BSc Geography

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Duration
3 years
Typical A-level offer
AAB
Typical contextual A-level offer
ABB
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Refugee/care-experienced offer
Applicants who have been in local authority care for more than three months or have refugee status may be eligible for an offer two grades below the standard requirements.
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer

35 points overall.  6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021.

We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

Applicants studying the International Baccalaureate Career Related Programme (IBCP) should contact the academic School prior to applying so that their academic profile can be considered.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply through UCAS

Course overview

  • We're one of the top ten Geography departments in the UK (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).
  • Develop your geographical research skills, including field, laboratory, and computer-based techniques.
  • Enjoy fieldwork in locations such as Snowdonia, Greece, Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands, and Morocco.
  • In Year 1 and Year 2, undertake 'free choice' options from across the University.
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BSc Geography at The University of Manchester: Rachel's story

Open days

We are pleased to announce that we are returning to hosting on-campus open days in the summer and autumn.

Please see open days for the dates, registration, and other information.

If you're a prospective student, you can also find out more about student life by chatting with our student ambassadors at a time that suits you, and ask any questions you may have about life at Manchester. 

Please check our Coronavirus FAQs for the most up to date information regarding events. 

You can also look at our virtual open day content to help you learn more about the University.

Fees

Fees for entry in 2023 have not yet been set. For entry in 2022 the tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2023 entry.

Additional expenses

Overseas fieldwork is subsidised by the University but, depending on the location, you may need to contribute to the cost of the trip.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

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 £2,500 to support your studies. 

Find out about our funding opportunities

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Recruitment & Admissions Office
Telephone
+44 (0)161 543 4709
Email
School/Faculty overview
See: The School .

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

A-level

AAB.

We do not require a pass in the Science Practical Assessment.

Contextual offer

Grades ABB including subject specific requirements for applicants who meet our contextual offer criteria.  For further information and to check eligibility visit our Contextual Offers page .

Duration of A-level study

We welcome applications from applicants who have either sat their examinations early or have followed an accelerated curriculum and spent three years studying A-levels where the examinations have been taken over two years.

For those studying an advanced curriculum where the examinations are spread over three years, consideration for an offer will be at the discretion of the admissions tutor.

AS-level

AS level results are not considered as part of the standard admissions process at The University of Manchester.

Subjects welcomed but not normally included as part of the standard offer

General Studies

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit information where available.  Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application.  Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade C or 4 in GCSE/iGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/iGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/iGCSE English Language.

Please note that if you hold English as a second language iGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your iGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall.  6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects.

Changes to International Baccalaureate Diploma Mathematics Courses from September 2019, first examination 2021.

We are aware of the planned changes to the IB Mathematics curriculum. IB students will be able to choose from Mathematics: analysis and approaches and Mathematics: applications and interpretation from September 2019.

Applicants studying the International Baccalaureate Career Related Programme (IBCP) should contact the academic School prior to applying so that their academic profile can be considered.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. Please see our international entry requirements page for further information.

Scottish requirements

We normally require grades AAABC/AABBB in Scottish Highers.

Applicants presenting a combination of Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers are welcomed and should contact the academic school directly to discuss their portfolio of qualifications. 

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C / Intermediate 2 grade C / Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and usually requires two A Levels or equivalent to be included within this.

The minimum grade required will normally be the same as the lowest grade listed in the A Level entry requirements.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We normally require: 85% overall.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A Levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester in partnership with The University of Manchester international foundation programme are required to achieve AAB and an EAP score of B overall, B in writing and speaking and C in Reading and Listening.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation year in xx are required to achieve  AAB and an EAP score of B overall, B in writing and speaking and C in Reading and Listening.

Applicants studying other Foundation programmes should contact the academic School to check if their qualification is recognised for entry to this programme and for specific entry requirements.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

We consider the National Extended Diploma for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Diploma with grades DDD.

Please note that the National Diploma and the National Extended Certificate must be studied alongside A-levels. We are unable to accept combinations of the BTEC qualification.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

We consider the National Diploma for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Diploma with grades DD, plus an A-level at grade B.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

We consider the National Extended Certificate for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full National Extended Certificate with grade D, plus two A-levels at grades AB.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Technical Extended Diploma for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course.

