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BA Geography / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

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 more than 125 years - after all, where better to study the subject than this rapidly changing metropolis, with its surrounding national parks and stretching coastlines?

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 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 or physical 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 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

Opportunity to transfer onto a course with professional placement or international study

There is an opportunity to transfer from this course to one of the four year Geography courses `with Professional Placement' or `with International study' at the start of second year. Where the number of available placements is limited, priority will be given to students required to undertake a professional or international placement as part of their studies.

Transfers require a first year average of at least 60% and the application process is competitive.

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.

International and local fieldtrips

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

For more information, see Fieldwork

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

Pre-course fieldtrip

Our pre-course field trip for new geography students is a tradition amongst Manchester geographers.

The trip takes place in Keswick 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.

Teaching and learning

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

The School of Environment, Education and Development aim to run advertised fieldwork in the 21/22 Academic Year and we very much hope that students will be able to enjoy the fieldwork experience in the usual way.

The ability of fieldwork to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork might be necessary, will remain subject to the current global situation and factors such as the:

  • rules and guidance on travel and activities implemented and published by the UK and overseas governments;
  • outcome of any risk assessments conducted by the University;
  • educational value and student experience of the fieldwork, if significant changes to the proposed fieldwork would be necessary;
  • availability of appropriate insurance cover; and
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

We will therefore assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any decisions to our students at the earliest possible opportunity. Any fieldwork that does go ahead will be subject to a rigorous risk assessment process and the implementation of any protective measures identified by the risk assessment to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff.  If the fieldwork does not go ahead as planned then the School's focus will be on seeking to offer a suitable alternative and ensure that the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) of the programme are met.

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
Environmental Processes and Change: The Global System GEOG10401 10 Mandatory
Dynamic Earth GEOG10422 10 Mandatory
Introducing Human Geographies 2 GEOG10432 10 Mandatory
Tutorials GEOG12011 10 Mandatory
Tutorials and Profile of a Research Geographer GEOG12012 10 Mandatory
Creating a Sustainable World: 21st Century Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL20311 10 Mandatory
Geographies of Globalisation GEOG10101 10 Optional
The Human Planet GEOG10402 10 Optional
Ice Age Britain GEOG10441 10 Optional
Introduction to Landscape Ecology and Remote Sensing GEOG10501 10 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: 21st Century Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL20311 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 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
Climate Change: Science and Society GEOG20091 20 Optional
Economic Geography: Understanding the economy. creating economic spaces GEOG20101 20 Optional
Spatial Thinking with GIS: Constructing and exploring virtual worlds GEOG20502 20 Optional
Transport Geographies GEOG20541 20 Optional
North American Cities - Change and Continuity in the Metropolis GEOG20552 20 Optional
Biogeography GEOG20771 20 Optional
Quaternary Climates and Landscapes GEOG21431 20 Optional
Moral Geographies GEOG21432 20 Optional
Geomorphology GEOG21512 20 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: 21st Century Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL20411 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 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 GEOG30131 20 Optional
Geographies of Food and Farming GEOG30162 20 Optional
Energy, Society and Space GEOG30201 20 Optional
Our Frozen Planet GEOG30222 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30231 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30232 20 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG30552 20 Optional
Wildlife in the Anthropocene GEOG30701 20 Optional
Feminist Geographies of Health GEOG31021 20 Optional
Urban Rights and Policy GEOG31032 20 Optional
Green Planet: Plant Ecology and Global Change GEOG31041 20 Optional
Nature, Society & Social Power GEOG31211 20 Optional
Pyrogeography: Fire in the Earth System GEOG32012 20 Optional
Environmental Restoration GEOG32022 20 Optional
Migration, Conflict and Social Change GEOG32032 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units for year 3

Scholarships and bursaries

We are committed to attracting and supporting the very best students from all backgrounds to study this course. You could be eligible for cash bursaries of up to £2500 to support your studies.

Find out more at Funding opportunities .


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 is 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 offer a wide spectrum of advanced equipment for environmental analyses, including dedicated sediments, microscopy, spectroscopy and X-ray facilities.

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