Geography BSc (Hons)

Study physical geography on this degree accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), using specialist equipment, including laser survey technology, drones, GIS and photogrammetry equipment.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:



This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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If you’re interested in the physical nature, characteristics and environment of the world, you can couple your interest with professional skills on this BSc (Hons) Geography degree course, accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

You'll discover the ways in which our planet and its natural elements work, and graduate ready for a career in everything from environmental management to teaching and academic research.

Course highlights

  • Use high-powered tech in our laboratories, including laser survey technology, drones, GIS and photogrammetry equipment and our environmental simulation cabinet – a controlled lab area that simulates different environmental conditions
  • Tailor your final year to your own interests and career ambitions by choosing from a fully optional list of modules, including conservation biogeography, hazardscapes and weather science
  • Immerse yourself in some of the landscapes and societies you’re studying through fieldwork, including in places such as Berlin, Malta, Sicily and Uganda
  • Choose to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Canada, Poland, Spain or France, or build experience on a work placement at an organisation like the Environment Agency or Natural England
Royal Geographical Society with IBG. Accredited programme

Accredited by:

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.

Yosemite National Park

What's the difference between BSc and BA Geography?

Our BSc (Hons) Geography focuses on the science of the natural physical world, while BA (Hons) Geography is more to do with human geography – the ways in which communities, cultures and societies interact with the environment.

Learn more about these courses

Studying BSc Geography

Dr Mark Hardiman discusses the Geography BSc course at the University of Portsmouth.

Hello, my name is Dr Mark Hardiman, and I'm a geographer at the University of Portsmouth. I'm interested in the world around us and understanding it, particularly the natural world.

And at Portsmouth, we look at things like glaciers, rivers, coasts, which, of course, we're surrounded by here in Portsmouth, and environmental change. Of course part of that is going out on field trips to understand these systems, the world around us is our natural laboratory. But also taking samples and bringing this back into the lab so we can do more detailed experiments. 

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

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BSc (Hons) Geography degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.


Environmental Taster Day

Thursday 7 March 2024

Discover degrees to propel us into a more sustainable world by improving ecosystems and maintaining the environment.

Book your place

Facilities and specialist equipment

Environmental Technology Field Station

Conduct tests and analyse samples currently in the ecosystem in a fully-operational waterworks in nearby Petersfield complete with microbiology and environmental chemistry labs.

Aerial view of the environmental technology field station
Explore Station

Physical Geography and Meteorology Laboratories

Use the latest physical and meteorological equipment in our labs, including a rainfall simulator and automatic weather stations.

Physical geography and meteorology lab
Learn more about the lab

GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Discover more about the planet's physical structures and scientific processes, such as glaciers and coastal flooding, using drone data, aerial and satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems.

Aerial view of scenic Greenland Glaciers and icebergs
Explore the lab

Geography facilities and equipment

Dr Linley Hastewell introduces some of the equipment you'll use in our labs and in the field.

This area of the lab is the more analytical side of the laboratory where students have access to a wide range of different pieces of equipment. What the flume allows us to do is to reproduce those natural conditions and alter them as well. 

We can then look at how sediment moves in our manufactured, altered river state compared to that in the field. We also have a range of laser scanners as well. Now, these are used to document changes in the environment. So we've used these on Kilimanjaro, also in Arctic Finland as well, looking at snowmelt. And we can tie that imagery that we get from the laser scanner in with drone footage as well to get a much more complete understanding of how the environment is changing.

We've also got a piece of equipment that the students tend to use when looking at plastic pollution. We have a number of students that go out into the field, take samples, carry out beach surveys. The students are able to analyse those plastic particles and get an idea of not only what the plastic is, but also potentially where it might have come from. 

Now, that's really important from a geographical and an environmental context, because it allows the student to not only get an understanding of what the particle is and what the issue is and the extent of that problem. But it also provides opportunities for them to think about the bigger picture and start thinking about how we can address that problem. 

And that is a really important quality to take into a competitive workforce. 

Geography at the University of Portsmouth

Students and staff discuss studying geography at the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Caroline Day: The broad subjects you might cover are things like geographies of development, the creative economy, transport and sustainability and society and place.

Dr Mark Hardiman: Here at Portsmouth it’s not just about being in a lecture, it’s about going out there and experiencing sometimes quite extreme environments and that’s best exemplified by our field trips. You get to see where global warming is happening now, very rapidly.

Lydia: What I learnt from the field trip was how to work in a team with a group of people and how to manage my time.

