Human Geography

BA, 3-4 years

This is for you if... you are interested in people and the places they inhabit, and want to understand how geography relates to other social science subjects such as economics, politics, history and modern languages.

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 BA in Human Geography you will focus exclusively on the social science elements of geography such as society, culture, environment, development and identity. You will discover the complexity of human-environment interactions and the social and cultural differences that emerge in urban and rural spaces.

This degree involves no physical geography but it does allow you to supplement your geography studies with modules from social science departments around the University.

If you like the sound of this degree but don't want to ignore physical geography, you should consider the Geography BA.

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.

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.

You will have access to a dedicated student study area, comprising computing facilities, wireless internet, meeting spaces and information centre, as well as access to online learning resources.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1

Since this is a solely human geography degree, you will take no modules in physical geography but some aspects may overlap in the Environment, Nature and Society modules. You will take supplementary modules in other relevant subjects. Please note that the number of Geographers taking some supplementary subjects may be subject to a cap in numbers.

Core modules

  • Human Geography for a Globalised World
  • Environment/Nature/Society
  • Exploring our Digital Planet
  • Human Geography Field Course: The Dynamics of People and Place
  • Study Skills for Professional Geographers
  • Working with Geographical Information  

Option modules

Choose two option modules from a range across the subjects of Archaeology, Informatics (Computer Science), Economics and Modern Languages (the precise selection of these modules is still to be confirmed).

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

You will learn how to properly conduct research into human geography and apply what you have already learned. There will also be the opportunity to embark on the annual second year field trip, usually to New York. Please note that the number of Geographers taking some supplementary subjects may be subject to a cap in numbers.

Core modules

  • Geographical Research in the Field (overseas course)
  • Histories and Philosophies of Human Geography
  • Research Design and Methods (with Dissertation Planning)

Option modules

Choose five option modules from:

  • Environment and Development
  • Geographical Information Science (GIS)
  • Economy, Society and Space
  • Social and Cultural Geography
  • Political Geography: Space, Territory and Power
  • Geography in Education (Limited spaces)
  • Remote Sensing for Geographers
Plus a range of modules in Economics and Modern Languages (the precise selection of these modules is still to be confirmed).

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 (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 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

The Department of Geography at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you attend one of these, you may be eligible for an Erasmus grant if you comply with European Commission rules and regulations. 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 in French or Spanish. (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. There is no monthly grant when you attend one of these universities, however 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, including field trips to Kenya and the USA.


Choose six option modules from:

  • Critical Digital Geographies
  • Contemporary Environmental Challenges
  • Geographies of the Market-Place
  • Critical Geopolitics
  • Information Visualisation
  • Postcolonial Perspectives in and of Africa
  • Remote Sensing for Geographers
  • Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation
  • Geographies of Global Migration
  • Critical, Symbolic and Emotional Rural Geographies
  • Field class - Berlin: Tracing Geopolitics in Urban Space
  • Geographical Information Science
  • Education and Social Justice

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

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 BA concentrates more on Human, with a bit of Physical
  • the BSc concentrates more on Physical, with a bit of Human

However, the BA in Human Geography contains no Physical Geography and vice versa.


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. There are bursaries available for the optional Year 3 field courses.

If you study on the Geography BA or Human Geography BA, your field trips can include:

New York (Year 2)

Fly to the Big Apple to examine questions such as multiculturalism, gentrification and colonialism in the city. Based in Mid-town Manhattan, this week-long residential field course includes day trips to Ellis Island, China Town, Wall Street and Ground Zero in order to interrogate the composition and evolution of a truly global city.

Berlin (Year 3)

The Berlin field course is an optional course aimed at students taking the BA in Geography or the BA in Human Geography. It explores how the location of Berlin has shaped its place within geopolitical conflicts over centuries. The field course examines how the Berlin Wall is commemorated, and also how Cold War geopolitics continues to shape life in the city. The module is an opportunity to apply critical and creative geographical approaches to researching the politics of housing and migration in Berlin

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

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

    An inflationary increase (2.8% based on RPIX*) in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Government for 2017. This is still subject to formal parliamentary approval however, if approved, fees for 2017/18 entry could rise to £9,250 in 2017/18.

    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.


  • Starting in 2017

    • £15,290 per year

    Year Abroad: your fee will be £3,822.50 which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee.

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
Human Geography BA 3 years full-time L720 Apply Now
Human Geography with Year Abroad BA 4 years full-time L720 Apply Now
Human Geography
3 years full-time
Human Geography with Year Abroad
4 years full-time

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