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.
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.
- Year 1
The first year of this course introduces you to the exciting world of Geography at university. You’ll acquire foundational geographical knowledge, understanding and skills. You’ll get a taste of a variety of geographies, and there are plenty of opportunities to do fieldwork, visiting local places such as the Mendip, Somerset Levels and Bristol.
Topics you’ll study include:
- examining contemporary geographical issues
- learning about unfamiliar physical environments and different societies and cultures
- exploring key issues such as development and sustainability
- how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use.
- Year 2
This year you start to specialise in your geographical interests. Greater emphasis is placed on research methods; you’ll learn a wide range of useful geographical methods and techniques, both in the classroom and in fieldwork settings 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.
Optional topics include:
- climate change
- river management
- environmental hazards
- exciting new geotechnologies
- urban geographies of global cities
- work placement or volunteering overseas
- field trip to India
- Year 3
This year you’ll further specialise your geographical interests. You’ll develop your skills as an independent scholar by undertaking primary research that will enable you to demonstrate the theoretical and practical aspects of your geographical interests. 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 of more specialised topics, including:
- coastal management
- development and disasters
- identities and inequalities in society
- environmental justice
- field trip to Lake District or Barcelona
- community placement
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.
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 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.
Work placements, industry links and internships
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.
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.
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.
All full time applications are through UCAS
International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.
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 David Simm, Subject Leader for Geography: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a look at our related courses:
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.
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...
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.
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!”
Please look at the video clips to see what our students have said about studying Geography at Bath Spa University.
Read about the activities and achievements of our students and staff in our annual Geography Newsletter: