Two geography students discussing a map


Geography (with Foundation Year)

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About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Frenchay Campus
Four years full-time; Five years sandwich
Full-time; Sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Andrew Tallon
Key fact:
Broaden your experience on UK and overseas field trips and apply geographical theories in the field as well as in our well-equipped laboratories.

Page last updated 4 July 2017


Why BA(Hons) Geography?

Striving for environmental sustainability through careful stewardship of our environment has led to an increasing need for cohesive and equitable strategies concerning natural resource management, human migration, healthcare, and wealth distribution. There are many differing facets to this, but working towards policies which strengthen the environment can ensure communities have access to food, energy and healthcare and support economic growth. Studying geography will enable you to understand these issues and how they might be addressed.

Why study our course? 

On the course, you will examine the globalisation of economies and cultures and the environmental and sustainability challenges relating to natural resources, ecosystems and societies. The course focuses on understanding the causes and nature of economic, social and environmental problems and how policy and decision-making processes can address these issues.

As you progress, you can tailor the course to your specific geographical interests with options including the regeneration of 21st century cities, rural geographies, international tourism development, renewable energies as well as global migration and identities.

Real world experience

During the course, you can broaden your experience on UK and overseas field trips and apply geographical theories in the field as well as in our well-equipped laboratories. You will develop vital professional skills in mapping, environmental assessment, geographical statistics, qualitative research and computer-based spatial analysis. You can apply what you've learnt on a work placement in your preferred area of interest.

Where it can take you

Studying geography leads to an extremely wide range of careers. On graduation, opportunities range from environmental consultancy, regeneration, conservation, energy and government, to finance, education and research.

Read Louise's story to find out how she helps the Environment Agency assess and manage industrial operations.

Accreditations and partnerships:



This course provides a solid grounding in geography before you choose a selection of areas to specialise in. These specialisms include resource management, urban studies and sustainability and cultural geographies such as migration, identity and tourism. Alongside, you will have the opportunity to develop key analytical, communication and business skills.

Foundation year (Year zero)

  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Foundation Project
  • Society, Economy and Governance
  • Development and Place
  • Data Analysis and Design.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from our other Geography, Environmental Management and Planning courses, and so you may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

You will develop fundamental geographical knowledge and skills within the following compulsory modules:

  • Environmental Challenges
  • Culture, Society and Place
  • Geographies of Globalisation
  • Geographical Field Study
  • Geographical Skills.

Year two

You can start to tailor your course to suit your interests.

You will study the follow compulsory modules:

  • Researching Human Geography
  • Professional Development for Geographers.

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

  • Rural Change and Development
  • Regenerating Cities
  • Migration, Policy and Society
  • Culture, Geography and Tourism
  • Geographies of Security
  • Managing Global Resources
  • Practising Sustainability

Optional Placement Year

All students are encouraged to spend their third year 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 a relevant placement.

Final year

As well as completing an independent final year project on a subject of your choice, you will have flexibility to study the aspects of human geography which are of most interest to you by choosing a further three modules:

  • Transforming Cities
  • International Development, Tourism and the Environment
  • Society, Youth and Ageing
  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
  • Advanced Geographic Expedition
  • Environmental Management in the Global South
  • Integrated Water Management
  • Renewable Energy
  • Managing National Parks.

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

Lecturing staff delivering the BA(Hons) Geography course, who deliver most aspects of this course, achieve consistently high scores on the National Student Survey and provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. They are active researchers or industrial consultants and aware of modern advances in the discipline. They are active within third sector groups and work with organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers and the Geographical Association.

The course is taught through a blend of learning activities, which include lectures, seminars, small group work, debates, laboratory classes, and fieldwork and practical work such as IT and internet skills, and conference organisation.

Through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, first year students receive mentoring and support from second year students.  Find out how we use PAL to enhance the learning experience across our courses.

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 as much time again in essential independent study and preparation for assessments.


Modules are assessed through various combinations of examinations, coursework, essays, projects, presentations and field exercises. Most coursework is undertaken individually but there are some group assignments. Examinations take place in the first, second and final years.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course has 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 get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

Studying geography opens up a wide range of careers. Placement opportunities reflect this and past students have done work placements ranging from GE Electric to Local Authorities. Bristol has gained recognition as European Green Capital 2015 and the UK's first Cycle City. As a result, some of our students have found and gone into exciting sustainability placements.

Be inspired by previous students' placement case studies including Oscar's placement during which he researched water and sanitation rights for a Ugandan NGO.


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

In your second year at UWE Bristol we are based in Margam Park Discovery Centre near Port Talbot in South Wales for a four-day residential trip.  Here we study industrial archaeology in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and rural landscape change.

During your third year, we spend a week in the Spanish island of Mallorca focusing on Palma's urban development, rural change, tourism development, and World Heritage landscapes, applying geographical research methodologies.

In your fourth year there is the opportunity to spend two weeks on an advanced geographical expedition to an exotic location (recent destinations include Iceland, China and Kenya).  A wide range of environmental, social and economic issues are studied at the expedition destination.

Watch a slideshow with students talking about studying Iceland's diverse geography on an advanced geographic expedition.

Study facilities

Experiment and test your theories in well-equipped general laboratories as well as dedicated field, earth sciences, environmental change and environmental physics laboratories. You will:

  • Investigate historic environments, and test water quality and soil mechanics in our physical geography laboratories;
  • Map and measure angles, distances and topography, and carry out level surveys in our surveying laboratory;
  • Conduct 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 has to offer.

Learn from industry

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

Socialise and campaign

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 at the annual degree show.


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, government and research. There are opportunities 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 offers a good foundation for a postgraduate teaching qualification. 

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service helps 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


Indicative Additional Costs

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

Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12250
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1531
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10719
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094

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.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 72
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Grade D or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in 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 overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

The 'Typical offers' information above is only for full-time students entering the foundation year.

We are happy to consider applicants with a mixture of A levels and BTEC qualifications.

We welcome applications from highly motivated students who do not meet the usual entrance requirements given above, but who have gained equivalent knowledge and skills from substantial relevant work or other experience.

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Geography course.

UWE Bristol's International College

International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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