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Geography and Tourism (with Foundation Year)

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
Programme leader:
Nicholas Smith
Key fact:
This course offers you the opportunity to combine your interest in geography with your passion for travel and tourism.

Page last updated 19 June 2017


Why BA(Hons) Geography and Tourism?

Tourism is now one of the world's biggest and most diverse industries, and studying tourism geographies has never been more relevant and interesting. BA(Hons) Geography and Tourism will provide you with a distinctive understanding and ability to analyse the interconnections between tourism and current geographical issues. These can range from the globalisation of economies to the environmental and sustainability challenges relating to natural resources, ecosystems and societies.

Why study our course?

On this course you will gain solid geographical knowledge and skills whilst developing a subject specialism in tourism. Whilst learning how tourism places are created and maintained you will also critically evaluate policy and practice in relation to the planning, management and sustainability of tourism in a variety of contexts.

A key aim of this course emphasises the need for tourism to be developed in an ethical manner to achieve a sustainable balance between people, place and development. You will therefore be equipped with the geographical knowledge and a 'social and environmental conscience' for the resolution of real-world problems associated with tourism. You will be inspired to be 'change makers' in our rapidly changing world and hone your leadership potential to be ready to face the challenges tourism places and companies are grappling with.

Real world experience

Throughout the course, you will gain a sound geographical knowledge of contemporary theories and research on tourism, with the opportunity to apply them in practice on UK and overseas field trips. During your fieldwork you will research and experience real-life issues associated to the development and management of tourism. You will develop professional skills in mapping, environmental assessment, policy interpretation geographical statistics, qualitative research and computer-based spatial analysis and their applications to the study of tourism. You can also apply your learnings on a work placement in your preferred area of interest.

Where it can take you

A combined understanding of Geography and Tourism opens up a wide range of career opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors.  Areas of potential work could be in tourism, planning, policy making, environmental consultancy, economic development, urban and rural regeneration, conservation, energy and government. It also opens up options for a career in research or teaching.



Foundation year (Year 0)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

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 study the following compulsory modules:

  • Understanding Tourism
  • Culture, Society and Place
  • Geographies of Globalisation
  • Field study in Human Geography
  • Geographical Skills.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Planning Sustainable Tourism
  • Researching Human Geography
  • Culture, Geography and Tourism
  • Professional Development for Geographers
  • Practising Sustainability.

And you will select two of the following optional modules:

  • Managing Global Resources
  • Migration, Policy and Society
  • Regenerating Cities
  • Rural Change and Development
  • Geographies of Security.

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

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • International Tourism Development and the Environment
  • Contemporary Issues in Tourism.

If you have not undertaken a placement year, you will also study the module:

  • Final Year Project

If you have completed a placement year, you will also study the modules:

  • Placement
  • Independent Project.

Plus select one of the following optional modules:

  • Transforming Cities
  • GIS and Remote Sensing
  • Advanced Geographical Expedition
  • Environmental Management in the Global South.

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 multidisciplinary team of lecturers achieves consistently high scores on the National Student Survey and provides a friendly, enabling environment for learning.  They are active researchers or industrial consultants aware of modern advances in the discipline and work with organizations such as Tourism Concern, Equality in Tourism, the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers and the Geographical Association.

The course is taught through a blend of innovative learning activities, which include lectures, seminars, small group work, debates, and fieldwork and practical work such as IT and internet skills, report writing, wiki development 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.

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

Study time

Lectures, workshops/seminars, group project work, and tutoring will account for part of the contact time per week. However, as a full-time student, you will be expected to spend a proportion of your study time in essential independent study and preparation for assessments making use of the first-rate learning resources both on campus and online.


You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, essays, reports, blogs, wikis, projects, presentations, field exercises and examinations.  Examinations are held in either January or May and include written exams, in-class tests or assessed presentations. Most coursework is undertaken individually but there are some group assignments. You are actively encouraged to do formative work to prepare for assessments. This will not count towards your final marks but feedback should help you enhance your final mark. Support is available for any students who need it.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.



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 and tourism 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 gained recognition as European Green Capital in 2015 and is the UK's first Cycle City. As a result, some of our students have found and gone into exciting sustainability placements.


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

In Year one you will take a UK based residential trip to study tourism related issues as well as industrial archaeology and change in the rural landscape. During Year two, you will spend about a week overseas to focus on tourism development, urban development and rural change. In Year three 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.

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.


Careers / Further study

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.


Full time course

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

Indicative Additional Costs

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

Supplementary fee information

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.

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.

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

For further information

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