Geography and Natural Hazards BSc (Hons) 2020/21 entry

Course code:

FH82

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020

 

Fees:

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222
ukadmissions@coventry.ac.uk

Overview

Natural hazards and the processes associated with the physical environment are some of the most prominent challenges that we face globally. This rewarding course will develop your abilities to analyse and predict future events, as well as manage and mitigate their effects to support communities when they need it most.

Having taught geography for over 40 years, Coventry University is ranked as one of the top 10 best universities in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in The Guardian University Guide 2020.

The geography and natural hazards course applies geographical knowledge to the study of natural hazards, such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, wildfires, tropical cyclones and flooding. You will gain an in-depth understanding of the processes responsible for these hazards, which affect millions of people each year. You will learn the key principles of geophysics, geology, geomorphology, hydrology and climatology and how to map, analyse and potentially predict natural hazards, so that you can help communities prepare for and respond to their impact.

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

Employability

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

Membership

Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

Students receive student membership to the Royal Geographical Society for the duration of their degree.

What our alumni say

The geography and natural hazards degree at Coventry university is a unique offer and I doubt I would have found the same academic experience elsewhere.

Kirsty Whittaker, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated 2016

Course information

All of our geography degrees are designed to develop your specialist knowledge of the physical and human environment. In all three years, you will be supported to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills, with appropriate training in how to conduct robust independent research in the laboratory and/or field within the broad area of geographical and geoscientific enquiry.

In your first year, you will touch upon topics covered in our other two geography degrees (BA and BSc), while also studying bespoke geography and natural hazards modules. The second and third years will then become more specialised, allowing you to study the processes associated with natural hazards as well as optional modules that will allow you to develop specialist knowledge in topics such as contemporary environmental change, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

All of our geography degrees encompass significant amounts of field trips, both here in the UK and overseas, with recent trips visiting locations such as Sicily, Mallorca, Morocco and Tenerife (which may be subject to additional costs and meeting applicable visa requirements). We also have an excellent track record of supporting professional training, which is a popular option between your second and third year. Recent students have spent their training year with local authorities, national/international agencies, environmental consultancies and research institutes.

Course specification
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Modules

Overview

During the first year, you will study the fundamentals of the natural and human environment including modules that encompass the nature of landscapes, environmental systems and their relationship with society. The geography and natural hazards degree will be framed within the context of natural hazards and the disaster management cycle. For example, you will learn why particular communities are more vulnerable to the impacts of natural hazards and their capacity to mitigate these effects. You will also have the opportunity to learn skills in geographical research including statistical analysis, laboratory analysis and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Modules

  • Geosystems

  • Human geography of natural hazards

  • Earth surface environments

  • Fundamentals of geology

  • Fundamentals of geographical research

  • Introductory academic skills for geography

  • Introductory professional skills for geography

Add+vantage

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.

Overview

In the second year, you will study bespoke modules to gain an in-depth understanding of the physical processes that govern natural hazards and the behaviour of the physical and human environment in relation to hazard events. You will also develop skills in quantitative and qualitative research including data collection, data handling, critical analysis and methods of reporting. Additionally, you will be able to select one specialised optional module to develop your knowledge and skills in either GIS and Remote Sensing, climate change or how to deal with emergencies.

Modules

  • GeoHazards

  • Hydrometrological hazards

  • Geotechnics and construction for natural hazards

  • Fieldwork and research applications

  • Academic and Professional Skills for Geography - Futures

  • Optional Modules (one of the following)

     

    • Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
    • Climate change: science and symptoms
    • Preparedness

  • Extended academic and professional skills for geography

Add+vantage

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.

Overview

Following your second year, you will have the option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad* in a partner institution. This has been a popular option with students, spending their year with local authorities, national/international agencies, environmental consultancies and universities and research institutes.

* Please note that placement opportunities and/or study abroad may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting appropriate visa requirements.

Modules

  • Professional Training

  • Study Abroad

Overview

In the final year, you will be encouraged to reflect critically on the nature of best practice and apply your learning from previous years to the analysis of natural hazards and risk. An international field trip* provides the opportunity to further your field skills, widen your international experience and conduct a primary research project. More specialised optional modules will develop your understanding of community resilience, GIS and Remote Sensing, and historic and contemporary environmental change.

In addition, you will conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choice. Past students have decided to base this on the experience they obtained while on professional training. For example, a placement in New Zealand examining the tsunami hazard in Wellington led to an exceptional dissertation project. Other students choose a subject they feel passionate about, such as the flood risk in their home town.

* Please note, that such opportunities may be subject to additional costs and meeting applicable visa requirements.

Modules

  • Individual project

  • International field trip for physical geography and natural hazards

  • Natural hazard management

  • Advanced academic and professional skills in geography

  • Academic and professional skills in geography – the next step

  • Optional Modules (two of the following)

     

    • Quaternary climate and environmental change
    • GeoInformatics
    • Savage earth
    • Building resilient communities

Add+vantage

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.

10th

Our geography and environmental studies courses are ranked 10th in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.

In more detail...

  • Research expertise in volcanic remote sensing, climate change and flooding.
  • Outstanding student satisfaction – 96% satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2018.
  • Coventry is ranked 10th in the UK for ‘Geography and Environmental Studies’ in The Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • Diverse range of optional modules allowing you to tailor your degree to suit your interests with topics such as climate change, GIS and Remote Sensing and savage earth.
  • Opportunities to gain experience through professional training and international field experience.

Your main study themes are: 

  • Earth and environmental systems: Understanding the functioning of the systems that drive the physical environment.
  • Natural hazards and their management: Understanding the physical causes of hazard events and what society can do to mitigate their effects.
  • Scientific techniques for environmental research: Gaining experience in studying the environment and learning that by understanding it better, we can mitigate the hazards posed.
  • Career management and employment skills: An insight into the skills required for geography-related careers and how these skills are truly transferable.

The programme can be studied full-time over three years with the option of extending this to four years by taking a sandwich year in the form of professional training 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 authorities, environmental consultancies, taught practical skills in field study centres and worked at volcano observatories.

We have a wide range of teaching methods which are an established feature of all of our geography courses. For example, you will have the opportunity to participate in computer workshops to undertake data analysis using bespoke specialist software, such as ArcGIS and ENVI. You will also have the opportunity to use our specialist facilities including a geotechnics laboratory, where students will learn the influences of geology on structural integrity, and our Simulation Centre to experience the aftermath of a disaster.

Our field trips, which take place in each year, provide an unrivalled opportunity to contextualise classroom-based learning and develop practical skills through real-life application. In addition to the residential field trips, you will have opportunities to undertake a range of day trips to gain practical experience and apply your knowledge.*

You will be taught by experienced, qualified teaching staff who bring professional and research expertise into their teaching. Our staff members are active researchers in topics ranging from climate change, volcanic remote sensing and flooding to coastal geomorphology, global development and environmental pollution. In addition, you will have a personal tutor who will review and discuss your progress with you and be available for advice throughout your course.

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

* Please note, that such opportunities may be subject to additional costs and meeting applicable visa requirements.

Meet our staff

Matthew Blackett

Matthew Blackett is a senior lecturer and researcher, focussing on environmental change management, natural hazards and natural disasters.

Read full profile

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

The Coventry University Assessment Strategy endeavours to ensure that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work.

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature, practical value and application of geography and the earth sciences.
  • Recognise key concepts, methods and techniques in relation to spatial and temporal geographical problems, variations in the human and physical environments and the effect of contemporary environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of natural hazards and application of knowledge to mitigate and manage their effects.
  • Plan, design and execute a piece of independent research or enquiry using appropriate methods and strategies for 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.
  • Think critically and analytically about the world around you.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how skills and training can be applied to work of a geographical nature.
  • Observe, contextualise and analyse information through field and laboratory studies (including computational).
  • Demonstrate a range of transferable professional skills including: intellectual and problem-solving skills; effective team work; initiative and responsibility for your own learning and development; self-reflection; time management and personal organisation, and excellent communication skills.

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 seminars 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 and during residential field trips, ‘contact’ hours are significantly greater.

Geography is a global subject and international themes are core to our teaching. While the UK experiences natural hazards such as flooding, it rarely experiences some of the more destructive events, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms. As such, much of our teaching relies on using case studies from overseas, such as the tsunamis that regularly impact the Pacific region and hurricanes which often hit the Caribbean.

All students are given the opportunity to complete an overseas field trip as part of their studies. For example, past students have visited Sicily and Tenerife, where they examined the natural hazards posed by an active volcano, and to understand the measures that can be taken to address these. In all cases, the fieldtrips are designed to enable you to see first-hand how particular natural hazards pose a significant threat in different environments, enabling you to apply your specialist research skills in an international context.

You can also take the opportunity to work or study abroad*. Past students have spent time working at the volcano observatories in Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico; others have undertaken placements with GNS in New Zealand and with the United States Geological Survey in California. Others have gone to study at one of our associate universities teaching in English throughout Europe, America and the Far East. The Geology and Natural Hazards programme at the University of Reykjavik in Iceland has proved popular.

* Please note, that such opportunities may be subject to additional costs and meeting applicable visa requirements.

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)


3,482

Student experiences

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


21,000

and counting

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


12

global programmes

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

What our alumni say

The content taught was so engaging and honestly made me more passionate about geography! I cannot recommend Coventry University enough – the support, both academic and career based, was outstanding and I feel very lucky to have studied in an environment that not only pushed me to achieve my academic potential, but always considered helping me to achieve my future goals.

Sophie Williams, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated 2019

Entry Requirements

University Course Code: EECU014
A Level BTEC IB Diploma GCSE requirement
ABB-BBB DDD-DDM 29 points 5 GCSEs at grade A*–C including English, Mathematics, or specified equivalents

A-Levels

A-Level applicants are required to have three
 A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer 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 This course requires IELTS 6.0. 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 This course requires IELTS 6.0. 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

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

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.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250 (per year)


UK Scholarships

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.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £9,250 (per year)


EU Scholarships

For the September 2019 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!

Starts

Fee


September 2020

2020/21 fees TBC*
2019/20 fees - £13,800 (per year)


International Scholarships

For the September 2019 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.

Course essentials – additional costs

  • Field trips may be subject to additional costs. Students are also expected to be equipped with appropriate fieldwork clothing and footwear.

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

What our alumni say

The course has a good range of coursework presentations, essays, reports and even book reviews and poster making! The highlight of studying a geography based degree has to be the field trips.”

Eleanor Brafield, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated in 2011, now a Meteorologist at the UK Meteorological Office

Career prospects

Successful geography and natural hazards graduates possess a number of skills that are highly valued by employers. As such, employment prospects for our graduates are excellent, as they possess specialist skills and knowledge in natural hazard assessment and prevention.

The transferable analytical and problem-solving skills you’ll have the opportunity to gain as a geography graduate also open up a wider variety of roles, such as a GIS officer, data analyst, flood risk analyst, sustainability officer, asset systems manager, environmental energy consultant, teacher, insurance assessor or government administrator.

Our faculty’s employability and placements unit 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 finding work experience while you study and employment on graduation. Choosing to undertake a professional training year will significantly enhance your prospects of finding graduate employment, while your GIS skills can provide entry to one of the most important emerging industries. Placements have previously been undertaken at NEO Netherlands. These placements have involved students working closely with professionals in topics such as thermal mapping of transport networks and remote sensing.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you 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 have gone on to work for the Environment Agency, the Meteorological Office, environmental departments of local authorities, utility companies including Severn Trent and EON, research institutes, charitable organisations and environmental consultancies. Others have continued their studies at postgraduate level, including teacher training and further study at Masters and PhD level.

What our alumni say

The geography & natural hazards degree was extremely interesting and varied. The best bits were the fieldtrips and putting the theory to practice, they were really fun and well planned. One thing that I think makes the geography & natural hazards degree at Coventry stand out is the support you get from the lecturers. They are so helpful and kind and you really feel they care about you and your potential.

Louise Morgan, BSc (Hons) Geography and Natural Hazards, graduated 2019
Disclaimer

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.

*2020/2021 course fees have not yet been determined by the University or government legislation. Once the course fees have been determined, the course web page will be updated to reflect your first year course fee. Please continue to revisit the course web page to identify the fee before you accept an offer of a place on the course and/or before you enrol at the University.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021