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Geography BSc

3-4 years

Our planet has constantly reshaped itself, but in the twenty-first century, the impact of humanity on all aspects of the planetary machine is undeniable. In this respect, the world needs Geographers more than ever. Geography is a discipline founded on understanding the complex links between the planet, its inhabitants, and the places where they live.  As a Physical Geographer, you will help us to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Geography BSc, 3-4 years

Our planet has constantly reshaped itself, but in the twenty-first century, the impact of humanity on all aspects of the planetary machine is undeniable. In this respect, the world needs Geographers more than ever. Geography is a discipline founded on understanding the complex links between the planet, its inhabitants, and the places where they live.  As a Physical Geographer, you will help us to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

Start date:

2024
2025

Course information

Typical offer ABB

UK fee £9,250

UCAS code F800

International fee £20,250

Institute code L34

Taught by School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

The Uni Guide logo

97% of students in work or further study six months after graduating (The Uni Guide 2023)

Royal Geographical Society with IBG Accredited Programme

Accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Course description

Course description

This degree is perfect for you if you wish to experience the full breadth of Geography, but would like specialise primarily in Physical Geography. After a common first year with BA students, in Years 2 and 3 we offer a diversity of optional Physical Geography modules, covering topics spanning river systems, tropical rainforests, deserts and climate change. There remain Human Geography module options in years 2 and 3, so you can tailor your degree to become a generalist, or a specialist in Physical Geography, depending on your interests. Throughout you will gain transferable skills in remote sensing, geographical information science and statistical and data presentation methods.

The degree includes UK residential fieldwork in Years 1 and 2 going to Devon, Dartmoor and the Lake District. In Year 2 we take you to Almeria (Spain) to explore Europe's only desert. There are options for further residential fieldwork around the world in Year 3.

If at the end of Year 1 you decide you would prefer to focus primarily on human geography, you can transfer to the BA degree in Year 2.

Entry requirements

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.
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Language and Maths.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass relevant diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDM.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points. Must include a minimum of grade 4 in SL Maths or 3 at HL if 4/C not held at GCSE. Must include a minimum of grade 4 in English A or 5 in English B if minimum of grade 4/C not held in English Language at GCSE.
  • T Levels: Distinction in either: Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction or Science (with an Occupational Specialism in Laboratory technician).

Other official national and international qualifications considered from across the world. You can review some of the qualifications we accept on our countries page and English Language equivalencies.

If your qualification or country is not listed, please contact us for more information, including the name and result of the qualification you have studied.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for Geography with Foundation Year BSc.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Contextual offers

The University of Leicester is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all applicants from all backgrounds. We make contextual offers to support students who may be impacted by the area they live in, their personal circumstances or who have completed one of our progression programmes. These offers are usually one or two grades lower than the standard entry requirements. To qualify for a contextual offer, you must apply for an eligible course and meet specific criteria – check if you’re eligible.

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 School.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. 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

Fees and funding

UK Students

Starting in 2024

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,385 for that year
  • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in 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 £1,600.

If you choose the field trip to the Amazon as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £2,200.

There is an additional cost to students as a contribution towards core fieldwork modules in years one and two. In year one this is a maximum of £100. In year two this is a maximum of £250. These are the total contributions for the academic year, regardless of the number of fieldcourses (i.e. they are not the costs or contributions per fieldcourse)

International Students

Starting in 2024

  • £20,250 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5062.50, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee
  • Year in Industry: £3,037.50, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

If you are resident outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland, you will need to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure your place. This will be subtracted from your total tuition fee.

From 2022 onwards, EU nationals will pay the International fee. If you are an EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, you may qualify for the UK fee (subject to criteria).

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 £1,600.

If you choose the field trip to the Amazon as one of your third year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £2,200.

There is an additional cost to students as a contribution towards core fieldwork modules in years one and two. In year one this is a maximum of £100. In year two this is a maximum of £250. These are the total contributions for the academic year, regardless of the number of fieldcourses (i.e. they are not the costs or contributions per fieldcourse)

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Geography and Environmental Scientists are highly competitive in the job market as their degrees furnish them with a range of highly sought-after skills. As well as studying topics that consider all of the major global challenges of the 21st century, our graduates are equipped with a range of subject specific and transferable skills (e.g. teamwork, communication, resilience, planning, problem solving).

Key statistics

  • 97% of graduates in work or further study after 15 months
  • Average salary 10 years after graduation is £40,100
  • Recent employers include: Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Aon, National Library of Scotland, KPMG, NHS, Cabinet Office, Department of Work and Pensions, HSBC

Supported by the University’s Careers and Employability Service, employability is embedded in all of our curricula from year one:

  • The Leicester Award for Employability personal development programme is embedded in core year one and year two modules, providing students with opportunities to reflect on their motivations, personality traits, transferable skills, and future career goals
  • All students have lifetime access to and support from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service.
  • The year two Geography in Education module provides specific work experience within local schools, ideal for students interested in teaching or working with young people in their future careers
  • We have a dedicated School Careers Tutor who works with the Careers and Employability Service to support careers fairs, disseminate job opportunities and career development courses, and to provide practical information.
  • We run a School-wide annual careers day; recent speakers have included the Civil Service, Selfridges & Co, Hatch Regeneris, the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, Ordnance Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
  • All of our degrees allow include a four year “with a Year in Industry” option, where the third year of the degree is spent on a work placement.

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

Case studies

Small profile picture of Megan

Megan Hudson (BSc Geography) is now a General Manager at Fenland SOIL; a farmer-led, multistakeholder research organisation that aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from lowland agriculture. Her work involves a wide range of activities, spanning finance and marketing, meeting and day to day work with growers and stakeholders, through to working on research projects with universities and organisations like Natural England.

Small profile picture of MominMomin Ashraf (BA Geography) is a member of the GIS intelligence team at the Satellite Applications Catapult in Didcot. His work is focused on international development and humanitarian aid. He uses satellite and spatial data to monitor issues such as water security, internally displaced people and conflict zones. His skills and interests in GIS allowed him to work in a range of industries during his year in industry, and it was his GIS, Remote Sensing and Information Visualisation courses that provided the key skills shaping his career (skills in critical industry-standards such as QGIS, ArcGIS, Tableau, SQL, Python).

Small profile picture of TaraTara Ahmad (BA Human Geography) joined the Lidl UK Graduate Programme. Tara had a particular interest in economic geography and during her BA Human Geography degree she particularly enjoyed the Economy Society and Space module, which focuses on the commoditisation of foodstuffs.  During her second and final years she was a course representative and a co-chair of the student-staff committee. This meant lots of scope to present, collaborate and share her work, providing the confidence to move forward into her future career.

Careers and Employability Service

Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Careers and Employability Service. We're here to give you a lifetime offer of support, even after graduation. Our team of specialist careers advisers and mentors will help you every step of the way. From supporting you with CVs and interviews, to volunteering opportunities and placements, we’re here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

We are committed to providing skills and knowledge to help prepare you tackle global challenges. We have mapped our undergraduate degrees for learning which aligns to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This degree includes learning which relates to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals

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 and build foundational knowledge of the discipline. A residential field course in Devon provides field experience in physical geography (landscapes, ecology, coastal management), and will allow you to develop new skills in the context of staff-led projects and activities.

Modules

Apart from the field course (in Field and Lab Techniques for Physical Geographers), the course material in year one is the same as BA in Geography. This enables you to switch between the two degrees at the end of your first year, should 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

In Year 2 you will begin to focus on key areas of physical geography, via core modules and through a range of optional modules. The latter cover topics including geomorphology and biogeography, as well as satellite remote sensing and palaeo-climatic change. You will attend a residential field course in the Lake District at the start of Year 2, which provides a field-based introduction into these topics. You will also go on an overseas field trip (Almeria) mid-way through semester 2.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Then choose one option module 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 or in Industry (optional)

Year Abroad or in Industry (optional)

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

Year Abroad

We’ll make sure you have everything you need for your future career: not just by awarding you a high quality degree, but also by helping you to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to make your mark in the world as a Citizen of Change. One way you can do this is by opting to take a Year Abroad between Years 2 and 3 of your degree.

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 a career in the private, public or third sector - or plough your own furrow as an entrepreneur – you will find the experience invaluable.

For more information, including a list of destinations, please visit our Study Abroad website.

Please note

  • A year spent abroad still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See the Fees and Funding tab of this page for details.
  • You may be eligible for a travel grant from Student Finance England.
  • Places are offered on a competitive basis, and eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2.
  • Language courses, at beginners or advanced level, are available through our Languages at Leicester scheme.

Year in Industry

A Year in Industry gives you the opportunity to stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for graduate jobs with work experience incorporated into your programme of study. If this is for you, in Year 2 you will take a module in which we prepare you for that year in work and support you with your search for a placement in an industry or organisation relevant to your career aspirations. After your Year in Industry you will return to University for your final year of study.

