Skip to main content

Geography

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single or combined honours

Award
BSc (Hons) Geography
School/s
School of Sciences
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. The main ones are listed under 'Typical offers' in the main column below. For combined courses, please check both subjects. If your qualification is not listed, please email admissions@bathspa.ac.uk with your specific details.

Develop the knowledge and skills to understand our complex world with a degree in Geography.

  • Gain field experience in destinations such as Italy and Spain, as well as on our Newton Park Campus in Bath and across the UK's South West region.
  • Tailor your studies to focus on the topics in human or physical geography that you are most passionate about.
  • Develop specialist skills and knowledge to prepare for a wide range of careers and postgraduate study opportunities.

On this Geography degree, you’ll explore the links between people, place and environment.

You’ll engage with some of the most complex and challenging issues facing contemporary society including: climate change, environmental hazards, migration, urbanisation, social and economic inequalities, disaster risk reduction, coastal and river management, conservation politics, race and gender in society, and environmental justice.

Through fieldwork opportunities in the UK and overseas you’ll learn how to work in different contexts and to appreciate the links between local issues and global challenges. You’ll also develop specialist skills and learn how to apply the latest geotechnologies to real world contexts, preparing you for a range of careers and further study opportunities.

You’ll be part of our supportive Geography community, and you’ll be taught by our team of expert lecturers who are actively engaged in international networks and world-leading research. 

"The friendly and approachable faculty staff and the compact size of the university made it easy to make friendships and integrate into university life"

Harry Watts, BSc (Hons) Geography graduate (2023)
A Bath Spa graduate stands in front of the Royal Crescent

University of the Year for Social Inclusion

Sunday Times Good University Guide, 2024

#10 in UK

for Student-Staff Ratio in Geography and Environmental Science (Complete University Guide 2024)


Open Days

Get a taste of life at Bath Spa – come to one of our Open Days.

Book your place


What you'll learn

Overview

Our Geography degree is designed to teach you about a broad range of topics and to provide you with the opportunity to choose modules in human or physical geography, depending on your interests.

You’ll learn from expert lecturers who are active researchers engaging with pressing global challenges including natural hazards, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation in Europe, Asia, North America, Central America, and Africa.

You’ll have the chance to experience international field trips and a work placement, through which you’ll develop practical transferable skills that are applicable to a variety of careers.

Course structure

Year one
Your first year helps you to transition to university-level Geography by establishing foundational skills and knowledge. You’ll develop these basic skills and knowledge through modules in both human and physical geography covering topics such as cities, environmental change and sustainable development.

Year two
In your second year, you’ll develop more specialist knowledge and skills. In core modules you’ll develop your understanding of the discipline of geography, learn how to apply geotechnologies to real-world challenges and develop skills that can be used in a wide range of careers.

Optional modules enable you to specialise in topics in human or physical geography, such as:

  • climate change
  • environmental hazards
  • global development and environment
  • migration
  • race and social justice
  • politics and policy making, or
  • environmental management.

You’ll also start to plan for your career, with an opportunity to undertake an optional work placement module. 

The optional field trip to Italy offers a unique opportunity to explore geographical themes in a highly dynamic, real-world context. On this trip you’ll learn about a range of topics such as earthquake disasters, flood hazards, air quality and pollution, climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, regional development, sustainability, and urban geographies. You’ll also have opportunities to experience the regional diversity, food and culture of Italy.

Please note that some of our field trips may incur additional costs on top of your course fees. Financial support for field trip costs may be available via the Bath Spa University International Travel Fund.

You can choose to undertake an optional Professional Placement Year between your second and final years.

Year three
You’ll complete a final year independent research project, allowing you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired on the course. Students have undertaken their final year dissertation projects in locations across the UK, as well as in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Kenya, and Ghana.

You’ll have a choice of optional modules that give you the opportunity to continue to specialise in human or physical geography, exploring topics such as:

  • disaster risk reduction
  • identities and inequalities
  • coastal and river management
  • environmental practice
  • gender in society
  • conservation politics
  • plants and people
  • environmental justice.

An optional field trip to Barcelona allows you to study topics such as urban development, wildfires and cascading hazards, social inequalities, urban sustainability policies, city planning, coastal erosion, nationalism and independence movements, heat waves, Olympic legacies or urban flood risks. 

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed through a variety of engaging and challenging assessment formats designed to help you to develop key skills and to prepare for your future career or postgraduate study.

Your assessments will depend on the modules you choose, but may include a mix of essays, projects, reports, posters, presentations, video clips, field or lab-based activities, reflective commentaries or online tests.

Most modules are assessed primarily through coursework and assessment rather than tests or exams.

You'll complete many of your assessments as an individual, but there are also some group projects designed to help you to develop essential collaborative working skills.

In addition to the help provided by your subject lecturers, you can also access extensive support for your assessments through ASk, the Academic Skills Service.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught in lectures, workshops and seminars, with small groups that enable discussion and collaborative learning. You’ll learn in the classroom, lab and outdoors, with fieldwork on campus and at locations across the UK and overseas.

To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.

Course modules

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

Year one (Level 4) modules
  • Environment, People and Place
  • World of Ideas
  • Environmental Change
  • Cities and Environment
  • Sustainability in Life and Work
  • Communicating Science
Year two (Level 5) modules
  • Contested Geographies: Histories and Debates
  • Geographical Research Methods
  • Geomorphology and Environmental Hazards
  • Climate and Society
  • Geographical Fieldwork: Hazards, Disasters and Sustainable Development
  • Geotechnologies for Society and Environment
  • Spatial Development Planning: A Global Perspective
  • Migration: Identity, Belonging, Citizenship and Security
  • Social Problems, Social Divisions, Social Justice
  • The Art of the Possible: Political Analysis and Policy Making
  • Diaspora, Migration and Race
  • Environmental Management
  • Work Placement
  • Professional Placement Year

Please note: If you are entering your first year in September 2024, the optional Spatial Development Planning module will no longer be available. Instead, you may choose to study a new module called Global Development and Environment.

Year three (Level 6) modules
  • Geography Dissertation
  • Advanced Geographical Fieldwork: Society, Culture and Environment 
  • Identities and Inequalities 
  • Coastal and River Management 
  • Disaster Risk Reduction 
  • Culture, Risk and Environmental Justice 
  • Community Engagement 
  • Gender in Society: Critical Perspectives 
  • Plants and People 
  • Environmental Practice 
  • Conservation Politics in Africa

Similar courses

We also offer the following closely related degree programmes:

Opportunities

Study abroad

As part of your degree, you could study abroad on a placement at one of Bath Spa’s partner universities.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an integral part of our Geography programme as it provides you with the opportunities to learn hands-on geographical skills with real world applications.

There are optional residential field trip opportunities in second and third year. Our current field trip destinations are Italy (second year) and Spain (third year).

Within modules you'll also undertake fieldwork in the local area including on our beautiful Newton Park campus, as well as in locations such as the Mendip Hills, the Somerset Levels, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset.

Please note that you'll have to make a financial contribution towards residential field trips.

Work placements, industry links and internships

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement in your second year and a community engagement placement in your final year, as well as the option to undertake a professional placement year between your second and final year.

Students have completed placements in the UK and in locations such as Madagascar, Guatemala, Thailand, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the Cayman Islands. Students have worked with public and private sector organisations in a variety of fields including local and national government, research and policy, advocacy, sustainability and conservation. 

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

Competitions and awards

Prizes are 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.

Careers

You’ll graduate from this degree prepared for a diverse range of careers in sectors such as research, consultancy, urban planning, business, education, surveying, geographical information systems, government, or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The course also provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to progress to postgraduate study in a wide range of fields. Our graduates have undertaken postgraduate study in fields such as disaster management, climate change adaptation, sustainability, environmental management, environmental humanities, urban planning, education, public health and law.

