More in this section Geography

Geography BA

UCAS code L700
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Geography »

 

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.

Core modules

Year 1

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.

Year 2

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.

Year 3

Independent Dissertation

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.

Optional modules

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.

Year 1

Only core modules taken

Year 2

Environmental Systems

Earth Surface Processes and Hazards

Environmental Change

Biogeography

Political Geography

Cities - Society, Economy and Space

Cultural Geography

Perspectives on Development

Year 3

Coastal and Wetland Management

Tropical Savannas

Mediterranean Landscapes

Conservation Biogeography

Global Warming

Wetland Environments

Managing River Environments

Glacial Environments

Digital Landscapes

Arid Africa - Climatic History

Holocene Rivers and Society

People And The Ice Age

Humans and Climate Change

Mammals in a Changing World

Volcanoes

Regeneration and Urban Policy

The Geographies Of Commodities

Post-Capitalist Cities

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

Creative Geographies

Geographies of Home

Fairtrade and Ethical Consumption

Cities and Development in the Global South

Mobilities

Challenging Development? Disasters, Conflict and Human (In)Security

Critical GIS

Cultural Imaginations of Nature

The course has a modular structure, whereby students take four course units per year. Some course units are compulsory while others are options, thereby offering flexibility and choice.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and small seminar groups, tutorials and practical workshops. The department has a substantial and varied programme of field training and laboratory work, giving you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge in a practical setting. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources including the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle, which provides a wide range of supporting materials.

We use a range of assessment models to suit different learning styles, from fieldwork exercises and reports and individual and group presentations to coursework essays and examinations. In your final year you will have the opportunity to write a research-led dissertation.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB

The offer given will take into consideration:

  • Subjects taken at A-level.
  • The educational context in which academic achievements have been gained.
  • Whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken.
  • At least five GCSE passes at grade A*-C including English and Mathematics. 
Required/preferred subjects

Preferred: Geography

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 6,5,5 at Higher Level with a minimum of 32 points overall.
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject.
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction in a related subject plus 1 A level grade B .
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A levels grade BB.
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate - Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
Scottish Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers, in combination with Highers at the published level.

Scottish Highers

AABBB in Highers, in combination with Advanced Highers at the published level.

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 at Higher Level.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass in a relevant subject with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit. Please note that the Access to the Higher Education Diploma will only be acceptable if the applicant has had a considerable break from education.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements


IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores. For equivalencies please see here

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Study Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London and you’ll graduate with excellent employability prospects in a range of different sectors.

The Department maintains excellent industry links, giving students the opportunity to take part in graduate placements in a variety of fields. You’ll graduate with a range of skills including analytical, research and team working abilities that will make you a highly employable candidate and our dynamic research culture means you'll be well placed for postgraduate study. We have excellent careers support in place, and recent alumni have gone on to enjoy careers in wildlife conservation, coastal management and even the media.       

  • Graduate from a Geography department ranked among the best for employability.
  • 90% of Royal Holloway graduates in work or further education within six months of graduating.
  • Excellent industry links provide the opportunity for graduate placements and work experience. 

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.

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