Geography with Foundation Year BSc, 4-5 years

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There’s always another way to follow your passion. If you don’t quite have the entry requirements to study geography at Leicester, this STEM Foundation Year degree is for you.

Typical offer
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Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
Stewart Fishwick
+44 (0)116 252 3810

Geography website

Course description

Course description

This Foundation Year programme is aimed at students who wish to study Geography at the University of Leicester, whose A-level subjects don’t match our entry criteria or who don’t have the necessary entry requirements

Completion of the integrated Foundation Year at the level required will enable you to progress onto the first year of the BSc in Geography or the BSc in Physical Geography.

You will be taught by expert academic staff from across the life and physical sciences.

The course strongly emphasises the development of the study skills that will be necessary for success in your undergraduate studies and beyond. These study skills will be integrated within the course material and take advantage of innovative learning technologies.

  • By completing the Foundation Year you will automatically progress onto the first year of your chosen degree. 
  • The course does not require a maths test for entry, but it will cover the A-level maths syllabus and understanding of this will be measured before you progress. 
  • The course strongly emphasises the development of essential professional and personal skills, which are necessary throughout your studies and beyond. 
  • During your Foundation Year you will join our student community and be able to enjoy all aspects of the University of Leicester student experience. You will be able to join the Students’ Union, use our academic and leisure facilities, live in our accommodation and access all our support services. 
  • You will have a personal tutor to support you. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: BCC (including two science subjects)
  • GCSE: Maths grade B/5

We welcome applicants with other qualifications. Please contact to find out more.

NB. This course is only open to applicants from the UK and other EU countries.

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.

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

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2020

Tuition fees for 2020/21 are yet to be confirmed. As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2019/20 were:

  • £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 £1,250 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 fourth 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 fourth year option modules, the cost is expected to be about £2,000.

International Students

Please note this course is not available to international (non-EU) students.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

We have dedicated careers support in the School 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.

Another 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 School 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.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Foundation Year

Foundation Year


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 1

Year 1

In the first year of the BSc proper (your second year at Leicester) you will study a broad range of physical and human geography topics in order to understand the breadth of the subject. One-day field trips around the East Midlands and 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

Year 2 of the BSc course is your third year at Leicester.

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 or in Industry (optional)

Year Abroad or in Industry (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your fourth year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in four years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement 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.

Year Abroad

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 Global Opportunities team.

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

Geography at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the 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:

Languages courses, at both beginners and advanced level, are available through the University’s Languages at Leicester scheme. (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 fifth year (or fourth, 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, including field trips to the USA and Colombia.


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.

Why Leicester?

Job prospects are excellent: 97% of our Geography students are employed (or studying for a Masters degree) six months after graduating. (DLHE)

Our field trips will take you to some amazing places. All first and second year field trips are funded by the University, including opportunities to explore the human geography of Vancouver in Canada (BA degrees) or the physical geography of Almeria in Spain (BSc degrees).

In your final year there are optional field trips to fantastic locations such as Berlin, Death Valley and the Amazon rainforest, with bursaries available to help with travel costs.

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.

Geography at Leicester

As part of his course, Michael used industry-standard GIS and remote-sensing applications.

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 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.


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.

Students on the Geography BSc have the chance to take field trips to Almeria in southeast Spain, the Amazon jungle in Southern Colombia and Death Valley in California. (Students on the Geography BA can take field trips to New York, Kenya and the Grand Canyon.)

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.

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.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team 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

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. 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 with Foundation Year Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code F849 Availability Apply Now
Course Geography with Foundation Year with Year Abroad Qualification BSc Duration 5 years full-time UCAS Code F849 Availability Apply Now
Course Geography with Foundation Year with Year in Industry Qualification BSc Duration 5 years UCAS Code F849 Availability Apply Now