Geography (Physical)

BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - single honours

Key facts

Award
BSc (Hons) Geography (Physical)
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time. Part-time available.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: FF80
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A level grades BCC - CCC preferred with a grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science.

View typical offers for more information.

Focus on the physical environment – why here differs from there, and how places change over time.

  • Friendly, supportive team of lecturers, who are excellent teachers and active researchers.
  • Specialisms include: river and coastal processes, environmental hazards, climate science, geotechnologies and more.
  • Field trips currently include residential trips to Barcelona, the Lake District and Northern India.

Studying Physical Geography expands your understanding of the changing physical landscape, and the interactions that people have with different environments.

An ability to link environmental processes and social and spatial behaviours is a defining feature of geographical practice. As a result, Geography is clearly important in understanding today’s pressing global and local issues including climate change, natural hazard management, and sustainable development.

Studying Geography at Bath Spa University, you’ll learn geographical concepts, theories and knowledge, while gaining skills that can improve your career prospects. Geography graduates are valued by employers for this unique combination.

“The lecturers are approachable, interesting and, most importantly, interested!”

Geography graduate

What you'll learn

Overview

While Geography combines the earth and social sciences, we appreciate that you may be more interested in the physical processes of landscape formation and change, and techniques to understand and monitor the physical environment.

This award provides a specialist physical geography pathway through our Geography programme. You’ll cover a wide variety of physical geography themes, building your specialist knowledge.

You’ll graduate with a range of skills that are highly valued by employers. These include scientific techniques and computer skills, as well as people skills like communication, team-work and critical thinking.

Course structure

Year 1
The first year of this course introduces you to the exciting world of Geography at university. You’ll acquire foundational geographical knowledge, understanding and skills. You’ll get a taste of a variety of geographies, and there are plenty of opportunities to do fieldwork, visiting local places such as Mendip and the Somerset Levels.

Topics you’ll study include:

  • examining and debating contemporary geographical issues
  • developing practical skills such as computer mapping
  • learning about the variety of physical landscapes
  • learn about physical processes and landforms in order to understand how environments form and function
  • learn how to use the technologies, methods, techniques and equipment that geographers need to use.

Year 2
This year you continue to explore physical geography. Greater emphasis is placed on research methods; you will learn a wide range of useful geographical methods and techniques, both in the classroom and in fieldwork settings where you’ll apply your growing mastery of your subject to real-world problems and issues.

Optional topics include:

  • geomorphology
  • environmental hazards
  • river systems and their management
  • climate change
  • using exciting new geotechnologies
  • field trip to India

You’ll also start to further explore career options and planning, with opportunities to do a work placement or volunteering overseas. We also give you the chance to engage with the Royal Geographical Society and other professional bodies.

Year 3
This year you’ll further specialise in physical geography. You will develop your skills as an independent scholar by undertaking primary research that will enable you to demonstrate the theoretical and practical aspects of your geographical interests.

Topics include:

  • climatology
  • coastal management
  • development and disasters
  • other science-related topics

There is also a field trip to the Lake District to discover more about the geological and Ice Age story of the landscape and the dramatic impacts of the mining history and recent floods on the landscape. There is also the opportunity to undertake a community placement and project as part of your studies.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll experience a variety of different assessment methods throughout your degree. These include essays, project reports, presentations, posters, video clips, fieldcraft assessments, reflective items, time-constrained tests and examinations. These will give you a rich and diverse skills learning experience, be of real benefit in the search for a good career, and be useful in your professional activities.

How will I be taught?

Good teaching is important to us; our graduates highly rate the quality of teaching on the course. In our friendly department you’ll benefit from small classes, specialist expertise, and up-to-date technologies, including ArcGIS, GPS survey instruments, campus river gauging and digital ‘met’ stations.

You’ll experience lectures and workshop or seminar-based teaching, with small groups to enable discussion about specific topics.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Australia, Finland and the USA.

Field trips

“Field trip opportunities have been brilliant and a really valuable experience”
–Geography graduate, 2015

We’re committed to giving you a relevant, interesting and useful degree; fieldwork is integral to this. There are various field days during modules, as well as residential fieldwork options in the UK and overseas in Years 2 and 3.

You’ll visit places and landscapes such as Avebury, Mendip, the Somerset Levels, the Welsh National History Museum, the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. Residential courses currently go to the Lake District and Northern India. Please note that you’ll have to make a financial contribution towards these residential study visits.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities to undertake work placements in your second and third year – this is an excellent way to gain experience in the workplace.

Guest speakers from industry contribute to the learning experience throughout the course. This engagement with potential employers will help you make those all-important career decisions when you graduate.

Competitions and awards

There are prizes awarded each year in recognition of excellence in the core modules. This culminates with the Geography Project of the Year Award, for the best dissertation.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll be taught on Newton Park campus, with access to a range of facilities including:

Resources

We have all the latest technologies and learning resources. You’ll have access to IT laboratories with geographical software such as ArcGIS and Idrisi. In addition we have a comprehensive stock of field and laboratory equipment.

Other resources available include Leica Smart Rovers and Laser Scanner, handheld Global Positioning System devices, survey seismograph, Russian and standard sediment corers, teaching microscopes, stream flow meters, particle size analysis kits, digital Schmidt hammers, digital weather station, campus stream gauging station, digital dictaphones, digital video cameras, tablets and laptops.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

UK and EU students part time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £4,625
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for interested and motivated students who understand the importance of a geographical perspective on the issues facing society today.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC - CCC preferred with Grade C in Geography, Sociology Economics or Science
  • BTEC - Extended Diploma grades Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) preferred in a related subject.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 26 points required.
  • Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk