Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Geography (International Programme) BA

This integrated geography programme combines human and physical geography, and offers opportunities for specialisation and a year spent studying abroad. Those choosing the BA will usually have studied social science or humanities subjects at A level or equivalent, but it is possible to transfer to the BSc if your interests develop differently.

Key information

UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
4 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
130 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to Geography subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Geography required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Geography, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Geography

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and AAA), including Geography at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including Geography.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • You will gain a broad range of practical skills enabling you to work successfully in the public and private sectors in the UK and around the world.
  • We are proud of our outstanding research record which was very highly rated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014)
  • Our research includes specialist computing facilities for geographical information and satellite image analysis, world-class science laboratories enabling soil, water and microscopic analysis; a reference map collection; a dedicated reading room; and first-class library facilities.
  • Spend your third year abroad at an approved university, such as the University of Toronto, Université Paris-Diderot, or Universitat de Barcelona.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Geography.

  • 81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.


A short video with more information.

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Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The Geography (International) BA and BSc share core elements and it is your personal interests, and the options you wish to pursue, that should shape your choice. In your first year you take three core modules and five optional modules.

In year second year, compulsory modules are supplemented by six modules chosen from a substantial pool of options. It is possible to focus your selection around systematic themes such as development geography, environmental and conservation management, social geography and climate change.

You will spend your third year abroad at an approved university. Your dissertation is the main focus of year four, and you will also take further optional modules.

Fieldwork throughout the programme can take place both in the UK and abroad, and it is possible to base your dissertation on an overseas project. Recent destinations include Australia, Belize, India, Montserrat and Papua New Guinea. Financial support for overseas fieldwork may be available through expedition funds.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Compulsory modules

Data Acquisition and Interpretation
Ideas in Geography
Writing and Analysis in Geography

Core foundational modules

You will select 2.5 credits from a range of year one Geography modules, listed below, and other undergraduate modules which may include 0.5 units outside Geography:

Environmental Change
Environmental Systems and Processes
Global Geographies
Human Ecology: Geographical Perspectives
London: A Geographical Introduction

Compulsory modules

Methods in Human Geography
The Practice of Geography

Core intermediary modules

Students then select 3.0 credits of intermediary modules from the specialised areas below:

Human Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography; Development Geography; Environment and Society; GIS and Geodemographics; Political Geography and Geopolitics; Urban Geography

Physical Geography: Ecological Patterns and Processes; Environmental Remote Sensing; Geomorphology; Hydroclimatology; Reconstructing Past Environments.

Students may also select 0.5 credits from a relevant year two ancillary module outside Geography.

Year three is spent abroad on either a UCL or Erasmus exchange (1.0 credits).

Compulsory module


Core advanced modules

Students then select up to 2.5 credits of advanced modules from the specialised areas below. In addition, students may attend a field class (0.5 units), undertake a Study Abroad term (1.5 units), or enrol for independent study (0.5 units).

Human Geography: Cultural and Historical Geography II; Development Geography II; Environment and Society II; Mining Social and Geographic Datasets; Political Geography and Geopolitics II; Urban Geography II

Physical Geography: Coastal and Estuarine Environments; Global Environmental Change; Principles and Practices of Remote Sensing; Restoration and Management of Freshwater Ecosystems; Wetland Environments

Your learning

Your timetable will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and fieldwork. As you progress, the focus shifts to independent and critical learning, with student-led discussions and presentations becoming more important.


First year assessment combines independent coursework completed throughout the year, with end-of-year written examinations. In years two and three, assessment may vary - some modules combine written examinations with independent projects, some assessed solely by written examination. Your dissertation carries significant weight in your final year.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Geography (International Programme) BA.


Having been trained in both sciences and humanities, UCL geographers are skilled in taking different perspectives on an issue, working independently to complete a project and adapting to changing circumstances.

Geographers embark on many diverse careers: from teaching and research to commerce, planning and administration. Their expertise is valuable for environmental and physical planning, surveying and employment in government, industry and the financial sector.


The first cohort of students admitted to this programme will graduate in 2016. First destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of the Geography BA include:

  • Geographical Information Systems Analyst, Esri UK
  • Policy Officer, Darlington Hall Trust
  • Social Researcher, Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Finance Trainee, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Full-time student, MA in Urban Studies at UCL

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Student view

There are so many exciting things to do as a student in London. I love that I can leave my house and go for a stroll across the city that is so often featured on screen, or visit a free museum, gallery, or event. There are so many exciting areas that you can explore. A bit of a cliché, but there is something for everyone. Stephanie Lau - Geography (International Programme) (Fourth Year)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.

UK/EU students
£TBC (2017/18 - see below)
Overseas students
£23,710 (2017/18)

UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at £9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In the selection process we aim for there to be two-way communication so both you and the department can make the right choices. In addition to looking at your qualifications we will also be examining your personal statement for evidence of your interest in and enthusiasm for geography and for proficiency in key skills.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2017


Most students are invited to attend an open day once they have been made an offer based on their predicted or actual A level (or equivalent) performance and their potential and aspirations. Our open days include student-led seminars, a tour of UCL and a tutorial with a member of staff.

We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry, especially where interesting and productive plans are being made for the 'gap' year.

The Geography (International) BA and BSc degrees follow similar paths. Although it makes no difference to the course choices open to you, most applicants base their degree choice on the A level (or equivalent) subjects they have followed: BA if they have taken arts or social science, BSc for those with sciences. It is possible to transfer if your interest develops in a different direction.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students

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