Undergraduate prospectus 2020


Geography BA

This integrated geography programme combines physical and human geography initially and then offers increasing opportunities for specialisation, including a Quantitative Methods pathway. 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.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2019
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Geography grade A required. For the Geography with Quantitative Methods stream, grade A in Mathematics is also required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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-requirements

Contextual offer

ABB (more about contextual offers)
Geography grade A required. For the Geography with Quantitative Methods stream, grade A in Mathematics is also required.

IB Diploma

A total of18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Geography, with no score below 5. For the Geography with Quantitative Methods stream, grade 6 in Mathematics at higher level is also required.

Contextual offer

34 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Geography, with no score below 5. For the Geography with Quantitative Methods stream, grade 6 in Mathematics at higher level is also required.

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 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Geography grade D3 - and Mathematics for the BA Geography with Quantitative Methods

AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher ), including Geography grade A at Advanced Higher - and Mathematics for the BA Geography with Quantitative Methods

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including Geography- and Mathematics for the BA Geography with Quantitative Methods.

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

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: 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 and project management skills, making you attractive to both the public and private sectors in the UK and around the world.

  • We offer a wide range of optional modules and have a particularly low staff-to-student ratio (Guardian University Guide 2018), encouraging individual choice and personal supervision.

  • We are proud of our consistently high research record. You will therefore be working with thinkers at the cutting-edge of developments in their fields.

  • Resources include specialist GIS and satellite image analysis facilities; laboratories; a reference map collection; a dedicated reading room and first-class library facilities.

Degree structure

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).

The Geography BA and BSc share core elements at the start, providing you with a strong geographical foundation on which to build. In year one you take two core modules and four optional modules, one of which can be outside the department.

In year two, compulsory modules are supplemented by six optional modules, including field research based courses, selected from a substantial pool. It is now possible to begin focusing on topics such as development geography, environmental and conservation management, urban geography, GIS and climate change.

Your dissertation is the main focus of year three. In this, you'll work with a relevant academic to develop an original piece of research on a topic of your choice. In addition you take further optional modules, which may include participation in exchange programmes with universities in Australia, Canada, Europe or Singapore.

Fieldwork throughout the programme can take place both in the UK and abroad, and it is also 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.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Thinking Geographically
Geography in the Field

Core foundational modules

You will select modules equivalent to 2.0 credits from a range including:

Global Events
Space and Society
The Earth
Environmental Change
Human Ecology

You may also take one 0.5 credit module taught outside of Geography if you wish.

Core or compulsory module(s)

Methods in Human Geography
The Practice of Geography

Core intermediary modules

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

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

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

You may also substitute an ancillary module from outside the department, allowing you (as in your first year) to continue developing particular language skills or start to become more specialised.

Core or compulsory module(s)


Core advanced modules

You take 2.5 credits of advanced modules from the below. You may also attend a field class (0.5 credits), study abroad for a term (1.5 credits), or enrol on the independent study module involving close collaboration with one academic (0.5 credits).

Human Geography: Geographies of Infrastructure; Urban Political Ecology; Global Urbanism; Geopolitical Events; Geography, Culture and Materiality; Postcolonial Geographies of African Development; Mining Social and Geographical Datasets; Gendered Geographies; Advanced Environment and Society.

Physical Geography: Coastal Geohazards; Global Environmental Change; Principles and Practices of Remote Sensing; Managing Freshwaters in the 21st Century; Palaeoclimatology.

Water and Development is an option that spans human and physical geography. You can also take Professional Geography or take a module outside the department.

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.

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Geography BA.


Having developed skills associated with both the sciences and the humanities, UCL geographers are particularly adept at taking different perspectives on an issue or problem. These skills make our graduates attractive to employers.

UCL geographers have a particularly good track record of securing employment after graduation (Guardian University Guide 2018).This may be partly because of 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. Their expertise is valuable for environmental and physical planning, surveying, government, industry and the financial sector.

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.

Alumni view
As part of the Geography BA we were encouraged to take modules in other departments. I enrolled in modules in departments that included European Social & Political Studies and the Bartlett School of Architecture. As such I gained a really useful toolkit of practical skills that I have used in my career since graduating. As part of a geography degree, field trips are a given! The trip to Berlin was a particular favourite, which involved studying everyday social interactions around the city. Thomas Broad - Geography BA 2013
Alumni view
Whilst at UCL I made use of the Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) at the Union. I volunteered on a one-off basis to organise a Christmas party at a local school. Through the VSU, I also made contact with Brook, a sexual health charity for young people, and trained to be a sexual health advisor. I did this during my second and third years at UCL and continued once I had graduated. These experiences helped me make the decision to train to become a social worker. Frances Perry - Geography BA 2012
Student view
Applying to UCL is one of the most valuable decisions I've made and choosing to study geography has reaped countless benefits. The staff and students are incredibly passionate about our discipline, which covers topics ranging from geopolitics and development studies, to environmental systems and urban landscapes. Anaka Nair - Geography BA Second Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU 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 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2019/20)
Overseas students
£24,090 (2019/20)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

Field courses in the second and third years are partly funded by the department, and partly self-funded by those students who choose to take them. The department does, however, provide bursaries for those students who are in receipt of a UCL bursary and who wish to undertake these courses. Further details are available on our 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

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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 2019


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 short tour of UCL, a chance to talk with representatives of all our different research groups, and introductory masterclasses run by key members 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 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.

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