Geography BSc (2023)
Our Geography BSc combines physical and human geography, addressing urgent global issues including climate change, migration, geopolitics and urban development. You will benefit from field trips, a wide variety of module options, and an innovative curriculum that is shaped by the cutting-edge research of our world-leading academics.
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme startsSeptember 2024
Application deadline31 Jan 2024
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 higher level 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
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.
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: Level 2
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 this year. At this point you may begin to focus on topics such as environmental and conservation management, remote sensing, geomorphology and climate change. You may also take one module from 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 another academic department if desired. 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 overseas throughout the programme. 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 world's most pressing environmental and social problems. 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 offer a wide range of modules and BSc Geography students can take any of these, including human 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 computing facilities for geographical information and satellite image analysis, world-class science laboratories for soil, water and microscopic analysis; 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 BSc (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. Those choosing the BSc will usually have studied natural or physical science subjects at A level or equivalent, but may transfer to the BA 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. Please note that if you transfer to the BA Geography with Social Data Science pathway, you will take slightly different compulsory modules that specifically focus on quantitative methods and data analysis.
First Year: You take five compulsory modules, one of which currently includes a field class, and three 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 and seven optional modules which must include Human or Physical Methods training modules. The optional modules include field research-based modules. At this point it is possible to begin to focus on topics such as 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; in 2022-23 these included institutions in Australia, Canada, Europe and Singapore.
Fieldwork throughout the programme can take place both in the UK and overseas, and it is possible to base your dissertation on an overseas project. Recent destinations have included Kenya, Madagascar, India, and Nepal. Limited financial support for overseas fieldwork expeditions may be available through expedition funds. Our students have in the past also received funding for overseas research from the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
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.
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 field class 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% tutorials. A field class 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.
The foundation of your career
UCL geographers have a particularly good track record of securing employment after graduation (Guardian University Guide 2022).
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: science and technology; retail; energy and environment; health, hospitality; security and intelligence.
Having developed skills from both the sciences and the humanities, UCL geographers are particularly adept at taking different perspectives on an issue or problem and at synthesising materials and approaches. Our students develop significant project management skills through the completion of their supported dissertation research. These skills make our graduates very attractive to employers across a wide variety of sectors.
Fees and funding
Fees for this course
|Tuition fees (2024/25)||£9,250|
|Tuition fees (2024/25)||£34,400|
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 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 2024/25 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.
This programme includes one compulsory field trip in the first year and two optional trips in each of the second and final years. We believe all of our students should be able to learn in the field so UCL Geography covers all accommodation and flight costs for the first year field trip to Catalonia, as well as most of the food costs. We also currently make a significant contribution to the costs of second and third-year field trips, covering flights/some train travel and accommodation. The exact cost of each field trip will depend on the location and prevailing exchange rates, but it is estimated that students would need to contribute between £50 and £200 per field trip, depending on the destination. This estimate is based on the costs incurred by students on these trips in 2022. Note you would be spending money on food anyway!
Information about tuition fees and financial support for students undertaking the term-long exchange can be accessed on UCL's Study Abroad webpages.
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.
We are looking for curious, enthusiastic people who want to engage with global environmental and social challenges to join us at UCL Geography. We will be looking for applicants to demonstrate independent engagement and interest in the subject - this could be as simple as evidence of reading beyond your school or college textbooks.
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, where possible, 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 our academics.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.