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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
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Dr Chris Parker
Key fact:
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.

Page last updated 11 July 2018


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.

This course takes you beyond the theory and equips you with the skills and knowledge necessary to tackle these challenges. As well as good career prospects in the dynamic environmental sector, our graduates gain analytical, communication, and leadership skills sought by employers across a range of sectors including business, education, and government. 

Why UWE Bristol?

This physical geography degree 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, river dynamics, ecology, meteorology, and renewable energy.

Take advantage of inspiring learning opportunities - apply theories in our well-equipped laboratories, work towards assessments based on real-world issues, and widen your horizons with residential fieldtrips, study abroad years, work placements, and international research opportunities.

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, Ecotricity, Skanska, Ministry of Defence, UK Hydrographic Office, Natural Resource Wales, Atkins, NHS, Santander, and Natural England.

Accreditations and partnerships:



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:

  • Geographies of Globalisation
  • Environmental Challenges
  • Earth Science
  • Field Study in Physical Geography
  • Geographical Skills.

Year two

You will study:

  • Researching Physical Geography
  • Professional Development for Geographers.

Plus five optional modules from:

  • Hot Deserts: Surviving Extremes
  • Understanding River Dynamics
  • Managing Global Resources
  • Meteorology
  • Climate Change: Tracing the Record
  • Understanding Coastal Dynamics
  • Ecology.

Placement year (if applicable)

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

Depending on which you choose you'll either complete a placement or a study abroad module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Final Year Project.


  • Professional Experience
  • Independent Project.

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

Plus a maximum of three optional modules from:

  • Climate Change 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*.

*maximum selection of one module from the listed non-science based modules.

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.

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.

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

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

This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), a leading body for professionals and academics in environmental science, and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

As a student on this degree you can become a Student Member of the IES, free of charge.


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. 

Read Ben's story to see how he helped Bristol City Council set the wheels in motion on their electric vehicle strategy.

Read Gemma's story to see how she gained valuable skills carrying out land quality assessments for the RAF.

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 also have opportunities to apply to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement. 


Field trips are an important part of this course and you will have the opportunity to go on three residential trips during your degree.

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 also field trips included in optional modules that you can choose from in your second and final year.

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

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

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

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.

Socialise and network

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

Showcase your work

Demonstrate your environmental ideas at our annual degree show.


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.

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

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.

Read how Louise helps the Environment Agency assess and manage industrial operations.

See also:

Prospects - career options with a degree in geography.

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


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) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
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) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156
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

Indicative Additional Costs

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

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
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 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 the overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Relevant subjects: Geography, Geology, Environmental Science, Physics, Biology, Chemistry
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entrance requirements but with substantial relevant work or other experience and the motivation and skills needed to achieve success on the course.

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

Read more about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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