Geography BA (2022)
This integrated geography programme combines physical and human geography initially and then offers increasing opportunities for specialisation. Those choosing the BA will usually have studied social science or humanities subjects at A level or equivalent, but may transfer to the BSc if their interests develop in this direction or (at the start of the first year) to the BA Geography with Social Data Science pathway if they have the right grades including A level Maths.
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
Programme startsSeptember 2023
Application deadline25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
- No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
Contextual offer information
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.
- 30 more about contextual offers
- A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, 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:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA.
AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher).
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
Access and widening participationUCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL 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: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
The English language level for this programme is: Good
- Show details
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.
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
The Geography BA and BSc share core elements at the start, providing you with a strong foundation on which to build your geographical education. In year one you take five compulsory modules - two on Thinking Geographically and two on Geography in the Field, plus Understanding Our Planet. You can then take three optional modules from the four we offer, or you can take two of those and one module from outside the Department.
In year two, one or two compulsory modules are supplemented by six or seven optional modules selected from a substantial pool, including field classes. We put a lot of emphasis on research design in this year. You may begin to focus on topics such as development geography, environmental geography, urban geography, GIS and climate change. Students may take one module outside the Department.
Your dissertation is the main focus of year three, working with an academic supervisor to develop an original piece of research on a topic of your choice. In addition you take further optional modules, including one from outside Geography if you like. Students may also participate in a term-long exchange programme with universities outside the UK, which replaces that term's UCL modules.
Fieldwork can take place in both the UK and abroad throughout the programme, and it is also possible to base your dissertation on an overseas project.
What this course will give you
At UCL Geography our teaching and research engages with the most pressing environmental and social problems of the day. Learning how to understand and respond to these challenges is more than an intellectual or practical exercise - it involves acting as global citizens too.
Our core modules will train you how to think and write like a geographer, to design and conduct research, and provide other practical and project management skills. This training helps our students find work in the UK and around the world. We hope it's fun, too!
We offer a wide range of modules and BA Geography students can take any of these, including physical geography courses, if they meet the prerequisites. Our low staff-to-student ratio (Guardian University Guide 2022) encourages individual choice and personal supervision.
Departmental resources include specialist GIS and satellite image analysis facilities; laboratories; a reference map collection; two common rooms; and a dedicated reading room. UCL supports this with first-class library facilities and other study resources.
Teaching and learning
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Geography.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.
The Geography BSc and BA share core elements and it is your personal interests and the options you wish to pursue that should shape your choice.
First Year: You take four compulsory modules, one of which currently includes a field class, and four optional modules, one of which can be outside the department. These modules are completed during terms one and two.
Second Year: You take one compulsory module which is supplemented by seven optional modules which must include at least one Methods training module all taken over two terms. The optional modules include field research-based modules. At this point it is possible to begin focusing on topics such as development geography, urban geography, environmental and conservation management, remote sensing, geomorphology and climate change.
Third Year: You take a compulsory dissertation along with five optional modules during term one and term two. The dissertation is the main focus of year three. In this, you will work with a relevant academic to develop an original piece of research on a topic of your choice. The optional modules may include participation in term one exchange programmes with international universities, which in 2021-22 included opportunities in Australia, Canada, Europe or Singapore.
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 have included Australia, Belize, India, Montserrat and Papua New Guinea. Financial support for overseas fieldwork expeditions may be available through expedition funds.
Your timetable will include lectures, regular seminars, tutorials, practical classes (including laboratory and computing work) and fieldwork. In the first year there are tutorials every week, closely linked to the Thinking Geographically modules. As you progress, the focus shifts to independent and critical learning, with student-led discussions and presentations becoming more important.
In the first year students will attend a week-long fieldclass (currently in Catalonia) and undertake fieldwork in London, as part of our compulsory Geography in the Field modules. There are two second-year and three third-year fieldclasses, which are counted as optional modules. The destinations of these field classes are subject to change but have been in Europe in recent years.
We do not offer placements as part of the programme.
Each student will engage in 1200 learning hours every year. Of this a first year will spend about 12% of their time in lectures, 4% in seminars or practicals, 3% on the field class and 2% in tutorials. The remainder will be spent in independent study, revision, etc. In subsequent years these figures may vary with student choice, as taking an optional fieldclass will increase the number of contact hours. However estimates for this breakdown in the second and third year are 13% lectures, 3% seminars or practicals, and less than 1% tutorals. A fieldclass makes up about 3% of the year's learning hours.
First-year assessment combines independent coursework completed throughout the year with end-of-year written examinations. In years two and three, assessment varies - some modules combine written examinations with independent projects, while others are assessed entirely by independent projects or by written examination. Project work ranges from essays to blog posts. Your dissertation carries significant weight in your final year.
London and across the UK - Open day
UCL will be attending the UCAS fairs and events for 2022 in London and across the UK and we look forward to meeting you at one of these events.
Online - Open day
Our virtual Open Days are an opportunity for students to learn about all our programmes of study and book onto live interactive sessions. The sessions will give you a unique opportunity to speak with admissions and academic staff and interact with current students. Our virtual site will go live on Monday 16 May where you can book onto sessions.
The foundation of your career
UCL geographers have a particularly good track record of securing employment after graduation (Guardian University Guide 2022).This reflects the broad training they receive as well as the significant project management skills they develop by undertaking their supported dissertation research.
Our geographers embark on many careers from teaching and research to commerce, planning and administration. The latest figures show the six most popular sectors for our graduates are: finance; policy and government; retail; publishing; hospitality and tourism; IT and technology.
Having developed skills from the sciences, social sciences and humanities, UCL geographers are particularly adept at taking different perspectives on an issue or problem and at synthesizing materials and approaches. These skills make our graduates very attractive to employers.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£9,250|
|Tuition fees (2022/23)||£29,400|
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
Funding your studies
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.
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.
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.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.
We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry, especially where interesting and productive plans are being made for the 'gap' year.
The Geography BA and BSc degrees follow similar paths. Although it makes no difference to the module 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.
Most students are invited to attend an open day once they have been made an offer. Our open days - in Bloomsbury or online - include talks from staff, question and answer sessions lead by our current students, and introductory masterclasses run by key members of staff. In Bloomsbury we also offer a short tour of UCL and a chance to meet and talk with representatives of all our different research groups.
This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021