Physical Geography and Geology BSc, 3-4 years

Start date:

2020
2021

Course information

UK/EU fee £9,250

UCAS code F8F6

International fee £21,515

Institute code L34

Taught by Geography

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3822/3823
geogadmin@le.ac.uk

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment website

This is for you if… you have a broad interest in Earth Science and our environment and want to study at the boundary of the disciplines of physical geography and geology.

Course description

Course description

Due to the ongoing impact of the global pandemic we have had to evaluate all of our courses to ensure that we adhere to Government guidelines to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and students. This means that as we work through these changes the modules, delivery methods and assessments shown, including those shown for future years, are subject to change.

This course will provide you with a coherent set of learning that guides you through the functioning of planet Earth, from the distant past right up to the present. In this degree complementary modules from both disciplines are carefully structured to provide knowledge of modern landscape processes, how insignts from the modern world allow us to interpret the rock record and vice-versa, and how fossils can explain the distant past as well as the patterns of life on Earth today. You will also investigate contemporary processes and issues, such as climate change, desertification and water quality. 

Studying both the past and present will enable you to tackle many of the major environmental challenges facing the planet.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: ABB-BBB including at least two from: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Maths, Use of Maths or Physics.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB + EPQ at grade B. A-level subjects to include two from Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Maths, Use of Maths or Physics.
  • GCSE: Grade C/4 in English Language and Maths.
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass science diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction. To include Physics, Chemistry and Maths Level 3 credits.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 30 points, including 5 points in two science subjects at HL. Minimum of 3 in HL Maths, or 4 in SL Maths, or 5 in Maths Studies required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE. Minimum of 4 in English Language required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE.
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Diploma with DDD (Science Related). Please contact School regarding eligibility.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

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 of Geography, Geology and the Environment.

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

  • £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.

International Students

Starting in 2020

  • £21,515 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5,378.75, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee
  • Year in Industry: £3,227.25, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Our degrees are designed to broaden your horizon and to help you acquire the skills sought by employers. Leicester geographers are highly competitive in the job market because of our research-based approach to teaching and learning, which fosters your analytical capabilities, creativity and confidence.

We have dedicated careers support in the School to help you realise your career goals. During term time you will also receive information about careers fairs, job opportunities and career development courses, and other practical information to help you on your way.

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

We also organise dedicated Geography Careers Events. Recent speakers represented 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.

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.

Career Development Service


Get career-ready at Leicester with guidance from our award-winning Career Development 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

Related courses

Our research

Our research

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

The first year provides the fundamentals knowledge in Earth Sciences and Physical Geography, and introduces you to the wide range of approaches (practicals, computer labs, tutorials, workshops, lectures) used throughout the course. The residential trip to Arran brings your learning into practice in the field.

Modules

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

The second year develops key research and analytical skills alongside increasing subject specific knowledge. The core content is designed to provide enough breadth of material to allow specialisation into different areas as you move into your final year. The residential trip to Almeria, Spain, provides field experience of contemporary landscape processes and the region’s geological record, as well as building important skills in project design and teamworking.

Core modules

Option modules

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 your third 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 three 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. Please see the list of institutions with which we have links, for where you could go on a year abroad. Find out more from our Global Opportunities team.

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.

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 independent research. You will select a topic to research in your dissertation and choose from a wide range of optional modules.

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Then choose four 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.

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

Fieldwork is integral to any Geography degree. 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.

Reading list

See the types of texts you might read, over the summer, to get a feel for the course and arrive prepared and ready to go.

View reading lists for:

Teaching and learning

This course combines theory with practical elements to prepare you for employment or further study when you finish. 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.

Your work will be assessed through a mixture of essays, scientific reports and projects, fieldwork, oral and poster presentations, exams and tests, and of course your final year individual dissertation project.

Your personal tutor will provide you with individually tailored academic support throughout your degree.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an important part of any Geoscience degree. In the field you will develop new skills and apply learning from the classroom to real world problems. The course includes fully funded trips to the Isle of Arran in Year 1, and then to Almeria, Spain in Year 2. In the first year you will receive the fundamental training in geological field skills, and in Year 2 you examine the striking arid landscapes of south east Spain, investigating the distinctive geomorphology and ecology of this unique area.

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 Physical Geography and Geology Qualification BSc Duration 3 years UCAS Code F8F6 Availability Apply Now
Course Physical Geography and Geology with Year Abroad Qualification BSc Duration 4 years UCAS Code F8F6 Availability Apply Now
Course Physical Geography and Geology with Year in Industry Qualification BSc Duration 4 years UCAS Code F8F6 Availability Apply Now