BSc, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you are mostly interested in the Earth and environmental science and you want to concentrate on physical geography, while retaining some options for further study of social science aspects of the subject.

Course Description

At the interface of the human and the physical environments, geography is an integrative discipline that fosters a broad perspective on the problems of today’s world and equips you with a variety of transferable and employable skills. The Department of Geography at Leicester provides a stimulating, supportive and friendly environment in which to study contemporary geography.

Our four degrees allow you to specialise in physical geography or human geography – or to combine topics that bridge the science/social science interface. Throughout your degree there will be an emphasis on gaining practical skills and putting them to use in a critical manner. You will receive all of the training needed to carry out independent research in a range of contexts.

If you choose to study for the BSc in Geography your work will emphasise the physical science aspects of geography but will retain options to cover both social science and overlapping themes. Most of your degree will cover physical geography, exploring current theories about the origin and formation of the Earth, Earth surface processes, climatic change and biogeographic patterns. You will also gain skills in remote sensing and geographical information science. 

In Year 1 you will also study human geography. If this appeals to you (and your grades are sufficient), you can transfer in Year 2 to the BA degree, which is more focused on the social science aspects of the subject.

What's the difference?

The BA and BSc in Geography each cover both Human Geography (social science; people and places) and Physical Geography (natural science; Earth and environment)

  • the Geography BA concentrates more on Human, with a bit of Physical
  • the Geography BSc concentrates more on Physical, with a bit of Human
Key Facts
Typical offer
UCAS code
Start date
September 2017

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3822/3823

Department of Geography website

View Key Information Sets

Why Leicester?

All field classes in your first and second years are subsidised by the University.

You will have access to a Geochronology Lab, an Environmental Stable Isotope Lab, a Palaeoecology Lab and a Geomorphological Hardware Modelling Lab with a rainfall simulator and flume channel, plus a 3D virtual reality theatre.

Our student society GeogSoc is affiliated to EGEA, a massive European network providing great opportunities for exchanges and professional development.

The small-medium size of the Department means that you will be a member of the team, not just an anonymous face.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

You will study a broad range of physical and human geography topics in order to understand the breadth of the subject. A residential field course in Devon will enable you to practice your field and laboratory skills in a natural setting.


    This is the same as the BA in Geography, enabling you to switch between the two degrees at the end of your first year if you wish.

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Year 2

    Year 2

    During this year you will begin to focus on the on the key areas of physical geography such as geomorphology, long-term (palaeo-)environmental histories (Glacial Worlds) and biogeography. You will also attend a residential field course in the Lake District at the start of year two, which provides a field-based introduction into these topics.

    Core modules

    Option modules

    Choose four option modules from:

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Year Abroad (optional)

    Year Abroad (optional)

    If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions. Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

    NB. A year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

    Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

    Please be aware that not all the institutions listed below may offer appropriate modules in both physical and/or human geography.

    The Department of Geography at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them.

    • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite 

    We have links with the following universities:

    During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training. (You don't need to speak the language if you go to Finland or the Netherlands.)

    We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

    American universities

    Canadian universities

    Australian universities

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Final year

    Final year

    Your fourth year (or third, if you didn't spend a year abroad) incorporates a blend of teaching and research. You will select a topic to research in your dissertation and choose from a wide range of optional modules.


    Choose six option modules from:

    Plus your dissertation

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

    Additional Information


    Fieldwork is integral to any Geography degree. In the field you develop new skills and apply learning from the classroom to real world problems. Here at Leicester we go into the field a lot. Our field trips will be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences for both Human and Physical Geography students.

    All field courses in your first and second year will be fully funded by the University of Leicester. Optional field courses in Year 3 do come with an additional cost although there are bursaries available.

    If you study on the Geography BSc or Physical Geography BSc, your field trips can include:

    Almeria (Year 2)

    Examine the striking arid landscapes of South East Spain, investigating the distinctive geomorphology and ecology of this unique area.

    The Amazon (Year 3, optional)

    Spend two weeks in southern Colombia studying the spectacular tropical vegetation of the region as well as animal biogeography and aquatic ecosystems.

    Death Valley (Year 3, optional)

    Spend ten days in the Mojave Desert (near Las Vegas). You will stay in a desert research station and spend the trip studying a range of landforms and landscapes characteristic of this remarkable arid landscape, including weathering processes, desert rivers, sand-dunes, salt lakes and - in Death Valley - some of the world’s most impressive alluvial fans.

    Teaching and Assessment

    You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals and fieldwork. All lecture material is available online through our virtual learning environment Blackboard. Contact time typically averages about 10-11 hours per week. Residential field trips are run by academic staff throughout the degree and provide extended periods of small group teaching in field contexts.

    Your work will be assessed through a mixture of essays, scientific reports, learning diaries, oral and poster presentations, mock journal articles and of course your final year individual dissertation project. Coursework is mainly undertaken on an individual basis. However, a number of modules (especially field-based modules) involve assessed group project work.

    Research Stories

    Entry Requirements

    • A/AS-levels: ABB. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. Geography not essential.
    • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B. Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
    • GCSE: Maths Grade C, English Language Grade C
    • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with 45 credits at level 3, including some at distinction.
    • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 plus any subject requirements.
    • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.

    Other national and international qualifications considered.

    If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester. 

    Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

    Selection Process

    When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

    Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

    English Language Requirements

    IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with at least 6.0 in each component score. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

    International Qualifications

    Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

    Countries list

    Fees and Funding

    • Starting in 2017

      • £9,250 in your first year. After 2017/18, the tuition fee you pay may increase annually in line with inflation (RPIX) and is subject to government regulations. (RPIX is a measure of inflation in the UK, equivalent to all items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.)
      • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year.

      Find out more about scholarships and funding.

      Additional costs

      If you choose the field trip to California as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £1,400.

      If you choose the field trip to the Amazon as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £2,000.

    • Starting in 2017

      • £15,925 per year

      Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,891.25 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

      Additional costs

      If you choose the field trip to California as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £1,400.

      If you choose the field trip to the Amazon as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £2,000.

    Career Opportunities

    We have dedicated careers support in the Department to help you find a job. During term time you will also receive email digests containing information about career fairs, jobs opportunities, career development courses and other practical information to help you on your way to employability.

    The second year module 'Geography in Education' provides placements in local secondary schools. Working closely with teachers you will develop skills and experience beneficial to a career in teaching.

    The Department has well-established links with many businesses and Government departments, including Natural England, the European Space Agency, the Home Office, BP Exploration and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.


    Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

    Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
    Geography BSc 3 years full-time F800 Apply Now
    Geography with Year Abroad BSc 4 years full-time F800 Apply Now
    3 years full-time
    UCAS Code
    Geography with Year Abroad
    4 years full-time
    UCAS Code

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