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Geography

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Key facts

Award
BSc (Hons) Geography
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full time, or four years full time with professional placement year. Part time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: F800 or F801
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A Level grades BCC-CCC preferred with grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science.

View "typical offers" for more information.

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, sustainability, cultural identities and geotechnologies.
  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India.

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.

Find out more about fieldtrips, activities and the student experience at Bath Spa - check out Geography on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

"...The extensive use of ArcGIS on the course greatly increased my employability, as all the major companies use this software - I use it daily in my job. My links to the Environment Agency were picked up in interviews as being of great benefit and provided a talking point."

Jennifer Drew, BSc (Hons) Geography
Geography Alumna, Jennifer Drew

What you'll learn

Overview

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.

Course structure

Year one
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 fieldwork opportunities, visiting local places such as the Mendips, Somerset Levels and Bristol.

Topics of 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 two
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
  • Geomorphology
  • River management
  • Environmental hazards
  • Exciting new geotechnologies
  • Urban geographies of global cities
  • Work placement
  • Field trip to India.

Year three
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:

  • Climatology
  • Coastal management
  • Development and disasters
  • Identities and inequalities in society
  • Globalisation
  • Environmental justice
  • Field trips to Lake District or Barcelona
  • Community placement.

How will I be assessed?

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 and 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.

How will I be taught?

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.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Environment, People and Place
  • Geographical Skills
  • Applied Geographies
  • Global Development
  • Visualizing the 21st Century World
  • A case study of Catalonia: Education, Space and Society
  • Sustainability in Life and Work
  • The World in Ten Objects

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • Contested Geographies: Histories and Debates
  • Geographical Research Methods
  • Future Cities
  • Hazards, Vulnerability and Resilience
  • River and Coastal Systems
  • Climate and Society
  • Geographical Fieldwork
  • Geotechnologies for Society and Environment
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
  • Social Problems, Social Divisions, Social Justice
  • Crime, Law and Society
  • Environmental Management
  • Representing the American West
  • Work Placement
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Geography Dissertation Part 1
  • Geography Dissertation Part 2
  • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork
  • Identities and Inequalities
  • Climatology
  • Coastal and River Management
  • Environmental Change
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice
  • Community Engagement
  • Work, Identities and Organisations

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 two and three.

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.

Competitions and 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.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of “with Professional Placement Year” to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be taught at our Newton Park campus, with access to a range of facilities including:

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.

"One of the most important elements of the course was the development of transferable skills that I now use on a daily basis and I think employers look for when reviewing candidates."

Matt Davies, BSc (Hons) Geography

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

UK and EU students part time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

International students full time

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for interested and motivated students who understand the importance of a geographical perspective on the issues facing society today.

Typical offers

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.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Heather Winlow
Email: h.winlow@bathspa.ac.uk

Programme accreditation

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

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