Geography BSC | Coventry University

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Geography BSc (Hons) 2019/20 entry

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich


Coventry University


September 2019



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Covering physical landscapes, the natural environment and global change, our Geography BSc course can show you how our world is changing.

Having taught Geography for over 40 years, Coventry is ranked as one of top 10 universities in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in the Guardian University Guide 2019.

This course focuses on the dynamics of physical landscapes and their links with people and places. We will cover the natural environment – landforms, glaciers, rivers and oceans, together with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere. You should seek new insight into global issues, such as environmental change, climate change, sustainability and pollution.

We offer a common first year across two of our Geography degrees, so students will touch upon topics covered in the other degree, namely physical geography (BSc Geography). All two degrees have fieldwork, both here in the UK and overseas, embedded within them. Past students have studied natural and cultural landscapes in the Lake District and the processes of change in human and physical environments. They have put into practice various physical geography field techniques in Dorset, examining themes such as climate change, sea level rise and environmental gradients, and considered a range of environmental management issues in Morocco.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

You will be enrolled for student membership of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for the duration of your course, which includes a subscription to Geographical Magazine and access to their facilities in London, a programme of talks, as well as information and advice on career planning.

Staff and students have presented talks at the annual RGS conference on subjects such as flood risk modelling, surface water management techniques and hazard monitoring. Our past students have been active members of the RGS Ambassador scheme, which promotes the subject by giving talks at schools.

Course information

All of our geography degrees are designed to help develop your knowledge of the spatial organisation and evolution of the human and physical environment, within the broad field of geographical and geoscientific inquiry.

In all three years, you will be encouraged to develop your practical analytical and problem-solving skills, with appropriate training in how to conduct robust independent research in the laboratory and in the field, as well as detailed critical analysis and methods of reporting.


of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (310kb)



The first year of the course, common across our suite of geography courses, provides an introduction to the nature of landscapes, environmental systems and processes and their relationship to human society, and the potential impacts of climate change. You will, for example, study how and why tectonic and atmospheric processes such as earthquakes and hurricanes create hazards that impact people and society.

We’ll also cover how to apply techniques such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map and visualise geographical issues such as flood risk.


  • Geosystems

  • Earth Surface Environments

  • A Globalising World

  • Numerical and Spatial Skills for Geography

  • People and Place

  • Field Techniques and Skills


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


From Year Two, as each individual course progresses, we will examine more specific themes and approaches, developing skills in research methods and applying particular techniques, such as laboratory analysis and using specialist field equipment.

You should start to examine key global challenges like climate change, explore aspects of the physical environment to gain a deeper understanding of issues in managing rivers and coasts, and investigate meteorological hazards. For example, you might evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of individual coastal defence strategies.


  • Climate Change: The Science and the Symptoms

  • Rivers and Coasts

  • Biogeography, Ecology and Ecosystems

  • Academic and Professional Skills for Geography

  • Becoming a Physical Geographer

  • Project Preparation

  • Optional modules

    1 of the following:

    • Hydrometeorological Hazards
    • Applied GIS & remote sensing
    • Contemporary Environmental issues


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.



  • Professional Training

  • Study Abroad


In your final year, we aim to deepen your understanding of environmental systems and problems, such as assessing environmental hazards in different climates, appropriate techniques to address land contamination and water pollution. You will be able to select more specialised options, including quaternary climate and environmental change, biodiversity and conservation and environmental management.

You will also be required to carry out an independent piece of research for your dissertation. For example, former students have investigated sea level change in Scotland, evaluated lake reconstructions from south-east Asia, developed ways of assessing the value of alternative water management techniques, calculated the carbon storage potential of green roofs and assessed the potential for improving landscape connectivity for endangered species.


  • Applied Geomorphology: Theory and Practice Final Year Project

  • Advanced Academic and Professional Skills for Geography

  • International Fieldwork for Physical Geography

  • Optional modules

    2 from the following:

    • Quaternary Climate and Environmental Change
    • Environmental Management & Assessment
    • Advanced Geoinformation 
    • Biodiversity and Conservation
    • Environmental Pollution and Mitigation


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


Our geography and environmental studies courses are ranked 7th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

In more detail...

  • Outstanding student satisfaction record – 100% overall for Geography in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.
  • Coventry is ranked 7th in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in the Guardian University Guide 2019.
  • Excellent track record in employability – with 90% of geography graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Research has been conducted about flood risk, storm water management, sea level change, quaternary environmental change, and ecological monitoring and management.
  • Access to specialist test and research equipment, such as for hydraulics engineering, soil mechanics, electronic mapping and geographical analysis techniques, laboratory and field equipment for environmental sampling analysis.
  • Large range of optional modules allows you to tailor your degree to suit your interests with topics such as environmental change and management, hazards, pollution, biodiversity and conservation, Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing.

Opportunities for students on the sandwich route* to apply for professional training with organisations* such as: Natural England and the British Geological Survey; utility companies; environmental consultancies, such as Middlemarch Environmental; field study centres; and wildlife trusts.

*Numbers of places are defined by individual employers.

Our main study themes are:

  • Earth and environmental systems: the functioning of the systems that drive the physical environment.

  • Environmental issues and their management: the physical and human causes of the issues and what options are available to address the consequences.

  • Climate change: The impacts of a changing climate on environment and people, together with techniques needed to mitigate and adapt.

  • Scientific techniques for environmental research: Gaining experience in studying the environment and the most appropriate techniques to employ.

  • Career management and employment skills: An insight into the skills required for geography-related careers and how these skills are truly transferrable.

The programme can be studied full-time over three years of study with the option of extending this to four years, by taking a sandwich year in the form of an industrial training placement or study abroad between Year Two and Year Three.

In their sandwich year, former students have chosen to study geology and natural hazards in Iceland and environmental change in Sweden, where classes are taught in English. Those undertaking a placement have previously worked in local authority planning and sustainability departments, taught practical skills in field study centres, taught in schools, and worked in ecological and environmental consultancies. 

For example, you may participate in computer workshops to undertake data analysis using specialist software, such as a GIS system. You will also have the opportunity to use our specialist facilities, where, for example, learning to reconstruct environments from physical data or to assess levels of pollution from chemical and biological samples by undertaking analyses in our environmental laboratories.

The field courses, which occur in each year, provide an unrivalled opportunity to contextualise classroom-based learning and develop practical skills through real-life application. IIn addition to the residential field trips, you will undertake at least one day trip per year, offering practical experience of applying your knowledge. Previous trips have included the Peak District, where we studied geomorphological processes and landslides, and Ironbridge Gorge to evaluate hazard interaction.

These local trips assess land contamination and monitor river flow and we offer a number of optional modules which include visits to consider the implications of conservation management strategies, the role of organic farming and the effectiveness of novel storm water management techniques, for example. These UK field trips are included in the course fees.

You will be taught teaching staff who aim to bring professional experience and their own research into their teaching. Our staff members are active researchers in topics including environmental change, ecological monitoring in southern Africa, flood modelling and water management. In addition, your personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you in meetings throughout all years of your course and will be available for advice during published hours."

Teaching methods include:
lectures, seminars and tutorials, field trips, practical classes and laboratory exercises.

Meet our staff

Frank Warwick

Frank Warwick is a senior lecturer in Physical Geography at Coventry University.

Read full profile

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include coursework reports, essays, practicals, presentations, posters, formal examinations and project work.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you should have knowledge of:

  • The nature, practical value and application of geography and the earth sciences and their concepts, methods and techniques.
  • The constitution and character of space, place and landscape.
  • Concepts of spatial and temporal scale, variation and change in the human and physical worlds.
  • Reciprocal relationships between physical and human aspects of environments and landscapes.
  • Patterns, processes and consequences of uneven development, difference and inequality.
  • Nature, mitigation and management of contemporary environmental problems and hazards.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Plan, design and execute a piece of rigorous research or enquiry using appropriate methods and strategies of acquiring, interpreting and analysing information.
  • Conduct field and laboratory work together with data collection and associated investigative and analytical skills.
  • Recognise the moral and ethical issues involved in debates and inquiries.
  • Show awareness of how skills and training can be applied to work of a geographical nature.
  • Understand the way in which organisations are structured and operate.
  • Observe, contextualise and analyse information through field and laboratory studies (including computational).
  • Demonstrate a range of transferrable professional skills including: intellectual and problem-solving skills; effective team work; initiative and responsibility your own learning and development; self-reflection; time management and personal organisation, including working to deadlines; excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing.


of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 16 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 4 hours of small group teaching each week.
  • Medium group teaching: 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminar each week.
  • Large group teaching: 6 hours of lectures each week.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed study each week.

Geography is a global subject and international themes are core to our teaching. As such, much of our teaching relies on using case studies from overseas and your lecturers will draw on case studies related to their research from around the world. For example, previous cohorts have considered ecological monitoring and management in southern Africa and in the case of South America looked at the impacts of dams on natural river flows, biodiversity, infrastructure management and flood risk. 

All students are given the opportunity to complete an overseas field course as part of their studies. You can also apply to work abroad or study at an international university during your sandwich year – the Geology and Natural Hazards course at Reykjavik in Iceland proving a popular choice.

In recent years, our fieldtrips have taken students to Morocco, Mallorca or Crete, where they investigated coastal inundation, earthquakes and land movement, gorge formation and faulting and sedimentation of alluvial fans. In the past, students have also visited Taiwan to examine the natural hazards posed by the island’s active volcano and the measures that can be taken to address these. Some have participated in a community outreach programme in Jordan, assisting local communities in development projects, while others have spent their summer performing voluntary work in the USA to enhance their skills and experience of an increasingly connected world.

These international experiences aim to provide you with an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental issues affecting other parts of the world, and to develop and apply your skills as a physical geographer in an international setting.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: EECU013
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
ABB-BBB DDD-DDM 29 points Minimum 5 GCSEs at grade A*–C including English, Mathematics, or specified equivalents.


A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.

Access Diplomas

The Access Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit. Plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents.

Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.

BTEC Level 3 Diplomas

The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.

Please visit our page on European entry requirements for more information about specific country information.

English as a Foreign Language: an IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

English as a Foreign Language: an IELTS of 6.0 overall. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Unconditional offers

We want to recruit the best students to Coventry and having assessed applicants' past, current and predicted performance and commitment to the course we feel that it is appropriate to reward consistently high-achieving students with an unconditional offer from a top university. It is a commitment from us with regard to an applicants’ potential as an excellent undergraduate and we hope that this will encourage such applicants to join the Coventry community.

Personal statements and references will also be taken into account and, for some degree courses, an interview will form part of the assessment. The criteria for unconditional offers will vary across the University as entry requirements for specific courses differ and not all degree courses will be taking part in the Scheme. The unconditional offer will be confirmed once a selected applicant has made Coventry their firm choice.

Coventry University has assessed that you are capable of achieving excellent grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an unconditional offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your unconditional offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer providing that you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: the International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So if you don’t meet your predictions then your place at Coventry is still guaranteed. However we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

We can’t but our experience over the years has shown us that students like you with a track record of high grades and excellent predictions are very likely to achieve those grades. Our assessment takes into account all elements of your application to allow us to take a holistic view of your potential. There is still the opportunity to gain one of the Coventry University Scholarships if you achieve the required grades so there is a financial incentive to aim high. Unconditional offers are only made to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment so we believe their focus and determination is unlikely to waver in the final stages of their qualifications.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in 2019.

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2019

£9,250 (per year)


If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.



September 2019

£9,250 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!



September 2019

£13,800 (per year)


For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.

Career prospects

Successful geography graduates possess a number of skills that are highly valued by employers, as skills include literate and numerate, experienced in solving complex problems and developing solutions for multiple stakeholders through the collection and analysis of information.

Past students have gone onto a wide variety of roles, such as a GIS officer, data analyst, flood risk analyst, sustainability officer, asset systems manager, planning consultant, environmental energy consultant, public health officer, teacher, insurance assessor or government administrator.

Our award-winning Faculty careers service, EEC Futures, which won the ‘Best Placement Service in the UK’ award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in 2015 and 2016, will help you in applying for work experience while you study and employment on graduation. Choosing to undertake a work placement should improve your chances of finding graduate employment, while your GIS skills can help enhance the skills required in one of the most important emerging industries. 

Coventry University is committed to preparing you with skills and helping you apply for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates are working for Severn Trent Water, the Environment Agency, Halcrow Group Ltd, Forestry Commission, Middlemarch Environmental, Gardline Geosciences and the Metropolitan Police. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate study, teacher training and other professional qualifications.


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase for UK and EU Students is expected to be in line with inflation. For international students, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.