BSc(Hons) Geography

A Geography degree student looking at a map
Entry year
Course code
School of Architecture and Environment
Tariff points
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader
Dr Chris Parker and Harry West

This course is open for applications

Page last updated 5 June 2023


This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). Sandwich students can apply to spend a year studying at an international partner institution.

Accreditations and partnerships:

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 human society.

Learn about the different ways natural environments can be managed. Develop valuable skills in surveying, mapping, environmental assessment, geographical statistics and computer-based spatial analysis.

Tailor the course to your interests, with options including climate change, tectonics, river and coastal dynamics, hazard management, ecosystem conservation, and global resource management.

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 both the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS),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, 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, Natural Resource Wales, Atkins, NHS, Santander, and Natural England.

Residential fieldtrips

Along with numerous day trips around the Bristol region, our geography students typically have the opportunity to take part in three residential fieldtrips during their degree.



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

Year one

You will 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 will study:

  • Professional Development
  • Researching Physical Geography.

Plus, five optional modules from:

  • Climate Change: Challenges for the 21st Century
  • Ecology
  • Meteorology
  • Sustainable Resource Management
  • Tectonic Processes and landforms
  • 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 or study placement 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 will study:

  • Final Year Project.


  • Professional Experience and Independent Project.

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you will study the Independent Project module.

Plus, three optional modules from:

  • Advanced Geographic 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 will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

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

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

Learn through a blend of lectures, seminars, small group work, debates, laboratory classes, fieldwork, practical work such as IT and internet skills, and conference organisation.

Gain a solid grounding in geography before you choose specialist areas. These include ecology and conservation, resource management, river and coastal management and climate change.

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.

Receive mentoring from more advanced students through our Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme

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

Socialise and network

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

Showcase your work

Demonstrate your environmental ideas at the annual degree show.

Study time

Lectures, workshops 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 through a combination of exams, essays, 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.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

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).


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 transport management in the UK. 

You'll get help to find your placement and support throughout from department 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 web 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.

Year two

Develop your ability to think analytically and deliver effective presentations during a week researching the physical geography of Brittany's coastline.

Final year

Spend two weeks on an advanced geographic expedition overseas (recent destinations include Iceland, China and Kenya).

There are field trips 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.

Develop desktop publishing and design skills, and access support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording.

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.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Get a feel for the Geography and Environmental Management facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.



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, 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, Natural Resource Wales, Atkins, 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. 

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 Literature or Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
  • 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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