Geography and Environmental Science Course Subject Degree GuideSee All Subject Degree Guides
Geography is a complicated subject and refers to the study of the Earth, regarding its physical makeup, the people who populate it and the structure. Geography can be divided into two branches: physical geography, which is the science of the earth and incorporates the study of the Environment and Geology, and Human Geography, which involves people and their movements, from population trends and migration.
Geography also overlaps other areas of science, such as ecology and meteorology, human geography intersects with sociology and politics. Due to geography’s interdisciplinary nature, the subject relates to a variety of other fields ranging from earth science to anthropology and biology.
What A Levels do I need?
Most universities do not require all geography students to have this subject at A-Level grade, and the university entry requirements for geography degrees tend to reflect the nature of the course. Therefore a physical geography related course may ask for students to have a science subject, or a human-based geography degree will prefer students with social sciences.
Students are advised to check with their university and desired courses to understand what is needed to gain admission, this is why it is essential for students to research and compare universities so they choose the right university that interests them best as an individual.
Universities are looking for candidates who have an interest in the environment and the world, an open mind to both human and physical geography, and an understanding of scientific logic, methods, principle and research.
You can also see our Geography personal statement examples; these will help you to gain an insight into what you need for your personal statement.
What are my study options?
Students can study geography on its own, a branch of geography or students can complete a joint degree programme that has two subjects together. Degrees are also available as a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Bachelor’s of Science degree, such as BA geography (social science), BSc geography (natural science), BA human and social geography and BA physical geography – (Learn more – What is a Bachelor’s degree).
Students, depending on the nature of their course will probably gain an insight into both branches of geography, to grasp a basic understanding before studying further into the subject in other years of study.
Students may likely study why human and physical environments appear as they are, how they operate and how they were formed. Secondly, how and why patterns of physical features differ from place to place around the globe. Lastly, individuals may learn how to observe, analyse, represent, interpret, describe and report information about the world.
What should I expect from studying Geography?
Geography encompasses many different aspects of the world, and students who want to pursue an education in all things about the world and why it is the way it is should consider this degree subject.
Some universities encourage students to seek work placements or even include them within the course. These placements will help individuals gaining a wealth of experience, and will stand in good stead for future employment opportunities (Learn more – Is having a placement good for your degree).
Furthermore, field trips are part of the learning process when students carry out actual research, meaning students will gain a healthy balance of practical and theoretical learning throughout the degree.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment differs dependent on the course; however, students should expect a combination of examinations, coursework and practical work evaluation from fieldwork and workshops.
What skills will I learn from studying Geography?
Individuals will gain skills in research, data collection, analysis, fieldwork, teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills (including presentation, writing and debating) as well as intellectual skills such as evaluating theories and judging evidence.
Students who attend university will gain skills that are transferable later in life and through employment, such as time-management, organisation and social skills through presentations and group work.
Why study Geography?
Candidates who are interested in climate change, natural disasters and why the Earth is changing will be best suited for this type of degree. A Human Geography degree is ranked extremely high across the world in institutions – it is an important subject that is valued and respected worldwide.
The world is changing; from natural disasters to global warming, and Geography Studies is the answer to getting to the bottom of these problems.
What happens after I graduate?
A degree in geography will equip individuals with a strong set of analytical and research skills, which will be highly sought after by employers across the board.
Geography graduates can choose to join the career ladder in a number of career sectors, from conservation, town planning to tourism and marketing.
Will it help me get a job?
Studying this degree can aid candidates in seeking employment in an array of areas including; local government, the Environment Agency, and many areas of research consultancies and business.
What types of jobs can I get from studying Geography?
Particular jobs available through gaining a degree in Geography include; Planning and Development, Cartographer, Surveyor, Teacher, International Aid and Development, Town Planner, Market Research and Landscape Architect.
What can I study after Geography?
Individuals who wish to continue with their studies after they graduate can gain a Master’s programme in the following: geography, ecology, life and environment sciences, meteorology and climatology, climate change and sustainability, aquatic science and land management.
Famous Geography studies alumni
Michael Jordan, the notorious basketball player, studied geography at the University of North Carolina, USA and our very own Prince William studied geography at St. Andrew’s University
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