Tropical Coastal Environments, Fire Ecology and Fire Management. 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.

 

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 first year provides an excellent introduction to wide-ranging and cutting-edge research areas in physical geography (including the geosphere, oceans and atmosphere, cryosphere and) and the academic skills, supported by regular small-group tutorials, to enable you to thrive at university. You have a residential field trip in the first term allowing you to develop your physical geography research skills and get to know a wider group on your course better. You can also take two optional modules in human geography or beyond the department.

The second year offers a diverse range of optional modules in physical geography, including reconstructing past climates, landscape dynamics, ecosystems and remote sensing. Modules at the interface between human and physical geography enable you to examine the challenges of climate change and natural hazards.

Core components of second year skills development are research training in GIS, statistical methods, scientific computing and environmental modelling, alongside an international residential fieldtrip to places such as the Bay of Naples, Brazil or Iceland*.

You can also take two optional modules in human geography or beyond the department.

* Field course locations are subject to change

Find out more about placement and study abroad options under Course variants.

with Professional Placement

with Study Abroad

with European Study

The final year offers optional modules across a wide range of critical subject areas in physical geography, which are closely linked with research in the department (including tropical coastal and terrestrial environments, ice sheets and sea level, GIS for Professionals, neotropical environmental change, fire ecology and fire management and climate change and its impacts). This year also gives you the opportunity to undertake your own research project. You can also take two optional modules in physical geography or beyond the department.

Course variants

UCAS code: F813

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 this four-year variant of the BSc Geography degree you will spend your third year on a self-organised work placement with an organisation relevant to your degree, which we support you to secure. Students have worked with a variety of employers such as the UK Hydrographic Office, Ernst & Young and a wildlife conversation charity in Kenya, undertaking placements both in the UK and internationally.

What support is available during my placement?

You will be supported through your professional placement by a programme director who will provide high quality advice to ensure you get the most from your placement.

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.

During your first, second and final years of study, you will follow the same programme of study as the BSc Geography (see Course content). 

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 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: F805

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 BSc Geography degree you will spend your third year at one of our international exchange partner universities in Australia, New Zealand, the United States or Japan.

You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the Study Abroad website (click on the College of Life and Environmental Sciences link, then look under Geography).

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 - Whilst abroad you will study approved modules at the host university to the value of 120 credits. 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 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 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 the issues surrounding study abroad, see the Study Abroad website.

UCAS code: F8R8

Why choose European study?

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. Courses at some of the partner universities are taught in English.

Where can I study?

On this four-year variant of the BA Geography degree you will spend your third year studying at one of our European partner universities in Switzerland, France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Holland, Spain or Sweden. You can find a complete list of International Exchange partner universities on the Study Abroad website (click on the College of Life and Environmental Sciences link, then look under Geography).

What will I study whilst I am abroad?

Whilst abroad you will study approved modules at the host university to the value of 60 ECTS 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 European Study’ will be 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 (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. Find out more in the fees section.

How do I apply?

You can apply directly to this programme through UCAS. Occasionally it is possible to transfer onto this programme from the standard BSc Geography 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 the issues surrounding study abroad, see the Study Abroad website.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2021 entry

UK and EU students: £9,250 per year
International students: £22,950 per year

Please note that the fees for students starting in 2021 have yet to be set. The fees provided above are the fees for students starting in 2020 and are for guidance only. We will post the fees for 2021 entry shortly.

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.

Field work

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 dependent upon the specific demands of the research project chosen.

Find out more about tuition fees and funding

Field work

Field work is an integral part of your degree, and a crucial part of our teaching in Geography.

You will begin with a UK residential field course in your first year, where you will explore new and exciting ways of reading landscapes to research geographical issues. This will enable you to apply what you are learning about, learn how to conduct research as a geographer and observe geographical processes in action.

In second year, you’ll build on these experiences with a one week international field course to one of several international locations. Previous destinations have included the Bay of Naples, Berlin, Brazil, California, New York and Seville*.

We also make the most of our location in the South West of England organising around 15 day trips each year as part of modules. These provide fantastic opportunities to study a range of distinctive human and physical process.

*Field course destinations are subject to change. Please note, some optional/alternative field courses may incur additional costs. Find out more in the Fees section.

In first term, we went on a three-day field course to Slapton Sands. It was a great opportunity to get to know my coursemates and my lecturers better as we had only been at the university for a few weeks.

The experience was really valuable as we were introduced to equipment and data collection techniques that will be useful throughout our degree, particularly with dissertation research. Also, I really bonded with the other people on my course, as we would spend all day out in the field working together, then all evening socialising.

Read more

Iona

BSc Geography with European Study

Learning and teaching

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Tutorials – small group discussion classes of 6-12 students
  • Computer practicals
  • Laboratory classes
  • Field work
  • Independent study

Learn from the experts

You will join a large, energetic community of Geography students and staff presenting a thriving environment in which to study. Our academic staff are world leaders across many critical contemporary research areas, from the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical ecology of the Amazonian forest to the reduction of antimicrobial use in farming, the geopolitics of migration and refugee displacement, and the development of craft economies.

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.

Learning technology and facilities

All students have access to well-equipped laboratories and the latest geographical information systems (GIS), mapping statistics and coding software. In lectures we encourage you to contribute through the use of smart phone interactive technology to ask questions or submit feedback.

We have a virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. Here you can access detailed information about learning outcomes, and interact through 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.

Assessment

Your progress is monitored through tutorial work and practical assessments. Your final degree mark is based on approximately 50 per cent exam-based and 50 per cent coursework-based assessments. This is however, dependent on your module choices where some optional modules might be 100% coursework for example. You can therefore pick modules by topic but also based on what you think will best allow you to demonstrate your learning. In your final year you will undertake a dissertation, which is an independent research project on the topic that excites you most.

You must pass your modules in the first year in order to progress, but your marks in this year do not influence your final degree classification.

Academic support

We are committed to providing you with a supportive learning environment in which you can build confidence and mastery of Geography.

You will have a personal and academic tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies and to support the transition to university-level learning. You will also be represented through Student-Staff Liaison Committees and have regular opportunities to feedback on your course and modules.

Read more

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
  • The College of Life and Environmental Sciences annual Careers Fair
  • 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 work place 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.

Recent graduates

Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates from our 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 as:

  • Asset Information Technician
  • Assistant Quantity Surveyor
  • Business Analyst
  • Environmental Technician
  • Forestry Contractor
  • Graduate Soil Scientist
  • Graduate Teacher Training Scheme
  • Marketing Executive
  • Project Support Officer
  • Qualitative Research Executive

Recent graduates are now working for:

  • British Red Cross
  • Civil Service
  • Defra
  • Ecosavers
  • KPMG
  • Natural England
  • South West Water
  • The Carbon Trust
  • The National Trust
  • Unilever

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. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17.

  • MA Climate Change: History, Culture, Society
  • MA Environment, Development and Policy
  • MRes Critical Human Geographies
  • MSc Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
  • MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy
  • MSc Oceanography
  • PGCE Geography
  • MSc Spatial Planning and Development
  • MSc International Management
  • MSc Environment and Human Health

Read more