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Geography BSc

Department of Geography

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry.

Key details

Course description

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On this physical geography course you’ll examine patterns and processes in the natural environment and learn how to tackle contemporary global issues such as environmental pollution and rising sea levels. You’ll develop your understanding of these changes in the context of long-term variability.

You'll apply your knowledge and skills to global challenges such as climate change, the impact of melting ice sheets on global sea level rise, environmental pollution, predicting volcanic activity and earthquakes, and contemporary changes in the context of long-term variability.

We use the space around us as our living laboratory: you'll spend time learning in Sheffield and exploring the Peak District during field classes.

Integral to your degree is field-based learning, independent research and technical training. We'll show you how to use geospatial techniques such as computer programming and satellite observations, and how to use Geographical Information Systems to observe and monitor the Earth.

This BSc will give you the specialist, practical and transferable skills you need for your future career.

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.

Two researchers stand on snow looking up at rock face

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Geography BSc course structure
UCAS code: F800
Years: 2021

Core modules:

Geographical Skills

This module exposes students to key research methods used across the discipline of geography. Tutorials will develop the students' ability to find, analyse, summarise and critically evaluate information and produce written work in an academic style. Lectures will introduce the importance of in-depth interviewing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, questionnaire design, and statistics. Practicals will provide hands-on, skills-based experience of these methods and in data collection, analysis and presentation. Fieldwork will teach observational skills and provide training in typical field methods.

40 credits
Earth, Wind, Ice and Fire

This course is intended to provide an introduction to the general principles of physical geography for students with diverse backgrounds. Part I will aim to give students an understanding of the origin and history of the Earth. It will include explanations of tectonic, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic activity, the history of crustal processes as well as reviewing the development over geological time of the evolution of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Part II will use a systems-based approach to physical geography to examine several other key environmental systems, including the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the cryosphere. It will include explanation of key interactions between physical systems and discussion of the impacts and consequences of system perturbation, such as climate change, over time and space. Part III of the course will introduce concepts of geomorphology as a means to investigate the landforms of the earth; mountains, valleys, slopes, river beds and dunes. It will include explanation of fundamental principles of landscape and landform development considering issues such as temporal and spatial scale, equilibrium and interaction between different landscape processes and components.

20 credits
Environmental Change and Society

This module will introduce students to a wide range of critical environmental issues facing the world today from physical science and social science perspectives. Using a range of environmental problems evident in the Global North and Global South (such as climate change, habitat loss, water resources, land-use change, agriculture), the physical and social processes implicated will be examined. Drawing on a range of examples, students will critically explore the causes, consequences, management and solutions to environmental issues and learn how to question assumptions about environmental processes.

20 credits
Exploring New Horizons in Geography

Geographers actively contribute to intellectual debates across the sciences, social sciences and Humanities addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the modern world, from climate change to food security, informing policy and practice. The module provides a challenging but accessible insight into the origins of the discipline and how these translate into the cutting edge of contemporary geographical research, and how this helps us understand our changing world. Serving as a bridge between the general introductory modules and the more specialist modules taught at levels 2 and 3, this module provides an opportunity for students to engage with topical issues in contemporary human and physical geography led by academics actively engaged in cutting edge research on those subjects.

20 credits

Optional modules:

Exploring Human Geographies

The module provides an introduction to human geography including key principles and processes in economic, social and cultural geography. It describes the main elements and issues involved in the global economic system including the process of uneven development and how local economic activities are moulded by global forces. It also provides an introduction to social and cultural geography focusing on a range of concepts, current debates and contemporary issues. Drawing examples from around the world and at a variety of geographical scales, the module highlights the value of a geographical perspective on current economic, social and cultural issues.

20 credits
Cities

The main aim of Cities is to introduce you to our urban condition in a global context. Within this broad aim we will connect you to a range of key issues in contemporary urban studies and help you to understand more about the roots of urban problems and questions of social inequality and social justice within that context. This a general course that aims to develop an understanding of urban social life, economies, political systems, disorder and a range of other themes in an international context.

10 credits
Housing, Home and Neighbourhood

Housing and the homes and neighbourhoods that we live in are in the news every day. Whether this is over concerns about housing shortages, affordability, housing bubbles, `generation rent', social housing, housing evictions, city-centre housing, DIY and `grand designs', or debates about the domestic sphere, `home as a haven', `benefit streets', flooding and shack settlements, housing is often at the centre of social science research. This module aims to introduce students to this broad and diverse subject by drawing on the expertise of staff who research across these multiple themes. The module focuses on contemporary concerns, while maintaining an appreciation of the impact of historical trends (e.g. the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/8). The module will make use of cases from the UK and abroad to illustrate trends, arguments and challenges.

