Why study this course
The programme fosters an understanding of the main geographical trends in the world today, along with the analytical skills needed to study spatial change. You will examine the changing nature of spaces and places, the relationship between society and space, and the role of the state. Placing local and national issues in a global context, we cover topics from environmental change in the UK, and economic and social change in Wales, to regional and international development.
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. While, detailed case study work through field study visits, away days and projects will give you an appreciation of transnational spatial change.
Recognising how competitive the job market is for graduates, the programme has been specifically designed to provide you with the key employability skills to help kickstart your career and make your mark in your chosen field.
We offer an RTPI-accredited version of this programme which you can transfer onto following enrolment and subject to module selection. For information on the module structure of the accredited pathway please visit the Human Geography and Planning with a Professional Placement Year listing – you would follow these modules but without the year in professional practice.
- The opportunity to study in a School ranked in the top 100 globally for Geography (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019) and 7th in the UK for Town and Country Planning and Landscape (The Times and Sunday Times University League Table 2020).
- Comprehensive coverage of both Human Geography and Planning.
- Option to transfer to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredited version of the programme.
- 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 and Tanzania) to explore issues from real world case studies and to practically apply taught skills.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ 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 in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.
32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
At least 62 overall 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.
You must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Tier 4 visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
- GCSE Maths grade C/4 or equivalent qualification (subject and grade). If you are taking A-level Maths (or equivalent), GCSE Maths is not required. Core Maths may also be accepted in place of GCSE Maths.
We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Students from the UK
|Tuition fee (2021/22)||Deposit|
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
|Tuition fee (2021/22)||Deposit|
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.
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.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|The Geographical Imagination: An Introduction to Human Geography||CP0140||20 credits|
|Urban Economies||CP0144||20 credits|
|Making Knowledge: Evidence and Practice||CP0148||20 credits|
|Key Issues in Urban Planning||CP0149||20 credits|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Society, Diversity and Planning||CP0120||20 credits|
|Border Spaces: Identities, Cultures and Politics in a Globalising Word||CP0152||20 credits|
|Designing Places and Plans||CP0153||20 credits|
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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Spaces of Production: Economic Geography||CP0211||20 credits|
|Political Geography: Place, Space and Power||CP0222||20 credits|
|Site Planning and Development Valuation||CP0250||20 credits|
|Regulating Development: Planning Law and Policy||CP0252||20 credits|
|Development and Underdevelopment||CP0256||20 credits|
|Cultural Geographies: Places and Practices||CP0261||20 credits|
|Social Geography: Spaces of Inequality and Welfare||CP0262||20 credits|
|Sustainable development: Concepts, Practices and Challenges||CP0263||20 credits|
|Geographies of Work and Employability||CP0272||20 credits|
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 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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Planning Theory and Practice||CP0312||20 credits|
|Sustainable Transport||CP0338||20 credits|
|Cities and Social Justice||CP0340||20 credits|
|Geographies of the Developing World||CP0341||20 credits|
|Gender, Space and Place||CP0363||20 credits|
|Mobilities: Travel, Tourism and Communication||CP0368||20 credits|
|Urban Design Guidance in Planning Practice||CP0370||20 credits|
|Capitalist Economic Geographies: Local and Regional Development||CP0374||20 credits|
|Climate Change & Environmental Governance||CP0375||20 credits|
|Researching Contemporary Issues in Geography and Planning||CP0380||20 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.
Learning and assessment
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.
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.
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.
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’.
- 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
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.
A work placement module is offered in year two.
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.