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Geography BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time F800 2019
4 years full time including sandwich year F801 2019
4 years full time including foundation year F808 2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019

Why choose this course?

On this course you'll learn about the world we live in and examine the interaction between human and physical processes and practices.

There is plenty of opportunity to put theory into practice through fieldwork at home and overseas. Teaching is often alongside external organisations. These include planning departments, environmental agencies, business support networks and town centre management teams. This helps your professional development and makes you more employable upon graduation.

The course has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society for 2018 entry. This means that our course contains a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepares graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education.

Foundation year

If you would like to study geography at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

What you will study

Year 1 provides a foundation in human and physical geography. You'll be introduced to a broad range of key transferable skills, including geographical information systems (GIS). You gain an understanding of the Earth, its environments, and the global concerns of humanity.

In Year 2, you will develop research, evaluative and practical skills through field trips at home and overseas. You'll also deepen your knowledge of GIS and important geographical concerns.

If you choose the sandwich year route of this course, you'll have a work placement between Years 2 and 3. The placement provides valuable practical experience in a relevant work environment. We'll keep in touch with you throughout your placement, ensuring the skills and training you receive are relevant to your studies and career goals.

Year 3 enables you to specialise in areas of geography you find inspiring and choose from modules covering a wide range of topics. You'll complete an independent dissertation and you'll also be encouraged to develop your geographical imagination through international fieldwork (currently in South Africa).

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This is a Level 4 module for Geography and Environmental Science students. Core lectures introduce key fundamental topics in physical geography, overviewing the various spheres of the Earth, associated processes and interaction. Themes are presented systematically as a cross-section of the Earth's physical structure: geological underpinning, Earth surface processes (introducing geomorphology, the pedosphere and hydrosphere), the atmosphere, and the biosphere. Interwoven within these topics will be lectures on associated environmental hazards, including geophysical hazards (eg. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis), atmospheric hazards (including hurricanes and tornadoes) and environmental and ecological hazards (including oil spills, mine contamination and wildfires).

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  • This module is designed to introduce students to key geographical theories and concepts whilst providing a foundation for future studies in Human Geography. Students gain a broad understanding of the relationship between human societies and a range of economic, cultural, social and political processes at a variety of scales.

    The module is delivered using lectures and seminars and is supported by a range of online materials. The lectures introduce students to key geographical themes and ideas with the seminars providing the opportunity to explore these further in a group setting. The module provides an essential introduction to future human geography modules that focus in more detail on key geographical theories, concepts, and processes.

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  • Digital Earth: Spatial Analysis introduces and develops the fundamental geographical skills of data collection, analysis and presentation and the solving of spatial problems using GIS. It concerns data types, representations of reality and key spatial analysis techniques. GIS-based skills are important employability skills for geography and environment students with many course-relevant employers requiring a working knowledge of GIS and the application of GIS to solve real world geographical and environmental challenges. Digital literacy employability skills will be introduced and developed in this module and the module will provide a baseline for students taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

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  • This is a module for all Level 4 Geography and Environmental Science students. The module introduces a range of generic and discipline specific research and fieldwork methods. Students are introduced to their course learning aims and identify their learning targets from Induction to graduation and their alignment to their learning pathway. Students are tutored in a range of learning techniques (eg. critical thinking and communication skills) and are introduced to assessment for learning and the role of feedback, reflection and feedforward as an integrated part of their learning journey. Students are introduced to a range of research methods that form the basis of successful investigations in their subject areas, including research design, information acquisition, qualitative and quantitative analysis and critical interpretation.

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Year 2 core modules

  • This module is core for all Level 5 Geography students and forms a bridge between Level 4 GG4090 Research and Fieldwork Methods and Level 6 GG6400 Research Project. This module also complements GG5002 Geographical Theory and Practice.

    This is a research methods focused module where students will engage in classroom based data collection and analysis practical sessions in TB1 and put their learning into practice in a field-based setting in TB2. On completion of this module students will have gained first - hand experience of qualitative and quantitative research methods in both a classroom and a real-world environment. This complements the work that students do in Geographical Research Theory and Practice (GG5002) and prepares students for the level 6 dissertation.

