Geography BA (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
This BA Geography course will cover the comprehensive understanding of the complex reciprocal relationships between human societies and the physical components of the Earth.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
6 years part-time
The aim of this course is to provide you with experiential learning and field work to develop an applied knowledge and critical understanding of human environments and society.
- You will understand the evolution and significance of the distinctiveness of places, and the inter-relationships between people and the environment.
- You will have opportunity to learn about how diverse communities interact with pressing socio-economic, geo-political and environmental concerns, such as climate change, poverty, social exclusion, population growth and sustainable living in a competitive global economy.
- The course is designed to equip you with core knowledge, skills and expertise within the broad field of geography, together with a range of analytical abilities and transferrable professional skills to secure employment on successful graduation.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
- The BA Geography course has fieldwork embedded at every level, including at least one mandatory residential field trip to enhance your applied geographical skills2.
- We aim for you to experience international mobility at least once during your studies through a mandatory international field trip. You will be required to contribute to the costs of the mandatory international field trip, the precise amount of which will vary year to year and be dependent on location and the availability of university subsidies. See fees and funding section for more details.
- There is a strong career/employability focus throughout the course, which is manifested in the four-year sandwich degree, where the third year offers the option of a year in industry or study abroad, based on our long experience of organising placements with a wide range of professional contacts2.
- You will acquire basic capabilities in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a key skill sought by many employers. All students receive a certificate of GIS training on successful completion of an appropriate exercise.
- Students will also utilise the Simulation Centre, which enables geographical and environmental phenomena to be visualised in a safe setting that allows students to grasp issues and implications. This unique aspect of studying geography at Coventry facilitates an experience of fieldwork, research methods and hazard simulation, all within a monitored and recorded environment that allows students to develop skills, receive immediate feedback on their development and prepare for the transition into the workplace after graduation4.
Overall Satisfaction in Geography Compared to other HEI’s that offer this subject
National Student Survey (NSS) 2022
Accreditation for this course is being renewed as we are making some changes to our modules. This exciting new course is subject to approval from Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)1.
What you'll study
This course has a common first year.
The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.
If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).
Common first year courses
- Geography BSc (Hons)
- Geography and Environmental Hazards (BSc Hons)
In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.
A Changing Environment – 20 credits
The world faces significant and unprecedented challenges. At the same time, efforts are being made to meet these challenges from major global initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals, The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to grassroots movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter. This module introduces the world today, how we got here, and where we may be going. It asks you to consider your place in the world, how the issues of the present and past, shape and impact you, your future, and the role you may play in it.
Dynamic Landscapes – 20 credits
This module introduces the Earth’s varied landscapes. A range of different types of landscape and landforms, and the interrelated processes that have led to their formation, are considered. This includes an introduction to the geological and geomorphological processes affecting the Earth, both in the geological past and at the present time. The module demonstrates how the physical and natural environments are related through space and time, and intrinsically linked to human activity. A residential field trip 2 will provide the opportunity for you to gain experience in interpreting some of the landscapes, landforms and anthropogenic systems discussed in the classroom.
Research/Practical Toolkit – 20 credits
This module aims to provide a critical overview of the nature of academic research and help you to evaluate current research in your subject area. You will have opportunities to develop and demonstrate a range of key scientific, social science, technical and mathematical/statistical skills to address simple research questions and you will present your research findings in multiple forms. The module aims to give you the confidence to plan and design simple research projects, implement a variety of academic research techniques, and allow you to develop and demonstrate your digital literacy.
People and Place – 20 credits
On this module, you will assess the complex geographical relations between people and place through an exploration of the key themes within the discipline. You will get an introduction to selected key topics within contemporary Human Geography and a foundation in selected sub-disciplines including cultural, social, economic and historical geography. Alongside discipline-specific content, this module will help you to develop skills used in research as well as a range of skills such as critical thinking, group working, time management.
