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Human Geography and Planning (BSc)

  • UCAS code: LK74
  • Next intake: September 2022
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry Year

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 that 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.

Fieldwork and experiential learning are key facets in the development of undergraduate knowledge and skills within the disciplines of Geography and Planning. This programme provides a range of opportunities for students to develop this knowledge and skill set, including in-module 1 or 1/2-day field visits; group data collection and analysis assessments; and dedicated Year 2 and Final Year field study modules.

Distinctive features

  • 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.

Subject area: Geography (human) and planning

  • academic-schoolSchool of Geography and Planning
  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4022
  • MarkerKing Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

Entry requirements

ABB-BBB

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.

32-31 overall or 665 in 3 HL subjects. 

DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.

M in T Level Design, surveying and planning for construction.

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.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

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

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 59 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 Student 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
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Students from the UK and Ireland

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,000 None
Year three £9,000 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees 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)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £19,450 None
Year two £19,450 None
Year three £19,450 None

Learn about our tuition fees

Financial support

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.

Additional costs

The year 2 residential field study experience is fully subsidised. 

The final year field-study visits are currently subsidised (approximately two thirds of the cost) by the School, but you will be responsible for the remaining 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.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

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 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

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 research methods, 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.

The Geographies of Work and Employability module offers you the opportunity to undertake a short-term placement to apply your learning in practice during your second year.

You can also choose to participate in an optional and subsidised field study visit.

Year three

Year three explores the broader relevance of geography to policy and society. Through the compulsory dissertation module, you will conduct your own research and produce an extended report. You will then mobilise the insights to explore how geographical knowledge can be used to change society.

A broad selection of option modules allows you to further specialise in your chosen area of Human Geography and Planning. You can also choose to participate in an optional and part-subsidised overseas field study visit.

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, you will have a reading week each semester for guided study and a chance to catch up on assessed work, reading and revision. 

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 support services (including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres) will all be available to you. 

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 

You will receive written feedback on your coursework and will be given general feedback in relation to examinations following the May/June examination period. You will be able to discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor. 

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

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

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Explain the historical, philosophical and contemporary components of human geography 
  • Appraise a practical issue or problem for investigation, study or research, devising and implementing a strategy for collecting, assessing, analysing and presenting relevant data and information.
  • Explain and analyse the nature of the planning system in managing change in the built and natural environment with reference to the planning policies of government and local government, and other institutions
  • Synthesise, compare and assess evidence to evaluate planning and related applications , and/or the production of planning strategies, policies and plans
  • Choose and demonstrate practical project-based, design and financial appraisal skills from an urban design perspective. 

Intellectual Skills:

  • Synthesise, analyse and critically review scholarly work
  • Compose a convincing argument
  • Demonstrate and explain respect for equality of opportunity, social and cultural diversity, and the sustainable use of natural and human resources
  • Summarise, explain and apply the ethics of professional practice by relating the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct to their own practical experience and continuing professional
  • Summarise, explain and apply key principles for the protection of personal health and safety at work and the health and safety of others.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Presentation skills
  • Design and demonstrate a self-critical approach to becoming a reflective practitioner, in relation to current planning practices as well as the personal skills and knowledge that need further development

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Perform different methods of effective communication
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills
  • Identify team-working skills by responding appropriately to peer/colleague requests and making clear one’s own demands on colleagues
  • Perform effective self-management by setting and adhering to work priorities, making effective use of time and identifying opportunities for input from colleagues, other professionals and/or stakeholders

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.

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

The Geographies of Work and Employability module offers you the opportunity to undertake a short-term placement to apply your learning in practice during your second year.

We offer an RTPI-accredited version of this programme that 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.  

Each academic year also 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 and three, you can opt for a residential field study visit. These often encompass UK and overseas destinations. Please see the ‘additional costs’ section for more information. 

Fieldwork

The Geographies of Work and Employability module offers you the opportunity to undertake a short-term placement to apply your learning in practice during your second year.

We offer an RTPI-accredited version of this programme that 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.

Each academic year also 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 and three, you can opt for a residential field study visit. These often encompass UK and overseas destinations. Please see the additional costs section for more information.

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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.