10 credits


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment

Learning

Our courses combine theory and concepts with hands-on, practical experience. Fieldwork is at the heart of our courses. Multiple fieldwork opportunities allow you to design, conduct and present your own research projects.

Our lectures and seminars are structured to ensure a varied learning experience that is driven by our research expertise, and we also use tutorial-based teaching to support your university journey.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Much of your time will be spent in The Diamond, the University’s dedicated engineering teaching facility. Here, you’ll find lecture theatres, seminar rooms, open plan learning spaces, library services and a number of specialist engineering laboratories. In the Sir Robert Hadfield Building, you will find lecture theatres and other laboratory facilities, including the unique Quarrell Lab where you will do glass melting and metal casting experiments.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of exams, coursework and practical assessment. The proportions of these will vary depending on the modules you choose.

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
AAB

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
ABB

A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB + B in EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths ABB + B in EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths

International Baccalaureate | 34 33

BTEC | DDD in a relevant subject DDD in a relevant subject

Scottish Highers | AAAAB AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA B + AB

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant Social Science or Humanities subject with 45 at level 3 including 36 credits at Distinctions 9 Credits at Merits 60 credits overall in a relevant Social Science or Humanities subject with 45 at level 3 including 30 credits at Distinctions 15 Credits at Merits

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

Equivalent English language qualifications

Visa and immigration requirements

Other requirements
  • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Department of Geography

Student pointing out something by riverside

The Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield is a world leader in teaching and research. We're ranked as one of the top 50 universities in the world for geography according to the QS Rankings 2020.

We have over 30 full-time academic staff in the department. Our high staff-to-student ratio ensures that you receive excellent quality teaching and a high level of pastoral support throughout your studies.

The Department of Geography is housed in an award-winning, purpose-built building on the edge of the beautiful Weston Park, close to the Students' Union and central libraries and lecture theatres.

Facilities

We have a well-equipped computer teaching laboratory, postgraduate and undergraduate physical geography laboratories, and image processing facilities which provide an important component for teaching and research in remote sensing and geographical information systems (GIS).

Our facilities

Department of Geography

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017


Graduate careers

Students on our BSc Geography and MGeogSci Geography courses develop the scientific skills to monitor the physical and environmental processes that shape our world. These practical skills are highly sought after by employers in fields as diverse as sustainability, meteorology, environmental consultancy, GIS analysis, business, policy and government.

Recent graduate destinations have included the Environment Agency, npower, the Met Office, Jacobs and Natural England. Graduates from our physical geography courses also secure positions on postgraduate and research programmes.

Our courses will develop your ability to analyse global problems from a range of perspectives and at different scales. Our students gain geographical and transferable skills that are highly valued by employers.

93% of our geography and environmental science graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduation (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2017).

As well as specialist skills and knowledge, our degrees provide you with transferable skills that are valued by graduate employers, such as handling data, communicating complex issues, and managing projects from start to finish. Other graduates have used these assets to secure employment in teaching, law, patenting, finance and banking.

Careers and employability on the Department of Geography website

Fieldwork

Through field classes, you will continue to advance and deepen your understanding of the relation between theories, real problems and practical solutions. Fieldwork is embedded throughout our programmes as part of modules – from day trips exploring our local geography in Sheffield and the Peak District, to site visits and trips further afield in the UK.

All of our core field classes in Year One and Year Two are included in your tuition fees; optional field classes in Year Three are not included in the fees. In the interests of inclusivity, we run these trips at a range of prices, with domestic options available to reduce costs and carbon emissions. We also provide financial support for students via our departmental scholarship scheme.

A fully-funded residential field class

In your second year of study, you will get the opportunity to develop and apply your research skills on a residential field class, which is included in your course fees. Field class destinations vary, but in previous years: BA Geography students have had the opportunity to study cultural and urban geographies in Berlin or development geographies in Morocco. BSc and MGeogSci Geography students have visited Almeria in southern Spain to research dryland, fluvial and coastal processes.

Exploring the Peak District and Sheffield

The Department of Geography is located in an amazing natural laboratory where you will have the opportunity to explore, study and learn about the physical landscape of the Peak District National Park, and environmental processes and issues across the region. Situated in Sheffield – a post-industrial city with emerging cultural industries and a diverse population – the department also has human geography fieldwork opportunities on its doorstep.

In this optional, unassessed module, you can participate in a series of short field trips into Sheffield and the Peak District to engage with local agencies and communities, develop your field research skills and learn about our local region. You can opt into as many or as few of these classes as you wish. There is no assessment because this module is an optional extra, but you will be given a field notebook to develop your notetaking and observational skills.

Fees and funding

Fees

Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
www.ucas.com

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

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Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2021-2022