Students examine a woodland path as part of an urban exploration field class
Photo by Ben Giles, Matobo Films

Geography BA

Department of Geography

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You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry.

Key details

Course description

Two students interview a Sheffield resident

This human geography course offers a critical and creative exploration of our relationship to space, society, politics, culture and identity. We'll show you how to apply geographical concepts and skills to global challenges such as climate change, poverty and inequality, geopolitical uncertainty, social change, urbanisation and food insecurity.

This BA will give you the specialist, practical and transferable skills you need for your future career. Typically our human geography graduates progress to careers in central and local government, NGOs, education, sustainability, business, journalism and policy.

Integral to your degree is field-based learning, independent research and training in qualitative, quantitative and geospatial research methods. We use the space around us as our living laboratory: you'll spend time in the field exploring the human geographies of post-industrial Sheffield and uncovering the impact of human activities such as food production on the stunning natural landscape of the Peak District National Park.

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.

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 BA course structure
UCAS code: L700
Years: 2021

Core modules:

Living with Environmental Change

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, habit 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
Why Geography Matters

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
Geographical Skills, Methods and Techniques

Geographers are well-known for having a versatile set of practical and transferable skills. This module teaches students key research methods from across the discipline. Small tutorials, run by academic staff, are used to develop skills in finding, presenting, analysing, and critically evaluating complex information. Lectures introduce students to Geographical Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, questionnaire design, statistics, and in-depth interviewing. Workshops provide the chance to practice skills and get to grips with industry-standard software. Finally, fieldwork experience provides hand-on training in key methods used in the field.

40 credits
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

Optional modules:

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
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, urban order/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, Covid lockdown, 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. Typically, there are multiple fieldwork opportunities, which allow you to design, conduct and present your own research projects.

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.

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 the EPQ; ABB + B in Core Maths ABB + B in the 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 credtis at Level 3, including 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit 60 credits overall in a relevant Social Science or Humanities subject, with 45 credtis at Level 3, including 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit

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/C

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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 2022
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 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017


Department of Geography

Top 10 in the world for geography

ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021

Top 50 in the world for geography

QS World University Rankings By Subject 2021


Graduate careers

Graduates from our BA Geography course develop the ability to understand and address complex social, political and cultural challenges. Working at the intersection between people and place, our graduates typically go on to careers in policy and government, education, international development, journalism, social research, business and consultancy.

Recent graduate destinations have included the Department for International Development, Deloitte, The Guardian, Transport for London and the British Red Cross.

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.

Our field classes give you practical experiences and training in diverse environments. We take an ethical and sustainable approach to planning destinations and consider the impact on local communities and the environment.

Organising domestic destinations for field classes keeps costs low for students and minimises our carbon footprint. Due to the impact of Covid-19 on countries and travel worldwide we can’t promise international destinations for field classes, but this is not ruled out as a possibility.

All of our core field classes in the first and second year are funded by the department . Optional field classes in your third year are not funded by the department. We provide financial support for students via our departmental scholarship scheme.

A fully-funded residential field class

In your second year of study, you will typically get the opportunity to develop and apply your research skills on a residential field class, funded by the department. This field class is normally embedded in the core module that delivers training in research design.

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.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Our student protection plan

Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

Explore this course:

    2022-2023