Geography BSc

London, Bloomsbury

This is an integrated geography programme which combines physical and human geography as well as offering opportunities for specialisation. Those choosing the BSc will usually have studied some science at A level or equivalent, but it is possible to transfer to the BA if your interests develop differently or (at the start of the first year) to the BA Geography with Social Data Science pathway if you have the right grades including A level Maths.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£29,400
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
F800

Entry requirements

Grades
AAA
Subjects
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

Grades
BCC more about contextual offers
Subjects
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, with no higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

Points
30 more about contextual offers
Subjects
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:

Equivalent qualification

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.

International applications

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 participation

UCL 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

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.

Course overview

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 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 it is possible to begin focusing on topics such as environmental and conservation management, remote sensing, geomorphology 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 Geography students can take any of these, 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. 

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.

Modules

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: Students take five compulsory modules, one of which currently includes a week long field class, and three optional modules, one of which can be outside the department. These modules are completed during terms one and two.  Students will normally take 4 modules in term one and 4 modules in term two, each module generally consists of two hours of lectures a week with supporting seminars or practical classes where appropriate.

Second Year:  Students take one or two compulsory modules which are supplemented by six or seven optional modules, 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 environmental and conservation management, remote sensing, geomorphology and climate change.

Third Year: Students take a compulsory dissertation plus five optional modules during term one and term two. The 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. The optional modules may include participation in term one exchange programmes with universities outside the UK; in 2021-22 these included institutions 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 include Australia, Belize, India, Montserrat and Papua New Guinea.

Your learning

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 a placement 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 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.

Assessment

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.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

UCL geographers have a particularly good track record of securing employment after graduation (Guardian University Guide 2022). 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. 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.

Employability

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 synthesizing materials and approaches. These skills make our graduates very attractive to employers.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
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.

Additional costs

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 1st 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 2019. Note you would be spending money on food anyway! Further details are available on our website.

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.

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.

Next steps

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.

Selection

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.

Got questions? Get in touch