Never far from the headlines, disasters like tsunami, earthquakes, drought and flooding carry a huge environmental and human cost. This dynamic new degree brings together the study of Geography and Environmental Hazards to equip you with skills and knowledge which will set you apart in an increasingly important field.
- Prepare for a rewarding career in managing and mitigating the effects of natural and human-made disasters
- Look at environmental hazards from the perspective of both physical and human geography
- Gain an in-depth understanding of the processes that cause disasters as well as their impact on human health and livelihoods
- Combine latest theories, practical work and field studies on a degree underpinned by applied real word learning
- Investigate active hazards on fascinating fieldtrips: in the past our students have conducted fieldwork as far afield as the USA, Crete and Morocco
- Study in a prime location for exploring geographical, earth and environmental sciences amid some of the most outstanding landscapes of the British Isles
- Learn from enthusiastic and dedicated staff who have an international profile for research into environmental and climate change
- Look forward to excellent career prospects: 100% of our Geography students were in employment or further study within six months of graduating (HESA 2016)
This innovative degree has been introduced at a time when a greater understanding of environmental hazards is critical to our collective global future.
Build a powerful combination of skills
With a strong practical focus, our BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Hazards aims to develop a new generation of highly skilled, forward-thinking geography specialists. It offers a distinctive and compelling combination, bringing together physical, human and development geography with an in-depth study of the impact of natural and human-made hazards.
You will consider crucial questions and debates surrounding issues such as the growth of our global population, the rising number of communities living in increasingly hazardous locations worldwide, the severe effects of climate change and the ongoing exploitation of our planet’s natural resources.
We also reflect on the official policies designed to address the social, economic, cultural and political impacts of environmental hazards. This is a highly topical area of study: recent developments have included the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk reduction and the UK government’s coastal protection flood risk management plans.
The scope of this course reaches from the local to the global, so you will look at everything from flood management in Derbyshire to climate change on an international scale.
An emphasis on hands-on learning
We specialise in real-world learning, providing you with plenty of opportunities to translate theory into practice and see how reality might differ from the textbooks.
Many of the modules on the BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Hazards feature training in technical, practical and fieldwork skills. Field-based study is integrated across all years of the course and you will become familiar with innovative techniques in areas like spatial analysis.
Broaden your horizons with fieldtrips
Vital for your career development, fieldwork is at the heart of this course and we offer a range of opportunities* which may include overseas study tours. Locally, you could find yourself taking regular fieldtrips to investigate the physical, cultural and human features of the area. This may include looking at energy management on industrial sites, exploring nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest, considering how people have exploited the River Trent as a resource down the centuries, and assessing the risks posed to local communities by flooding.
Further afield, you could have the chance to visit areas of active natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, floods and drought. In the past, our students have investigated the impact of extreme floods, sea-level change and coastal mass movements in Crete. They have also visited Morocco to learn about how the country is seeking to address challenges in areas such as environmental degradation, water conservation and sustainable tourism.
One of our most illuminating study tours has seen students head to the Pacific Northwest of America to conduct a series of fieldwork-based case studies exploring earth-surface hazards, their effects on people and their management. Highlights included visiting the sites of the 1980 Mount St Helens eruption and earthquake-prone areas of downtown Seattle.
*Please note that our programme of fieldtrips is subject to change.
A first-rate learning environment
You’ll have every opportunity to develop your practical skills in realistic environments. Our facilities include a spatial data laboratory which houses one of the best map collections of any UK university. We also subscribe to the DigiMap Service so you will have full access to the digital databases of the British Geological Survey and the Ordnance Survey.
We have invested in purpose-built geotechnical and specialist computing laboratories. In addition, we provide a student research laboratory which gives you a dedicated space for conducting your independent investigations seven days a week.
Throughout, you’ll gain experience with specialist equipment such as GPS, total stations, soil augers and field spectrometers.
Join a vibrant scientific community
Cutting-edge research underpins every aspect of our teaching to keep you up to date with the latest thinking. Our lecturers include respected authors and experienced consultants who regularly work with local and international partners. They are enthusiastic, supportive and dedicated to your academic and career progress.
Current research projects embrace subjects such as volcanology, glaciology, climate change, coastal change and sustainable agriculture. Our staff have been investigating everything from rising sea levels in Ghana to paleoclimatic reconstruction in Greece.
Practitioners from a wide range of fields relating to geography and environmental hazards deliver regular guest lectures. They will share their own career experiences with you and give you insights into current developments within the profession.
Enhancing your professional credibility
We have close links with The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) which helps ensure that you benefit from a learning experience that reflects the highest professional standards. Our BSc (Hons) Geography has been accredited by the Society and we will be seeking a similar stamp of approval for this new course.
You will have the opportunity to train as a Royal Geographical Society Ambassador to engage and support the next generation of geographers in the classroom and beyond. The role could include promoting the subject to school pupils, supporting careers fairs, assisting with revision schemes or supervising fieldwork.
The outdoor classroom on your doorstep
You’ll be studying in a location remarkable for its geographical landmarks and heritage. We’re just a stone’s throw away from the Peak District National Park, with its gritstone escarpments, limestone dales and flourishing tourism industry. Nearby is the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, cradle of the Industrial Revolution which shaped our world today.
We make the most of this outdoor classroom on our doorstep, with many excursions to help you read and interpret the landscape, investigate geomorphological concepts and undertake GPS data collection.
You will learn through a combination of compulsory class based contact time (lectures, seminars and practicals), fieldwork (e.g. half day, day and/or residential field courses) and optional tutorial classes. The remainder of the time is spent undertaking directed reading, making notes and undertaking assignments.
Field based learning
Fieldwork is an important part of our programme - all fieldwork is associated with particular modules and most of it involves half or full day trips to locations around the region.
How you're assessed
We use a diverse range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, field and laboratory notebooks, portfolios, posters, infographics oral presentations, vivas, and written exams (seen and unseen). You may be assessed individually or as part of a group. We’ve mapped our assessments against key graduate skillsets that employers require.
Highly practical and industry-relevant, our BSc (Hons) Geology and Environmental Hazards opens up many challenging and rewarding career opportunities worldwide. There are now a growing number of roles which involve planning for, mitigating and managing natural hazards as well as helping to reduce the impact of climate change, pollution and population pressure. However, this degree also equips you with invaluable transferable skills that can be used across many areas of employment.
By the time you graduate, you’ll have developed a full range of professional skills, theoretical knowledge and practical experience to impress prospective employers. You’ll also have the wide-ranging transferable skills, vision and self-reliance which will make you well suited to any organisation where environmental awareness and broad scientific knowledge are valued. Our graduates have gone on to secure posts in environmental consultancy, pollution control, geotechnical engineering and even the BBC’s Natural History Unit.
You could also consider taking your geological expertise to the next level by studying for a masters degree such as our MSc Environmental Assessment and Control. In an exciting new development, we are also launching an interdisciplinary MSc in Intelligence, Security and Disaster Management in September 2018. This specialist MSc will be particularly beneficial for anyone keen to pursue a career in the field of environmental hazards.
† Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.
* This course is subject to validation.