Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

120 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

Stimulate your curiosity about the Earth and the human societies that inhabit it. With first-class teaching, exciting fieldtrips and excellent facilities, our BSc (Hons) Geography will help you map out an inspiring career.

You can also take Geography as a Joint Honours subject.

*This accreditation applies to the three-year BSc (Hons) Geography course only.

IES and Royal Geographical Society Accreditation Logos

Our BSc (Hons) Geography course gives you the chance to specialise in either the physical, environmental or human areas of geography – or a mixture of them all – thanks to our extensive range of optional modules. We are constantly updating our curriculum to reflect the sustainable development challenges we face such as food security and water scarcity.

Why you should study Geography at the University of Derby

Real-world learning in action

With its strong emphasis on applying theory to practice, BSc (Hons) Geography gives you every opportunity to gain hands-on experience through practical sessions and field based learning in the UK and overseas.

Fieldwork is central to this course, helping you see and understand what you have covered in class, and how reality can differ from text books. We take full advantage of the many interesting locations on our doorstep, such as nature reserves, East Midlands Airport, solar farms, sites of special scientific interest, ancient woodlands, quarries, Skegness, Nottingham and the Peak District National Park.

We also offer residential field courses as an integral part of your studies. These could take you to locations as varied as the Lincolnshire coast, the Mediterranean and Morocco. Any fieldwork associated with compulsory modules is included in your course fee.


Broaden your experiences

To enhance your career prospects further still, we offer an optional vocational module where you could go on a work placement in a graduate level role or undertake a relevant voluntary project.

You could also apply to spend time studying in the USA or Canada to bring a new dimension to your knowledge of geography. Such experiences will showcase your resourcefulness, confidence and specialist skill set to potential employers.

Joint 5thin the UK for careers after six months of graduating**Guardian University Guide 2020
90%overall student satisfaction - BSc (Hons) Geography**National Student Survey 2019
Lauren Moore on Geography fieldwork

Geography: putting theory into practice

Even a short work placement can provide invaluable experience, as our Geography student Lauren Moore discovered when she spent a week with Envireau Water.

Find out about Lauren's work placementFind out about Lauren's work placement


We have invested in up-to-date learning facilities to help you build the practical skills which are highly valued in the profession.

They include a spatial data laboratory – which houses one of the best map collections of any UK university, a geotechnical, sedimentology and specialist computing laboratories. Our student research laboratory also gives you a dedicated space to conduct your independent investigations seven days a week.

You’ll harness industry-standard specialist equipment – such as GNSS, total stations, soil augers and field spectrometers – and all the resources you need to test and analyse specimens like vegetation, soil, water and rock samples. We subscribe to the Digimap Service so you will have full access to the British Geological Survey’s & Ordnance Survey’s digital databases.

Learn from the experts

Cutting-edge research underpins every aspect of our course. Our geography lecturers are active researchers, authors and/or consultants undertaking important projects worldwide. It means you’ll be kept in touch with the very latest theories and what’s new and next in the world of geography.

Current research projects span subjects such as the impacts of climate change, paleo climatic reconstruction in Greece, argan tree conservation and restoration in Morocco, use of biogas in less economically developed countries, rising sea levels in Ghana, and the implications of food allergies.

an iceberg

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC)

Specialising in securing clean environments, nature recovery, and resilience to natural hazards, we work collaboratively to safeguard our planet for future generations.

Learn more about our research Learn more about our research

Professional credibility

Our three year BSc (Hons) Geography course is accredited by The Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), one of only a handful of Geography degrees in the country to achieve this accolade. The IES congratulated us on providing students with a great mix of laboratory and field skills, together with excellent career development opportunities.

The accreditation means that you can join the IES with Student Member status for free, which brings professional benefits to help you advance your career in the future. The accreditation also means that:

A vibrant scientific community

You’ll meet practitioners from a wide range of geography-related fields who deliver guest lectures across many of our modules. They will offer insights into current developments within the profession and share their career experiences with you. 

Geography fieldwork

Field based study plays a key role in our Geography degrees, enabling you to gain hands-on experience through a combination of residential and day trips across the UK and abroad.

Explore our fieldworkExplore our fieldwork

What you will study

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Introduction to Human Geography - The module examines urbanization and offers an insight into the conflicts behind decisions affecting land use and the allocation of resources in urban and rural settings
  • Physical Geography of the Anthropocene - The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the structure, function, and characteristics of the Earth’s physical environment and its links with the human realm
  • Intellectual and Applied Skills for Geographers - This zero credit module is done alongside other Stage 1 modules to support you in transitioning from an FE teaching environment to a HE learning environment and developing the skills crucial for your academic studies at University and beyond 
  • Cartography and Mapping - This module considers fundamental ideas about maps and map making which are intended to equip you with the skills required to both interpret and create maps 
  • Geographical Methods (1) - Supported by UK residential fieldwork, this module introduces basic methods of field survey, mapping and data collection, analysis and reporting to underpin geographical studies
  • Global Environmental Issues (1) - This module will introduce the current environmental issues that provide the greatest challenges to today’s global society
  • Geography and Geographers - The module aims to provide an appreciation of a range of theories and approaches in the discipline of Geography
  • Career Preparation for Geographers - The purpose of this module is to help you enhance your graduate employability and prepare you for a professional career as a geography graduate
  • Mediterranean Environments (2) - This module examines how contemporary geographical processes are expressed within specific spaces, places and landscapes of a specific Mediterranean location
  • Research Methods in Geography - Focusing on both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, this module evaluates data types and sources in human and physical geography 
  • Water: Resource and Hazard (1) - This module aims to develop a holistic, interdisciplinary understanding of water through a rigorous examination of both geographical as well as a geological analysis
  • Preparing for the Independent Study in Geoscience - This module aims to prepare students for their Independent study. Independent study often includes fieldwork which normally starts at the end of the second year