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  • This module focuses on the development of geographical thought and practice from the institutionalisation of the discipline to the present. In doing so, the module traces the shifting paradigms that have dominated the discipline and examines the multiple approaches now possible within geographical research and the methodologies that underpin them. Focussing on a range of topics, part student selected, the module will explore the diverse ways that geographers working in different paradigms have approached these topics.

    Having developed a sound knowledge of geographical research, theory and practice, students will then develop an independent research proposal. In doing so, students will identify a topic of their choice, select a suitable disciplinary perspective from which to examine it and an appropriate method of investigation. Within the first part of the module students will gain a thorough understanding of the nature of geographical research. In the second part of the module, students will apply this knowledge through the development of their own research project. This module builds on research methods developed at level 4 and lays the groundwork for their dissertation at level 6. This module complements GG5001 Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods where students develop specific research methods and put research into practise in a real world context.

    A Personal Tutorial System (PTS) will run in parallel to the taught elements of the module whereby students will integrate and develop their learning from this module to the wider academic and professional/workplace context. The PTS will emphasise key employability skills that will be acquired through the production of the research projects and through their reflection on employability embedded in other level 5 modules.

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Year 2 optional modules: Physical Geography Learning Route

  • First, an understanding of the fundamental principles of soil science is developed whereby the various soil properties and processes, including storage and transport of water in soil, are explained. This provides a good underpinning to developing an understanding of hydrology. Core principles of hydrology are explored both as theoretical physical science of hydrology and practical hydrological skills, which students gain through hands-on experience and investigations. This knowledge of soil and water sciences forms the essential base for introducing and explaining environmental pollution, including the impact of pollutants on environmental systems (soil, water, plants and air) and human health. It also discusses pollution mitigation and control strategies. Core learning material is provided via Canvas VLE with lectures that are designed to explain fundamental principles and concepts. Employability skills are embedded within the module and specifically include field and laboratory skills that are designed to develop surveying, recording, measuring, sampling, laboratory testing, data analysis, data interpretation and presentational skills.

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  • This module presents a series of thematic taught sessions overviewing major geomorphological processes and landforms, sedimentary environments and geophysical hazards. The module builds upon foundations of GG4080 Introducing Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards. On completion of the module students will gain a detailed understanding of the major surface processes and their geomorphological significance and will be able to interpret a range of sedimentary environments. Module themes will reflect on likely hazards linked to geomorphological processes, including floods, coastal change (including impacts of sea-level change on coastal environments), slope stability, geological controls on geomorphology such as fault movement and associated and sediments (and sedimentary structures) created by events such as tsunamis and ash falls.

    The module emphasises the mastery of geomorphological skills through experiential learning closely associated to core lecture delivery. The practical programme will aid students in evaluating key geomorphological concepts, learning and testing analytical techniques. Fieldwork programme provides an arena for applying new skills and knowledge gained and provides a learning bridge to students wishing to pursue physical geographical and/or hazards based research projects at Level 6.

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Year 2 optional modules: Human Geography Learning Route

  • This module is a Level 5 core module for Human Geography programmes. It can also be taken as an option module for students on other fields provided they have successfully completed the Level 4 module Introduction to Human Geography.

    The module aims to introduce students to, and develop their understanding of, the core concerns of contemporary social and cultural geography: its substantive concerns, theoretical perspectives, and methodological innovations. The module evaluates the role of space and place in the construction of social relations and cultural identities and how these are differentiated according to the social constructions of class, gender, race and ethnicity, age, sexuality, and disability. It aims to develop skills of critical social and cultural interpretation through students' engagement with how geography is central to the construction of social and cultural difference.

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  • This module is a core module in the Human Geography field. It can be taken as an option module by students studying other fields provided they have successfully completed GE1B, Introduction to Human Geography.

    The module is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of investigating a range of contemporary global issues in terms of their political economy. This includes a wide range of spatial issues from the local to the global and the inter-linkages and process that bind them together. The key focus is to understand how contemporary capitalism plays out across different spatial levels and to highlight the processes that underpin it and the implications for different communities. This includes exploring relations between, state, business and citizens.

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  • This module is core in the Human Geography Field. It is also available as a Level 5 optional module for students on the Geography Field.  Level 4 and 5 students will share lectures, but have different seminars and workshops appropriate to each level.

