Fieldwork plays a key role in your learning
Why take this course?
Are you interested in the world about you, its physical nature and characteristics, and how environmental changes will affect the future of our planet? Then the study of geography is the course you’re looking for.
By choosing to specialise in the physical aspects of geography through your unit options, you will graduate with the BSc in Geography. Throughout the course you be engaging with some of the most important global issues of today.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Engage in real-world fieldwork and study some of the most pressing environmental issues such as global warming
- Get a distinct flavour of some of the societies or landscapes you may be studying via organised fieldtrips
- Go abroad to study through one of exchange links with universities in Spain, France and Poland
What opportunities might it lead to?
With your geographical knowledge and skills you’ll gain on this course, plus the transferable skills developed through university study, you’ll find numerous public and private sector roles open to you upon graduation.
You’ll be able to aim for a wide range of careers, including those in environmental and business management, the public service (including health authorities), local authorities and teaching.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- environmental consultancies
- geographical information science specialists
- working for the Environmental Agency
- working for the Ordnance Survey
I enjoy my course due to the range of modules, both human and physical geography, and as a coastal city, Portsmouth’s location is great to study geography.
Ashley Purchase, BSc (Hons) Geography student 2013
Apply for September 2016
If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.
- UCAS Course Code:
- 3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
- 280 points to include 180 points from A levels or equivalent, with 80 points from A level Geography. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5550
- Department of Geography
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
In the first year of your studies, you will be introduced to the breadth of human geography including environmental systems, environmental issues and management.
Core units in this year include:
- Applied Physical Geography
- Environmental Systems and Change
- Foundations of Human Geography: Local to Global Scale
- Geography, Skills and Prospects
- Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
- Population Resources and the Environment
In your second year you can either choose to continue your studies on a broad basis or specialise in the aspects that interest you most. You’ll also get the chance to travel overseas for some field work.
Core units in this year include:
- Research Design and Practice
- Residential Field Class
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Applied Spatial Data Analysis
- Environmental and Climate Change: Practice
- Environmental and Climate Change: Theory
- Environmental Hazards: Concepts and Monitoring
- Geographies of Development
- Social Geography: Geographies of Wellbeing
- Sustainable Environment Management
- Environmental Assessment and Management
- Geomorphology: Theory
- Geomorphology: Practice
Specialise further in your final year, with a selection of study options depending on which geography pathway you choose and the chance to do your own independent research.
- Independent Study
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Applied Geomorphology
- Coastal Recreation
- Databases for GIS
- Environment and Development
- Gender and Development
- Geographies of Health and Urban Wellbeing
- GIS in the Workplace
- Human Geography: Critique and Discourse
- Cold Environments
- Geographies of Industrialisation
- Reconstructing Environmental Change
- The Quarternary
Teaching and Assessment
Throughout your time with us, we will provide you with the support, enthusiasm and encouragement that you will need to reach your goals. You’ll be taught via a balanced structure of lectures, student-centred seminars, one-to-one tutorials and workshops.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is a mix of coursework and exams, roughly 60:40 respectively. However, your coursework can take a variety of forms including:
- contributions to electronic discussion forums
- web page design
Dr Brian Baily
My teaching is designed to offer both a theoretical and practical approach to environmental issues. I believe in offering a balance of background information and case studies, whilst at the same time ensuring that you are equipped with the practical skills required by employers in the environmental sector.
Facilities & Features
Specialist Software and Equipment
We offer fully equipped physical geography, GIS and photogrammetry labs. Brimming with ultra-modern equipment, you’ll have access to our facilities for project work and interpreting field data. Here’s a taste of what is available to you:
- laser survey technology
- photogrammetry equipment
- an environmental simulation cabinet
- natural waters and materials testing equipment
Fieldwork is an important part of our courses. From soil study to studying mountain climates, some of our previous trips have included:
- The Netherlands
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you will be expected to pay for meals and other subsistence costs.
On a sandwich year, you will be expected to pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence associated with placement. These costs will be in the region of £50 - £1000.
In the final year you may choose optional units which have field trips associated varying between £300 - £2000. Other non-field based options are available at no cost.
Careers & Opportunities
As a geographer you will develop a detailed understanding of the diversity and range of physical and human environments. Increasingly, specialist agencies such as the Environment Agency, survey and mapping companies, local authorities and environmental and economic development consultancies are seeking the skills and abilities that geographers possess.
The communication, numeric and IT skills you will gain also make you a good candidate for business, commerce or education-oriented careers. Alternatively, a significant proportion of graduates choose go on to postgraduate study.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- geographical information scientist
- environmental consultant
- spatial analyst
- coastal process scientist
- urban planner
- transport planner
Example of what one of our graduates has gone on to do:
- Defra, Coastal Process Scientist – coastal surveying
As well as many fieldtrips embedded throughout the course, we have exchange links with a number of universities in Europe and beyond, so you can take up the opportunity to study abroad for a few months. Current links include the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), Universite du Havre, (Le Havre, France) and Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland).
Not only will it be a fun and challenging experience, but you will also develop language skills, adaptability, resilience and the ability to communicate with a range of people. These qualities will undoubtedly stand you apart to future employers.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.