Geography and Psychology

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Expand your understanding of the relationship between people and places.

  • Friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are excellent teachers and active researchers

  • Specialisms include river and coastal processes, poverty and development, environmental hazards, sustainability and climate change, culture and identities, geotechnologies and more

  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India

 Our students consistently rate the course very highly, with over 90% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey every year for the past three years

 

Why study Geography?

Geography is about places and people. It is about understanding why 'here' differs from 'there', how people's lives vary in these different places, and how our own lives are dependent on people and places, near and far.

An ability to link environmental processes and social and spatial behaviours is a defining feature of geographical practice. As a result, Geography is clearly important in understanding today’s pressing global and local issues from climate change to sustainable development.

Studying Geography at Bath Spa University, you’ll learn geographical concepts, theories and knowledge, while gaining skills that can improve your career prospects. Geography graduates are valued by employers for this unique combination.

Course structure

We take an integrated approach to Geography; you’ll gain an understanding of both the human and physical aspects of the subject. However, a key feature of our course is that you can specialise more in the physical or human side as your interests, abilities and career plans evolve.


You’ll graduate with a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include scientific techniques and computer skills, as well as people skills like communication, team-work and critical thinking. 

 

 

A special feature of our course is the opportunity to gain valuable experience, and academic credit, through volunteering in the local community. You can also study abroad for one term, either in a European university or further afield in Australia or the USA. 

 

Modules

Year 1

Develop your skills and knowledge. The first year is centred on a core module, Environment, People and Place. This module offers an integrated approach to the study of the geo-social and earth sciences. You’ll learn how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use. The practical application of subject knowledge is the underlying philosophy of this module.

In addition to the core module we usually offer these options (all 20 credits) from which you can choose one or two:

  • Investigating Earth Environments;
  • Global Development;
  • Visualising Society;

The remainder of level 4 is made up with at least 40 credits from a complementary module of your choice, such as Biology, Sociology, Criminology, or an interdisciplinary module focusing on Sustainability in Life and Work.

Year 2

Extend your abilities as a team player and as a professional. You’ll acquire specialist knowledge and skills in geographical topics and research methods.

The core module provides historical context and highlights the relevance of geographical knowledge to many different professional sectors. Your research skills are developed through two extended research projects where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues. We also give you the chance to engage with the Royal Geographical Society and other professional bodies as we begin to help you map out potential career paths. The rest of your studies are optional, and the usual module choices are (you can choose four):

  • River and Coastal Systems;
  • Climate Change and Sustainability;
  • Environmental Hazards;
  • Geographical Fieldwork (includes a residential fieldtrip to Northern India);
  • Global Cities;
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice;
  • Work Placement;

All optional modules are 20 credits each.

Year 3

Explore your specialisms. You’ll use the skills and knowledge perfected throughout the degree to complete a geography dissertation. Alternatively, you can undertake an extended work placement with a relevant research report. There’s a huge variety in choice in what you do for a dissertation and throughout the study you’ll benefit from one-to-one tuition and expert guidance. . The rest of the third year is made up from 20 credit optional modules such as these (you can choose four):

  • Climatology;
  • Coastal and River Management;
  • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork (includes a residential fieldtrip);
  • Development and Disasters;
  • Globalisation and Work;
  • Global Mobility, Risks and Environmental Justice;
  • Identities and Inequalities;
  • Community Engagement (includes a local volunteering placement).

Course assessment

You’ll experience a variety of different assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video clips, fieldcraft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These will give you a rich and diverse skills learning experience, be of real benefit in the search for a good career, and be useful in your professional activities.

Good teaching is important to us; our graduates highly rate the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS, GPS survey instruments, campus river gauging and digital ‘met’ stations.

Our rural site is a superb natural laboratory where you’ll learn a range of scientific techniques including field sampling and the use of laboratory instruments for sediment and water analysis. You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups to enable discussion about specific topics.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Australia, Finland and the USA.

