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Human Geography (BSc)


Entry year

Why study this course

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Enhance your skills

Develop your technical and practical skills with software including GIS (Geographic Information System) & Edina digimap mapping.

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Professionally recognised

Accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

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Field-based studies

Field visits and field study modules - local to international - applying learning to real-world contexts and developing practical skills.

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Define the future

Gain the knowledge and motivation to tackle global challenges, transforming our world and improving where and how we live.

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Placement opportunities

Develop the skills, confidence and connections to accelerate your career.

This programme will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the role of space and place in shaping economic, social, cultural and political activity at different scales and across different cultural contexts. 

You will develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the complex relations between the natural and human world and an awareness of how places outside your everyday experience are created. You will learn how to use this knowledge to shape the views and actions of elected decision-makers, the voluntary sector and industry in order to improve society. 

Together, we will explore geographical ideas and practice at various spatial scales, making connections between the local, regional, national and global levels. While the programme will emphasise the social, cultural, political, economic, development and environmental components of geography, it also includes a range of specialist modules which will enable you to pursue your own interests and passions. It culminates in a substantive piece of original research (supervised by one of our expert staff) which offers you the chance to design, conduct and present a piece of primary geographic research on a topic of your choosing.  

We recognise the value of professional experience and have designed the programme with this in mind. You will have the opportunity to translate your geographical knowledge into practice through a work placement module in the second year. This module is designed to ease the transition between higher education and the ‘real world’ by providing crucial work experience and developing your employability skills. It will also enable you to start building your professional profile and network.

Fieldwork and experiential learning are key facets in the development of undergraduate knowledge and skills within the discipline of Geography.  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.

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

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

A level

AAB-ABB

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.


This grade range reflects our typical standard and contextual offers. We carefully consider your contextual data (the circumstances in which you've been studying) upon application. Eligible students applying for this course will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.

International Baccalaureate

34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects.

Baccalaureate Wales

From 2023, the Welsh Baccalaureate will be renamed the Baccalaureate Wales Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate. This qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Other qualifications from inside the UK

BTEC

DDD-DDM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in any subject.

T level

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

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Additional entry requirements

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

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

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 or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2022/23 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

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

Learn more 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, containing compulsory and optional modules. You will need to earn 120 credits a year. Modules are usually worth 20 credits with the final-year dissertation is worth 40 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/2023 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

You will be introduced to the key dimensions of Human Geography, a showcase of the innovative approaches geography brings to contemporary issues and strong overview of urban, environmental and rural development issues. You will also develop the essential skills to support your degree studies.

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

Year two builds on the foundations provided in the first year, looking in more depth at the history of geographical thought and the cultural, development, environmental, economic, political and social sub-fields of human geography.

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

Your final year 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. 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 12 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 programmes 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.

How will I be assessed?

A range of assessment methods are used, including essays, examinations, presentations, report-writing and creative assignments such as videos and posters.

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.

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 (dissertation) 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.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:

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

  • A critical  awareness of the cultural, social, economic, political and environmental components of human geography
  • An understanding of contemporary debates within human geography
  • A critical awareness of the key philosophical underpinnings of human geography
  • A critical understanding of the history of human geography
  • An awareness of how data in the major sub-fields of human geography is gathered and analysed
  • How to apply knowledge and understanding of human geography to real-world problems
  • An understanding of the key ways in which power works in and through space
  • Skills in research and appraisal, including data collection, investigation, analysis and assessing evidence through a substantive piece of original research
  • The ability to accurately define a practical issue or problem for investigation, study or research and devise a strategy for collecting, assessing, analysing and presenting relevant data and information.

Intellectual Skills:

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

  • Understanding of a range of both qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Understanding of a range of ways of interpreting and analysing data
  • An understanding of how to analyse and critically reflect on scholarly work
  • An understanding of how to craft a convincing argument
  • An appreciation and respect for equality of opportunity, social and cultural diversity, and the sustainable use of natural and human resources
  • An appreciation and respect for individual and collective rights in different spatial and cultural contexts

Professional Practical Skills:

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

  • work-related skills, knowledge and experience, both professional and personal
  • Presentation skills

Transferable/Key Skills:

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

  • Effective communication of ideas, principles and theories by oral and written means
  • Critical thinking and writing
  • Team-working skills by responding appropriately to colleagues’ requests and making clear one’s own demands on colleagues
  • 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
  • Effective management and presentation of information through media and information technology
  • An appreciation and respect for the protection of personal health and safety at work and the health and safety of others
  • Career planning with reference to professional skill requirements

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).

They occupy a number key positions in national and local governments, business consultancies, multi-national companies, sustainable energy centres, international development agencies, environmental agencies, housing strategy companies, construction, surveying and are active in both the public and private sectors.

Typical examples of roles open to Geographers include logistics, retail management, economic analyst, aid worker, charity officer, human rights officer, refugee and asylum adviser, environmental campaign organiser, conservation worker, environmental health officer, environmental engineer, pollution analyst, forestry manager, environmental consultant, surveyor, Urban regeneration officer, town planner, transport officer, teacher, public policy researcher, heritage site management, TV researcher, GIS specialist, Census data specialist and Cartographer.

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.

There is also a four-year option to the full-time degree programme.

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

There is also a four-year option to the full-time degree programme, with a professional placement year.

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.

Next steps

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International

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Get in touch

Contact us for help with any questions you have

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How to apply

Find out how to apply for this course


HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. 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 2018/19, published by HESA in June 2021.