Geography BSc (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: F800
International Code: EECU126

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years full-time (study abroad or work placement)
6 years part-time

Start date

September 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

This Geography BSc (Hons) course will cover the comprehensive understanding of the complex reciprocal relationships between human societies and the physical components of the Earth.

The aim of this course is to provide you with the opportunity to develop applied knowledge and understanding of physical environments. You will understand the evolution and significance of distinct places and the inter-relationships between people and the environment.

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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • The Geography BSc (Hons) course has fieldwork embedded at every level, including at least one mandatory residential field trip2 to enhance their applied geographical skills.
  • 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 costs2 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. The cost of this mandatory field trip is to be confirmed. Please revisit this page before applying.
  • 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 abroad2, based on our long experience of organising placements with a wide range of professional contacts.
  • 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.
  • You will have access to laboratories to develop quantitative analytical skills. You will also utilise the Simulation Centre4, which enables geographical and environmental phenomena to be visualised in a safe setting that allows students to grasp issues and implications.

Accreditation

Accreditation1 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).*

Watch the video below to get a taste of one of our field trip experiences.


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 BA (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.

Modules

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • 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 trip2 will provide the opportunity for you to gain experience in interpreting some of the landscapes, landforms and anthropogenic systems discussed in the classroom.

    Compulsory

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • 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 and time management.

    Compulsory

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • 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.

    Compulsory

In Year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with climate change, applied GIS and remote sensing, and biogeography and environmental change, amongst others.

Modules

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • Most datasets have a spatial component, and these datasets are routinely used to analyse and support everyday decision making in natural, built and human environments. In this module, you will gain experience with geo-referenced datasets of various types, their integration, analysis and presentation. You will develop your understanding of the principles of geo-referenced data: the theory, acquisition, processing methods and presentation for a variety of real-world applications related to staff research interests that can help solve a multitude of real-world problems.

    Compulsory

  • This module will provide you with an understanding of the processes operating in both fluvial and coastal environments, their impact on society and the natural environment, and their management. The module examines the components of the hydrological cycle as well as a study of contemporary fluvial and catchment? management issues. The nature of coastal processes under different climates, and over different space and time scales, is also investigated. These processes are evaluated in context of past, present and future sea level change. You will also examine the different approaches to managing coastal environments in response the impacts of coastal development, climate change, sea level rise and an increase in storm magnitude and frequency.

    Compulsory

  • This module will introduce you to the discipline of Biogeography, the study of factors governing the spatial distribution, both current and historical, of species, and of the ecosystems in which they occur. It will also introduce the underpinning principles of species description and identification. Factors controlling species distribution include geographical gradients such as elevation, latitude and habitat patch size, and biogeography combines observations from evolutionary biology, geology, palaeontology and climatology to examine distribution patterns of organisms at local, regional and global scales. The study of current ecological relationships (the interaction of species with their biotic and abiotic environments) is a central theme within biogeography and also informs our understanding of past environmental change. The module will also introduce you to past climate and environmental change and of human impact on the environment and consider how this is used to predict potential ecosystem response to future changes.

    Compulsory

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • 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 SDGs 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.

    Compulsory

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.

 

Modules

  • 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.

    Optional

  • This module 2 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.

    Optional

Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two.

In year three, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: geoinfomatics, quaternary environments, and nature-based climate solutions, amongst others.

Modules

  • This module is concerned with understanding how knowledge of physical geography is used to manage near-surface and surface geomorphological processes in urban and agrarian environments. It thus provides practical support for environmental and engineering decision-making, from project planning at site investigation and design stages. The module explores various spatiotemporal settings to better help develop models by exploring the distribution and characteristics of certain geomorphological phenomena in predefined climatic settings, for example arid-subtropics and periglacial/glacial environments. The module explores key concepts that underpin our efforts to clarify the causes, mechanisms and consequences of landform change with a major focus on mapping techniques employed by geomorphologists in the field or remotely. This module has relevance to many SDGs as climate in designated regions directly impacts poverty, hunger, water resources, health, especially in non-OECD counties. The module also considers the need for regionally specific climate action.

    Compulsory

  • 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.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to introduce you to critical thought and methods as applied in an overseas field location2. 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.

    Compulsory

  • Geoinfomatics – 20 credits

    Geoinformation is an all-encompassing term for data that can be visualised and analysed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing. All manner of data can be utilised with GIS and Remote Sensing, employing techniques able to simply visualise the Earth’s surface to more advanced methods capable of mapping, modelling, and analysing an extensive range of spatial data sources. In this module, you will develop a sophisticated understanding of the principles and applications of advanced GIS, computational modelling and Remote Sensing specific to your degree focus, and to use the knowledge and skills you acquire in a variety of real-world applications related to staff research interests.

    Pressures on our Planet – 20 credits

    The aim of this module is to explore the role of Earth Science in its relationship with contemporary environmental change. Specifically, the module will lead you to better understand how environmental processes, products and hazards interact with the human environment to produce new and ever-evolving challenges for society. Our response to such challenges will be examined, as will the identification of opportunities to mitigate these impacts and adjustments to how we interact with the natural environment. Throughout the module, emphasis will be placed on how the learnings will inform meeting the SDG targets of Good Health and Well-being for all (SDG 3), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) and Climate Action (SDG 13).

    Quaternary Environments - 20 credits

    You will develop a critical awareness of current predictions of future global climate change, and how potential responses of people and earth/environmental systems to predicted change are informed by an understanding of the past. You will explore the various forms of evidence that can be used to establish the timing and scale of environmental change and anthropogenic interactions with the environment during the Quaternary, both remotely and in the field. Climate models are the primary tool used to simulate the Earth's climate and the forces that affect it. You will learn to appraise the evidence used to develop and test these predictive models of climate and environmental change.

    This is a research informed module that encourages a global awareness and fosters collaborative communication. The overarching aim is to develop the learner’s skills in professional influencing with respect to SDG 13, Climate Action and SDG 15, Life on Land.

    Optional

  • Nature Based Climate Solutions – 20 credits

    This module will give you the opportunity to evaluate the approaches of conservation, restoration and improved management of ecosystems across a catchment scale that can alleviate the impact of contemporary challenges such as climate change, habitat loss, urbanisation and sustainable development. We evaluate a range of nature-based solutions, evaluating their benefits, costs, and mitigation potential. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a residential field trip2 to explore nature-based solutions in action and also to design your own nature-based solution. Your learning will be informed by module staff’s research experience (REL).

    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 & development (e.g. transmission of zoonotic diseases, sustainable resource use).

    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.

    Optional

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 (staff may be subject to change). Field trips, which occur in 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.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

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
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Individual Assignments
  • Laboratories

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 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.

There are exciting international field trips2 in your second and final year. Our students will have the opportunity to travel abroad to gain field skills to better understand biogeography and ecology, and different natural hazards. Final year students will also be provided with the opportunity to travel abroad to investigate topics such as flooding, ecological succession, habitat management, evidence of land movement over time, and environmental reconstruction from sediments.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BBC
GCSE 5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above including English and Mathematics
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit. Plus GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Request fee information
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)
  • Mandatory international field trips: Typically between £200 and £400 per trip

Facilities

The faculty’s Engineering and Computing Building and 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

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

On successful completion, you will 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 will 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.
  • Observe, contextualise and analyse information through field and laboratory studies.

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

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates are working for the Environment Agency, environmental departments of local authorities, environmental consultancies, such as Halcrow Group Ltd and Middlemarch Environmental, the Met Office, the Metropolitan Police, various research institutes and utility companies, such as Severn Trent Water. Others have gone on to pursue postgraduate study, teacher training and other professional qualifications.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Sustainability and Environmental Management MSc.You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    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 BSc (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.

    3Tuition fees

    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.

    4Facilities

    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.

    Student Contract

    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.

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