(Full time) 2023 start
BSc Geography at Leeds provides you with the knowledge to understand the state of planet Earth and the skills to shape its future.
We offer a broad-based, flexible geography programme that addresses key themes of natural hazards, climate change and sustainability during all years of study. You can select modules from both physical and human geography, develop your professional skills through our work and teaching placement modules and customise your learning to match your interests.
As well as specialist knowledge, you’ll build transferable skills in presenting your ideas both orally and in writing, in data collection, presentation and analysis, and in independent project management and team working.
Each year of this programme is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, as well as opportunities to take optional modules and discovery modules across the University so you can choose additional subjects of interest. This means you are able to specialise in either human or physical geography, or choose modules from a mixture of both.
Why study at Leeds:
- Take advantage of our world-leading research here at Leeds, which has had a pioneering impact on current global agendas, influencing key decision-makers in shaping environmental protection, public health and the economy.
- Tailor your degree to suit your interests. You can specialise in either human geography or physical geography, or opt to study a mixture of our BA and BSc modules.
- Experience expertise teaching delivered by a School that has taught geography for over 100 years. Learn from internationally renowned academics and researchers at the forefront of their fields who specialise in a variety of geography disciplines.
- Benefit from excellent specialist facilities, including industry-level teaching laboratories and a dedicated field store, fully equipped with research-grade equipment to support your learning and practical fieldwork.
- Put theory into practice with our extensive fieldwork activities located across the world, where you’ll experience ‘real world’ learning that will advance your research, project planning and teamwork skills whilst gaining hands-on experience highly valued by employers in industry.
- Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our paid industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — major organisations such as Unilever, RSK, EDF Energy and Lloyds Bank.
- Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across many universities worldwide.
- Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society GeogSoc which gives you the chance to meet like-minded students who share your passion for geography. The society organises a range of social activities and trips, and has football and netball teams in the University’s intra-mural league.
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.
“” Read more
Each year of this programme is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, as well as opportunities to take optional modules in both physical and human geography, and discovery modules across the wider University so you can choose additional subjects of interest.
Our first year modules explore:
- the role of volcanos, glaciers and earthquakes in creating our landscapes
- how environments have changed during the history of our planet
- the response of ecosystems to global environmental change
- how interactions between humans and the environment determine the health of our planet
- key concepts, approaches, and knowledge in political and development geography
You’ll also develop a grounding in the data analysis, writing, computer and laboratory skills that you’ll need during your degree and beyond.
Our second year modules build on the themes you explore in year 1 by developing your knowledge in more depth and teaching the advanced skills you need for your final year. You’ll be able to choose from modules that explore themes such as natural hazards, the dynamics of the climate system, the future of the biosphere in the Anthropocene and environmental sustainability.
You’ll learn advanced skills in programming for data analysis, GIS and remote sensing. You’ll also have a choice of residential fieldwork where you’ll learn new field techniques and develop and carry out a field research project as part of a group.
During the final year, you’ll undertake an independent research project. You’ll choose your topic, develop your research questions and execute and write up your project with the guidance of a member of academic staff.
Recent dissertation titles include:
- The effect of broad-crested weir geometry on downstream channel hydraulics
- To what extent does the invasive gecko Hemidactylus frenatus threaten the population of the endemic Phyllodactylus palmeus on Ulila Island, Honduras?
- Investigating the jökulhaup characteristics from proglacial ice-dammed lakes in Greenland
- Flooded heritage: a GIS analysis of the risks posed to archaeological sites by coastal processes following climate change in the Orkney Islands
You’ll also choose from a broad range of modules that include topics such as the challenges of rewilding, the dynamics of the cryosphere, sustainable development in tropical forest landscapes, and management of hydrological systems. You’ll also have the opportunity to customise your course further by undertaking a work, teaching or research placement and/or take a field course as one of your final year modules.
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
To advance your skill set and boost your experience, you can apply to take up an industrial placement or study abroad at one of the many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. Both of these options will extend your degree by 12 months.
Ask any of our students and they will tell you that taking part in field trips is one of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the geography programmes at Leeds.