Field trips

“Field trip opportunities have been brilliant and a really valuable experience” –Geography graduate, 2015


We’re committed to giving you a relevant, interesting and useful degree; fieldwork is integral to this. There are various field days during modules, as well as residential fieldwork options in the UK and overseas in Years 2 and 3.


You’ll visit places and landscapes such as Avebury, Mendip, the Somerset Levels, the Welsh National History Museum, the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Residential trips currently go to Spain, the Lake District and Northern India. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards some of these residential study visits.
Video

Work placements, industry links and internship


There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and third year – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.


Competitions/awards

There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Geography Project of the Year Award, for the best dissertation.

Facilities and resources

Newton Park Campus – ‘Natural Laboratory’

Our location at Newton Park, nestled in a parkland valley setting just outside Bath, is a beautiful and unique 'natural laboratory' in which to pursue environmental education and we make the most of the setting.

Newton Park Library

Commons

VLE

Resources 

We have all the latest technologies and learning resources. You’ll have access to IT laboratories with geographical software such as ArcGIS and Idrisi. In addition we have a comprehensive stock of field and laboratory equipment.


Other resources available include Leica Smart Rovers and Laser Scanner, handheld Global Positioning System devices, survey seismograph, Russian and standard sediment corers, teaching microscopes, stream flow meters, particle size analysis kits, digital Schmidt hammers, digital weather station, campus stream gauging station, digital dictaphones, digital video cameras, tablets and laptops.

Teaching methods

Geography encourages your learning through a variety of formats: lectures, seminars, team work, laboratories, IT workshops, and in the field - for 'hands on', real life experience.

Our location, nestled in a parkland valley setting just outside Bath, is a beautiful and unique 'natural laboratory' in which to pursue environmental education and we make the most of the setting. We have all the latest technologies and learning resources and Geographers have access to IT laboratories with geographical software such as ArcGIS and Idrisi. In addition there is a comprehensive stock of field and laboratory equipment. Practicals take place in well-equipped science laboratories or out in the grounds of the Newton Park campus. You will find free wireless internet access is available in the Department and across our campus. We subscribe to an extensive range of online journals so you can access the latest geographic research in seconds. 

Other resources available include Leica Smart Rovers, handheld Global Positioning System devices, survey seismograph, Russian and standard sediment corers, teaching microscopes, stream flow meters, particle size analysis kits, digital Schmidt hammers, digital weather station, campus stream gauging station, digital dictaphones, digital video cameras and laptops. Do please note that not all field courses are run every year and that all off-campus events and their funding are subject to annual review. Also, module availability may vary over time - if a particular module is of interest and you want to know more, just get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help!

 

Departmental Research

The Department hosts two active research groups covering physical and human geography, ensuring that your teaching is informed by up-to-date, specialised staff expertise. The research groups often inform dissertation ideas for students and you will benefit from our annual Research Seminar Series which includes external guest speakers and is open to all.

All our academic staff are professional geographers who undertake research and scholarship at the cutting edge of their discipline, publishing papers in international journals, textbooks for undergraduate use, and speaking at international conferences, as well as making media appearances. All research undertaken is of direct benefit to students. Indeed, some of our work is about enhancing the learning of geography at university. Students have co-authored papers with members of staff, and some have remained with us to carry out postgraduate research leading to doctorate level.

Teaching quality excellence

We are proud of the quality of our teaching in Geography at Bath Spa. During your degree you will taught by experienced, specialist staff, who undertake research in their specific areas of expertise, as well as into the learning and teaching of different aspects of geography.

Subject tutors regularly attend Professional Development Workshops that inform curriculum development and we regularly attend academic and commercial conferences. We subscribe to industry societies and their journals, such as the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Development Studies Association (DSA), Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the British Cartographic Society (BCS), GIS Professional, GIM International.

Application method

All full time applications are through UCAS

Course enquiries

Want to know more about studying Geography at Bath Spa? We have Open Days and Visit Days throughout the year. If you can't make any of those, we are also happy to arrange individual visits for you to have a look around at the facilities and ask any questions you may have. You can get in touch using the contact details adjacent. We hope to see you here soon!

Please contact Dr Rebecca Schaaf, Subject Leader for Geography: r.schaaf@bathspa.ac.uk 

Have a look at our related courses:

BSc Global Development and Sustainability

BA Geography (Human)

BSc Geography (Physical)

Entry requirements

You’ll need to have 260-300 UCAS points, with a grade C in geography or a related subject. We also welcome applications from mature students with an Access to HE qualification. If you have non-standard qualifications we will consider any prior learning and professional experience in your application.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC preferred with Grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science

  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.

  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.

  • Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants


IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries
For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Career opportunities

Our graduates possess a diverse range of skills, knowledge and expertise, suitable for many careers and occupations. This is due to the great appeal of your geographical skill-set to employers. Environmental bodies, utilities, planning, police and armed forces, retail and financial services, heritage management, local government and school teaching are typical destinations. Many geography graduates are hooked on the subject and undertake further study, including doctoral research here in the department.

The opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of your degree is an excellent way of gaining some experience in the workplace, while guest speakers from industry contribute to your learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will stand you in good stead for making those all-important career decisions when you move into the world of work.

Since 2010, employers such as Geomatics Group, At-Bristol, Discover Battle, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and The Ministry of Defence have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including  Assistant Geomatics Surveyor, Renewables Developer, Business Analyst, Oceaneer and Press Officer.

What students say...

 Tim Johns, Geography, graduated July 2012:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my course at Bath Spa University and would recommend it to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the environmental industry. Academically, the course was fantastic and offered the opportunity to learn a diverse range of skills that would equip anyone with the necessary attributes to enter the world of work, or pursue postgraduate studies. At Bath Spa my learning was not just restricted to the classroom; I had the opportunity to undertake a live Dissertation project working in conjunction with the Environment Agency. This was an invaluable experience giving me the opportunity to work with industry professionals. My advice to those starting their studies would be to take full advantage of the facilities Bath Spa has to offer, including the excellent support from staff and tutors. Just remember from the offset… you have to work hard to play hard and all things are achievable no matter what!”

We take the views of our students very seriously, and evaluations of each module are undertaken each year, incorporating feedback from all students. You will also have the opportunity to represent your peers at committee and board meetings that meet regularly to discuss the shape and evolution of your course.

Please look at the video clips to see what our students have said about studying Geography at Bath Spa University.

Alice - second year Geography student

Read about the activities and achievements of our students and staff in our annual Geography Newsletter:

Geography 2013

Geography 2014


newsletter 2015.pdf

 

Examine the science behind what makes people tick with this Psychology course.

  • Effective teaching. 90% student satisfaction with teaching. Comments including ‘Engaging lecturers’ and ‘Enthusiastic teachers who care about the subject’.

  • Employability focus. 93% of our graduates go on to work or further study.

  • British Psychological Society accredited. Single Hons and Major Hons Psychology are British Psychology Society (BPS) accredited courses.

“The best thing about Bath Spa is that everyone really cares about you as an individual. The lecturers and tutors always go the extra mile to make sure that you get the most out of your degree, and the amount of contact time we had with them was brilliant.” – Madeleine Carter, Psychology graduate, 2014

Why study Psychology?

The scientific study of the human mind and behaviour is inherently fascinating. Our team of lecturers are passionate about the subject of psychology, using a range of teaching methods to engage and inspire you.

We are as much concerned about your student experience with us, as we are about your destination after graduation. You’ll graduate with a range of transferable skills – from data handling, computer skills and effective communication to teamwork, critical thinking and the application of theory to practice.

We aim to prepare you for many kinds of career, within and allied to Psychology, providing you with relevant skills and knowledge within an enabling and empowering learning environment.

Course structure

The programme begins at a modest pace and ends by opening up conceptual and career possibilities that you may not have previously considered.

We begin by introducing you to the five main psychological perspectives: biological, cognitive, developmental, individual differences and social, alongside research methods. Additionally, the historical and conceptual underpinnings of Psychology will be explored throughout.

Modules

Year 1

You’ll take a module that introduces you to the main psychological approaches – social, cognitive, developmental, individual differences and biological psychology (PS4001-40 Introduction to Psychology). You’ll also take modules in research methods including survey work and experimentation (PS4002-20 Research methods and Statistics), and Individual Differences (PS4003).

Year 2

As you progress the main areas, covered in your first year, are studied in greater depth – individual modules are devoted to them. Students on the single honours course have the option to choose a placement module. For those taking Major or Single Hons Psychology there will also be further, more advanced courses in research methods.

In Years 2 and 3, you’ll be able to study the scholarly specialities of individual members of staff, such as health psychology, criminological psychology, and neuropsychology. This means that for each of the modules your tutor will have specific expertise and will be engaged in scholarly activity in that area.

Year 3

You’ll continue your learning, with the same opportunities to study specialist topics as year 2. For those taking Psychology as a Major or Single Hons course, there will also be a dissertation involving working one-to-one with a member of staff on an original research project in psychology.

Note that module choice may differ depending on route-way. Single honours students may opt to take a placement module in year two.

Course assessment

Assessment varies and includes essays, debates, research reports, group presentations and examinations.

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures and follow-up seminars. In the case of research methods, however, much of the teaching is conducted via practical classes.

You’ll participate actively in seminars, and these are characterised by small-group work. Bookable tutorials enable you to have one-to-one discussions with staff.

Opportunities 

 Study abroad

The university offers an extra-curricular three- year Global Citizenship Programme which runs alongside the degree for all three years of the undergraduate degree. The programme includes a scholarship to fund international study (for UK and EU students only).

http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/schools/cross-schools/courses/global-citizenship

Further study abroad opportunities are available from our International Office and the ERASMUS programme.

http://www.bathspa.ac.uk/university-life/study-abroad/other-international-opportunities

Work placements, industry links and internship

We encourage you to undertake placement opportunities, especially in your second year. The opportunity to take a Placements module in second year is available. Students who take advantage of the Global Citizenship programme can use their scholarship to support the option of doing an international placement.

Our students make use of part-funded Santander internship and placement opportunities. Last year over 60 placements / internships across a variety of businesses were generated for students across all courses including psychology. These provided students with experience in areas such as marketing, multimedia and product design, filming and editing, business management, HR, customer services, research and analysis, project management and events.

List of current alumni careers

Some of our graduates have completed, or are currently taking postgraduate education at the Masters and PhD levels. Graduates with single or major honours in Psychology (accredited by the British Psychological Society) can apply directly for postgraduate training, in order to work towards becoming a professional psychologist.

The majority of psychology graduates, across the country, do not become professional psychologists. Some of our graduates have gone on to train in counselling. Many students choose to undertake PGCEs and a number of these are gaining experience for Educational Psychology courses. Other students go into management, sales and advertising, probation work and human resources. Psychology is an attractive option since students learn both numerative/scientific skills and people-skills.

Competitions/awards

At the end of the academic year, we award prizes to recognise achievements in academic success and reward effort and excellence. Prizes specific to Psychology are:

  • The British Psychological Society Graduate Award
  • Oxford University Press Prize for best dissertation

Facilities and resources

Newton Park Campus

Commons

Newton Park Library#


Resources 

Teaching resources include EBSCO (online access to over 400 psychology-related journals), SPSS (statistical computer software for analysing quantitative data) and NVivo for qualitative data analysis. We also have a biopsychology lab where we make use of ‘biopac’ equipment (computerised biological measures such as EEG) for practicals and project work as well as other shared and dedicated laboratory spaces for research.

