Four students study their notes during fieldwork in New Zealand

Geography MGeogSci

Department of Geography

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    You are viewing this course for 2022-23 entry. 2023-24 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

    Man working in a Geography laboratory

    On this four-year physical geography course with an integrated masters, you'll examine patterns and processes in the natural environment and learn how to tackle contemporary global issues, such as climate change, environmental pollution and rising sea levels. You'll develop your understanding of these changes in the context of long-term variability.

    Integral to your degree is field-based learning, independent research and technical training. We use the space around us as our living laboratory: you'll spend time learning in Sheffield and exploring the Peak District National Park during field classes. We'll show you how to use geospatial techniques such as computer programming and satellite observations, and how to use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to observe and monitor the Earth.

    The first three years follow the same structure as the BSc Geography. In your fourth year, you'll carry out your own advanced research project as part of an active research group. You'll benefit from the expertise of a network of academics and you'll have the chance to develop your professional and research skills.

    This MGeogSci will give you the specialist, practical and transferable skills you’ll need for your future career. Typically our physical geography graduates progress to careers in research, sustainability, meteorology, environmental consultancy, GIS analysis, business, policy and government.

    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

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

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

    Title: Geography MGeogSci course structure
    UCAS code: F804
    Years: 2022, 2023

    Core modules:

    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
    Earth, Wind, Ice and Fire

    This module introduces the general principles of physical geography for students with diverse backgrounds.  We will use a systems-based approach to physical geography to examine several key environmental systems, including the geosphere, atmosphere, and the cryosphere. It will include explanation of key interactions between physical systems and discussion of the impacts and consequences of system alterations, such as climate change, over time and space.  The course will introduce concepts of geomorphology to investigate the landforms of the earth; mountains, valleys, slopes, riverbeds, and dunes, leading to the consideration of landscape and landform development over varying temporal and spatial scales.

    20 credits
    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

    Geography helps us plan for the future by investigating social and physical processes as they interconnect from the past through to the present. Geographers actively contribute to contemporary debates across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  We address 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. Because you will be exposed to a wide range of topical areas and multiple approaches to these you will have the opportunity to enhance your understanding of the contexts and perspectives that inform  decision making and how those decisions can result in greater or lesser social justice.  You will also be able to develop your ability to apply knowledge to real world examples.

    20 credits

    Optional modules:

    Exploring Human Geographies

    The module provides an introduction to key principles, relations and processes that contribute to social, cultural, economic and environmental aspects of human geography.  It looks at spatial patterns of power, inequality and interdependence produced by economic and cultural globalisation, how those are experienced at the local scale, and how they have changed over time.  It outlines key concepts and current debates shaping how human geographers approach these issues by drawing on examples from around the world and at a variety of geographical scales.  It highlights the value of a geographical perspective on the world we live in.

    20 credits
    Cities

    The main aim of Cities and Inequality  is to introduce you to our urban condition in a global context, with particular attention to the multiple forms of inequality that pervade urban life. Drawing on a wide range of expertise within the Department, we will introduce 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 differentiation and injustice in a range of global urban contexts. The course also aims to develop students' capacity for comparative urban analysis

    10 credits
    Housing, Home and Neighbourhood

    Issues relating to housing, homes, streets 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. The module introduced students to various concepts and debates relating to housing, as well as indicating the linkages to housing and urban policy.

    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.

    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

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAA
    including Geography or another science subject

    A Levels + additional qualifications AAB + B in the EPQ; AAB + B in Core Maths

    International Baccalaureate 36

    BTEC Extended Diploma D*DD in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AAAAA

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels A + AA

    Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall in a relevant Social Science or Humanities subject, with 45 credtis at Level 3, including 39 credits at Distinction and 6 credits at Merit

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 4/C

    • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB

    A Levels + additional qualifications AAB + B in the EPQ; AAB + B in Core Maths

    International Baccalaureate 34

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AAAAB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA

    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

    Other requirements
    • GCSE Maths grade 4/C

    • GCSE Maths grade 4 or grade C

    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 qualifications | UK and EU/international

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

    Department of Geography

    Our department building on the edge of Western Park

    The Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield is a world leader in teaching and research. We're ranked within the top 50 universities in the world for geography according to the QS Rankings 2021 and within the top 10 in the world for geography by the ShanghaiRanking Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021.

    We are experts in the fields of social justice and environmental change. We explore our dynamic, diverse world to address humanity’s greatest problems, from food waste to melting ice sheets. Our innovative research and practice-based learning will equip you with distinct, relevant professional skills.

    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

      92 per cent of our research is rated in the highest two categories
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Destinations for field classes may change from year to year in response to our course content, our world-leading research, reviews, feedback from students or wider global events. We will contact students in advance of any changes to our field classes.

    We aim to make our field classes as inclusive as possible. For this reason, all costs for the core field classes at Levels 1 and 2 and the optional UK-based field classes at Level 3 are met by the department. This includes the costs of travel, accommodation and food during your residential stay.

    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

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    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

    2022-2023