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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 can tailor the course to your interests with options including climate change, river dynamics, ecosystem conservation, and global resource management.

Page last updated 2 August 2016


Why BSc(Hons) Geography?

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

Why study our course?

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), this course will equip you with a solid understanding of the science behind key environmental challenges faced by human society. This is while learning about the different ways in which these natural forms and processes can be managed. As you progress, you can tailor the course to your interests with options including climate change, river dynamics, ecosystem conservation, and global resource management. Alongside, 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 can apply 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 can choose from opportunities ranging from environmental consultancy, conservation and government, to 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, you will also develop key analytical, communication and business skills.

Year 1

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 2

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

You will take two core modules:

  • Researching Physical Geography
  • Professional Development for Geographers

In addition, you will select five optional modules, typically from:

  • 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 their third year in a work placement. Undertaking a placement is a fantastic opportunity to get yourself a foothold on the employment ladder. The curriculum in the second year provides support in securing this.

Final year

In the final year you 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 a further three modules, typically from:

  • 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 on 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, which include lectures, seminars, small group work, laboratory classes, fieldwork and workshops.

Through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme, first year students receive mentoring and support from second year students to enhance their learning experience.

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. But, as a full-time student, you will be expected to spend at least twice as much time as this 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 the first, second and final years.

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 can 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.


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.

Our students have done work placements 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 the UK's first Cycle City. As a result, 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.


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

In Year 1 you will spend a week studying river ecology, coastal management, woodland ecology and landscape evolution in Dartmoor.

In Year 2 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 3 there is 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 are fieldtrips associated with many of the optional modules you can take in Year 2 and Year 3.

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

Study facilities

You can 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 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 are opportunities to attend presentations from visiting professionals.

Socialise and campaign

You can meet fellow geographers and campaign on environmental issues in our thriving Geography Society.

Showcase your ideas

Our final year students regularly showcase their environmental ideas to friends and family, the public and potential employers 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 agencies, 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

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


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1125
International - Full Time - Annual (Per Year) Fee11750
International - Full Time - Module Fee (15 Credit)1469
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1125

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1125
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual Full Final Year Fee9000
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual Reduced Final Year Fee7875
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1125
International - Full Time - Annual (Per Year) Fee11750
International - Full Time - Module Fee (15 Credit)1469
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee3000
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1125
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual Full Final Year Fee9000
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual Reduced Final Year Fee7875
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1125

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Over 3 years450
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Over 3 Years with Placement450
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.

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


Students starting this course in September 2016 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 300
  • GCSE: Grade C or above 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 overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Geography, Environmental Studies, Land and Environment
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DDM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit; Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency (where appropriate) in English Language and Mathematics.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 26 points

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but who do have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course.

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

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

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.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

Key information sets

UWE Main Campus

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