Luke: Going on field trips, such as to Finland, has helped me see different cultures and different environments very different to the UK and I think that helps me build as a person.

Lydia: Portsmouth gives me the ability to develop professionally and personally. I’ve learnt a lot from being at the University.

Dr Caroline Day: Coming to Portsmouth will offer students a real sense of geography in action.

The lecturers are very enthusiastic and engaging, and made me want to learn the content even more. I also made many great friends who were just as interested in the topics as I was.

Roy Payne, BSc (Hons) Geography

Careers and opportunities

On this BSc (Hons) Geography, you'll study physical geography, how the natural environment was formed, what threatens it and how we can protect it. You’ll deepen your understanding of the world and develop professional skills in areas such as communication, problem solving, decision making and teamwork.

Once you complete the course, you'll be ready for a career in a wide range of important fields and sectors, with technical and professional skills many employers are looking for. Our previous students have gone onto work in areas such as environmental management, business management, public services, teaching and research.

As the Royal Geographical Society state, 74.8% of geography graduates enter professional-level jobs after graduation, compared to an average of 60.8% for the social sciences in general.

It also notes data from the Department for Education that puts geography among the top subjects for graduate earnings.

BSc (Hons) Geography - Sam Crump

Find out how Sam is applying the skills he learned during his time at the Portsmouth

Sam Crump graduated in 2015 with a Geography degree from University of Portsmouth and he is now a Delivery Manager at Upside.

Sam: My name is Samuel Crump and my role here at Upside is a delivery manager for our management consultancy clients.

At school, I wasn't good, in terms of grades, and it progressively got harder as I moved into college, but suddenly realised that there's a lot of learning to be done. This is an important stage in your life. I think that was a big wake up call. 

So my interest in sustainability started during those college years. I think it just woke me up to the idea that we have to actually study it, we have to do something about it, basically, and I wanted to be part of that. I wanted that to be my impact and what I could've had as a bit of a legacy on the world.

Geography was the subject I wanted to take, effectively. Portsmouth was highly rated for geography, a good department. The tutors gave me confidence that I was going to be able to learn a lot from them, challenge them and be challenged by them and grow a lot as a person. We had the opportunity to go on an Arctic Circle trip, drilling ice cores, taking samples, air quality samples, that kind of stuff. I learnt a lot and made memories that stick with me until today.

Swimming has always been a big passion of mine. I knew when I wanted to come to university, I wanted to join the sport society and swimming was the one for me. In my final year I had the opportunity to run for the president position which allowed me to basically run a club for circa 200 people. I'm really thankful I had that opportunity because I learnt a lot of business related things as well as a lot of my leadership skills.

Tesla was at the start of my career. Tesla at the time in 2015 had only really just entered the UK market. I always take the risks. I could see the potential in the company to become what it is today. I saw Tesla as a vehicle to be able to enact my mission statement, which was to help people live more sustainably.

I'm now here working at Upside where I'm definitely given the ability to challenge the status quo. You get brought in to help a client solve their problems, basically. I can really put my personality into my work.

What university allowed me to do was to find myself a little bit more, challenge my own thought process, challenge other's thought processes in a kind of very open environment, and I don't think I would have grown into the person I am today without the university experience.

BSc Geography or BA Geography?

Our BSc (Hons) Geography focuses on the science of the natural physical world, while BA (Hons) Geography is more to do with human geography – the ways in which communities, cultures and societies interact with the environment.

Whichever you choose, you'll study both types of geography in your first year, before picking modules on either (or both) in years 2 and 3.

Your module choices will determine whether you graduate with a BSc or a BA Geography, so it helps to know which area interests you most and suits your career aspirations better before choosing which degree to study.

What jobs can you do with a geography degree?

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • geographical information scientist
  • environmental monitoring technician 
  • spatial analyst
  • coastal process scientist
  • urban planner
  • transport planner
  • geospatial consultant
  • GIS cartographer
  • quantity surveyor
  • geography teacher

Graduate destinations

Organisations our graduates have gone on to work for include:

  • Balfour Beatty
  • Arcadis
  • IBM
  • Ordnance Survey
  • Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) 
  • The Environment Agency
  • The National Trust
  • MoD Civil Service

You could also go on to study at postgraduate level.

Ongoing careers support

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

Placement year (optional)

Either before or following your third year, you can opt for a work placement year to gain valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation.

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas – some Geography students have chosen Australia, Spain or Malta for their placement year.

Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

You'll also hear guest speakers from potential employers and get support from students who have returned from their placements.

