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  • Human Geography BA (Hons)

Human Geography BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

This course focuses on how humans interact with their surroundings and gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the world and seek solutions to a range of human problems. Field trips offer you plenty of scope to travel in the UK and overseas, whilst optional modules let you tailor the degree to your own career goals.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time L702 2020
4 years full time including sandwich year L704 2020
4 years full time including foundation year L703 2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course received 100 per cent for satisfaction with academic support (National Student Survey 2018). 
  • 100 per cent of students from this course are in employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17).
  • This course is 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

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list as these could change before your year of entry.

Year 1

Year 2

Optional Sandwich year

Final year

Year 1 provides a thorough foundation in human geography. You'll gain insight into the current concerns of humanity in our globalised world. Issues you will look at include global demography, resource scarcity and security, environmentalism and green politics, urbanisation, regeneration and gentrification, and inequality, poverty and exclusion. You will also develop research skills and be introduced to Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

Core modules

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.

Investigating the Earth and Environment

30 credits

This core module introduces techniques of fieldwork and the principles that form the basis of successful investigations within this, including statistics and subject specific to geographical, geological and environment degrees.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • prepare for and perform basic fieldwork techniques;
  • produce a field report in the appropriate format; underpinned by field observations and records;
  • undertake elementary data analysis;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental scientific (and other) principles and techniques that are pertinent to the course; and
  • apply undergraduate-level academic skills.
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.

Year 2 continues to focus on geographical concerns but more in-depth. Here you will examine the contours of capitalism and social and cultural geography. In addition, you will develop your research, critical thinking and practical skills through field trips in the UK and overseas and you will extend your GIS skills through project work.

Core modules

Design and Management of Projects (with GIS)

30 credits

Students design, manage and execute a geographical research project in a 'real-life' setting. Students are tutored in aspects of research design: defining research questions, research philosophy and appropriate methodologies. Students learn practical aspects of research design such as logistical considerations of time and budget limitations as well as data archiving (including digital and mobile technology) and location-based analysis. They will design and manage a field-based research project in a UK and/or overseas setting. A tutorial system 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 tutorial system will provide the development platform for the production of an independent research proposal. In addition, students will develop skills in the analysis and modelling of spatial data exploring the application of spatial statistical techniques using GIS.

Geographical Concepts and Methodologies

30 credits

This module focuses on various approaches and philosophies underpinning geographical studies and how these inform different methods of geographical research and enquiry. It also teaches students a range of appropriate research techniques adopted in geographical investigation. It offers students practical instruction in collecting good quality data with these techniques and also introduces students to the analysis and interpretation of field data. In addition, it reflects on ethical components of research.

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.

The optional sandwich year between Years 2 and 3 includes a work placement or international exchange. The work placement gives an opportunity for paid work and valuable experience in a relevant professional environment. The international exchange gives you an opportunity to travel, meet new people, build links in another academic environment and develop your geographical skills and knowledge. We will keep in touch with you throughout your placement, ensuring the skills and training you receive translate effectively into your studies and career aspirations.

Final year includes modules that focus on urban geography, rural geography and development. In this year you will also be able to specialise in an area of your choice and complete an independent dissertation. You'll also have more opportunities for field trips in the UK and overseas.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • 96 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • In A Levels, Economics, Geography, Politics or social sciences subjects are preferred, one of which should be at a grade C. Geography is not specifically required. General Studies is accepted.

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

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

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 7%
Year 2
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 8%
  • Exams
Year 3
  • Coursework
  • Practical
  • Exams

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 10 students and lecture sizes are normally 10­-50­.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course

The course is taught at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible. 

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

Field trips for this course

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: The Eden Project and Cornwall

The Year 1 five-day field trip takes you to the Eden Project in Cornwall. Staff will introduce you to the geographical setting and to the physical and human landscape. Here you will learn about the relationships between society and the environment and consider the ways in which local communities draw on the region's natural capital as a key source for economic development.

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.

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.

Field trips

All compulsory field trips are paid for by the University.

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 Wi-Fi 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.

Lab equipment

Students will be required to purchase a lab coat and Safety Glasses costing approx £20.

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.

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 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've loved the course and found everything about it really interesting. I like both the lecturers and the way the degree is structured.

I've particularly enjoyed learning about different countries. I've also liked the variety of different modules – looking at how China's been changing in one, London and poverty in another. Next year I'll be studying Canada and Australia.

The field trips have also been really good. You work hard during the day – sometimes we work in small groups or on our own. But in the evenings everyone meets up, talks about their day, goes for a meal and on to bar or club. You have fun and get to know your course mates really well. The Isle of Wight was a great start to the first year. The trip is for the whole School of Geography, so straight away you get to know loads of people.

Dan Ridett – Geography BSc(Hons)

Studying Geography at Kingston

Kingston students Oliver Holland, Regina Hamilton and Francesca Green discuss their experiences on their respective geography undergraduate courses at Kingston University, including field trip destinations, module content and assessments, as well as what it's like to study in Kingston.

What our graduates say

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

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

Examples of placements  

Placements can be with large multinational companies, international companies, local companies and small start ups; offering a diverse range of posts. Here are some examples of employers and roles: 

Construction-based placement employers 

Construction-based placement roles 

RG Group 
Multiplex 
Costain 
Willmott Dixon  
Fluor 

Assistant site manager 
Assistant trades package manager 
Assistant logistics manager 
Health and safety officer 
Construction engineer

Science-based placement employers 

Science-based placement roles 

Reckitt and Benckiser 
GSK 
Drug Control Centre 
Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd  
Various local and international hospitals 

Bioanalytical sciences 
Lab assistant 
Pharmacy assistant 
Sports coach 

Engineering-based placement employers 

Engineering-based placement roles 

Airbus 
BAM Nuttall 
Nissan 
Bosch 
Wozair

Analysis of aircraft structure 
Construction resources specialist 
Site engineer assistant

Computing and IS based placement employers 

Computing and IS based placement roles 

Disney 
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe 
IBM 
McKinsey 
Intel

Database co-ordinator 
Software developer 
Website developer 
App developer

Mathematics-based placement employers 

Mathematics-based placement roles 

Lloyds Banking Group 
AXA 
Allianz 
PAU Education, Spain

Analyst 
Investment solutions 
Research analyst 
Accounts assistant

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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