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  • Geography BSc(Hons)

Geography BSc (Hons)

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.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time F800 2019
2020
4 years full time including sandwich year F801 2019
2020
4 years full time including foundation year F808 2019
2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2019
2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • 100 per cent of students from this course are in employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17). 
  • This course received more than 93 per cent for satisfaction with academic support (National Student Survey 2018). 
  • This course has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society. This means it contains a solid academic foundation as well as preparing you for the needs of the world beyond higher education.

Geography at Kingston

What you will study

On this course, you can choose to study one of three different routes; Physical Geography, Human Geography or Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

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.

Physical Geography Learning Route

Human Geography Learning Route

GIS Learning Route

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, analytical and practical skills through field trips at home and overseas. You'll also deepen your knowledge of GIS and specialise in particular areas of human and physical geography.

Your final year will enable you to continue 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.

Year 1 (core modules)

Introduction to Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards

30 credits

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). The processes behind these major natural and man-made environmental hazards will be described, with reasons provided for their occurrence and global spatial distribution. Detailed case studies will be provided for each hazard, from a variety of geographical regions, in order to build a portfolio of examples, enhancing your knowledge of the processes, impacts and means of forecasting and mitigating against the hazards becoming disasters. The module is a pre-requisite for Level 5 environmental and geographical modules: Geomorphology and Geophysical Hazards; Land Water and the Environment; Ecology and Conservation. The module introduces you to the application of geophysical knowledge and skills and potential discipline-related employment opportunities and alerts you to a range of transferable employability skills that will be developed throughout the module. These include discipline-based skills by identifying applications of geophysical knowledge to real world challenges and transferable skills developed in the learning activities and related assessments.

Introducing Human Geography

30 credits

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.

Digital Earth and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

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 those taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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.

Year 2 (core modules)

Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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 you will engage in classroom based data collection and analysis practical sessions in TB1 and put your learning into practice in a field-based setting in TB2. On completion of this module you 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 you do in Geographical Research Theory and Practice (GG5002) and prepares you for the level 6 dissertation.

Geographical Theory and Practice

30 credits

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, you will then develop an independent research proposal. In doing so, you will identify a topic of your choice, select a suitable disciplinary perspective from which to examine it and an appropriate method of investigation. Within the first part of the module you will gain a thorough understanding of the nature of geographical research. In the second part of the module, you will apply this knowledge through the development of your own research project. This module builds on research methods developed at level 4 and lays the groundwork for your dissertation at level 6. This module complements GG5001 Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods where you 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 you will integrate and develop your 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 your reflection on employability embedded in other level 5 modules.

Year 2 (optional modules)

Geomorphology and geophysical hazards

30 credits

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 you 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 you 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 those wishing to pursue physical geographical and/or hazards based research projects at Level 6.

Land, Water and the Environment

30 credits

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 you will 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.

Final year (core modules)

Development Geographies

30 credits

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.

Research Project

30 credits

The module is core to those 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 you 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 you to target specific skills you wish to develop in your learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with you to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

Final year (optional modules)

Land and Water Resources Management

30 credits

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.

The Challenge of Climate Change

30 credits

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 you 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.

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, analytical and practical skills through field trips at home and overseas. You'll also deepen your knowledge of GIS and specialise in particular areas of human and physical geography.

Your final year will enable you to continue 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.

Year 1 (core modules)

Introduction to Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards

30 credits

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). The processes behind these major natural and man-made environmental hazards will be described, with reasons provided for their occurrence and global spatial distribution. Detailed case studies will be provided for each hazard, from a variety of geographical regions, in order to build a portfolio of examples, enhancing your knowledge of the processes, impacts and means of forecasting and mitigating against the hazards becoming disasters. The module is a pre-requisite for Level 5 environmental and geographical modules: Geomorphology and Geophysical Hazards; Land Water and the Environment; Ecology and Conservation. The module introduces you to the application of geophysical knowledge and skills and potential discipline-related employment opportunities and alerts you to a range of transferable employability skills that will be developed throughout the module. These include discipline-based skills by identifying applications of geophysical knowledge to real world challenges and transferable skills developed in the learning activities and related assessments.

Introducing Human Geography

30 credits

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.

Digital Earth and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

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 those taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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.

Year 2 (core modules)

Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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 you will engage in classroom based data collection and analysis practical sessions in TB1 and put your learning into practice in a field-based setting in TB2. On completion of this module you 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 you do in Geographical Research Theory and Practice (GG5002) and prepares you for the level 6 dissertation.

Geographical Theory and Practice

30 credits

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, you will then develop an independent research proposal. In doing so, you will identify a topic of your choice, select a suitable disciplinary perspective from which to examine it and an appropriate method of investigation. Within the first part of the module you will gain a thorough understanding of the nature of geographical research. In the second part of the module, you will apply this knowledge through the development of your own research project. This module builds on research methods developed at level 4 and lays the groundwork for your dissertation at level 6. This module complements GG5001 Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods where you 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 you will integrate and develop your 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 your reflection on employability embedded in other level 5 modules.

Year 2 (optional modules)

Social and Cultural Geography

30 credits

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

The module aims to introduce you to, and develop your 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 your engagement with how geography is central to the construction of social and cultural difference.

Contours of Global Capitalism

30 credits

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

The module is designed to introduce you 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.

Regional Geographies

30 credits

This module is core in the Human Geography Field. It is also available as a Level 5 optional module for those 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.

Final year (core modules)

Research Project

30 credits

The module is core to those 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 you 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 you to target specific skills you wish to develop in your learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with you to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

Development Geographies

30 credits

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.

Final year (optional modules)

Urban Geographies

30 credits

This module is a core module in the Human Geography Field. It can also be taken as an option module by those 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, you should have further developed your ability to make and record accurate observations in the field; present conclusions in a logical, intelligible manner; and increased your ability to work as a part of a team.

Global Rural Geographies

30 credits

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 you 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.

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, analytical and practical skills through field trips at home and overseas. You'll also deepen your knowledge of GIS and specialise in particular areas of human and physical geography.

Your final year will enable you to continue 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.

Year 1 (core modules)

Introduction to Physical Geography and Environmental Hazards

30 credits

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). The processes behind these major natural and man-made environmental hazards will be described, with reasons provided for their occurrence and global spatial distribution. Detailed case studies will be provided for each hazard, from a variety of geographical regions, in order to build a portfolio of examples, enhancing your knowledge of the processes, impacts and means of forecasting and mitigating against the hazards becoming disasters. The module is a pre-requisite for Level 5 environmental and geographical modules: Geomorphology and Geophysical Hazards; Land Water and the Environment; Ecology and Conservation. The module introduces you to the application of geophysical knowledge and skills and potential discipline-related employment opportunities and alerts you to a range of transferable employability skills that will be developed throughout the module. These include discipline-based skills by identifying applications of geophysical knowledge to real world challenges and transferable skills developed in the learning activities and related assessments.

Introducing Human Geography

30 credits

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.

Digital Earth and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

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 those taking GG5155 Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Level 5 and GG6140 GIS: Transforming Geography and Environment at Level 6.

Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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.

Year 2 (core modules)

Geographical Theory and Practice

30 credits

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, you will then develop an independent research proposal. In doing so, you will identify a topic of your choice, select a suitable disciplinary perspective from which to examine it and an appropriate method of investigation. Within the first part of the module you will gain a thorough understanding of the nature of geographical research. In the second part of the module, you will apply this knowledge through the development of your own research project. This module builds on research methods developed at level 4 and lays the groundwork for your dissertation at level 6. This module complements GG5001 Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods where you 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 you will integrate and develop your 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 your reflection on employability embedded in other level 5 modules.

Advanced Research and Fieldwork Methods

30 credits

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 you will engage in classroom based data collection and analysis practical sessions in TB1 and put your learning into practice in a field-based setting in TB2. On completion of this module you 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 you do in Geographical Research Theory and Practice (GG5002) and prepares you for the level 6 dissertation.

Year 2 (optional modules)

Cartography, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis

30 credits

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.

Final year (core modules)

Development Geographies

30 credits

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.

Research Project

30 credits

The module is core to those 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 you 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 you to target specific skills you wish to develop in your learning pathway and the PTS will work closely with you to identify and articulate these skills through the associated module assessments.

Final year (optional modules)

GIS Transforming Geography and Environment

30 credits

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.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Sandwich Year

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • 96 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • An A Level in Geography or Geology with a minimum of a grade C is required. Environmental or related disciplines can also be considered. General Studies may be considered depending on A-level combination.

Alternatively, BTEC Extended Diploma with grades MMM or BTEC Diploma with grades DD in a relevant subject.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in Applied Science or Science,  which has been passed with 96 UCAS points.

Applications from those that have undertaken a Science foundation year will also be considered.

International

We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical classes, interactive group exercises and the use of social media.

Fieldwork is an essential component. Our fieldwork programme includes residential field trips in the UK in Year 1, in Europe in Year 2 and an optional overseas trip during Year 3.

Assessment methods include essays, online assessments, practical reports, seminars, poster presentations and exams. In general, exams constitute about 20 per cent of assessment with the remainder being coursework.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Practical

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 20 students and lecture sizes are normally 20­­-50.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Field trips for this course

How many people can get to say, 'I went to South Africa doing my degree!'"
Regina Hamilton, Geography BSc(Hons)

At Kingston we place a strong emphasis on real world learning. That is we learn by ‘doing' geography. Geography is not just the stuff in books but the stuff that is out there in the world. Fieldwork will provide you with an opportunity to participate in real world learning.

Below are the main field trips for the geography courses. Remember they can vary from year to year according to circumstances and new opportunities. Some optional modules also involve local excursions.

Year 1: Swansea and the Gower Peninsula

The Year 1 five-day field trip usually takes you to Swansea and the Gower Peninsula. Staff will introduce you to the geographical setting, physical landscape and environment. In addition, you will observe issues such as the redevelopment of a coastal area and conduct and environmental impact assessment, examine urban change as well as historical continuities, consider the heritage opportunities for the area, and evaluate the quality of local beaches using the criteria of the blue flag award.

Year 2:Malta

The Year 2 week-long field trip usually takes you to Malta. Staff will introduce you to the geographical setting, physical landscape and environment. A day focusing on human geography investigates social, political and economic developments in Malta. A day focusing on physical geography investigates the environmental concerns of the island, with particular emphasis on energy resources, water security and sustainability. You will then have the opportunity to work in small groups to design and manage a research project investigating a specific geographical theme covering a range of topics, from coastal management to immigration and integration.

Year 3: South Africa

In Year 3 you have the chance to go further afield, usually to South Africa. The ten-day trip forms part of the Development Geography module. Here you will engage with local authorities and development agencies, NGOs, members of the business community and local people to explore some key development challenges in this context.

Read about the field trip to South Africa, when students, who were in Cape Town to study and assist with local development projects, took the opportunity to kit out a group of delighted youngsters in £2,000 worth of brand-new Fulham Football Club kits.

South Africa field trip 2019

At Kingston we place a strong emphasis on real world learning. That is we learn by 'doing' geography. Geography is not just the stuff in books but the stuff that is out there in the world. Fieldwork will provide you with an opportunity to participate in real world learning.

International fieldwork programmes enable students to examine human and physical issues in diverse contexts and to get perspective on the challenges that other countries face from local governmental and non-governmental organisations and from industry.

Facilities

There are a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories;
  • the new £20 million John Galsworthy building with a range of teaching rooms and computing labs;
  • a well-stocked library that boasts an impressive collection of texts, journals and online e-books/journals; and
  • excellent social spaces, plus a large, fully equipped gym and fitness centre.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

 * If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for home and EU students will be £9,250 in 2019/20. The fees shown above apply for year 1 of the degree from 2018/19 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free wifi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

Accreditation

The course is accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for 2019, 2020 and 2021 entry. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education.

What our students say

Geography is a subject I have always been interested in. It offers a wide range of skills and there are always new issues to discuss. Originally I went to another university, but I was disappointed with the course. Within the first two weeks I decided to transfer to Kingston. Since transferring, I haven't looked back - it's one of the best decisions of my life. Coming here has been such a good, fulfilling experience. Not just on the academic side of things, but also University life at Kingston in general.

The field trips have been brilliant. It's good to study at sites, rather than just through textbooks, and the trips are a great opportunity to get better acquainted with people on the course. I have also found some of the lectures really stimulating and thought provoking.

Next year I have been accepted to participate in an exchange programme in the US. This is another great opportunity offered by Kingston University and I can't wait to experience life and study over there.

Tom Austin – Geography BSc(Hons)

I wanted to study Geography because I found it interesting. It covers topics that are relevant to what's happening in the world right now. Subjects such as climatology, oceanography and environmental hazards help us understand the physical geography of the planet.

I have found the atmosphere and lecturers at the University very friendly and supportive. I've especially liked the lectures on dynamic earth movements, tropical climates, deserts, and Arctic and Antarctic regions.  But the most exciting part of the degree so far has been the field trips - taking part in activities such as hill walking, investigating plant species and looking at weather impact on various regions. 

There are various options I am considering once I graduate. I'd like to work for an environmental agency or an organisation such as UNESCO or UNICEF and help people in the third world. Ideally I would like to do more research and a PhD in this field. I feel studying geography has opened up a world of opportunity for me.

Jacek Smok – Geography BSc(Hons)

After you graduate

Graduates find employment in a wide range of fields. They work in areas such as local government, retail, human resources, finance, insurance, ICT, education and research. Many go on to postgraduate studies in subjects such as conservation; rural estate management; economy, society and space; and cities, culture and social change.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni.

What our graduates say

Check out what our graduates have gone on to do and how studying at Kingston helped them achieve their goals.

Janak Mistry

Geography graduate Janak Mistry talks about his time studying at Kingston University, and his position in the Lloyds Banking Group graduate scheme.

Mark Banfield

Geography graduate Mark Banfield talks about his time studying at Kingston University, and his role as Vice President at Autotask.

Oliver Hall

Geography graduate Oliver Hall talks about his time studying at Kingston University, and hisposition as an Operations Director at Liquid Productions.

Steve Smith

Geography graduate Steve Smith talks about his time studying at Kingston University, and his position as a geography teacher.

Women in science

Part of our women in science series – find out about Chrisa Tsiarigli, who graduated in 2002 with a Geographical Information Systems with Business Management BSc(Hons).

She is currently a principal public health intelligence specialist for the NHS south-west London sector.

Links with business and industry

Staff are involved in active research so illustrate teaching with up-to-date, relevant experience.

Local authorities, government organisations and community partnerships

We have built links with many external organisations, particularly local authorities including: 

  • Kingston First 

  • Royal Borough of Kingston 

  • Kingston Chamber of Commerce 

  • Kingston Racial Equality Council 

  • Kingston Food Bank 

  • Surbiton Community Brain 

  • London Metropolitan Police 

  • Greater London Authority 

  • Fulham Football Club 

  • Fulham Foundation  

  • South London Partnership 

  • Hogsmill River Catchment Partnership 

  • Zoological Society of London. 

These organisations provide us with expert guest lecturers and also facilitate on site visits. This provides students with perspective on contemporary challenges in society and on the way in which geographical knowledge can usefully be applied in real world contexts. Engagement with these organisations also provides students with insights into areas of employability.

International links

We also have links with international organisations. These include: 

  • The University of Malta 

  • Malta Environment and Planning Authority 

  • Malta Council for Economic and Social Development 

  • The BREEDE Skills Training Centre and Youth Activity Centre, South Africa, 

  • Naturally Knysna, South Africa 

  • Backsberg Vineyard, South Africa 

International fieldwork programmes enable students to examine human and physical issues in diverse contexts and to get perspective on the challenges that other countries face from local governmental and non-governmental organisations and from industry.

Work placement year

How you can work in industry during your course

Why take a placement? Work placements: 

  • provide work experience that is relevant to your course and future career; 

  • improve your chances of graduating with a higher grade degree; 

  • enhance your CV; 

  • lead to a graduate job;  

  • enable you to earn a year's salary whilst studying (the vast majority of placements are paid); and 

  • help you to select your final-year project. 

"To be successful, tomorrow's leaders will need to be far more rounded individuals than ever before. They will collaborate in pursuit of shared goals. They will guide, challenge and support...They will have an appetite for change and a hunger for continuous improvement, and they will have an ethos of learning and development..." 
Jeremy Darroch, Former Chief Executive, Sky  

"Doing a placement year effectively gives you one foot in the door of a future job and to stand out from the crowd... as well as enhancing my CV... and future interviews. It's a great motivator to be successful in my studies as it only serves to open even more doors and gain more skills." 
Placement student at Jagex Games Studios Ltd

  • 81% placement students and 34% non-placement students got a first or 2.1 (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008). 

  • 100% of placement students during 2008 recommend doing a placement (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008). 

  • Many employers offer a graduate job to their successful placement students. 

There is a lot of support available for students looking to secure a placement (eg a jobs board with placement vacancies, help with writing CVs and mock interviews). Getting a placement and passing the placement year are ultimately the student's responsibility. 

For further information please contact the Placements Team by telephone 020 8417 2969 or email secplace@kingston.ac.uk

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).

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