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Geography BSc (Hons)

Environmental change and the physical processes that affect the natural world increasingly impact on our everyday lives. This hands-on course will provide a solid understanding of the global environment and how problems relating to it prompt us to develop ways to manage and conserve the world around us. You’ll learn how to write critically, how to interpret data, and how to develop as a researcher. Modules span the breadth of geography recognising that issues such as climate change, connect human and physical dimensions of the subject.

Why study this course?

BSc (Hons) Geography provides you with a broad multidisciplinary education in geography. Geography at UCLan explores natural environments, their structures, processes by which they function and interactions between them and humans. It equips you to understand the basis of, and use approaches to, geographical investigation.

The programme will make possible explanation of complex processes which historically shape the physical world, their development in different places, variation and forms of environmental processes, and issues which arise from them, at all scales, from local to global.

Our programmes are designed to provide you with a foundation in Human and Physical Geography at Year 1, which can be developed further in subsequent years where more choices are available. We combine flexibility, which may allow transfer to other degree programmes in the School, with a planned progression in knowledge and skills. There is a balance of compulsory modules to ensure you are equipped with the required skills, with a wide variety of optional modules so that you can follow your own particular areas of geographical interest.

You will take elective (free choice) modules, which offer an excellent opportunity to discover new subjects. The degree is modular, each year comprising six modules. Some modules will be 'core' compulsory and others 'options' selected by you. You decide whether to specialise in Physical Geography (BSc Hons) or Human Geography (BA Hons) or choose a programme that mixes the two. You will develop valuable interdisciplinary skills – analytical, numeracy, special data handling, GIS, ability to communicate complex information succinctly, interpretation, field and lab skills. Strong field work ethos for each module which could see you study abroad in the USA, Canada, China, Poland and Spain looking at issues such as conservation, wildlife, development, resources, culture and natural environment.

Students in Guyana

The first year introduces geography at university level covering study skills as well as how to write critically, how to interpret data, and how to develop as a researcher. Modules span the breadth of geography recognising that issues such as climate change, for example, connect human and physical dimensions of the subject.

Second year compulsory modules cover research skills, soils, and earth surface processes. Optional modules take in geology, geomorphology, climate change, biogeography and GIS. Policy or human geography modules can be integrated into study of physical geography if desired.

Third year modules include the research-based dissertation; a fieldwork module, and; river and water management. Options include environmental impact assessment, soil degradation, carbon management, land contamination, and applied ecology.


boat ride

Students on a field trip - walking 


Exciting OPPORTUNIITES

Professional practice and the use of external speakers from a range of professional backgrounds, as well as visits to relevant outside organisations, plays a key part in our teaching strategies.

Third-year fieldtrips include destinations overseas. Recent fieldtrips have included opportunities to research such issues as: Maasai ways of life in the Kenyan savannah; urban change in Chinese cities, gentrification in Seattle; first nations and mineral development on Vancouver Island in Canada; and the economics of crofting in the Scottish Highlands.

In addition, our students have the option of spending a semester in other institutions, both European and further afield, with the study abroad scheme.

Alongside subject knowledge, the strength of Geography at UCLan lies in the development and application of a range of transferable skills all of which are strongly sought after by employers. Our programmes place a central emphasis on employability and at developing students’ transferable skills.

Our students go into a range of careers, some of which involve use of subject-specific knowledge, eg. planning, teaching, environmental management, conservation, or development agencies. Others utilise transferable skills e.g. resource-based companies, banking, accountancy, retail, local government and management.

Another key destination is postgraduate study e.g. School Direct, PGCE, MA / MSc, PhD, vocational and professional qualifications.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time: Five years.

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:

    FL87

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Fees 2018/19

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

  • View 2017/18 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with  104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • Ecology
  • Human Geography
  • Introduction to Academic Principles
  • Skills for the Field and Laboratory

Year 2

Compulsory Modules

  • Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
  • Soils and the Environment
  • Research Theory and Practice

Plus two optional and one elective modules

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

  • River and Water Management
  • Fieldwork (includes residential fieldtrip)
  • Dissertation (worth two modules in value)

Plus two optional modules

Late Applications

Our Industry Links

The School has strong professional links with the Royal Geographical Society. All undergraduates are encouraged to become student members.


Learning Environment

The Geography programme is designed to provide opportunities for the exchange of ideas and discussion of important issues, as well as for the acquisition of knowledge. Lectures are the basis of the undergraduate programme. Group sizes ranging from around 50 for first year modules to about 20 on some specialist final year modules. Project work, field and presentation work is conducted within small groups. Group work enables students to develop their skills in presentation, to develop competence in analysis and interpretation, to acquire the ability to design and carry out investigative research, expertise in the synthesis ideas and information, report preparation, and organising skills. You will be assigned a personal tutor on arrival at the School. This tutor will remain with you throughout your degree and will provide academic support through scheduled and on demand meetings.

All modules have coursework components that include writing extended papers, or reports, group and individual presentations, data analysis and poster presentations. Geography students are required to undertake a third year dissertation.


Check out what we've been up to ...

Senses Heightened on South American Field Trip
When the opportunity arose for Krishen Chauhan to visit South America on an educational trip, he jumped at the chance.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student travelled to Guyana with eight of his second year geography/environmental management classmates to experience the exotic wildlife and to witness habitat conservation at first-hand.

Students with hard hats on a field trip


Professional Accreditation

Important Information

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2017 Entry | 2018 Entry

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

* Tuition Fees

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.