Hiants Causeway, Northern Ireland


Geography (with Foundation Year)

Please note the entry requirements stated for this course are indicative. The entry requirements for 2019 will be published by September 2018.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Geography and Environmental Management
Four years full-time; five years sandwich
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Richard Mourne
Key fact:
This course is accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), giving you professional recognition and access to talks and events across the country.

Page last updated 25 May 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.

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, river dynamics, 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.

Accreditations and partnerships:



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

Year zero (foundation year)

You will study:

  • Physical and Human Environment of the City Region
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Foundation Year Project
  • Field Study
  • Challenges Data and Solutions.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into Year one.

Year one

You will study:

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

Year two

You will study:

  • Researching Physical Geography
  • Professional Development for Geographers.

Plus five optional modules from:

  • Tectonic processes and landforms
  • Understanding River Dynamics
  • Managing Global Resources
  • Meteorology
  • Climate Change: Challenges for the 21st Century
  • 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 placement.  

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Final Year Project.


  • Professional Experience
  • Independent Project.

OR  (if a sandwich year has been completed):

  • Independent Project.

Plus two 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.

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.

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

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Socialise and campaign

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.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


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).

IES Student Membership

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

You may then use StMIEnvSc after your name, signalling professional commitment.

Download the Student Membership Pack.


Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Work experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

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

Past students' work placements have involved 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 in 2015. It's also the UK's first Cycle City. Students have found exciting placements locally in this field.

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

Other opportunities are available with UWE Global Water Security Project, where you'll solve challenges through research that benefits communities worldwide.

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 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 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 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.

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.


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.

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.


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 five year course and then transfer to the four 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

Additional costs are for 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: 72
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Grade D/4 or above 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 the 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 your application if you have a mixture of A-Levels and BTEC qualifications.

We also welcome applications from highly motivated students who do not meet the usual entrance requirements given above, so we will consider you if you have gained equivalent knowledge and skills from substantial relevant work or other experience.

Read more about entry requirements.

If you expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Geography course.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through UWE Bristol’s International College which, upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year 1 of the degree.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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