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What makes Geography at Worcester special?

On our interdisciplinary BSc Geography course, you will engage with some of the most urgent challenges facing us this century, including climate change, natural hazards, globalisation, and sustainable development. At Worcester, our small group sizes mean everyone gets hands-on practical experience with state-of-the-art field and laboratory equipment and computer software, which equips you with the skills and understanding employers want. 

The historic city of Worcester and its beautiful surrounding countryside provides a fantastic base for local fieldwork across a range of specialisms. Whatever your interests, our friendly and supportive team will help you realise your full potential and empower you to play your part in creating a more sustainable future. 

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Wide choice of modules across human and physical geography, with opportunities to specialise
  • Small group sizes that facilitate interactive learning
  • The course is consistently ranked highly in the National Student Survey
  • Local fieldwork is offered in almost every module. We also currently offer the opportunity to experience three fully funded Residential Field Courses in the UK and Europe in 2022/23  
  • Learning aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Learn from cutting edge research delivered by subject specialists and practitioners
  • ‘Open door’ policy for help and advice by lecturers
  • Excellent rates of graduate employability
  • Attain practical experience using specialist industry-standard equipment, e.g. drones
  • Develop essential transferable and specialist skills, e.g. GIS mapping
  • Prepare for the workplace via ‘authentic’ assessments rather than formal examinations
  • Achieve valuable work experience through professional placements
  • Grow by studying for a semester abroad at an English-speaking partner institution
  • Or gain global experience with our four-year International Year Abroad programme

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Royal Geographical Society with IBG accredited programme

Accreditation

This 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?

104-120
UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104-120 UCAS tariff points

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

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

Other information

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

 

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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Mandatory

  • Geographical Investigations

  • Dynamic Earth

  • People and Place

  • Risk and Resilience

Year 2

Mandatory

  • Geographical Information Systems and Research Methods

  • Geography Residential Field Course

Optional

  • The Physical Geography of Mountain Environments
  • Meteorology and Climate
  • River Monitoring and Assessment
  • Natural Hazards
  • Rural-Urban Geographies
  • Contemporary Issues in Human Geography
  • Geographies of Development
  • Heritage Tourism and Place Promotion
  • Climate Change: Science and Policy
  • California Field Course: Dynamic Landscapes
  • UGTU1001 Introduction to Tutoring
  • Option modules from the Language Centre.

Year 3

Mandatory

  • Dissertation

Optional

  • Mountain Environments Field Course
  • Changing Places Field Course
  • Professional Placement for Geographers
  • Earth Observation and GIS Applications
  • River Conservation and Management
  • Environmental Geology
  • Mountain Glaciers and Landscape
  • Quaternary Climate and Environmental Change
  • Political Geography
  • Countryside Conservation and Agricultural Change
  • Town and Country Planning
  • Built Heritage Management
  • Environment and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Geographies of Disability
  • California Field Course: Dynamic Landscapes
  • Atmospheric Processes and Pollution

Geography fieldwork

At Worcester, fieldwork is central to our approach to teaching and research in Geography.

In addition to residential field courses, we include local and regional fieldwork in most of our modules.

Fieldwork is embedded throughout the degree, which is important because it provides frequent opportunities to apply and extend knowledge and skills in the ‘real world’. As well as being essential preparation for employment and further study, it can be hugely enjoyable. 

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 studied 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 practical-based modules, students can expect up to 48 hours’ contact time per semester. In the final year there is normally slightly less contact time in order carry out more independent self-study. However, students will have guided supervision, with up to 48 hours contact time in taught sessions, if the module requires the use of specialist software or field/ laboratory-based activities.

Typical class contact time is structured around:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Interactive workshops
  • Practical sessions
  • Group activities
  • Fieldwork

Independent self-study

In addition to the 12-16 hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24 hours of independent self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Lakeside Campus outdoor facilities, 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 research 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 listed 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
  • 1 Practical Report
  • 2 Presentations
  • 3 Written Assignments

Year 2

  • 2 Essays
  • 1 Exams
  • 1 Individual or Group Presentations
  • 1 Poster and Presentations
  • 1 Practical Investigation
  • 2 Practical Reports
  • 1 Research Proposal
  • 2 Written Assignments

Year 3

  • 1 Field Notebook/Journal
  • 4 Individual or Group Presentations
  • 1 Other (Dissertation)
  • 2 Projects
  • 3 Written Assignments

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.  

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest specification for BSc Geography that includes BSc Geography with International Year Abroad.

Meet The Team

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.

Prof-Ian-Maddock4

Professor Ian Maddock

Professor Ian Maddock joined Worcester in 1993 and has teaching and research interests in River Science, Hydromorphology and the use of drones or Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for high resolution surveys and to assess environmental change.

Ian's University learning and teaching experience includes being a tutor for BSc Geography, BSc Physical Geography and BSc Environmental Science degrees and the newly created BSc Environmental Management and Sustainability degree. He also led the development of and is course leader for the MRes in River Science. He teaches on a range of modules including generic modules (e.g. Environmental Investigations, Dynamic Earth, Geographical Investigations) and subject specific modules (e.g. River Conservation and Management, River Monitoring and Assessment, The Physical Geography of Mountain Environments, the Mountain Environments Field Course).

dr-cheryl-jones

Dr Cheryl Jones

As well as teaching a variety of modules on the Geography BSc (Hons) course and supervising PhD students, Dr Cheryl Jones also has a number of other roles within University of Worcester - as a KTI Fellow; Award leader in Physical Geography; Enterprise co-ordinator; and Examinations Officer.