Teaching methods

Teaching resources include EBSCO (online access to over 400 psychology-related journals) and SPSS (statistical computer software for analysing quantitative data). We also have a biopsychology lab where we make use of ‘biopac’ equipment (computerised biological measures such as EEG) for practicals and project work.

Staff Profile: Dr. Alison Lee Neuropsychologist

Dr Alison Lee who conducts research into the neuropsychological bases of Parkinson’s disease has collaborative research links with the University of Boston and is regularly asked to present her work at conferences. Dr. Lee is also course director for the Applied MSc in Neuropsychology that we run at Bath Spa.

Teaching quality excellence

Overall student satisfaction with teaching for courses in this subject area (2013): 95%

Application method

 

All full time applications are through UCAS

Typical offers are assessed individually, but in the range A-level grades BBB - BCC; BTEC DDM – DMM.

In addition to grades it is important to have a positive reference from a senior person in education on your UCAS form. Should your referee suggest that you are likely to gain the above grades and that you have a clear interest in psychology and are highly motivated, then an offer is likely to be made.

Course enquiries

admissions@bathspa.ac.uk

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - BCC preferred. If studying Psychology, course requires grade B or higher. If Psychology is not an option, then we require a B in another A level subject.
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 27 points required.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or higher or equivalent is recommended in addition to the above qualifications.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants

IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Career opportunities

We have been collecting information about where our graduates work for a number of years. Many of our ex-students are currently collecting the relevant experience needed for placement on the BPS professional psychology masters and doctorates. Many of our graduates wish to work in mental health and to achieve this successfully it is recommended by the British Psychological Society (BPS) that graduates obtain as much relevant experience as possible. As a consequence of this we have had students volunteering (during their degree as well as after it) for organisations as varied as ‘Childline’, ‘The Samaritans’ and ‘Talk to Frank’ – the drugs helpline before applying for Clinical Psychology Doctorate programmes.  We have several working in hospitals in jobs from orderly to assistant psychologist in preparation for their application. For other professional degrees, this is the same situation.  We have prison ‘befrienders’, and prison tutors who have graduated in psychology, who ultimately wish to study towards coming Chartered Forensic Psychologists.

The majority of graduates in psychology across the country will not become professional psychologists. Some of our graduates have gone on to train in counselling (including some that have trained at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, as well as more local providers).  Many students choose to undertake PGCEs and a number of these are gaining experience for Educational Psychology courses. Other students go into management, sales and advertising, probation work and human resources.  Psychology is an attractive option since students learn both numerative/scientific skills and ‘people-skills’.

Students graduating with Single Hons or major Hons in Psychology (accredited by the British Psychological Society) can apply directly for postgraduate training in order to work towards becoming a professional psychologist.

Those taking a combined/minor award will need to take a further year’s ‘top-up’ conversion course should they wish to apply for postgraduate training in psychology.

Employers such as Wiltshire Youth Offending Team, Care Worldwide, MBA Associates Ltd., HM Prisons and the NHS have recruited graduates from this course. Students have also gone into roles including Mentor for Youth Offenders, Social Worker, Healthcare Worker and Midwifery Research Assistant.

What students say...

Christelle Van Antwerpen, graduated 2014 from the BSc Psychology

"The course structure is very good at Bath Spa University, especially the option for neuropsychology in year three which is not offered everywhere.  I particularly enjoyed the smaller groups at Bath Spa."

"The lecturers are exceptional and go above and beyond."

Christelle is now completing an MSc in Neuropsychology while working in conjunction with Dr Jade Thai at CRIC on projects involving MS/CFS patients and examining working memory pathways.

 

External Examiners:

"I was impressed by the variety of assessments that the psychology team have in place. There are some very innovative assignments that provide an opportunity for students with different skills to do well."

"Employability issues are firmly embedded into the curriculum"