You will cover developments in the study of climate change, human impacts on the biosphere and the hydro-geomorphological processes that shape physical landscapes.
Throughout your studies you will acquire key skills in environmental mathematics that will enhance your understanding of how different processes shape our environment.
You will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules.
In Year one, you can choose from a range of physical and human geography topics, and then as you progress through your second and final year you have the opportunity to specialise according to your strengths and interests.
You’ll develop a grounding in the core concepts and themes of physical geography, in addition to developing key analytical and writing skills. Optional modules explore environment change in the past-present-future, processes on the earth’s surface, the biosphere, and the interactions between humans and the environment. You will also receive a grounding in environmental mathematics.
You’ll be provided with a core programme of study and research skills, including further environmental mathematics, data analysis and visualisation using Python, and career skills training that you’ll supplement from optional modules that build on all the key themes at level one. You will have a choice of residential fieldwork towards the end of year two where you will learn new field techniques and develop and carry out a field research project as part of a group.
(Optional) One-year 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 and take place between the second and third year. You then return to Leeds to complete your final year.
You’ll be required to undertake a significant independent final year project. You will choose your project topic and will be supported to develop key research questions within your chosen area. Topics can span any aspect of physical geography and recent ones include:
Testing mathematical models of river hydraulics with data from an experimental flume
Assessing the most important controls on upland wildfires using GIS
Understanding how different farming operations affect soil infiltration and flood response
Reconstructing past storm intensity and frequency using proxy data from peat cores
You will complete your last environmental maths module on statistics and computer simulation using Python and will do a compulsory module in Geography on computer modelling of hydrological systems. Together, these modules provide you with industry-relevant experience in the development and testing of environmental models.
In addition, there is a suite of optional modules that cover subjects such as global environmental challenges, understanding the dynamics of the biosphere, water as a resource, glaciers and glaciation, and Earth system science. You will also have the choice to undertake a placement hosted by an industrial partner, within an academic research group, or in a primary or secondary school setting, as one of your final year modules.
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 one you will use Leeds as your ‘laboratory’, carrying out group work around the city you live in and in years two and three you will have the option to undertake fieldwork at a range of destinations.
During field trips you will 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><h3>Year one</h3><p><strong>Compulsory modules </strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1000">Planet Under Threat</a> – 20 credits</strong></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><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1400">Digital Geographies</a> – 20 credits</strong></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><strong>Exploring the Physical Environment – 20 credits</strong></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><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=SOEE-1302">Advanced Mathematics 1</a> – 10 credits</strong></p><p>This module is designed to be a gentle lead-in to University-level environmental maths. It aims to extend what you have learned in A-level Maths on differentiation and integration and to provide a sound base on which you can develop further maths skills later in the course.</p><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=SOEE-1312">Advanced Mathematics 2</a> – 10 credits</strong></p><p>Building on the skills taught in Advanced Maths 1, here you will explore techniques such as vector calculus, Fourier analysis and multi-dimensional integration, all of which can be used to solve numerical problems commonly presented in the simulation of natural environmental processes.</p><p><strong>Optional modules </strong></p><ul><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1040">Dynamic Landscapes</a>* – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1045">Living Earth</a>* – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1550">Population, Society and Space</a> – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1500">Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development</a> – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202122&F=P&M=GEOG-1450">The Urban Age</a> – 10 credits</strong></p></li></ul><p>*Choose one or both</p><p>Find out more about modules in years two and three <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography-undergraduate-module-information/doc/geography-environmental-mathematics-bsc">here</a>.</p></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
You’ll learn through a range of teaching methods, including fieldwork, tutorials (groups up to seven), seminars (groups of up to approximately 30), computer classes, lab practical classes, group-work, online exercises, and lectures, depending on the modules you study.
Independent study is also an important part of this course, and you will develop your research and analytical skills in order to think and work independently.
You'll receive guidance and support throughout your degree, and there will be opportunities for extra support through one-to-one assistance, workshops and skills training.
You will have a personal tutor all the way through your degree. Our Virtual Learning Environment will also 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 will 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 lecture on ‘Geographical perspectives of malaria transmission’ to get a flavour of what it’s like to study physical geography at Leeds.
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 with Environmental Mathematics BSc student at Leeds you will 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.