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Geography (Human) and Planning (BSc)

Entry year


Explore the changing nature of space and place and help solve the major social and development issues affecting communities in the UK and around the world.

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Course overview

This course, which is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (dependent upon the modules selected), provides you with a broad-based spatial education that combines the problem-solving approaches of planning with the topical insights of geography.

As well as forging strong links between the geography and planning disciplines, the BSc Geography (Human) and Planning course has been specifically designed to provide you with key employability skills that will support you in an increasingly competitive labour market. You will gain an understanding of global, national and local processes of change, key environmental, social, cultural, political and economic trends and the role that planning plays in shaping their effects on different places.

The course examines the changing nature of spaces and places, the relationship between society and space, and the roles of the state. Placing local and national issues in a global context, the course covers topics which range from environmental change in the UK, and economic and social change in Wales, to regional and international development.

The course combines an appreciation of transnational spatial change with detailed case study work, through field study visits, away days and projects. It fosters an understanding of the main geographical trends in the world today, along with the analytical skills needed to study spatial change. At the same time, students are expected to link the insights derived from the geography modules to the more specific concerns of urban and regional planning.

Field study visits are a key aspect of our Geography (Human) and Planning programme.  Previous destinations include Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Tanzania.

Distinctive features

  • The opportunity to study in a School ranked in the top 100 globally for Geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019) and 8th for Town and Country Planning and Landscape (The Times and Sunday Times University League Table 2019).
  • Comprehensive coverage of both Human Geography and Planning.
  • Programme accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
  • The opportunity to study in a School consistently highly rated for its research excellence.
  • Taught by internationally respected and research-active staff .
  • Excellent relationships and links with planning institutions, especially in Wales
  • Access to a laboratory with high-quality printing facilities, GIS (Geographic Information System) and Edina digimap mapping facilities.
  • Engagement with experts from professional practice who assist in the delivery of several modules.
  • International field study visit option (previous destinations include Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York and Tanzania) to explore issues from real world case studies and to practically apply taught skills.

Accreditations

UCAS codeLK74
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe School admits c180 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Top 100 globally for Geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019) and 8th for Town and Country Planning and Landscape (The Times and Sunday Times University League Table 2019)

Entry requirements

The entry requirements shown are for students starting in 2019. Entry requirements for 2020 will be available in August 2019.

ABB - BBB. Please note that Critical Thinking and General Studies will not be accepted.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM. All BTEC Extended Diplomas acceptable. 

665 from 3 Higher Level subjects.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Geography & Planning admissions criteria pages.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

GCSE English Language Grade C or 4, IGCSE English First Language grade C, IGCSE English as a Second Language grade C.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Field study visits are included in your fees in year one and year two, but you will be required to subsidise trips in year three.

In year two, one field trip to a European city is included in your fees.  In year three, the global cities field study visits are subsidised by 66%. Students have previously contributed around £400 to the costs.

You should expect to cover the costs of local travel and subsistence on all field study visits.

Accommodation

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

Course structure

This is a three-year full-time degree. Year one modules are compulsory. Years two and three contain compulsory and optional modules. You will need to earn 120 credits a year. Modules are usually worth 20 credits, although some are worth 10 and the final-year dissertation is worth 30 credits.

There are four core modules on the RTPI-accredited route with a choice of seven optional.  For the non-accredited route there are two core and a choice of 11 optional.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

You will be introduced to the core areas of geography and planning, covering issues such as the nature of geographical thinking and globalisation alongside the core elements of planning. You will also develop the essential skills for accessing and processing information which will underpin the rest of your academic journey.

Although you need to earn 120 credits, year one is an introductory year and the modules do not count towards the grade of your final degree.

Year two

The second year builds on year one, looking in more depth at the history of geographical thought, the economic and cultural sub-fields of geography, the core practical disciplines of planning, and planning’s application to a range of contemporary issues.

A stream on geographical research provides a review of research techniques and issues, and also acts as an introduction to the dissertation to be completed in your final year.