Global Environmental Issues – 20 credits
This module will introduce you to a range of key environmental issues. You will explore both human impacts on the environment and environmental impacts on humans. Examples of environmental issues you will cover include climate and environmental change, environmental hazards, natural resource depletion, environmental sustainability, population growth and Malthusian theory, and relevant sustainable development goals. The module encourages reflection on (i) the natural and anthropogenic processes that affect and are affected by the natural environment, and (ii) debates and controversies that stem from media representations of environmental issues.
Sustainable Environments – 20 credits
This module offers you a practical examination of how the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be implemented and furthered within the Built and Natural Environment. The module will introduce you to how individuals, communities and businesses within the Built and Natural Environment could be responding to the UN SDGs and helping to transform the world through their impact. The module identifies how the SDGs impact your course discipline by exploring the 17 SDGs and focusing on the delivery and implementation of a student-led project that encompasses the most applicable SDG or a combination of SDGs to your specific academic discipline.
In Year 2, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with society, culture and space, climate change, and development, culture and change, amongst others.
Society, Culture and Space – 20 credits
This module aims to give you a broad introduction to contemporary social and cultural geographies. You will learn about both the traditions of social geographical enquiry and more recent theoretical developments, including the ‘cultural turn’ in human geography. You will explore notions of identity, social and cultural difference, inequality, power and resistance and you will discover how geographies and identities are constructed. You will engage with academic research and case studies from different parts of the world, and at different geographical scales. Through these you will learn about different theoretical perspectives which explain contemporary geographies of social and cultural change. The module will explore some of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty, gender equality, peace & justice and reducing inequality through the lens of social and cultural geography.
Development, Culture and Change – 20 credits
This module examines the historical and contemporary processes posing as drivers or barriers to social and economic development within the Global South. You will be introduced to various conceptual frameworks, theories and models for defining and measuring development and are supported in developing your own critical approach to examining these within the context of the Global South. The module highlights challenges and wider external implications and influences faced by countries within the Global South striving to accelerate the social and economic progress in their country.
Climate Change – 20 credits
Climate change is viewed by many as the most pressing issue facing the world today. In this module you will learn about the science and impacts of climate change, as well as strategies to mitigate or adapt to the problem, thus enabling you to develop your own critical opinion of the subject. We will explore the structure of the atmosphere in terms of natural and enhanced greenhouse states and discuss natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change. You will discover the effects that a changing climate has on global societies and on earth systems, such as the biosphere. We will also discuss what can be done about the problem by reviewing mitigation and adaptation strategies and examining the effectiveness of national and international climate change policies.
Urban Design for Resilient Communities – 20 credits
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the relationship between the built environment and the dynamics of communities. It will engage you to think critically about place, space and community from a historical, ethical, economical and design perspective. The module will explore the processes of physical developments in settlements of various sizes, with a particular focus on urbanisation and urban development nationally and internationally. The module aims to familiarise you with the most influential theories of urban design in relation to architecture, geography, and sociology and develops your ability to conceptualise, practice and critically evaluate the design of urban sites for sustainable and resilient communities.
Fieldwork and Research Applications – 20 credits
The aim of this module is to further develop your research methods and skills for geography, energy and disaster management students, specifically focussing on the skills and understanding necessary to undertake a final year research project. The module is designed to challenge you to think critically, independently and work as part of a team. You will develop key research and practical fieldwork skills necessary for collecting and analysing quantitative and qualitative data. We will explain the components of a good project and provide opportunities to practise the required skills. In addition, the residential field trip 2 will provide further opportunities to gain experience of research and fieldwork methods and techniques. The module will support you in making an informed decision about the proposed topic of their final year project.
Sustainable Environments in Society: Developing Solutions – 20 credits
In this module you will undertake a critical analysis of a specified location and an associated project that has been influenced by the United Nation's (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Your analysis of the project will explore the impact, success or failure alongside possible solutions that will be fundamental to the positive future development of the location.
You will research, appraise, critique, develop and then communicate to a wider audience the impact and implementation of the identified SDG’s for the location/ project. The focus of the review will be linked to your academic discipline within the Built and Natural Environment and draw upon prior learning from your previous cognate knowledge.
There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.
UK Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
Year 3 aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from Year 1 and 2. You will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with feminist geography and gender, humans and hazards, and global and comparative field studies, amongst others.
Living on the Edge – 20 credits
This module aims to provide critical insight into the geographies of marginalised social groups by examining processes and implications of social and spatial exclusion. It will focus on historical and contemporary case studies to understand issues faced by some marginalised groups who are excluded from social life. It will examine processes of change over time and place, and its effects on the relevant groups. It will critically engage with different theories of power and examine ways in which groups may challenge existing power relations.
Shop ‘til you Drop – 20 credits
This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the geographies of consumption from both a political-economic and socio-cultural economic perspective. This is achieved through approaching consumption via the themes of consumption connections (commodity chains and commodity fetishism), consumption spaces (such as shopping centres, luxury retail, themed and experiential retailing and geographic branding) and productions spaces (factories and the standardisation of production) and sustainable consumption. These themes will be explored through case study commodities including fashion and food. Collectively the module seeks to encourage you to use consumption as a lens through which to explore wider geographies of globalisation and inequality (via considerations of an increasingly global economy with ever distant connections between producers and consumers) and sustainability (via considerations of the issues of increased consumption and sustainable and ethical alternatives). You will also conduct your own research into the origins of consumer goods as part of a local city centre field trip 2 in Coventry.
Research Dissertation – 20 credits
The aim of this module is to enable you to develop your research skills by conducting primary or secondary research focused on a specific problem of relevance to their discipline. You should use different methods and research skills, gained over previous years of study, to effectively communicate research novelties and ideas to the academic and non-academic communities. It will contribute to the research training aim appropriate to your level of study and requires you to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of research and to show an appropriate level of competence in the design, execution, and reporting of a research project. It will enable you to understand the importance of correct and critical analysis of all the factors involved in a problem and develop your initiative as you pursue and execute the investigation, demonstrating originality and creativity.
Global and Comparative Field Studies – 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to critical thought and methods as applied in an overseas field location.2 The module will extend your fieldwork skills and your grasp of contemporary methodologies and techniques. Emphasis in the classroom, and the field, is placed on experiential learning whilst also ensuring the continuation of transferable field and academic skills development. Experiences and skills that will be developed include undertaking research in the field; making observations, collecting and collating data; critically debating previous research, taking responsibility for one’s own learning though individual- and teamwork and formulating hazard and risk assessments for fieldwork.
Optional module, 1 from the following 2:
Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll – 20 credits
This module aims to provide critical insight into feminist geographies, geographies of the sex retail industry and geographies of music. The module explores feminism, post-feminism and feminist geographies and considers key theorisations of gender: including biological essentialism, social constructivism and performativity. The changing geographies of the sex retail industry are explored including its regulation and branding, constructions of masculinity, femininity and idealised bodies, and how this relates to post-feminism. The module also critically explores the geographies of music and the relationship between music, identity and place, focusing on case studies from popular music culture and alternative night-time economies.
Humans and Hazards – 20 credits
This module will explore the anthropological causes and implications of natural and environmental hazards globally. While natural phenomena are at the root cause of natural hazard events, the strength, intensity and frequency of hazard events are often attributable to acts of human commission or omission. Research indicates that the impact of natural hazards on individuals, communities and nations varies significantly as a result of their geographical location and social markers including, social class, sexuality, gender, age and ethnicity. The module examines what can be done to increase the resilience of marginalised and vulnerable communities and to critically underpin the role of professionals and communities within this process.
Optional module, 1 from the following 2:
Biodiversity and Conservation – 20 credits
The conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity) is concerned with the maintenance in perpetuity of genes, species and ecosystems and the sustainable management of biotic communities on a local, regional and global scale
This module aims to introduce you to the key elements of conservation theory, highlighting some of the factors resulting in habitat and species loss and outlining different conservation approaches which are effective at these levels. It will discuss the emerging global threats associated with biodiversity, conservation and development. This is complemented by case study material, which provides you with an insight into the practical application of conservation theory by drawing on examples of conservation programmes and projects from both the UK and overseas.
Four Horsemen: War, Pestilence, Famine, Death – 20 credits
The aim of this module is to critically examine contemporary and historical issues relating to the implementation of peace and security measures within conflict zones globally. This module will examine contested debates and strategies already in circulation around the root causes of conflict and its impact on displacement, food insecurity, and disease. Moreover, it will re-familiarise you on theories of development covered in Development, Culture and Change and use some theoretical concepts to explore global challenges around food security, famine, drought, disease and public health within the Global South.
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.
How you'll learn
You will be taught by experienced, qualified teaching staff who bring professional and research expertise into their teaching. Field trips, which occur each year, provide an opportunity to contextualise classroom-based learning and develop practical skills through real-life application. In addition to the residential field trips, you will have the opportunity to undertake a range of day trips to gain practical experience of applying your knowledge2.
This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.
Teaching contact hours
We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which includes:
- On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
- Group work
- Self-directed learning
- Work placement opportunities2.
The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 14-15 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 11 contact hours per week in the final year as you become a more independent learner.
In addition, you will be expected to undertake approximately 30-35 hours of self-directed study per week depending on the demands of individual modules. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods can include:
- Formal examinations
- Phase tests
- Group work
- Individual Assignments
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
Geography is a global subject and international themes are core to our teaching. As such, much of our teaching relies on the use of case studies from around the world; your lecturers will often draw on examples related to their research, such as child-headed households in post-conflict Rwanda (Staff may be subject to change).
There are exciting international field trips in your second and final year. Our students have previously had the opportunity to visit Berlin to explore themes such as memory, conflict and reconciliation. Final year students have previously had the opportunity to explore The Gambia in West Africa to experience first-hand the workings of village communities and the challenges they face in education and health. Students were given strategic briefings by government officials, investigate the relationship between trade, aid and development and conduct fieldwork in rapidly urbanising environments throughout the duration of this trip2.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man||£9,250 per year||Request fee information|
|EU|| £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£19,850 per year without EU support bursary**
|International||£19,850 per year||Not available|
If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Optional international ﬁeld trips: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).
Other additional costs
- Mandatory international field trips: Typically between £200 and £400 per trip
*Irish student fees
The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.
**EU support bursary
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in-line with that of UK students. Students studying a Degree with a Foundation Year with us are not eligible for the bursary.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
The faculty’s £50m Engineering and Computing Building and new £25m Beatrice Shilling Building are designed to support hands-on learning. Our Sir John Laing Building also houses a variety of industry-standard labs and equipment4.
- Geotechnics Laboratory - Contains triaxial cells, direct shear box apparatus, a dimensional compression oedometer, California Bearing Ratio apparatus, soil classification equipment and Marshall test apparatus for asphalt mixes.
- Computer Laboratory - This computer laboratory is equipped with access to ArcGIS for mapping and geographical information systems. It is also equipped with Petrel/Eclipse software for oil and gas reservoir simulation and calculation.
- Informal Study Areas - Our open access spaces provide you with informal computer access to all the specialist software required for your studies. There are bookable spaces where you can meet with academics or work in small groups.
Careers and opportunities
On successful completion, you will have knowledge of:
- The nature, practical value and application of human geography and its 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.
- The relationship between place, society and culture.
- Nature, mitigation and management of contemporary environmental problems and hazards.
- 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 effectively utilising 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.
- Show 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 transferrable professional skills including intellectual and problem-solving skills; effective teamwork; initiative and responsibility for your own learning and development; self-reflection; time management and personal organisation, including working to deadlines and excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing.
Successful geography graduates should possess a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. They should be literate and numerate, experienced in solving complex problems and developing solutions for multiple stakeholders through the collection and analysis of information. As such, excellent employment prospects should be available to graduates.
Where our graduates work
Recent examples of graduate employers include Transport for London; KPMG; Barclays Bank; Grays Travel; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Football in the Community; Urban and Transport Planning; Network West Midlands; non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Concern Universal; and various graduate training schemes, including that of the Civil Service.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
*In the event that there is any delay in obtaining approval, we will run Geography BA (Hons) for 2022-23 which has already been accredited by Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home 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 is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2022/23 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. 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.