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



Joint Honours

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

What is Joint Honours?

A Joint Honours degree gives you the opportunity to study two subjects as one degree. This type of degree will broaden your skill set and enhance your career prospects.

You can combine any two subjects as long as they’re in different zones, find out what you can combine this subject with.

Course description

Open up a world of career opportunities by combining your study of Geography with another subject.

You can also take Geography as a single honours subject.

Studying Geography Joint Honours helps you to keep your career options open and marks you out as a versatile graduate with a broad portfolio of skills.

Find out about studying Geography at the University of Derby

Flexibility and choice

We offer Geography as a major, joint or minor subject, giving you maximum flexibility. You’ll start by gaining a firm grounding in both physical and human geography and will then build on this knowledge to consider geography as a discipline and geographical research methods.

You’ll discover a wide choice of optional modules encompassing the physical, human, development and environmental aspects of geography as well as techniques like GIS. We are constantly updating our curriculum to reflect the sustainable development challenges we face such as food security and water scarcity.

The flexibility of our modules means you can specialise in the aspects of geography which you enjoy most and which help you chart your future career direction.

Real-world learning in action

With its strong emphasis on applying theory to practice, this course gives you every opportunity to gain hands-on experience through practical sessions and field based learning.

Fieldwork is central to this undergraduate geography course, helping you see and understand what you have covered in class, and how reality can differ from text books - setting you apart as a ‘can do’ graduate.

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. There is also the opportunity to undertake field based study further afield. Previous locations have included Crete and Morocco.

If you choose to major in Geography, we offer an optional vocational module where you could go on a work placement in a graduate level role or undertake relevant voluntary projects. This will enhance your career prospects further still.

Explore our fieldwork


We have invested in up-to-date  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 – as well as purpose-built sedimentology, geotechnical 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

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. We also play a lead role in the Derbyshire Branch of the Geographical Association.

What you will study

You can study Geography as either a joint, major or minor subject. This will determine how many modules you’ll study at each stage. Please check your other subject to ensure it is possible to create your chosen combination.


The number of modules you’ll undertake will depend on whether you study Geography as a major, joint, or minor subject. You'll study modules such as:

  • 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
  • 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

Optional modules: 

  • 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
  • Global Environmental Issues (1) - This module will introduce the current environmental issues that provide the greatest challenges to today’s global society
  • 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
  • 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

This is a list of all Stage two modules in Joint Honours Geography, but their status and accessibility depends on whether you are a Major, Joint, or Minor geographer:

  • 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
    Research Methods in Geography - Focusing on both quantitative and qualitative data analysis, this module evaluates data types and sources in human and physical geography

Optional modules:

  • Sustainable Energy Recourses (1) - This module will review the current sources of conventional and renewable fuels used for energy production in the UK and globally
  • 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 
  • 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
  • Mediterranean Environments (2) - This module examines how contemporary geographical processes are expressed within specific spaces, places and landscapes of a specific Mediterranean location
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 is a list of all Stage three modules in Joint Honours Geography, but their status and accessibility depends on whether you are a Major, Joint, or Minor geographer:

  • 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 
  • Environmental Landscape and Place (2) - This module explores the interaction between society and environment in the context of issues of environmental management 
  • 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 
  • 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
  • Terrain Evaluation (1) - This module investigates the theory and practice of terrain evaluation with particular reference to engineering construction
  • Migration and Displacement - 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

Where residential fieldwork is associated with optional modules, you’ll be required to pay a 70% contribution to the cost of the fieldwork.

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

An experienced teaching team

Our lecturers are active researchers and consultants in the UK and overseas, so you'll be learning the very latest theories and will be kept up to date with what's new in geography. Some of our current research projects include carbon fluxes and cryoconite holes in Greenland’s ice sheets, the impacts of climate change, paleo climatic reconstruction in Greece, argan tree conservation and restoration in Morocco, use of biogas in LEDCs and food allergies and their implications. So you can be sure that your lecturers are at the cutting edge of research and will pass that knowledge on to you.

Contact time

A typical module has at least three hours of class contact time per week, including lectures, seminars, practicals and half-day fieldwork. On top of this there are also one-to-one tutorials, day and residential field courses. Outside of classes, students are required to undertake directed reading, exercises, and spend time doing assignments. 

Field based learning

Fieldwork is an important part of geography - it’s where you can observe processes in action, see how reality differs from text books, and apply your knowledge and understanding to real world issues. Extensive fieldwork experience is important in producing 'can do' graduates. We operate a range of half/full day and residential field courses. All of our fieldwork is associated with specific modules. We make full use of an excellent range of local sites (such as nature reserves, SSSIs, ancient woodlands, quarries, and the Peak District National Park) as well as visiting sites further afield.

Currently, we have a stage two field course based in Crete (Mediterranean Environments) and a stage three field course based in Morocco (Environment, Landscape, and Place). Where residential fieldwork is associated with optional modules, then students are required to pay a 70% contribution to the residential fieldwork if they elect to do any of these modules.

Work placements

Joint honours students who choose to major in Geography can elect to undertake an optional geography vocational work placement module in stage three. Such placements allow students to get graduate-level work experience prior to graduating and develop the transferable and specialist skills sets required by graduate employers.


We are constantly investing in our specialist resources and facilities. We have a bespoke GIS lab, map library, and geotechnical laboratory, as well as a whole suite of multipurpose labs. We recently created a dedicated student study laboratory and revamped our map library. We also have an extensive range of field equipment, such as soil augers, GNSS, and EDMs, that students can book out when they need to. We subscribe to the Digimap service, so have full access to the Ordnance Survey’s digital database of UK mapping.

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, viva’s, and written exams (seen and unseen). You may be assessed individually or as part of a group. We’ve mapped our assessments against the key graduate skillset that employers require.

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

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 Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Physics, Psychology or Sociology at A-level (or equivalent qualification)

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

For joint honours degree entry you will need to choose two subjects. The entry criteria here is for this subject only. Your offer will be based on the higher entry criteria from the two subjects you choose to do. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

*The UCAS Points required for entry will depend on the subjects you choose to combine. The subject with the higher entry requirements will determine your offer.

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 geography modules, you can tailor your studies to the careers in which you’re most interested. As a Joint Honours graduate you will also have the versatility and resourcefulness to impress a potential employer.

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 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. 

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.

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Additional information about your studies

You will typically study your two subjects equally at stage one, before choosing whether you want to major in one subject at stages two and three.

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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Geography can be combined with:


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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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For this combination Discover Uni does not have enough data to publish a widget. It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

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