    The introduction to the module will provide the 'big picture' overview starting with the concept of regional geography as a sub-discipline in geography, followed by a set of core lectures over-viewing the major regions of the world.  An accompanying seminar programme will aid students in evaluating regional concepts and alternative definitions of regions.  Workshop sessions will be provided as an arena for preparing for assignments and for formative assessment.

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Year 2 optional modules: GIS Learning Route

  • Maps are tools for visualising geospatial data to communicate spatial patterns and processes and the results of geographical analysis. This module explores the principles of map design and production in a GIS environment. It introduces ground, aerial and space based surveying, exploring the underlying physical principles and geographical/technological concepts. It covers remotely sensed data capture, image processing and data modelling. The third element develops skills in spatial data analysis and modelling and to explore the application of techniques with respect to point patterns, spatially continuous data and area based data.

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Year 3/4 core modules

  • The module is core to students on the geographical and environmental courses. It provides experience in the design, execution and preparation of an independent but approved programme of research. Furthermore, through the Personal Tutorial System (PTS) it encourages students to employ reflective learning techniques and to develop a variety of level-appropriate employability skills by engaging with their research project as a piece of academic research with commercial, policy or political value which requires effective dissemination and communication to a range of suitable audiences. Employability skills developments are integral to the Research Project module. The specific nature of the research project chosen allows the students to target specific skills they wish to develop in their learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with the students to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

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  • This module is a core module in the BA Human Geography and the BSc Geography programme. The module introduces you to critical issues of development including themes such as economic growth, poverty, exclusion, inequality, natural hazards, gender and conflict. It also explores the relations within and between countries and the challenges of development and aid in the context of globalisation. The module includes substantial fieldwork or independent desk-based research. Whilst it introduces theories of development, it is an applied module which seeks to empower you to debate contemporary geographical and environmental issues within an international context. Assessment seeks to engage you in critical appraisal of real world situations, and in strategic planning of interventions, so enhancing your practical skills and employability.

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Year 3/4 optional modules: Physical Geography Learning Route

  • The module examines the relationship between land and water management, global challenges associated with the management of land and water, and sustainable options to seek their resolution. The module will develop an understanding and critical evaluation of these challenges from several perspectives through the systematic investigation of land-use practices, the applications of soil science and linking practices to processes and patterns of land degradation, the interface between land management and water management, global concerns for water security, land use impacts on the wider environment, including climate, physical and socio-political drivers and an examination of the regional land-water management issues.

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  • This is a core Level 6 module for all Environmental Science and Environmental Science, Disasters and Management Students. This module tackles the key issues relating to climate change in the three main subject areas of science, policy and society. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the key concepts and processes of climate change and the various ways in which societies can respond. Core factual material is provided via Canvas with keynote lectures, seminars and workshops used to explain concepts. Fieldwork sessions are designed to complement the lecture series and give further practical demonstration of policy and practice complexities.

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Year 3/4 optional modules: Human Geography Learning Route

  • This module is core in the Human Geography field. This module can be taken as an option module in several fields provided they have successfully passed Regional Geographies, Social and Cultural Geographies or Contours of Capitalism at level 5. It aims to provide students with an understanding of contemporary debates relating to rural areas in both the developed and developing world. It examines the processes and patterns of contemporary change in rural regions and analyses the factors conditioning the restructuring of rural land use and rural economic, social and cultural systems across the world.

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  • This module is a core module in the Human Geography Field. It can also be taken as an option module by students studying in other fields provided they have taken either Social and Cultural Geographies, Contours of Global Capitalism or Regional Geographies.

    The module reviews current perspectives on notions and understandings of what constitutes urban spaces and approaches to studying urban environments, exploring critical perspectives and intervention strategies that construct these environments.

    It also explores the relationship between urban form and identity and questions the links between cultural practices and concepts of community, with a particular focus on social processes, urban spaces and design within the built environment.

    Additionally, after completing this module, students should have further developed their ability to make and record accurate observations in the field; present conclusions in a logical, intelligible manner; and increased their ability to work as a part of a team.

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Year 3/4 optional modules: GIS Learning Route

  • This module has a twin focus on changes that have impacted on Geography and Environment over recent decades and how these have created opportunities for geographical and spatial investigation to address an expanding range of applications. Information technology, in particular GIS, is one of the major drivers of change and this module explores the application of GIS in a range of domains encompassing socio-demographic, economic, political, environmental, natural and anthropogenic hazard events.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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