Whatever your aspirations, our aim is that the real-world experience you gain on this course will set you up to take on diverse challenges, and to thrive in doing so.

Global Citizenship

If you’re a full-time undergraduate student starting your first year at Bath Spa University, you can apply for the Certificate in Global Citizenship, which you’ll study alongside your degree.

You’ll gain global awareness and add an international dimension to your student experience, and funding is available. On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be awarded a Certificate in Global Citizenship. This is in addition to your degree; it doesn’t change your degree title or results.

Adobe Creative Campus

Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.   

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 using our specialist facilities on our Newton Park campus in Bath as well as at field sites around the South West region and overseas.

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops
    Teaching takes place in lecture and seminar rooms on our beautiful Newton Park campus including in the Commons building.
  • Laboratories
    We have a number of well-equipped and recently refurbished laboratories dedicated to a variety of analytical applications spanning audio-visual data, soils/water/air and microfossils, to name a few.
  • On-campus fieldwork
    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. Make the most of this setting by studying environmental processes on-site including at our stream gauging station and instrumented landslide.
  • Off-campus field sites
    Day trips provide real-world learning opportunities in locations such as the Mendip Hills, the Somerset Levels, the Royal Geographical Society in London and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Optional international field trips provide the opportunity to visit Italy and Spain.
  • Online research lecture series
    Participate in the online research lecture series organised by our Hazard, Risk and Disaster Research Group. This series provides an opportunity to engage with leading research from all over the world specialising in topics such as natural hazards, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
  • Library
  • Commons building
  • Virtual Learning Environment
  • Specialist resources and dedicated Subject Librarian
  • Writing and Learning Centre
  • English Language Unit.
Resources

You’ll benefit from our excellent resources including laboratories, field tools, and a suite of IT hardware/software, all supported by a highly-skilled team of technicians. These include:

  • Audio-visual data capture including cameras, dictaphones and mobile projectors.
  • Monitoring of environmental parameters including noise, light, air/gas, pH, particulates, water, metals, and volatiles; using dissolved oxygen and conductivity probes, flow meters, an atomic absorption spectrometer, a gas chromatogram, and a scanning spectrophotometer.
  • Hydro-meteorological monitoring including Automatic Weather Stations, temperature/humidity loggers, anemometers, infiltrometers, and dip meters.
  • Survey and analysis. Hardware comprising Total Stations, Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS), differential and handheld GPS and UAV. Software including ArcGIS Pro and Nvivo.
  • Microfossil analysis using type collections and microscopes.
  • Soil/sediment analysis using furnaces/ovens, particle size sieving, soil augers/corers.
  • TourTalk audio communications system for use in field teaching.

"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

2024 entry
Student Annual tuition fee
UK full time £9,250
UK part time £4,625
International full time £15,750

Professional Placement Year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. This applies to UK and EU/International students.

  • UK: £1,850
  • International: £3,150

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for enthusiastic and motivated students who are interested in understanding the environmental, social, economic and cultural issues facing the world today. We accept a broad range of traditional qualifications and less conventional routes into education – we welcome students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Typical offers

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

  • A Level – grades BBB-BCC or above including a grade B in Geography, Sociology, Economics or Science.
  • BTEC – Extended Diploma grades from Distinction Distinction Merit (DDM) to Distinction Merit Merit (DMM) in a related subject, preferably Social Sciences.
  • T Levels – grade Merit preferred in a relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - a minimum of 32 points are required with a minimum of grade 5 in Geography, Sociology, Economics or Science at Higher Level.
  • 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, at Merit or higher) in a related subject.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements above, we may be able to accept your prior learning or experience from outside of formal education. See our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) page to learn more.

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 entry requirements, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

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.

Programme Leader: Dr Jim Jeffers
Email: j.jeffers@bathspa.ac.uk 

Three year course
With placement year

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk