Geography concerns far more than just the physical makeup of our world. Study Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll examine the social, political and economic aspects of geography as well as environmental and landscape issues.
This flexible programme lets you tailor your learning in years 2 and 3, offering optional modules including Political Geography, Tropical Savannahs and Gender and Development to suit your interests and ambitions. You’ll enjoy a range of fieldwork opportunities in the UK and abroad giving you the chance to bond with fellow students in a close, community-focussed department.
You’ll study in a department ranked 2nd in the UK for research by the Research Excellence Framework 2014, benefitting from world class research-led teaching by leading academics. You’ll use state-of-the-art equipment, with world-class facilities for GIS, image analysis, advanced cartography and the physical and chemical analysis of soils, sediments and water.
Pursue your passion for Geography at Royal Holloway and you’ll graduate as an attractive prospect for employers in a variety of sectors, environmental conservation and NGOs to media relations and the Civil Service. You’ll develop a diverse portfolio of skills to take into your future career or postgraduate study, and enjoy a rewarding three years challenging and questioning key aspects of contemporary society.
- Enjoy extensive fieldwork opportunities in locations currently including Andalusia, Sicily, Cyprus, Malawi, London and New York.
- Join a department which has consistently received high student satisfaction results in every National Student Survey (NSS) since 2011.
- Be part of a supportive learning environment, with small group seminars and tutorials encouraging development and cooperation.
- Graduate with excellent employment prospects in a variety of fields.
Physical Geography 1 - Atmosphere, Oceans and the Geosphere
In this module you will develop and understanding of the factors that control the physical, biological and chemical forces which shape the Earth’s surface. You will look at oceanic and atmospheric processes, plate tectonics, hydrology and coastal processes, glaciation, and arid environments.
Physical Geography 2 - Biogeography, Ecology and Scales of Change
In this module you will develop an understanding the complexity of the relationship between people and environment. You will examine how and why ecosystems vary spatially and the impact of human activity, such as deforestation and agriculture, on the physical environment. You will also consider the nature of environmental change, including climatology.
Human Geography 1 - Cultures, Economies, Histories
In this module you will engage with key issues in human geography. You will consider human geography as a distinctive way to approach the world, examining key questions about globalisation, inequality, identity and the nature of place. You will look at approaches to economic, cultural and historical geography, and the development of the discipline, celebrating geographers’ active involvement in the challenges facing humanity.
Human Geography 2 - Politics, Society, Development and Environments
This module will introduce you to human geographical perspectives on political processes, societies, development and the environment. You will develop an appreciation of the importance of scale, networks and spatial patterns, and how geographers have approached the challenges of inequality at local, national and global scales.
Geographical Field and Research Training 1
In this module you will develop your practical research skills on a week-long fieldtrip to Andalusia in Southern Spain. You will spend four days, guided by staff, looking at specific local examples of physical, environmental, social, economic and cultural processes. You will then spend two days, working in small groups, conducting a short piece of original research on a topic of your choice.
Geographical Techniques 1
This module will provide you with an introduction to the methods for collecting, interpreting and presenting physical and human geographical information, in both the field and in the laboratory. You will conduct physical and human geography fieldwork in the local area, with activities including surveying and mapping, vegetation sampling and identification, soil and water analysis, interpreting past history, exploratory and inferential data analysis, questionnaire design, interviewing, and visual and textual interpretation.
Digital Geographies - Introduction to Remote Sensing and GIS
This module will provide you with an introduction to the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in physical and human geographical research, giving you practical experience in the use of ArcMap (an industry-leading GIS software package). You will look at the use of satellite remote sensing for geomorphological mapping, census classifications and boundaries, and volunteered geographic information.
Geographical Techniques 2
In this module you will develop your skills in research design, data collection and analysis. You will learn how to handle and process advanced human or physical geography data sets, and further your ability to apply geographical information systems (GIS) techniques. You will also start to plan your dissertation, thinking about proposal design, and risk and research ethics assessments.
Geographical Field Training 2
In this module you will have the opportunity to conduct field research in Cyprus, Malawi, New York, Sicily or London, with each destination focussing on a different area of Geography. You will develop your ability to analyse and problem-solve in the field, collecting, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence.
The dissertation gives you an opportunity to undertake an individual piece of geographical research, on a topic of your choice, around 10,000 words in length. You will be allocated a member of staff as a dissertation adviser who will provide advice on research design, data collection and analysis.
In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
Only core modules taken
Earth Surface Processes and Hazards
Cities - Society, Economy and Space
Perspectives on Development
Coastal and Wetland Management
Managing River Environments
Arid Africa - Climatic History
Holocene Rivers and Society
People And The Ice Age
Humans and Climate Change
Mammals in a Changing World
Regeneration and Urban Policy
The Geographies Of Commodities
Geopolitics of Media and Communications
Images of Earth - from Homer to Google
Exploration, Science and Making of Geography
Geography of Museums and Collections
Geopolitics on Film
Geographies of Home
Fairtrade and Ethical Consumption
Cities and Development in the Global South
Challenging Development? Disasters, Conflict and Human (In)Security
Cultural Imaginations of Nature
Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250
International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600
Other essential costs***: £750 to £2000 (All students studying for this degree will have the opportunity in their first year to go abroad for no additional cost. In years 2 and 3 students may chose to participate in fieldwork abroad that would incur additional costs. However, it is possible to complete the degree programme with no addditional fieldwork costs.)
How do I pay for it? Find out more.
*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.
**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.