Potential roles

Previous students have taken placement roles such as:

  • environmental scientist
  • research scientist
  • environmental assessment officer
  • surveyor
  • flood risk assessor
  • teacher

Potential destinations

They've completed placements at organisations including:

  • Atkins Global
  • Pfizer Research and Development
  • Hampshire Ecological Services
  • The Environment Agency
  • Natural England

Study abroad

You’ll also have the chance to study abroad at one of our partner universities in Canada, Poland, Spain or France, which is a fantastic opportunity to explore a new destination and experience the world as an international student.

Many of our students describe their time spent studying overseas as truly life-changing, as well as an excellent way to stand out to future employers.


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

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply appropriate techniques to collect relevant academic source materials, making efficient use of library resources and online academic search engines for research purposes.

  • Construct short essays that develop arguments with supporting evidence.

  • Plan and deliver a presentation.

  • Interpret the arguments, ideas and information in academic writing.

  • Examine and implement core academic principles related to successful writing.

  • Develop a variety of small group skills.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the systems paradigm and its utility for understanding physical environmental systems.

  • Apply the systems paradigm to the description and explanation of the structure and operation of physical environmental systems from the local to the global scale.

  • Describe and understand the spatial and temporal variability of physical environmental systems and natural hazards.

  • Describe and understand the nature of change in the physical environment and the basis of assessing evidence for such changes.

  • Describe the basis for evaluating evidence in the physical environment.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Collect and record quantitative and qualitative data in the field using a range of methods.

  • Be able to identify methodological limitations and be critical of the quantitative and qualitative data collected.

  • Identify appropriate ways of analysing the field data collected.

  • Work both independently and as part of a team in the field, working effectively in groups, and evaluating your contribution and that of others to group outcomes.

  • Communicate and reflect on your findings via scientific reports and poster presentations.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Select appropriate data sources for specific applications whilst appreciating their fundamental characteristics.

  • Select methods and techniques for data acquisition, classification, analysis and display, being aware of the underlying assumptions/limitations.

  • Identify the principles of research and experimental design.

  • Evaluate the employment of key methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and their appropriate applications.

  • Identify the range of data sources available to geographers and environmental scientists and the suitability of these for different application areas.

  • Identify concepts of basic data description and presentation.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and summarise the main patterns and distribution of human populations, resources and environmental problems.

  • Outline the contributions from natural and social sciences in providing an explanation of current environmental problems.

  • Describe and begin to assess key elements of global environmental management.

  • Evaluate literature relevant to the topic.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of Global Environmental Challenges and communicate this effectively.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the relationships between economic, political, social and cultural formations, both in general and in particular places.

  • Outline the significance of spatial and temporal scales.

  • Describe the social construction, evolution and distinctiveness of place.

  • Discuss the implications and problems of global processes for particular parts of the world.

  • Describe the importance of geographical ways of thinking for understanding the contemporary world.

  • Perform qualitative interviews as a geographical research method.

Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design appropriate sampling strategies and apply appropriate field methods and techniques.

  • Critically investigate data and select appropriate statistical tests to analyse and interpret data using statistical software.

  • Critically evaluate the career options for Environmental Scientists and Geographers.

  • Complete job applications, produce effective cover letters and CVs, and undertake a mock recruitment exercise.

  • Plan and develop an independent research proposal, including completing ethics and health and safety forms.


Optional modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the geological and climatological mechanisms and processes that lead to environmental change.

  • Critically evaluate the range of geological archives and their proxies that can be used to reconstruct past climate and environmental change in order to enhance our predictive ability for future change.

  • Examine the context, scope and limitations of various palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and dating techniques in sedimentary archives.

  • Demonstrate the utility of sediment core extraction and examination techniques in the field and in the laboratory.

  • Undertake multiproxy data analysis, including microscopic examinations for palaeoecological reconstructions.

  • Demonstrate the ability to visualise and interpret palaeoenvironmental datasets.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the complexities which surround the conceptualisation and measurement of development over time.

  • Examine the multifaceted, complex and sometimes highly contradictory nature of the various strategies which have been employed in the name of development

  • Critically appraise key debates in a number of contemporary development issues such as globalisation, trade and NGOs and the impact on countries, individuals and communities.

  • Explore the relationship between development and the key social, cultural and contemporary issues affecting the global South at a range of geographical scales.

  • Describe and analyse the impact of development processes at global, national, community, household and individual levels.

  • Make effective use of key skills including critical thinking, reflection and self-awareness, and group work.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise the key theories and principles that underpin GIS and remote sensing (RS).

