Geography BA (Hons)

A signpost featuring multiple countries
UCAS Code
L700
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Are you fascinated by the world, its societies and what the future of our planet looks like? Do you want to learn professional skills that allow you to apply these interests to your career?

On this professionally accredited BA (Hons) Geography degree course, you’ll cover communities and cultures, examine conservation, sustainability and urban development, and learn how governments, businesses and people develop global systems. You'll also learn professional skills in communication, problem solving, decision making and teamwork.

You’ll emerge with skills that help you understand and engage with the world, and be set for a career in everything from environmental management to teaching.

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you’ll:

  • Study human geography, systems, and environmental issues and management
  • Use specialist facilities including physical geography, GIS and photogrammetry labs, laser survey technology, photogrammetry equipment, an environmental simulation cabinet, and natural waters and materials testing equipment
  • Tailor your studies, by choosing units that match your interests and career ambitions
  • Have the chance to experience some of the societies or landscapes you’re studying by doing field work
  • Enrich your studies by hearing from guest speakers from public, private and non-profit sectors
You can travel overseas for field work in places such as Berlin, Malta, Sicily and Uganda and choose to study abroad at one of our link universities in Poland, Spain or France.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies and build links with employers and the industry.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Previous students have completed work placements at organisations such as:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • The Solent Forum

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

At the end of the course, you'll have many technical and professional skills you can apply to your career. Previous students have go onto work in areas such as:

  • environmental management
  • business management
  • public services
  • teaching
  • research

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • geographical information scientist
  • environmental consultant
  • spatial analyst
  • coastal process scientist
  • urban planner
  • transport planner

Organisations graduates have gone on to work for include:

  • Ordnance Survey
  • Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • IBM
  • The Environment Agency

You could also go on to study at postgraduate level.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by the Royal Geographical Society. This shows the teaching on this course is of the highest quality and has been approved by an independent body of academics and industrialists.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

Your course fees cover the cost of travel and accommodation for compulsory fieldwork, but you’ll need to budget for meals and subsistence costs.

If you take a placement year, you’ll need to budget for the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with the placement. These are generally £50– £1000, depending on destination and duration.

On some of the optional units in the final year of the course, you’ll need to contribute to the cost of field trips. These costs are often £300–£2000. You can take optional units in your final year that have no field trips.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Society and Place
  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Environmental Processes and Hazards
  • Tools for Geographical Enquiry
  • Practical Fieldwork Skills
  • Academic Communication Skills

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Research Design and Practice
  • Residential Field Class

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Geopolitics and Geographies of Development
  • Geographies of Wellbeing, Work and Place
  • Reconstructing Communities
  • Employability Skills for Geographers
  • Mapping and Modelling Our World
  • Sustainable Environmental Management
  • Environmental Hazards: Concepts and Monitoring
  • Environmental Assessment and Management
  • Dynamic Landscapes: Rivers, Glaciers and Coasts
  • Environmental and Climate Change: Theory
  • Environmental and Climate Change: Practice

Core units in this year include:

  • Independent Study

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Geographies of Children and Young People
  • Creative Economy, People and Place
  • Environment and Development
  • Geographies of Health and Urban Wellbeing
  • GIS in the Workplace
  • Databases for GIS
  • Managing and Measuring Environmental Impacts
  • River and Shoreline Management
  • Reconstructing Environmental Change
  • Past Climates and Landscapes
  • Cold Environments

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • workshops

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 78% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 79% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 12% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 88% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • examinations
  • contributions to electronic discussion forums
  • web page design
  • posters
  • projects
  • presentations
  • portfolios

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 50% by written exams, 14% by practical exams and 36% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 20% by written exams and 80% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 7% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 85% by coursework

Apply

How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L700
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

Contact information
Programme specification
Subject area
Geography and environmental sciences
Come to our 1 December Open Day
Student in front of colourful wall smiling
Reasons to choose us
students bicycle old portsmouth