BA(Hons) Geography (with Foundation Year)
Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants. If you would like information about our alternative courses which has been developed and enhanced to replace it, please visit the Geography and Environmental Management page.
Page last updated 2 June 2020
This course is accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), giving you professional recognition and access to talks and events across the country.
Why study geography?
The growing need to protect and sustain the environment means we need better strategies for natural resource management, human migration and wealth distribution.
Policies that strengthen the environment ensure communities have access to food, energy and healthcare and support economic growth.
Studying geography enables you to explore these issues and contribute innovative ways to address them.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Geography looks at the globalisation of economies and cultures and the environmental challenges relating to natural resources and societies.
Discover the causes of economic, social and environmental problems and how policy and decision-making processes can address these issues.
Develop vital professional skills in mapping, environmental assessment, geographical statistics, qualitative research and computer-based spatial analysis.
Tailor the course to your specific geographical interests with module options including the regeneration of 21st century cities, rural geographies, international tourism development, renewable energies, global migration and identities.
Broaden your experience on UK and overseas field trips and apply geographical theories in the field and our well-equipped laboratories.
Apply what you've learned on a work placement in your preferred area of interest and graduate with the skills you need to succeed in your career.
Where can it take me?
Choose from a wide range of careers in environmental consultancy, regeneration, conservation, energy and government, finance, education and research.
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.
You will study:
- Geographies of Globalisation
- Environmental Challenges
- People, Places and Change
- Field Study in Human Geography
- Geographical Skills.
You will study:
- Researching Human Geography
- Professional Development for Geographers.
Plus five optional modules from:
- Geopolitics of Migration
- Sustainable Resource Management
- Geographies of Security
- Culture, Geography and Tourism
- City Regeneration
- Transport and Mobility
- Climate and Environmental Justice.
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.
You will study:
- Final Year Project.
- Professional Experience or Professional Project and Independent Project.
If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you will study the Independent Project module.
Plus three optional modules from:
- International Tourism and Sustainable Development
- Transforming Global Cities
- Contemporary Security Issues
- GIS and Remote Sensing Applications
- Advanced Geographic Expedition
- Environmental Management in the Global South
- Water and Energy Futures
- Sustainable Transport: Technologies and Behaviour.
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 resource management, urban studies and sustainability, and cultural geographies such as migration, identity and tourism.
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*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement 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.
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 studying independently and studying for assessments.
Modules are assessed through a combination of exams, coursework, 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*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
This course has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), giving you access to talks and events across the country.
Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.
If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work placement after Year two.
Studying geography opens up a wide range of careers. Placements reflect this, with past students completing placements with GE Electric to local authorities.
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 about Oscar's placement, where he researched water and sanitation rights for a Ugandan NGO.
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. You will also go on three residential trips.
Spend four days in Margam Park Discovery Centre near Port Talbot in South Wales. Here we study industrial archaeology in the Blaenavon World Heritage Site and rural landscape change.
Visit the Spanish island of Mallorca to explore Palma's urban development, rural change, tourism development, and World Heritage landscapes and apply geographical research methodologies.
Spend two weeks on an advanced geographical expedition to an exotic location (recent destinations include Iceland, China and Kenya).
You'll study a range of environmental, social and economic issues at the expedition destination.
Watch a student slideshow about studying Iceland's diverse geography on an advanced expedition.
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 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.
Map and measure angles, distances and topography, and carry out level surveys in our surveying laboratory.
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. You could work for environmental consultancies, conservation agencies and government, or take on research opportunities.
You could also apply your skills and knowledge in logistics, business management or finance.
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.
Indicative Additional Costs
Full time course
Full time course with placement year
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.
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.
- Tariff points: 48
- GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Literature or Language and Grade D/4 in Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as alternatives to GCSEs.
- A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Geography.
If you are an international student your recommended route of study for this degree is through our International College, which upon successful completion to the required level and with good attendance, guarantees entry to Year one of the degree.
How to apply
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333