The Citizen Geographies module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a work placement, gaining important professional experience.

Year three

Your final year draws together the themes of study into a combined and compulsory Geography and Planning module. You will also work towards your research dissertation, under the guidance of a specialist academic supervisor.

You are free to choose your remaining three modules from a range of options, which include one field study visit opportunity (2019 destinations included Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York and Tanzania). The options and field study visits are designed to enable you to specialise in particular topical areas and tailor your degree to your interests.

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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Our approach is based upon a commitment to provide the highest quality teaching. As far as possible, we aim to teach in small groups because we believe this encourages a more positive learning environment between staff and students and among students themselves. Typically you will study six modules per year and will receive 15 hours of guided study per week.

We offer a supportive learning environment, where you are enabled to acquire a range of skills and a wealth of specialist knowledge. Our courses foster intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, close analysis, evaluating evidence, constructing arguments, using theory and the effective deployment of language in writing and in debate. We also help you gain experience in team working, independent research and time management.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

28%

Guided independent study

72%

Placements

0%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

23%

Guided independent study

78%

Placements

0%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

23%

Guided independent study

77%

Placements

0%

How will I be supported?

As well as having regular feedback from your personal tutor in each course, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. These weeks are also used by staff to visit students on their year abroad.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

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

We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including oral feedback during tutorials, personalised feedback on written work, feedback lectures, generic written feedback and feedback on tutorial performance

Coursework will be marked by your module tutor and your tutor will give you written feedback on your work. You will also have a feedback class after each assessment. Students will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period and you will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor as part of the monitored student self-assessment scheme.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, portfolios and creative assignments.

We encourage innovation and creativity in the delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, for example the use of digital media and field study visits. You will receive skills training from presentation of critical thinking through film-based assessments.

Essays and examinations are used not only for assessment purposes but also as a means of developing your capacities to gather, organise, evaluate and deploy relevant information and ideas from a variety of sources in reasoned arguments. Dedicated essay workshops and individual advice enable you to produce your best work, and written feedback on essays feeds forward into future work, enabling you to develop your strengths and address any weaker areas.

The final-year research project provides you with the opportunity to investigate a specific topic of interest to you in depth and to acquire detailed knowledge about a particular field of study, to use your initiative in the collection and presentation of material and present a clear, cogent argument and draw appropriate conclusions.

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

25%

Practical exams

10%

Coursework

65%

Year 2

Written exams

24%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

76%

Year 3

Written exams

8%

Practical exams

0%

Coursework

92%

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

These include:

  • communicating ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral and written means
  • work effectively in a team and as an individual
  • using the internet, databases, spreadsheets, word processing and graphic packages
  • effective time management and organisational skills
  • a commitment to lifelong learning through engaging in the process of personal development planning and ownership of your own learning
  • problem solving, reliability, loyalty, social conduct, tact, attitude to learning and research, leadership, resilience, decision-making and reasoning.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

We are committed to helping you achieve your professional ambitions, providing you with the skills, curiosity and confidence to make your mark in your chosen field.

Latest statistics show that 93% of our graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17).

There are numerous exciting and varied career opportunities open to graduates of this degree programme, and many occupy key positions in a range of public, private and third sector organisations. These include national and local governments, business consultancies, sustainable energy centres, environmental agencies, housing strategy companies, construction, surveying

Specific planning career pathways include surveying, design and development, as well as fields such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. You could practise in local planning authorities, local and national government, neighbourhood planning organisations, transport organisations, private planning consultancies, private developers and environmental organisations in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and internationally.

Placements

A work placement module is offered in year two.

Fieldwork

We place a great emphasis on practical learning. Each academic year offers a subsidised field study visit which allows you to research and investigate a live issue/case study on location.

In year one, these field study visits are local to the Cardiff city region. In year two, you can opt to enjoy a residential field study visit to a European city. In your final year, you can opt for a field study visit to a global city location. Please see the ‘additional costs’ section for more information.

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Saturday 14 September

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