Alan Dixon Profile

Dr Alan Dixon

Alan is an interdisciplinary Geographer and Human Ecologist with research interests in sustainability, environment-development relationships in developing countries, and social-ecological systems. Much of Alan's work has focused on the importance of wetland environments at the community level, where he has explored how local knowledge, social capital and common property resource institutions contribute to sustainable wetland management strategies that produce win-win outcomes for both local peoples’ livelihoods and wetland ecosystem services.

Alan is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and his teaching on our Geography courses reflects his research interests and enthusiasm for participatory, interactive and experiential learning.

FleurWebsite photo

Dr Fleur Visser

From Fleur's undergraduate degree in Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam she gained strong field-based research skills, which she used to produce a sediment budget for tropical sugarcane land during my PhD project at the Australian National University and CSIRO Townsville. A subsequent opportunity to study soil erosion in a different way, using hyperspectral image data, sparked her interest in the use of Earth Observation (EO) image analysis for mapping and monitoring of the world around us.

Fleur's ongoing research investigates the possibilities for using very high and ultra-high resolution imagery (e.g. collected from drones) to detect and map submerged aquatic vegetation and algae in shallow river systems. Fleur uses Object-based image analysis (OBIA) and Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry techniques, which makes it possible to remotely study river environments that until recently were beyond the reach of EO technology.

dr-des-mcdougall

Dr Des McDougall

Des is a physical geographer with interests in glaciers and glaciation, mountain geomorphology, and Quaternary environmental change.

He enjoys teaching and has particular interests in learning technologies, fieldwork, and virtual reality. An example of the work he has done in this area is his VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes resource, which is used by a growing number of schools, colleges and universities around the world. 

professor-nick-evans

Professor Nick Evans

Prof Nick Evans joined the Geography Department at Worcester in the 1990s and has been dedicated to the development of excellence in both research and teaching during this time. His academic interests lie firmly within the arena of agricultural geography, contributing to reinvigorating its relevance in human geography as agri-cultural geography. Nicks work focuses particularly upon the social and cultural reasons lying behind the way agriculture in the Western World is practised, offering alternative explanations to those usually based on economics. Using this approach, he is striving to uncover how agricultural policies and farm families really work!

See the Geography team

Watch the Geography team introduce themselves in a series of short videos.

Geography field courses

Geography students at the University of Worcester currently have the opportunity to take field trips to Provence and the Alps.
Careers

Where could it take you?

image for graduate destinations

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 trusts or Civil Service, research and teaching.

Alternatively, you may wish to continue to postgraduate study and other professional qualifications. Many of our students choose a career in teaching and go on to further study on one of our PGCE courses in Geography here at the University of Worcester.

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 will have many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance your CV by carrying out voluntary work or by taking the Professional Practice module in your 3rd year of study. We have links with several local government organisations (such as local authority planning departments) and other environmental and conservation agencies and can help organise voluntary work (which can feed into dissertation 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.

Picture of Geography Graduate Emily Bratt

Emily Bratt

"I applied to do BSc Geography at Worcester because it was clear to me that it was a student-focused course.  With their ‘open door’ policy and being assigned a Personal Academic Tutor, they are extremely invested in their students, wanting them to achieve the best grade possible through incredible amounts of support, The course also allows all Geography students to get hands-on with the kit meaning it’s not just for show, you really get to use it!"

Libby Bisp (2)

Elizabeth Bisp

"Geography at Worcester has all of the benefits of a smaller course. During my time at Worcester, I have taken part in several field trips and fieldwork. It would be easier for lecturers just to lecture, however by taking us out to the field both through fieldwork in nearby areas, such as Worcester City Centre, the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire as well as residential field trips, including the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands, and even France, it has enhanced my learning and overall experience. Having spoken to friends who have studied geography at different universities, I have realised what a unique experience this was and how much I have benefitted from them."

Rag headshot

Ragnar Mularczyk

I am one of three sabbatical officers, elected by the students, for the benefit of students. My time studying BSc Geography at Worcester University provided me with the confidence I needed to put myself forward as an electoral candidate for the position I am now in. It is the transferable skills that I have enhanced through my time at university that have assisted me most in my current job. I would recommend the course to any prospective students!

Jessica Jones

"I currently work for one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies as an Environmental Scientist within the Contaminated Land and Hydrogeology team. I joined as a graduate on the graduate development programme. My degree at the University of Worcester made all this possible, I developed report writing skills and the ability to analyse data that are paramount to my day to day job and it gave me a broad understanding of the environmental sector."

Charlotte Wright

Charlotte Wright

Charlotte has graduated with a First Class Honours in Geography.

“Being the first person in my family to go to university, I am beyond proud and excited to have completed my degree, and to get a First is the icing on the cake,” said the 21-year-old.

During her studies Charlotte has completed the Worcester Award, which involved 40 hours of voluntary work, 80 hours of employment experience and a mock interview and she has worked as a Group Scout Leader. Since graduating she has undertaken teacher training through the Schools Direct programme and plans to become a Geography teacher.

Geography Graduate Careers Booklet cover

Geography Graduate Career Profiles

Read this collection of graduate career profiles to find out where a University of Worcester Geography degree could take you.

Download the booklet
Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £13,400 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 2022/23 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 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.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

The costs of travel and accommodation on all mandatory taught field courses will be covered in by the University. The majority of field courses are either self-catered or half-board and students may be expected to purchase meals.

You may also need to purchase your own outdoor clothing suitable for some field courses.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £111 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £189 per week (2022/23 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Geography BSc (Hons) - L700

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

Get in touch

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

Dr Cheryl Jones

Head of Geography

Professional Administrative Service (School of Science and the Environment)