Three students looking at a map on a table



Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich; part-time (not day release)
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Dr Chris Parker
Key fact:
As you progress, you will be able to tailor the course to your interests, with options including climate change, river dynamics, ecosystem conservation and global resource management.

Page last updated 16 June 2017


Why BSc(Hons) Geography?

As environmental challenges rise in prominence, those in governments, science and industry are continually looking for new ways to manage issues like climate change, ecosystem endangerment, water and energy availability, and flooding. Developing your skills and knowledge in the field will help you become part of this growing industry. In the process of studying this fascinating subject, you will develop the analytical and communication skills sought by employers across a wide range of industries.

Why study our course?

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), BSc(Hons) Geography will equip you with a solid understanding of the science behind the key environmental challenges faced by human society. You will also learn about the different ways in which these natural forms and processes can be managed. As you progress, you will be able to tailor the course to your interests, with options including climate change, river dynamics, ecosystem conservation and global resource management. Alongside this, you will develop valuable skills in surveying, mapping, environmental assessment, geographical statistics and computer-based spatial analysis.

Real world experience

Throughout the course, you will apply theories in our well-equipped laboratories, work towards assessments, which are based on real-world issues, and broaden your experience through both local and international field trips. You will then use what you've learnt and develop vital professional skills on a work placement in your preferred area of expertise.

Where It can take you

Studying geography can lead to a wide range of careers. On graduation, you will be able to choose from a range of opportunities, including environmental consultancy, conservation and government, as well as finance, education and research.

Read how Louise helps the Environment Agency assess and manage industrial operations.

Accreditations and partnerships:



This course initially provides a solid grounding in geography before you choose a selection of areas to specialise in. These specialisms include ecology and conservation, resource management, river and coastal management and climate change. Alongside these topics, you will also develop key analytical, communication and business skills.

Year one

During your first year, you will develop fundamental geographical knowledge and skills within the following modules:

  • Environmental Challenges
  • Earth Science
  • Geographies of Globalisation
  • Geographical Field Study
  • Geographical Skills.

See how a year one student's timetable might look.

Year two

As you progress into your second year, you will start to tailor your course to suit your interests.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Researching Physical Geography
  • Professional Development for Geographers.

In addition, you will select five of the following optional modules:

  • Climate Change: Tracing the Record
  • Understanding Coastal Dynamics
  • Ecology
  • Meteorology
  • Understanding River Dynamics
  • Hot Deserts: Surviving Extremes
  • Managing Global Resources.

Optional placement year

All students are encouraged to spend Year three in a work placement. Undertaking a placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain a foothold on the employment ladder. The curriculum in the second year provides support in securing this.

Final year

In the Final year, you will have complete flexibility to study the aspects of physical geography and the environment that are of most interest to you. You will complete an independent project on a topic of your choosing and choose three of the following optional modules:

  • Global Warming and Environmental Hazards
  • Managing Rivers and Coasts
  • Biogeography and Conservation
  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
  • Advanced Geographic Expedition
  • Environmental Management in the Global South
  • Integrated Water Management
  • Renewable Energy.

This structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied over a longer period and the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our lecturing staff achieve consistently high scores in the National Student Survey and provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. They are active researchers or industrial consultants and are qualified to teach at the cutting-edge of this discipline.

The course is taught through a blend of learning activities. These include lectures, seminars, small group work, laboratory classes, fieldwork and workshops.

Through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme and to enhance their learning experience, Year one students receive mentoring and support from those in Year two.

Find out more about our Department's approach to learning and teaching.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

Lectures, workshops/seminars, group project work and tutoring account for 12 hours of contact time per week. However, as a full-time student, you will be expected to spend at least twice as much time engaged in essential independent study and preparation for assessments.


Modules are assessed through various combinations of examinations, essays, projects, presentations and field exercises. Most coursework is undertaken individually but there are some group assignments. Examinations take place at the middle and end of Year one, Year two and the Final year.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences. The IES is a leading professional body for professionals and academics in environmental science.

IES Student Membership

As a student on this degree, you will be able to apply to become a Student Member of the IES, free of charge. You may then use the post-nominal StMIEnvSc. You can download the Student Membership Pack online.

This course has also been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).


Students who do a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and obtain higher quality work on graduation. This means that, as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable when you graduate.

Our students have completed work placements in a variety of contexts, including recycling in Chile, ecological management in Australia and transport management in the UK. 

Bristol is a sustainability hub and gained recognition as European Green Capital 2015 and also as the UK's first Cycle City. As a result of this, students have found exciting placements locally in this field.

Read Ben's placement case study to see how he helped Bristol City Council set the wheels in motion on their electric vehicle strategy.

Read Gemma's placement case study to see how she gained valuable skills, carrying out Land Quality Assessments for the RAF.

Other opportunities become available, such as the UWE Global Water Security Project, a placement abroad where you'll use your academic knowledge to solve challenges through research that benefits communities worldwide.


Field trips are an important part of this course and you can take advantage of three residential trips.

In Year one, you will spend a week studying river ecology, coastal management, woodland ecology and landscape evolution on Dartmoor.

In Year two, you will develop your ability to think analytically and deliver effective presentations during a week researching the physical geography of the Brittany coastline.

In Year three, you will have the opportunity to spend two weeks on an advanced geographic expedition to an exotic location (recent destinations include Iceland, China and Kenya).

In addition, there will be field trips associated with many of the optional modules you will be able to take in Year two and Year three.

Hear students talk about studying Iceland's diverse geography on an advanced geographic expedition.

Study facilities

There will be an opportunity to experiment and test your theories in dedicated earth science, environmental change and specialist computer laboratories. You will:

  • investigate historic environments and test water quality and soil mechanics in our earth science and environmental change laboratories
  • carry out a spatial enquiry and analyse data, using industry-standard GIS and statistical software in our computer laboratories.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

To help you decide which career to go into and learn about industry challenges, there will be opportunities to attend presentations from visiting professionals.

Socialise and campaign

You will have an opportunity to meet fellow geographers and campaign on environmental issues in our thriving Geography Society.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their environmental ideas to friends and family, the public and potential employers at the annual degree show.

Be inspired

Read our students' experiences whilst studying Geography, Planning and Environmental Management courses.


Careers / Further study

Studying geography can lead to a wide range of careers. On graduation, you can go on to work for environmental consultancies, conservation agencies and government, or take on research opportunities. You will also be able to use your skills and knowledge in logistics, business management and finance. And if you are interested in teaching geography at secondary school level, this degree course will offer you a good foundation for a postgraduate teaching qualification. 

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links

Prospects career options with a degree in geography

Guardian - what to do with a degree in environmental science/physical geography


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards the overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Geography, Environmental Studies, Land and Environment
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but with substantial relevant work or other experience and the motivation and skills needed to achieve success on the course.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry onto this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at ourInternational College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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