A year in industry still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See the Fees and Funding tab of this page for details.

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 final year incorporates a blend of teaching and research and is constructed largely from research-led optional modules, which allow you to build your degree in the way that most interests you. There is scope to develop specialisms, or remain a generalist. In semester 1 you will develop you own research project with your supervisor as part of the final year dissertation. You will then choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Then 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.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is integral to any Geography degree. In the field you'll develop new skills and apply learning from the classroom to real-world problems. At Leicester, we go into the field a lot - your field trips will be some of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of your time here.

students on a geography field tripstudents on a geography field trip

Our field trips run during each year of study. In Year 1, you’ll get an introduction to residential fieldwork in a UK setting, connecting knowledge gained in classes with the study of a variety of landscapes.

In your second year your field training will focus on the development of skills that prepare you for independent research and your final year dissertation project. Recent locations have included Vancouver and Almeria.

Our Year 3 optional field courses represent an opportunity to develop advanced field skills. They are a chance to experience some of the world’s most remarkable environments such as the Amazon Rain Forest and Death Valley in California.

students on a geography field tripstudents on a geography field trip

And you’ll be pleased to know our staff are involved in field-based research worldwide, ensuring that our teaching draws on active field experience.

Fieldwork locations may vary and are subject to availability.

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.

Why Leicester?

Job prospects for graduates of the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment are excellent: 97% of our Geography students and 95% of our Geology students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

Fieldwork is integral to all of our degrees. Our field trips will take you to some of the world's most remarkable environments, such as the Amazon Rain Forest and Death Valley in California.

Our School operates an Open Door policy, meaning you can access support when you need it.

You will definitely want to join the Students' Union's Geography Society which offers a great mix of academic support and social events. Leicester GeogSoc is affiliated to EGEA, a massive European network providing great opportunities for exchanges and professional development.

Hear from our Geography BSc graduate Lucy, as she talks about module flexibility, worldwide field trip opportunities, and reflects on her time studying at Leicester.

Teaching and learning

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 11-13 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 methods including, essays, scientific reports, learning diaries, oral and poster presentations, mock journal articles, popular science articles and a final year individual (supervised) dissertation project. Coursework is mainly undertaken on an individual basis. However, a number of modules (especially field-based modules) involve assessed group project work.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is integral to any Geography degree. In the field you will develop new skills and apply learning from the classroom to the real world. You will work in teams to ask questions about the environment and to solve problems. 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 are subsidised 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, your residential field trips include:

Devon and the Lake District (Year 1 and 2 – core modules) 

Gain your first experience of physical geography in the field, these residential trips consider the landscapes and ecology of Dartmoor and the Lake District. Students on both trips will also develop their field survey, sampling and analysis skills.

Almeria (Year 2 – core module)

Examine the striking landscapes and ecologies of the arid coast of southeast Spain, investigating the distinctive geomorphology and ecology of this unique area. As part of the second year research design module, with help from staff, you will make your first attempt at designing and implementing a scientific project of your own.

The Amazon (Year 3, optional)

Spend two weeks in southern Colombian Amazon sailing the Amazon River and studying the spectacular tropical vegetation, fauna and aquatic ecosystems of this biome. Run by staff who have worked in this region throughout their careers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a truly remarkable and unique environment.

Mojave Desert and Death Valley (Year 3, optional)

Spend ten days in the Mojave Desert (near Las Vegas) in a bespoke desert research station with spectacular views of desert dunes and mountains.  This trip and its associated module are focused on desert landscape processes and the climatic evolution of the Mojave itself. We consider desert rivers, sand dunes, dry salt lakes and – in Death Valley – one of the hottest, driest and most spectacular landscapes on Earth.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Academic support

Our Centre for Academic Achievement provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

This is a research-led degree. You will be taught by an internationally recognised experts in their fields, whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. Our third year specialism modules map closely to staff’s current research and to our cutting edge facilities where you will get hands on experience. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Geography Qualification BSc Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code F800 Availability How to apply
Course Geography with Year Abroad Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F800 Availability How to apply
Course Geography with a Year in Industry Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F800 Availability How to apply

Data about this course

student stood outside on a residential street

Studying at the University of Leicester has allowed me to go to some amazing places! Getting the chance to actually visit the places we were studying made the course so much more engaging and exciting.

Isobel

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