We offer fieldwork opportunities at each level of study and they provide a great opportunity to study a fascinating subject in contrasting environments away from the University. In year 1, fieldwork will be UK-based and in years two and three you’ll have the option to undertake fieldwork overseas.
During field trips, you’ll learn essential fieldwork and team working skills and transferable skills that will prove invaluable to your future career.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.<p><h3>Modules</h3><p><strong>Year 1</strong></p><p><strong>Compulsory modules </strong></p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1000">Planet Under Threat</a> – 20 credits</p><p>In this module you will study some of the key environmental challenges facing humanity and the wider biosphere from both social and natural science perspectives. Combining aspects of physical and human geography, you will explore specific environmental challenges such as climate change and global warming, biodiversity loss and species extinction, deforestation and desertification, flooding and extreme weather, food and energy shortages, resource and territory conflicts, migration, and climate refugees.</p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1400">Digital Geographies</a> – 20 credits</p><p>This exciting module offers students a beginner’s guide to the important and rapidly changing world of geographical data analysis. Students will learn core practical skills essential to geography in the 21st century, including geographic information systems (computer cartography), data handling, data visualisation, hypothesis testing and statistics. At its heart, the module seeks to give students the skills needed to make sense of the physical world by harnessing the power of geographic data.</p><p>Exploring the Physical Environment – 20 credits</p><p>This module uses a combination of fieldwork and small-group tutorials to develop essential understanding and skills for studying physical geography at university level. A residential fieldtrip to picturesque Malham in the Yorkshire Dales provides practical illustration of concepts taught in the classroom, as well as hands-on experience of practical field techniques.</p><p><strong>Optional modules </strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1040">Dynamic Landscapes</a>* – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1045">Living Earth</a>* – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1550">Population, Society and Space</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1500">Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1450">The Urban Age</a> – 10 credits</li></ul><p>*Choose one or both</p><p><strong>Year 2</strong></p><p><strong>Compulsory modules</strong></p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2024">Field Project: The Dynamic Environment</a>– 10 credits</p><p>The emphasis of this module is on field research including training in field techniques and the formulation of hypotheses for research projects. The module is primarily a field course that explores areas around the UK, or continental Europe (for example Portugal’s Atlantic coast, or the Austrian Alps), depending on conditions at the time. Indicative topics covered in the field include water quality, fluvial geomorphology, water resource management, rock slope stability, beach hydrology, vegetation and soils, geology, national park management, mapping and remote sensing.</p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2015">Career Skills in Geography</a> – 10 credits</p><p>This module provides you with a suite of insights, skills and experiences that will better prepare you for how to use your geography degree in a future career. This includes: developing a professional CV; what to expect at graduate scheme selection days; understanding how the diverse skills possessed by geographers can be most effectively presented to employers; enhanced understanding of the range of employment and other opportunities available to geographers, and how geographical skills can be used effectively in a diversity of workplaces; gaining familiarity with the process of searching, applying and interviewing for a graduate job; and an opportunity to demonstrate skills possessed by geographers whilst undertaking an applied role-playing project and associated pitch presentation.</p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2095">Skills for Physical Geographers</a> – 40 credits</p><p>This module reinforces and builds upon the skills learnt at Level 1, helping students to develop competency in research design, fieldwork, data collection, and specialist geographical analysis such as GIS and remote sensing. In addition, the module helps students to develop high levels of literacy (critical writing skills), numeracy (statistics and modelling), and applied graphicacy (graphing and mapping of data), which are the hallmark of a good geography graduate from a world top-50 university.</p><p><strong>Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below) </strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2080">Earth Surface Processes </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2085">Ecosystems: Process, Pattern, and Change</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2090">Climate Systems</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2062">Sustainability: Living Within Limits</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2020">Political & Development Geographies</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2046">The Making of the Modern City</a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-2055">Citizenship and Identity: Comparative Perspectives</a> – 20 credits</li></ul><h4><strong>Year 3</strong></h4><p><strong>Compulsory modules </strong></p><p><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3605">Physical Geography Dissertation</a> – 40 credits</p><p><strong>Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below) </strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3064">Field Research Project </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3065">Water Science & Management</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3121">Creating Alternative Futures</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3440">Environment, Conflict and Policy</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3669">The Cryosphere</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3690">Tropical forests and sustainable development </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3711">Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3085">Contested Cities</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3140">Advanced Population & Health Geographies</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3981">Spaces of Migration & Encounter</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3005">Retail location Planning </a>– 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3510">Professional Development Project</a> – 20 credits</li><li><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-3535">School and Educational Placements</a> – 20 credits</li></ul></p>