  • Collect a range of spatially referenced GIS and RS datasets from various sources.

  • Critically evaluate a range of GIS and RS techniques.

  • Analyse spatially referenced data using industry standard GIS and RS software packages to understand real world problems and challenges.

  • Compose a professionally-presented portfolio showcasing the GIS and RS skillsets mastered on the module.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify different types of glacier land systems based on their geomorphological signature.

  • Genetically interpret glacial landforms and sediments based on knowledge of sediment transport pathways and depositional processes.

  • Use a glacial land system approach to make interpretations about glacier and ice sheet dynamics.

  • Use Geographical Information Systems to investigate various aspects of glaciology and glacial geomorphology.

  • Contextualise past and present changes in glacier extent in relation to past environmental change and current/future climate warming.

  • Think critically and reflect upon the glaciological and glacial geomorphological literature.

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop an understanding of the big issues and contemporary debates in education and teaching.

  • Apply the fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to the planning and evaluation of a lesson plan.

  • Understand the importance of safeguarding children.

  • Reflect on current developments in teaching and learning.

Explore this module

The learning objectives of this module are to be confirmed.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Interpret and appraise the fluvial processes and forms occurring in different environments and types of rivers, discriminate between their spatial and temporal variations, and evaluate the effects of scale, location and external controls on fluvial characteristics.

  • Examine and argue the applicability of theories and demonstrate an understanding of empirical and practical developments in fluvial geomorphology.

  • Critically appraise the application of river and catchment geomorphology for informing sustainable environmental management.


When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate the varied theoretical perspectives on sustainable development.

  • Examine and evaluate the contested nature of sustainable development in environmental management.

  • Examine and evaluate the challenges of measuring sustainable development.

  • Evaluate the complexity of the application of sustainable development to environmental management in different contexts.

  • Synthesise the academic literature in order to identify and justify their position on the spectrum of sustainability views.



The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.


The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Comprehensively develop and execute an effective and realistic research design for your chosen field of study.

  • Select and manage information, and competently undertake research tasks with minimum guidance.

  • Comprehensively assess health and safety and ethical considerations in pursuing independent research.

  • Critically evaluate your findings in the context of the available academic literature relevant to the selected theme of study.

  • Be able to discuss and communicate the key findings from the programme of research.

  • Compose a small thesis in accordance with academic conventions.

Optional modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the major physical processes determining the character of the Earth's climate and its evolution throughout history.

  • Critically assess the degree to which human activities contribute to climate change and identify the evidence and impacts of climate change in the modern day.

  • Examine possibilities for adaptation and mitigation of anthropogenic climate change.

  • Comprehensively evaluate and compare emission scenarios to examine future warming and climate change projections.

  • Systematically evaluate the characteristics and limitations of various types of climate models, through the development of global and regional climate change scenarios using software packages as are available.

  • Combine information from a variety of sources, including the climate model outputs, to develop a vulnerability-under-climate-change assessment for a given region.

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Explain how physical processes at work in cold environments produce a range of atmospheric and environmental phenomena.

  • Deconstruct the complexity of arctic and/or alpine environments through evaluation and analysis of marked temporal and spatial variability in environmental characteristics.

  • Critically evaluate the complexity of physical environmental issues in mountain and/or arctic environments.

  • Critically evaluate various research methods and approaches taken to investigate atmospheric and environmental phenomena in a high altitude and/or latitude context.

  • Design an appropriate research project to investigate environmental phenomena and their spatial and temporal consequences

  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of how to make accurate field observations appropriate to a microclimate investigation, and analyse/ interpret these observations with reference to physical processes.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Outline the basic principles of biogeography, including anthropogenic factors.

  • Critically evaluate the biogeography and conservation literature.

  • Analyse and creatively interpret biogeographical data.

  • Communicate biogeography principles effectively, in a style suitable for multiple audiences.

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

The learning outcomes of this module are to be confirmed.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess the impact that history and geography may play on modern-day Uganda.

  • Critically discuss the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of global environmental governance frameworks and their impact on developing country environmental policies.

  • Critically evaluate the difference between policy rhetoric and reality on the ground through research experience in Uganda.

  • Demonstrate the ability to collect their own data in often challenging developing country contexts, and subsequently critically analyse and assess it.

  • Reflect on one's positionality and its impact on the research process in the critical reflection component of their individual report.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Examine the main environmental pollutants.

  • Critically evaluate how pollutants are transferred within and between various media.

  • Review routes through which pollutants interact with biota to constitute an environmental risk.

