A person sitting by a lake and reading a map.

BSc(Hons) Geography

Entry year
Course code
School of Architecture and Environment
Tariff points
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader
Harry West

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 24 April 2024


Accreditations and partnerships:

BSc(Hons) Geography equips you with an understanding of the science behind the environmental challenges faced by society and how we can sustainably manage the environment. This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). Sandwich students can apply to spend a year studying at an international partner institution or undertake an industrial placement.

Why study geography?

As environmental challenges like climate change, ecosystem endangerment, and energy availability worsen, those in government, science and industry are looking for new ways to manage them.

Developing your skills and knowledge in this field will help you become part of this growing industry. You'll also gain analytical and communication skills sought by employers across a wide range of industries.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Geography equips you with a solid understanding of the science behind the main environmental challenges faced by society. You'll learn about environmental management and consider approaches to tackle these challenges.

Develop valuable skills in fieldwork, mapping, environmental assessment, geographical statistics and computer-based spatial analysis (Geographic Information Systems - GIS). You'll also learn how to undertake research into physical processes and environmental management.

Tailor the course to your interests, with options including climate change, tectonics, river and coastal dynamics, GIS, meteorology, hazard management, ecosystem conservation, sustainable resource management and environmental assessment.

Apply theories in our well-equipped laboratories and work towards assessments based on real-world issues. Broaden your experience through field trips and develop vital professional skills on a work placement in your area of expertise.

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), and the Chartered Institutie of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) this course provides you with the tools to succeed in your future career.

Where can it take me?

Studying geography can lead to a range of careers. Choose from opportunities in environmental consultancy, GIS consultancy, river and coastal management, conservation and government, as well as finance, education and research.

Past students have gone onto work for a wide range of employers including the Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey, Ecotricty, Skanska, Ministry of Defence, UK Hydrographic Office, Buro Happold, Natural Resource Wales, Atkins, Jacobs, NHS, Santander, and Natural England.



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You'll study:

  • An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
  • Dynamic Earth
  • Environmental Challenges
  • Field Study in Physical Geography
  • Geographies of Globalisation.

Year two

You'll study:

  • Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Professional Development
  • Researching Physical Geography.

Plus, four optional modules from:

  • Climate Change: Challenges for the 21st Century
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Meteorology
  • Understanding Coastal Dynamics
  • Understanding River Dynamics.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement or study year abroad after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete the Placement or Study Abroad module.

See the placements and fees sections for more information.

Final year

You'll study:


  • Extended Independent Project*.


  • Independent Project and Professional Experience*.

*If you complete the four year (sandwich) course, these modules won't be available to study, so only the Independent Project module will be available.

Plus, three optional modules from:

  • Advanced Geographical Expedition
  • Biogeography and Conservation
  • GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
  • Hazard and Disaster Management
  • Managing Rivers and Coasts
  • Water and Energy Futures.

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'll inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Our lecturing staff achieve consistently very high student satisfaction scores on the National Student Survey and provide a friendly and supportive environment for learning. They're active researchers or industrial consultants and stay aware of advances in the field.

Find out more about our approach to learning and teaching.

Learn through a blend of lectures, seminars, group work, laboratory classes, fieldwork and, practical work such as IT and GIS skills.

Throughout your degree you will also be supported by your Academic Personal Tutor (APT). Your APT will be a member of the core physical geography teaching team and meet with you 1-2-1 to support your learning and professional development journey.

You will also have opportunities to attend presentations from visiting professionals to learn about industry challenges and decide which field to go into. Develop key analytical, communication and business skills that will help you succeed in the workplace.

Meet fellow geographers and campaign on environmental issues in our thriving Geography Society.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year

Study time

Lectures, workshops, lab practical's, and seminars, group project work and tutoring account for 12 hours of contact time each week.

You'll be expected to spend at least twice as much time working independently on tasks that will contribute towards your assessments.


Modules are assessed primarily through coursework, projects, presentations and field exercises.

You'll complete most coursework individually but there are some group assignments. Exams take place at the middle and end of each year.

Support is available if you have difficulties with numeracy, IT, literacy and study skills.

Learn more about assessments.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year


Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), this course provides you with the tools to succeed in your future career.

Once you become a free IES student member you may then use StMIEnvSc after your name, signalling professional commitment.

This course is also accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), and Royal Geographical Society (RGS).


If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study abroad placement after year two.

Past students' work placements have involved recycling in Chile, ecological management in Australia, and flood risk management in the UK. 

You'll get help to find your placement and support throughout from school staff and our award-winning careers service.

Study year abroad

You'll have the opportunity to apply to study overseas at international partner institutions. Available opportunities can be found on the study abroad pages. The study year abroad is not a paid placement. 


Field trips are an important part of this course and you will go on three residential trips.

Year one

Spend a week studying river ecology, coastal management, woodland ecology and landscape evolution on Dartmoor, Devon.

Year two

Develop your physical geography research skills and ability to think analytically and deliver effective presentations during a week along Brittany's stunning coastline. You will explore coastal processes and management, heritage management, and long-term environmental change.

Final year

Spend two weeks on an advanced geographic expedition overseas (recent destinations include Iceland, China and South Africa). A broad range of geographical and environmental management topics can be explored on this expedition.

There are also day-long field trips around the fantastic Bristol region associated with many of the optional modules you will take in year two and final year.

Study facilities

Learn in modern, well-equipped facilities, including our physical geography laboratories.

Investigate historic environments, test water quality and soil mechanics in our earth science and environmental change labs.

Study in our open access computing suites and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.

Conduct spatial enquiry and analyse data using industry-standard geographic information system (GIS) and statistical software in our computer labs.

This mix of traditional and highly creative learning environments enables you to learn essential knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Take a Virtual Tour of the Geography and Environmental Management facilities and see what's on offer here for you.



An excellent range of options for all of the Bristol campuses and the city centre.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

Studying geography can lead to a range of careers. Choose from opportunities in environmental consultancy, GIS consultancy, river and coastal management, conservation and government, as well as finance, education and research.

Past students have gone onto work for a wide range of employers including the Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey, Ecotricty, Skanska, Ministry of Defence, UK Hydrographic Office, Buro Happold, Natural Resource Wales, Atkins, Jacobs, NHS, Santander, and Natural England.

If you're interested in teaching geography at secondary school level, this degree is a good foundation for a postgraduate teaching qualification. 

You will also be well equipped to continue your studies and pursue a postgraduate masters qualification in a relevant field.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

See also:

Prospects - career options with a degree in geography.

The Guardian - what to do with a degree in environmental science or physical geography.


Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • Contextual tariff: See our contextual offers page.
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 in English and Mathematics, or equivalent.
  • English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

    *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Please visit our English language requirements page.

  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.

    For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.

  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
  • T Levels: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

International applicants

For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the country information pages. If you are an international student and do not meet the academic requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Read more about our pre-sessional English Programme.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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