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Laboratory classes, project work and fieldwork allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together, they will equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and you will receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme. Peer mentors are students who are on your course, but are in Years two or three. They’ll help you when you arrive at University and throughout your first year. You’ll meet your peer mentors during your first week for a social activity.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:
Online taster courses
Our Planet Earth: Understanding and Protecting our Environment course is two-week course, delivered via FutureLearn. You will discover the processes of the hydrosphere, the geosphere, and the biosphere and explore the impact of human activity and climate change on our planet.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
As a Geography BSc student at Leeds, you’ll be assessed via a range of methods, designed to allow students with different strengths and interests to excel. Some assessments are based around examinations and essay writing, while there are also reports, presentations, practical exercises, posters, blogs, vlogs, projects (such as the dissertation) and reflective logs.
All assessments are closely tied to the learning objectives of the course to ensure you graduate equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and are structured to help you develop valuable transferable qualities that employers are looking for in the workplace.
Our assessments are reviewed annually to ensure they remain fair and inclusive, and to maintain an element of flexibility within module choices such that you can select a package of learning to best reflect your own learning style and long-term career goals.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A-level: AAB including one of the following subjects: Biology; Chemistry; Computing/Computer Science; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Life and Health Sciences (Double Award only), Marine Science; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Sport Science; Statistics.
Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
GCSE: English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above, or an appropriate English and Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): We recognise the value of this qualification and the effort and skills required to undertake it, where an applicant is taking the EPQ/IPQ/ASCC this may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. The EPQ/IPQ/ASCC taken with A-Levels, for example, could be ABB with an A in the EPQ/IPQ/ASCC.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.
DDD in National Extended Diploma/3 National Extended Certificates in Geography or two relevant subjects. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels. Please contact us for further information.
D2, M2, M2 or D3, M1, M2 including one accepted subject.
35 points overall, with 16 points at higher level to include 5 points in an accepted subject.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
AAAABB/H2H2H2H2H3H3 including one accepted subject.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in an Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers, or AAAABB in Highers. To include one accepted subject.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBB plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
How to apply
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
International: £24,750 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
Additional cost information<p>Because we recognise the value of field experience, the school heavily subsidises or covers transport and accommodation costs for compulsory taught field courses and many optional field trips. You will have to supplement the cost of some optional field trips.</p>
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
A degree from Leeds and the experience you'll gain here will give you the edge to find the career you want. Your course will give you the experience and knowledge that employers are looking for to help you secure a graduate job.
University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research.
Studying geography opens up a wide range of exciting careers. Whether your future career plans lie in environmental management, journalism, the financial sector or nature conservation, our degrees are structured to ensure you develop the key transferable skills sought by graduate recruiters, skills such as: team-working, commercial awareness, report-writing, fluency in oral communication and presentation, numerical analysis, IT expertise and investigative skills.
Examples of recent graduate destinations include:
- Environment Agency
- Thames Water
- Leap Environmental
- Leeds City Council
Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you will be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our strong connections with industry mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in a particular company or sector
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Global Supply Chain Planner, Unilever
- Category Analyst, Kantar
- Assistant Transport Planner, RSK
- Ecological Project Assistant, Middlemarch Environmental Ltd
- Water Management Consultant, Atkins
- Biodiversity and Geomorphology Industrial Placement, Environment Agency
- Weather and Climate Analyst, Arcus FM
- Environmental Safety Industrial Placement, EDF Energy
- Data Management Officer, Barnsley Council
- Risk Strategy Analyst, Lloyds Bank
During your industrial placement, you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.