Optional modules:

  • Sustainable Energy Resources (1) - This module will review the current sources of conventional and renewable fuels used for energy production in the UK and globally
  • Social and Cultural Landscapes - The module aims to introduce students to, and develop their understanding of, the core concerns of contemporary social and cultural geography: its substantive concerns, theoretical perspectives, and methodological innovations 
  • Glacial Environments (1) - This module examines the nature of surface processes operating in cold environments and their role in landform development
  • Introduction to Remote Sensing and GIS - This module provides a basic understanding of the theories and principles underpinning both satellite remote sensing and GIS and their application 
  • Sustainable Cities - This module will introduce current discussions of sustainable cities highlighting the challenges and opportunities of the rapidly urbanisation taking place all across the world

This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Independent Studies for Geoscience - This module is a continuation of the process of Personal Development Planning (PDP) initiated in level 4 and 5, to develop an advanced skill-set which will enhance the graduateness and employability of students 
  • Environment, Landscape and Place (2) - This module explores the interaction between society and environment in the context of issues of environmental management 

Optional modules:

  • Applied GIS (1) - This module provides an appropriate portfolio of subject knowledge and applied skills typically required for an introductory position in the field of GIS or for going on to specialist postgraduate study in GIS
  • Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation Perspectives - This module aims to develop a sound understanding of the nature and causes of climate change 
  • Global Food Security and Food Futures - The overall aim of this module is to explore theoretical arguments and analysis of food security
  • Environmental Management: Critical Perspectives (1) - This module will consider the role that environmental management plays in the reduction of waste and in the effective management of natural resources
  • Terrain Evaluation (1) - This module investigates the theory and practice of terrain evaluation with particular reference to engineering construction
  • Migration and displacement (1) - This module aims to define the theories and concepts of migration worldwide and explore contemporary geographical approaches to understanding migration and integration processes and their history, interaction, challenges, and prospects
  • Vocational Module (Work Placement or Volunteering) - This module provides an opportunity for students to obtain and undertake a placement with a company, voluntary body, the University of Derby or a public establishment

(1) These modules involve UK fieldwork
(2) These modules involve overseas residential fieldwork

Please note that if you study abroad in stage two, your modules will differ from those outlined above.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Smiling girl with scarf sitting in cafe with cup of coffee

Find out more about Geography

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

Each single module is worth 200 hours of student study. Compulsory class based contact time (lectures, seminars and practicals) is typically three hours per week for each module. On top of this, many modules have compulsory fieldwork elements (e.g. half day, day and/or residential field courses) that all students are expected to engage with. There are optional tutorial classes for modules and any 1-2-1s arranged with lecturers or your personal tutor regarding your studies. 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 (including Derby, Nottingham and the Peak District).

We currently have three residential field courses. In stage one there is a weekend residential field course to the Lincolnshire coast. In stage two there is a week-long field course to the Mediterranean, and in stage three there is a week-long field course to Morocco.

Work placements

An optional vocational work placement module is available by negotiation in the third year.

"I believe having work experience alongside a degree will definitely put you in good stead for getting an interview, and even assist in getting the role!" 

Lydia Parsons, student

"Placement can open new opportunities and you can get a foot hold in the door for the future."

Josh Hudson-Jaques, student

"I completed my work placement at the specialist water consultancy Envireau Water, who were very accommodating and enthusiastic about encouraging professional development in young people."

Lauren also attended a University wide trip to Iceland.

Lauren Moore, student


Our course is very practical and gives you the hands-on experience that you need to prepare you for your career. We have invested in our facilities to ensure that you learn in realistic environments. You will also use industry-standard equipment and software so you can be confident that you will gain valuable experience. Take a look at our facilities.

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.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

At least a C in Science or Social Science at A-level (or equivalent qualification)

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Thanks to our extensive range of optional modules, you can tailor your studies on BSc (Hons) Geography to the careers in which you’re most interested.

Our graduates are now enjoying success in diverse roles such as agronomy, environmental consulting, data analysis, rail planning, water quality analysis, teaching, GIS and conservation.

The knowledge and skills you gain at Derby University are also sought after by employers in commerce, public services, research and industry. Some of our graduates have progressed to employment as surveyors, land managers, business analysts, transport officers and civil servants. If you want to pursue a career in teaching, you could go on to study one of our teacher training PGCE courses.

Programme leader

Oliver Tomlinson

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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