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Diploma with grades DDD. 

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Technical Diploma for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Diploma with grades DD, plus an additional level 3 qualification such as an A-level at grade B.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC)

We consider the Technical Foundation Diploma for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Foundation Diploma with grades DD, plus additional level 3 qualifications such as A-level at grade AB.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC)

We consider the Technical Extended Certificate for entry provided it is in a subject relevant to the chosen course. 

Entry requirements are based on achievement of the full Technical Extended Certificate with grade D, plus additional Level 3 qualifications such as A-levels at grades AB. 

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma, CTEC Subsidiary Diploma, and CTEC Certificate. The grades required are likely to be the same or vary similar to the new CTEC qualifications (first teaching 2016, awarded 2018). Please contact the Academic School for clarification.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact the Academic School(s) you plan to apply to.

Access to HE Diploma

We require a QAA-recognised Access to HE Diploma (a minimum of 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3), with merit or distinction in a subject area relevant to the chosen course.

The specific course requirements are a minimum of 39 credits at Distinction level, with all others at Merit grade. You must have GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or 4.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A-level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

Candidates taking Pre-U principal subjects in conjunction with A-levels are expected to achieve a combination of D3, D3 and M2 in the Pre-U certificates, and grade AAB at A-level in three distinct subjects.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefit of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. We strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. For this programme, as well as the regular conditions of offer, we may make students who are currently taking or completed the EPQ an alternative offer. Our alternative offer is ABB and an A in EPQ.

Core Maths

The University recognises the value of Level 3 Core Mathematics qualifications. Core Mathematics is not a compulsory element of post-16 study and as a result we will not normally include it in the conditions of any offer we make. However, if a student chooses to undertake a core mathematics qualification this may be taken into account when we consider a student's application, particularly for courses with a distinct mathematical or statistical element that does not require A Level Mathematics. Academic Schools may also choose to take a student's performance in Core Mathematics into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Where a course requires applicants to have at least grade 6/B or higher in GCSE Mathematics we would be likely to consider a pass in Core Mathematics at a minimum grade C or B as an alternative way to fulfil this requirement. Where an A Level in Mathematics is required then Core Mathematics will not be accepted in lieu of an A Level.

A Level and GCSE Mathematics requirements for our courses vary according to subject so we advise students to contact the academic School, who will clarify whether a student's portfolio of qualifications is acceptable for entry onto the chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you are a student who has followed a non-standard educational route, e.g. you have been educated at home; your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course for which you are applying. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the specified academic entry requirements of the course. We will also require a reference from somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. If you are a home schooled student and would like further information or advice please contact the academic School for your chosen course who will be able to help you. 

Non-standard educational routes

Mature students are some of our most well-equipped learners, bringing skills and attributes gained from work, family and other life experiences.  Students come from a whole array of backgrounds, study every kind of course, undertake full-time and part-time learning and are motivated by career intentions as well as personal interest.  There is no such thing as a typical mature student at Manchester.

The application process is the same as for other prospective undergraduates.  If you require further clarification about the acceptability of the qualifications you hold please contact the academic School(s) you plan to apply to.  Further information for mature students can be found here ( http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/mature-students/ )

English language

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency. The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language grade C/4 , or;
  • IELTS 6.5 overall, with 6.5 in writing and no other sub-section below 6.0, or;
  • An acceptable equivalent qualification.

For details on acceptable equivalent qualifications to this course please see the School of Environment, Education and Development's English Language information page.

We do not offer Pre-sessional English Language courses for entry onto our undergraduate programmes within the School of Environment, Education and Development.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Tier 4 visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the 'B2 level'. Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found  here .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Please note that if you have obtained several English Language qualifications, we will only be able to recognise your most recent English Language qualification.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

Returning to education

Return-to-learn students are those who have had a substantial period away from any formal learning. Often such learners have pursued careers or raised a family.

We understand that students come from many different backgrounds, with varying qualifications, careers and skills, but they often bring to their studies a high degree of motivation and experience.

