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BA Geography / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

BA Geography allows you to study the interaction between people and their environment - exploring the diverse cultural, economic, urban and political dimensions of current global challenges.

Here at The University of Manchester, we've been teaching Geography for over 125 years - after all, where better to study the subject than the world's first industrial city, turned vibrant metropolis?

The city will play an important role in your studies, with plenty of resources for fieldwork right on your doorstep. Further afield, international fieldwork will take place in your second year, in destinations like Greece, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic.

The wide range of teaching and research interests of our academics - who have an impressive international research reputation - will make it easy for you to be flexible about what, and how, you learn. This allows you the maximum choice to tailor your studies to suit your interests.

Not sure if you're a human geographer just yet? Don't worry - our course allows you to study both human and physical geography in your first year, before specialising to study for a BA or transfer to a BSc later in your course. You don't need to apply to both courses either - apply for just one via UCAS, and you'll be allowed to switch after beginning your course.

Special features

Pre-course fieldtrip

Our pre-course field trip for new geography students is a tradition amongst Manchester geographers. The trip - which has been running for more than 50 years - takes place in Keswick, the Lake District, over three days in the week before Welcome Week in September.

The residential trip is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow students and future tutors. It's the first chance to meet some friends who you'll remain close to throughout your course and - in many cases - for long after you graduate.

International and local fieldtrips

Fieldwork options during the degree currently include trips to Crete, Spain, Iceland, Amsterdam, Morocco, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong - and, of course, around the city of Manchester itself.

For more information, see Fieldwork

Employability programme

Our Geography employability programme is designed to support students as they begin exploring their future career paths, and what they need to get there. This includes practicing core skills, and identifying areas of expertise.

Manchester University Geographical Society (MUGS)

You can also join the Manchester University Geographical Society (MUGS), a society run by Geography students for Geography Students.

For more information, see MUGS

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include fieldwork, lectures, seminars, small-group learning, individual tutorials and team work.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods include essays, team projects, coursework, presentations, written exams and a dissertation.

Course content for year 1

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Key Ideas in Geography GEOG10192 10 Mandatory
Introducing Human Geographies 1 GEOG10251 10 Mandatory
Researching Manchester GEOG10291 10 Mandatory
Environmental Processes and Change: The Global System GEOG10401 10 Mandatory
Dynamic Earth GEOG10422 10 Mandatory
Introducing Human Geographies 2 GEOG10432 10 Mandatory
Tutorials and Book Review GEOG12011 10 Mandatory
Tutorials and Profile of a Research Geographer GEOG12012 10 Mandatory
Geographies of Globalisation GEOG10102 10 Optional
The Human Planet GEOG10411 10 Optional
Ice Age Britain GEOG10441 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Design and Overseas Fieldcourses GEOG20072 20 Mandatory
Skills for Geographers GEOG20621 20 Mandatory
Hydrology and Catchment Systems GEOG20081 20 Optional
Climate Change: Science and Society GEOG20091 20 Optional
Economic Geography: Understanding the Economy, Creating Economic Spaces GEOG20102 20 Optional
Environmental Change and the Human Past GEOG20302 20 Optional
Remote Sensing in Action: Mapping and monitoring land cover changes GEOG20381 20 Optional
Remote Sensing in Action: Mapping and monitoring land cover changes GEOG20382 20 Optional
Spatial Thinking with GIS: Constructing and exploring virtual worlds GEOG20502 20 Optional
Transport Infrastructure Geography GEOG20541 20 Optional
North American Cities - Change and Continuity in the Metropolis GEOG20552 20 Optional
Biogeography GEOG20772 20 Optional
Development Geographies GEOG21111 20 Optional
Creative Geographies GEOG21311 20 Optional
Global Sustainable Consumption and Production GEOG21402 20 Optional
Quaternary Climates and Landscapes GEOG21431 20 Optional
Moral Geographies GEOG21432 20 Optional
Geomorphology GEOG21512 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation GEOG30000 40 Mandatory
Mediterranean Quaternary Landscapes GEOG30132 20 Optional
Geographies of Food and Farming GEOG30162 20 Optional
Our Frozen Planet GEOG30222 20 Optional
Islands: Human Geographies of Isolation GEOG30501 20 Optional
Dryland Environments: Past, Present and Future GEOG30531 20 Optional
GIS & the Web GEOG30611 20 Optional
Wildlife in the Age of Humans GEOG30701 20 Optional
Governing Urban Transformation GEOG30802 20 Optional
De-colonising Geographies: Theory, Methods, Praxis GEOG31011 20 Optional
Critical Geographies of Health and Health Care GEOG31021 20 Optional
Urban Rights and Policy GEOG31032 20 Optional
Green Planet: Plant Ecology and Global Change GEOG31041 20 Optional
Nature, Society & Social Power GEOG31212 20 Optional
Coastal Processes: Sea Level Change and Marine Hazards GEOG31951 20 Optional
Pyrogeography: Fire in the Earth System GEOG32012 20 Optional
Environmental Restoration GEOG32022 20 Optional
Principles, Perspectives and Practice MGDI31101 20 Optional
Environment and development MGDI31212 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 19 course units for year 3


We're one of Europe's best-equipped universities for geography, with excellent library, cartography, computing and laboratory facilities.

You can learn professional computer-based skills such as coding and programming - as well as how to use industry-standard software such as image processing, GIS, GPS and cartographic representation - in our Humanities computer labs.

The University's Main Library is the largest university library system in the UK (apart from the copyright libraries) and has a number of different working spaces. It's home to the University Map Collection, which comprises about 100,000 map sheets of every part of the world.

We also have our very own Kantorowich Library, which contains many of the teaching and learning materials that you will need, from books and journals to DVDs and past dissertations.

Depending on your interests you may also take advantage of our excellent physical geography labs, which include state-of-the-art equipment for the analysis of water, soils and sediments.

For more information, see Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email