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What makes Geography at Worcester special?

As a subject that explores the big questions about our planet – questions affecting us all – Geography is fascinating, fulfilling and fun to study. At Worcester, Geography is all about the learning experience, supported by relevant research.

With smaller class sizes, you get hands-on use of our high-tech facilities, opportunities to develop specialist skills, and more time with your lecturers. Fieldwork is also a big part of the course, even in your first year, in places as varied as Scotland, the Alps and Ethiopia.

Key features

  • Options to specialise – from the start or end of your first year, you can choose Human or Physical Geography, or stick with BSc Geography if you want to keep your interests broad
  • You’ll use the latest equipment, including our terrestrial laser scanner and high-spec GPS units – plus have access to data from our drones
  • Highly practical assessments, matching our teaching style – coursework can be up to 92% and include consultancy projects, writing a field guide, and making a vlog
  • Great location – in a city, but close to variety of relevant sites, such as rivers, local market towns, the Malverns, and Wales; also handy for urban geographers wanting to explore Birmingham or London
  • Strong links with national bodies such as the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Wildlife Trusts
geography-university-worcester-course-page-key-features

Royal Geography Society accredited programmeThis programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education.

The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

104-120 UCAS tariff points

 

Other information

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including Access courses, European Baccalaureate and pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

Please note that shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from http://www.ucas.com

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Geographical Investigations
  • Dynamic Earth
  • People and Place

Optional

  • Introduction to Geology
  • Introduction to River Science
  • Country and the City
  • Unequal World
  • Climate Change: People, Politics and Action
  • Introduction to Climate Change
  • An Introduction to Sustainability
  • Optional modules offered by the Language Centre

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Geography Field Course
  • Researching Geography

Optional

  • GIS 
  • Mountain Environments, Landscapes and Hazards
  • Meteorology and Climate
  • River Monitoring and Assessment
  • Natural Hazards
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Geography
  • Geographies of Development
  • Rural Geography
  • Urban Geography
  • Architecture and the Built Heritage
  • Heritage Tourism and Place Promotion
  • Optional modules offered by the Language Centre

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Independent Study in Geography

Optional

  • Mountain Environments Field Course
  • Changing Places Field Course
  • Work Placement
  • GIS
  • Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
  • River Conservation and Management
  • Environmental Geology
  • Mountain Glaciers and Landscape
  • Ice Age Environments  
  • Political Geography
  • Countryside Conservation and Agricultural Change
  • Town and Country Planning
  • Architecture and the Built Heritage
  • Heritage Tourism and Place Promotion
  • Environment and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Geographies and Disability
  • Atmospheric Processes, Air Pollution and its Modelling

In your first year, you will explore the fundamentals of this exciting and dynamic subject, learning subject knowledge and skills essential for more advanced study. In your second and third years of study, you can specialize in human or physical geography if you so wish. Modules at this level allow you to find out more about the fascinating research and consultancy activities undertaken by staff.       

What really sets this course apart from others is its practical, hands-on emphasis. As a student at Worcester, you will enjoy a generous fieldwork programme, laboratory work, computer-based practicals, seminar discussions and a friendly and supportive learning environment. These activities help you to understand subject knowledge and develop a wide range of specialist and transferable skills, invaluable for employment or further study. This approach, repeatedly praised by external experts, is complemented by an assessment strategy that focuses on coursework rather than formal examinations

Read our 'Guide to Geography'

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. 

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.

Teaching

All modules within the BSc Geography programme aim to encourage learners to engage in discussion of key issues and application of key concepts. Students are taught through a combination of fieldwork, seminars, presentations, tutorials, laboratory work, project work, and online activities.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year, and three occasions in the second and third year of the course. You have an opportunity to meet with your personal academic tutor on more occasions if you wish. A key aim of the academic tutorial programme is to provide you with support for your academic studies.

In the second semester in the second year of your course, you have an option to study abroad for a semester at a university either in Europe or in an international location. Previous students have studies abroad for one semester at an American, Canadian, Australian and Spanish university. Other destinations are also available.

During your course, you will have access to a wide range of specialist resources, including a fully equipped GIS Mapping and Visualization Suite, which provides access to high-end computers, industry standard GIS (ArcGIS), statistical analysis software, and other mapping and remote sensing software. You will also have access to a variety of field equipment, laboratories for teaching and research, and industry-standard design software to prepare you for future employment.

Contact time

In a typical week, you will have approximately 12-16 contact hours of teaching. The exact contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected. In the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order carry out more independent study. The type of teaching activities varies per module, but an example of teaching activities for a first year module for one semester are:

  • 20 hours of (large group) lectures
  • 8 hours of interactive workshops
  • 8 hours of computer practicals
  • 4 hours of supervised laboratory practical
  • 4 hours of fieldwork activities
  • 4 hours of seminars

Independent self-study

In addition to the 12-16 hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake approximately 21-25 hours of personal self-study per week respectively. Typically, this will involve visiting the library and carrying out recommended reading, planning and writing assignments, and undertaking group work.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes professors in human and physical geography, senior academics with industry experience, demonstrators and technicians. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and a very high percentage (85+%) of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, written assignments (including consultancy reports and planning statements), journals, practical investigations, practical reports, portfolios, individual and groups presentations, posters, and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken. You will not be expected to complete all assignments list below (i.e. the exact pattern of assignments depends on your optional modules); however, a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1
3 essays
4 written assignments
1 within module test
1 formal examination of 2 hours duration
3 practical reports
2 practical investigations
2 individual or group presentations

Year 2
5 essays
6 written assignments
3 individual or group presentations
2 formal examinations of 2 hours duration
4 practical reports
1 research proposal
1 poster and discussion

Year 3
3 essays
2 practical assessments
5 written assignments
1 journal
1 practical investigation
5 individual or group presentations
5 projects
3 practical reports
1 poster and discussion
1 independent study of approximately 10,000 words

Feedback

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Fieldwork practical

Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

The course will prepare you for a range of interesting and diverse careers, including environmental consultancy, geographical information systems (GIS) management, local government and planning (e.g. town and country planning, regeneration managers, tourism officers, climate change development officers, data managers, community service managers), conservation, working with the wildlife Trust or Civil Service, research and teaching. Alternatively, you may wish to continue to postgraduate study and other professional qualifications.

Geography graduates have a good track record in gaining employment in a wide range of professions and organisations, as a result of the broad range of skills developed through hands-on learning activities centred on the analysis of real world issues and processes.

You'll have many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance one’s CV by carrying out voluntary work. We have links with several local government (such as local authority planning departments) organisations and other environmental and conservation agencies and can help organise voluntary work (which can feed into Independent Studies projects in the final year of study). Numerous undergraduates have volunteered to assist in the collection of River Science field data in recent years and have gained experience in using our state of the art river monitoring equipment. This has helped some of them gain employment after graduation in the water industry, with environmental consultancies and the Environment Agency.

  • News

    Bristol Geography Student to Spend a Month Studying Volcanoes

    geography student to study volcanoesPhysical Geography student at the University of Worcester is embarking on a month-long trip to monitor volcanoes in the Canary Islands.

    Aaron Provis, from Bristol, has been awarded a £400 scholarship from the University to support him on his academic adventure in July.

    The 20-year-old will spend a month in Tenerife monitoring the El Hierro Volcano and Teide Volcano Summit Cones.

    “I wanted some work experience but as my main interest is natural hazards I thought it would be difficult to find something other than flooding related roles,” he said.

    “I looked at this internship and saw there were only 1 or 2 places and also it was open to undergraduates from both Europe and America. So I just worked on my CV and thought why not, nothing to lose.”

    Aaron’s hard work paid off and he was offered the internship. His time in Tenerife will give him experience in field work, looking into diffuse volcanic degassing surveys. During his time there, Aaron will also help in the lab to analyse chemical and isotopic soil gas samples collected during the field work.

    Aaron said he was extremely grateful for the University’s support in making the trip happen. “The scholarship is very important to me as I would have struggled to pay for this once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.

    On his return Aaron hopes to use the work he does on the internship to support his studies at the University. “I am hoping to base my Independent study on the work I carry out in Tenerife,” he said.

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2018/19 will be £12,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2018/19 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses. In addition, you will need to cover the cost of travelling to and from approved workplaces and placements in order to meet the requirement that you spend no fewer than 600 hours in practice over the duration of the course.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £98 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £159 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.

Apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Geography BSc (Hons) L700 BSc/Geo

 

Joint Honours:
Archaeology & Heritage Studies and Geography - LN79
Environmental Science and Geography - NF98
Geography and Physical Education - LX74
Geography and Mathematics - FX83
Geography and Sports Studies - LC76

 

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

 

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

UCAS CODE:

L700

Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111
admissions@worc.ac.uk 

Head of Geography

Dr. Cheryl Jones
01905 85 5425
c.jones@worc.ac.uk

Departmental Office

Lisa Hopkins
01905 855202
l.hopkins@worc.ac.uk