We recognise that standard selection measures and procedures may not enable these learners to demonstrate fully their suitability for their chosen course.

Where appropriate, admissions officers will seek and consider alternative evidence in order to give such learners equivalent consideration. Where they deem this alternative evidence meets entry criteria fully, the learner will not be required to meet the standard academic entry requirements.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

We will consider applicants who have re-sat individual modules.

If you have re-sat your final examinations, we will consider your application but may require further information in order to make an informed academic judgement on your application.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful, you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course.

If you are applying through clearing, you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Transfers

Whether you select BA Geography or BSc Geography, you can study a mixture of both physical and human geography modules.

Both are covered in the first year, and you can swap from the BA to the BSc or vice-versa if you find your interests take you in a new direction.

Course details

Course description

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Study Geography at The University of Manchester

BSc 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 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.

here the le 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.

Fieldwork

This course has normally included a field trip. Past locations include 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 usually takes place in Keswick, the Lake District, over three days in the week before Welcome Week in September.

Teaching and learning

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

Important notice

The School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) recognises the value of fieldwork. However, the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our priority. The School will assess on a regular basis the viability of any travel and fieldwork and communicate any significant changes to our students at the earliest possible opportunity.

The ability of fieldwork and travel to proceed, and whether any changes to proposed fieldwork and travel might be necessary, will remain subject to 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;
  • availability of appropriate travel and accommodation and any significant changes to their financial costs.

All fieldwork and travel 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 our students and staff.

In some circumstances, it may become necessary to make changes to fieldwork or programme related travel. The University will notify you of those changes at the earliest opportunity. If any 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.

Please note that Countries may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School cannot guarantee that where visas are required for fieldwork, they will be granted but we will take steps so that if a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.  

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 Critical Book Review 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
Ice Age Britain GEOG10442 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 15 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 Fieldwork 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
Hydrology and Catchment Systems GEOG20402 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 GEOG21511 20 Optional
Social and Cultural Geography GEOG26011 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 13 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
Energy, Society and Space GEOG30201 20 Optional
Life Course Geographies GEOG30221 20 Optional
Our Frozen Planet GEOG30222 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30231 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30232 20 Optional
Dryland Environments: Past, Present and Future GEOG30531 20 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG30551 20 Optional
Wildlife in the Anthropocene GEOG30701 20 Optional
De-colonising Geographies: Theory, Methods, Praxis GEOG31012 20 Optional
Feminist Geographies of Health GEOG31021 20 Optional
Green Planet: Plant Ecology and Global Change GEOG31041 20 Optional
Nature, Society & Social Power GEOG31212 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 17 course units for year 3

Facilities

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 computer labs. 

The University's Main Library is the largest university library system in the UK (apart from the copyright libraries) and has many 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. 

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. 

See facilities  for more information.

Disability support

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

For more information, email dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

Photo of Kathryn

I picked geography as it was my favourite subject at school and I wanted to keep my career options open.

Towards the end of my undergraduate degree and during my master's degree I started to specialise more and then found out about the job I do now in the first couple of months of my master's degree. Since graduating from University I have been working in the Flood Risk and Hydrology team at Arcadis. It has been great to be on the graduate scheme which has focussed on developing my transferable skills.

Kathryn Hooley / BSc Geography and MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction graduate

Our geography graduates have excellent employment prospects. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in areas including:  

  • environmental management; 
  • planning; 
  • business development; 
  • education; 
  • consulting; 
  • marketing, media and communications; 
  • project management; 
  • research. 

Top employers of our geography graduates include Accenture, HSBC, Manchester City Council, Network Rail, PwC, Sky, the BBC, and the Environment Agency. 

Our employability support and events ensure you will leave us as a highly employable individual, by developing your expertise in teamwork, communication, research, data analysis, problem solving, and time management. 

You will also gain subject-specific skills such as working with spatial data (GIS), working with archives, undertaking interviews, and a suite of field and laboratory analyses; invaluable skills if you choose to pursue a career directly related to your degree. 

In addition, you will benefit from the attention of an academic member of staff who will focus on enhancing your employability through the curriculum, volunteering and internships. 

For more information, see Careers and employability .

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate.

At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability