Geography (International Programme) BA

London, Bloomsbury
Geography (International Programme) BA (2024)

Our Geography BA (International) combines human and physical 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, an innovative curriculum that is shaped by the cutting-edge research of our world-leading academics (ranked 6th in the world according to the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2023: Geography), and the opportunity to spend a year abroad at one of our partner institutions.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

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 4.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

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

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

UK applicants qualifications

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

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.

AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher).

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA.

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

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:

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.

Course overview

This programme offers the flexibility of our three-year BA programme with an additional year abroad studying at one of our international partner institutions. The Geography BA and BSc share core elements and it is your personal interests and the options you wish to pursue that should shape your choice. 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.

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 development geography, environmental geography, urban geography, GIS, and climate change. You may also take one module outside the Department.

You will spend your Third Year abroad at an approved university.

Your dissertation is the main focus of Year Four, 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. 

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.

What this course will give you

Spend your Third Year studying abroad. In 2023-24 our 32 partner universities included Waseda University (Tokyo), University of British Colombia, University of Sydney, National University of Singapore, University of Helsinki, and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.

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, and a year living and studying abroad, helps our students find work in the UK and around the world.

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 2024) 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 (International Programme).


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 BA and BSc courses share core modules in Year 1, providing you with a strong foundation on which to build your geographical education.

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.

To remain on the International Programme you must average a mark of 60% or more at the end of your First Year.

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 development geography, environmental and conservation management, urban geography, GIS, and climate change.

Third Year: You spend your Third Year abroad at an approved university undertaking all modules and assessments at the host university.

Fourth 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 Four. In this, you will work with a relevant academic to develop an original piece of research on a topic of your choice.

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. 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 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 field class (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 Final-Year field classes, 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 1,200 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 final 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 assessments combine independent coursework completed throughout the year with end-of-year written examinations. In Years Two and Four, 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.


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

The foundation of your career

UCL geographers have a particularly good track record of securing employment after graduation (The Guardian University Guide 2024).

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, education, consultancy, social and market research, and construction.

(Graduate Outcomes survey carried out by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at the destinations of UK and EU graduates in the 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 cohorts) .


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

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
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.

Additional costs

This programme includes one compulsory field trip (currently to Catalonia) 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 Final-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 £75 and £250 per field trip, depending on the destination. This estimate is based on the costs incurred by students on these trips in 2023. Note you would be spending money on food anyway!

If students require a visa to travel, the cost of this can range between £65 to £350 depending on destination. Students are advised to research costs before committing to the fieldwork.

In addition, please note that if you study abroad during your programme at UCL, this is likely to incur additional costs. Studying abroad may cost between £200–£1,000 per month depending on where you choose to study. The cost of studying abroad can be difficult to predict as it will depend on your priorities and choices. There is more information available on the UCL Study Abroad 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.


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

Your application

We are looking for curious, enthusiastic people who want to engage with global environmental and social challenges. 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 (International Programme) 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 led 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.

Got questions? Get in touch

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.