  • Critically evaluate traditional and modern methods of waste management.

  • Analyse the waste hierachy concept and synthesise strategies that evolve from it.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critique the ways in which gender and social relations influence differential access to, and control over, development resources and processes.

  • Compare and critically analyse the benefits and costs of development and global change for men and women of different nations, classes, races and ethnicities.

  • Examine how gender ideologies are formed by wider religious, cultural, political and social contexts and their impact on women's wellbeing

  • Evaluate the intersections of gender and development theory, policy and practice.

  • Evaluate the attempts made by governments and development organisations to implement gender sensitive interventions.

  • Critically reflect upon the gendered agency and resistance of everyday lives.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Theoretically examine the nature of hazardscapes over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

  • Comprehensively critique the various driving mechanisms of hazards over a range of temporal and spatial scales, including the role of feedback mechanisms.

  • Conceptualise and propose a specific hazardscape by drawing upon existing knowledge from diverse research disciplines.

  • Illustrate a bespoke hazardscape through a graphic depiction.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the big issues and contemporary debates in education and teaching.
  • Analyse and apply the fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to the planning and evaluation of a lesson plan.
  • Understand the importance of safeguarding children.
  • Critically reflect on current developments in teaching and learning.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the complexity of the Earth's system with a particular focus on the Quaternary.

  • Identify a range of landform-sediment assemblages associated with Quaternary environments in Britain.

  • Interpret landform-sediment assemblages in Britain with respect to depositional processes and climatic conditions.

  • Categorise Quaternary Ground Models.

  • Critically evaluate geomorphic response to climate change.

  • Outline the significance of the Quaternary to Engineering Geology.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically examine and explain the atmospheric factors which create a variety of weather types at the Earth's surface.

  • Explain how a range of physical processes work in the climate system (e.g. condensation, radiative transfer, evapotranspiration) and account for resultant phenomena (e.g. fog formation, storm formation).

  • Demonstrate how a synoptic climatological approach can explain the variety of climates across the Earth.

  • Correctly interpret weather maps (both surface and upper level synoptic charts) in an informed manner.

  • Undertake meteorological measurements in the field and interpret the variation of meteorological variables across the landscape.

  • Critically discuss the roles of various forcing factors (human activity, natural factors) that control the climate at the micro, local and regional levels, and how this may change in the future.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Recognise and illustrate how notions of space and place are implicated in the construction of contemporary understandings of childhood and youth and how these shape everyday experiences for younger people.

  • Identify the diversity of children and young people, internationally and at the local scale.

  • Illustrate the agency of children and young people as social actors in their own right.

  • Critically reflect on, articulate and analyse their own geographical experience as young people and relate this to contemporary popular debates surrounding childhood and youth.

  • Work effectively as a member of a group to communicate geographically informed perspectives on contemporary debates surrounding young people to a public audience via Web 2.0.

  • Analyse and articulate their own process of learning.

Optional modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and demonstrate skills developed through overseas study including personal autonomy and accountability, language and/or interpersonal communication, time management and planning, assessment and analytical skills; – while evaluating the impact of your actions and performance.

  • Demonstrate the ability to manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, initiative, independence and performance.

  • Identify and reflect on the learning experience and the relevance of this learning to future employability and personal development, identifying areas for improvement or further training.

  • Evaluate how the study placement activities relate to knowledge and practice covered on your course, and/or broader global or international perspectives.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate skills developed in the workplace, such as professional responsibility, communication, planning, time management, assessment and evaluation
  • Manage and complete tasks in a work environment relevant to your course
  • Identify and reflect on your learning experience and its relevance to future employment and personal development
  • Assess the relevance of work placement activities to your course and/or broader perspectives on the world of work

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

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.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course.

Clare Boston, Senior Lecturer

Clare specialises in glacial processes, landforms and sediments. Her research includes work on past glaciation in Britain and recent glacier change in Norway and Greenland, and encompasses fieldwork, remote sensing and GIS.

Clare teaches on the following modules: L4: Practical Fieldwork Skills, Tools for Geographical Enquiry, Environmental Processes and Hazards, L5: Glaciers and Glaciation, L6: Independent Study (dissertation).

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Geography degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops and external visits for about 11 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled 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.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU residents – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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 show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

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

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.

Compulsory fieldwork

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

Optional fieldwork

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.

If you take an optional placement unit or placement year, you’ll need to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence. These costs will vary depending on the duration and location of the placement. The cost will usually be £50–£1000.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – F800
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.