Environmental Geography (BSc)

Entry year

2018/19 2019/20

Environmental Geography is a broad discipline encompassing the significant aspects of the Earth sciences that address global issues.

Environmental geography is the study of the interaction between humans and the natural environment. Using their distinctive skills set, environmental geographers are able to explain how Earth functions as a system, one with a long history, an ever-changing present and a future affected by our actions.

The skills and understanding of environmental geographers make them uniquely placed to solve complex and wide-ranging environmental problems that arise in the landscape. This degree will help you to develop these skills and perspectives by providing opportunities for conducting fieldwork in a range of exciting environments and for conducting cutting-edge research with leading scientists in environmental geography.

 

NOTE: As an alternative to the conventional three-year BSc course, there are four-year MESci and MESci (International) schemes. These focus on research training and critical analysis, making students who take these programmes very employable in a range of professions. Both feature a master’s research dissertation in year four and the international MESci includes a year studying at a university overseas.

Distinctive features

This programme involves a common first term allowing you to experience aspects of Earth Sciences and Geography before finally deciding upon which honours degree course you wish to pursue.

We currently offer two overseas fieldtrips on each programme with travel and accommodation costs covered by your tuition fees. Plenty of fieldwork is also carried out locally in South Wales and the UK.

South Wales is a fascinating area in which to explore environmental geography. From the mountains in the north to the great tidal estuary in the south, the area encompasses a huge range of natural environments and consequently provides us with abundant practical study opportunities.

A major summer project between years two and three actively encourages you to devise and design your own independent research.

“The School offered excellent teaching and fantastic field trips including Scotland, the Netherlands and Tenerife, along with a high level of academic flexibility, allowing me to adapt and focus my learning to meet my individual needs.”

Victoria Evans, BSc Environmental Geoscience 2009 and MSc Applied Environmental Geology at Cardiff 2010

Key facts

UCAS CodeK32H
Next intakeSeptember 2018
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 150 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 740 applications.
Contact

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerBBB, including two sciences (from Chemistry, Physics, Biology,Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Physical Education (PE), Psychology, or Sports Science) and, where applicable, a pass in the practical element of the science A level. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.   
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerThe Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer30 points, including two sciences at HL from from Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Applied Science, Environmental Studies, Archaeology, Computing, ICT, Psychology, Physical Education (PE), or Sports Science
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsYou will require GCSE Maths at grade C or grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4. 

We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2018 and this page will be updated by end of October 2018 to reflect the changes.

This is a three-year full-time degree. Years one and two contain compulsory modules and there are some options in year three.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2018/19 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2018. You are advised to check the final module descriptions when they are available to ensure that the programme meets your needs.

Year one

The programme structure is very flexible. All of our Earth and ocean science degree programmes share a common first semester. This is designed to give you a sound foundation in Earth sciences upon which we build your knowledge in environmental geography. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.

At the end of your first semester you will decide whether to continue with your original degree choice or choose another of our Earth science degrees.

You will be given the framework for explaining the functioning of the Earth system, including the controls on global climate. You will also learn about anthropogenic issues such as pollution, including its causes, assessment, monitoring and clean-up.

You will study the basics of Earth science necessary for your degree as well as an introduction to maps, topological work and geomorphology. Your first year will also include modules in environmental chemistry and biological systems.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Planet EarthEA120110 credits
Earth Surface ProcessesEA120220 credits
Dangerous EarthEA120310 credits
Geographical Information SystemsEA120410 credits
Environmental Geography Field SkillsEA120620 credits
Chemistry of the EnvironmentEA121210 credits
Biological EnvironmentsEA121310 credits
Geographical Data AnalysisEA121410 credits
Science and Policy for GeographersEA121510 credits
Fundamentals of Environmental GeographyEA121610 credits

Year two

In year two the modules you will take are chosen to provide a wide knowledge base and transferable skills base to make you as employable as possible in a competitive job market. In total you will earn 120 credits for the year, through a mixture of 10-credit and 20-credit modules.

You will study a wide variety of modules that include basic terrestrial and marine ecology, soils, biogeochemistry and landscape evolution. There is an emphasis on skills in sampling, data collection and analysis, and much of this is field-based.

Other important training includes the use of Geographical Information Systems and the planning, execution and reporting of project work. Local fieldwork in the spring will bring many of these skills together in preparation for your main degree project.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Environmental Field SkillsEA221120 credits
Pedology and GeoecologyEA221210 credits
Process GeomorphologyEA221310 credits
BiogeochemistryEA221410 credits
Environmental PollutionEA221510 credits
Ocean Atmosphere SystemEA221620 credits
Marine EcosystemsEA221710 credits
Coastal Processes and GeomorphologyEA221810 credits
Water in the EnvironmentEA221920 credits

Year three

In the final year, you will complete your project work, presenting it in the form of a professional report. There are a few compulsory modules, but most are optional, allowing you to follow your own interests and aspirations within environmental geography.

As in previous years, the final year consists of a mixture of taught knowledge and skills. In this final part of your degree, the emphasis is on synthesis, bringing together the separate strands, skills and interests to encourage a more holistic understanding of the subject.

Optional final-year modules will vary from year to year and there are sometimes restrictions in availability due to lack of demand, oversubscription, timetable clashes or the need for you to have taken certain other modules first. Examples might include e.g., Groundwater Science, Evolutionary Geoecology, Global Geomorphology, Glaciology, Environmental Management Science and Policy

Module titleModule codeCredits
Global GeomorphologyEA310310 credits
Environmental Case StudiesEA310810 credits
Environmental Geography FieldworkEA320910 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Environmental Management, Science and PolicyEA311010 credits
Integrated Coastal ManagementEA311410 credits
Water ResourcesEA311710 credits
Engineering GeologyEA312310 credits
GeomicrobiologyEA313210 credits
Environmental LawEA313410 credits
Hazards and RiskEA313910 credits
Earth and Environmental Science ProjectEA314130 credits
Earth and Environmental Science Placement ProjectEA314230 credits
Coral Reef SystemsEA314510 credits
GlaciologyEA314610 credits
PaleoclimateEA314710 credits
Marine MicrofossilsEA322710 credits
Marine Conservation ScienceEA323310 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

The School of Earth and Ocean Sciences has an excellent tradition of teaching, delivered by lecturers who are experts in their field. In addition the School is able to maintain a friendly and informal approach brought about by staff-student interactions during fieldwork.

The modular course structure enables the School to offer an exciting and relevant spectrum of vocational degree courses. These cover a wide range of modern geosciences from the traditional geology approach to the more industry-focused exploration and resource geology, through to the equally applied environmental geoscience and water-borne marine geography.

The first semester is common to all degree programmes and you then confirm your chosen course in January of your first year. This offers you a chance to sample university teaching styles before committing to a particular degree or pathway.

Teaching in the School is conducted by a variety of methods:

  • formal lectures
  • laboratory practicals
  • IT practicals
  • fieldwork.

Formal lectures and practical classes have an emphasis on students taking ownership of their own learning programme and ‘learning how to learn’.

Fieldwork is a vital format for understanding the Earth sciences and all students go on at least one residential field trip each academic year as well as numerous specialist day trips. Currently Environmental Geography students take part in residential trips to:

  • Snowdonia National Park in year one to study the impacts of glaciations on the modern environment
  • the Netherlands in year two to study water management and coastal defences
  • the Alps, in the final year to further our understanding of geomorphology, hazards, soils, water, sustainability, climate and biomes

Students undertake a major summer project between years two and three, which involves independent research to develop knowledge and understanding of the physical, biological, and chemical controls on the environment.

The School offers a number of different potential projects from which you can choose, but students are actively encouraged to devise and design their own projects. Students often choose or devise projects that relate to the environment close to their homes, but some choose projects that take them abroad to the Mediterranean, Africa or the USA.

 

How will I be supported?

All students are assigned a personal tutor who will hold timetabled tutorials: fortnightly in year one and monthly during other years. Your tutor will be a specialist in your degree course and will advise you on both academic and pastoral matters.

You will have a nominated supervisor for your major final year project.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.

Where facilities exist your lectures will be videoed for you to further study in your own time.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

FEEDBACK

You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations.

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed to test knowledge and understanding through:

  • practical assignments
  • essay assignments
  • fieldwork
  • oral presentations
  • dissertation
  • formal examinations.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • systematic understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of Environmental Geography and the need for integration of knowledge from cognate sciences
  • use knowledge and scientific, evidence-based methods in data analysis, interpretation and presentation
  •  

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding, subject to a limited degree of student choice, on all aspects of Earth system science

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • show practical field skills covering a range of environments and circumstances and be able to place these in a spatial and temporal context
  • show practical skills in information technology and geographical information system applications, fieldwork, data collection techniques and project management

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret qualitative and quantitative data in a variety of problem-solving situations

 

Based on responses from the 2016-17 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 90% of  Earth and ocean science graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation, with others taking time out to travel.

Typical jobs for graduates include engineering geologist, environmental consultant, hydrogeologist, geotechnical engineer, exploration geologist, hydrographic surveyor and scientific diver.

Employers included local government plus companies and organisations such as the Environment Agency, BAM Construct UK, Airbus and Wales and West Utilities.

Jobs

  • Environmental Advisor
  • Software Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Pollution Monitor

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£9,000None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2018/19)

Tuition feeDepositNotes
£19,950None

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes and Medical and Dental courses. Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Additional costs

Fieldwork is free but you may be asked to make a small contribution if food is provided.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

Specialist equipment for working in the field and any other equipment appropriate for your degree will be provided by the School.

Accomodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

No

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