BA Geography / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

BA Geography at The University of Manchester: Sam's story

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 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.


This course has normally include 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 Concepts 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
Geographies of Globalisation GEOG10101 10 Optional
Environmental Pollution GEOG10161 10 Optional
Introduction to GIS GEOG10282 10 Optional
The Human Planet GEOG10402 10 Optional
Ice Age Britain GEOG10442 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 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
Glaciers GEOG20351 20 Optional
Hydrology & 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
Nature, Society and Social Power GEOG21242 20 Optional
Moral Geographies GEOG21432 20 Optional
Past Climates GEOG21442 20 Optional
Geomorphology GEOG21511 20 Optional
Social and Cultural Geography GEOG26011 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 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
Energy, Society and Space GEOG30202 20 Optional
Life Course Geographies GEOG30221 20 Optional
Our Frozen Planet GEOG30222 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30231 20 Optional
Dryland Environments: Past, Present and Future GEOG30531 20 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG30551 20 Optional
Critical Geographies of Difference GEOG30621 20 Optional
Wildlife in the Anthropocene GEOG30702 20 Optional
Governing Urban Transformation GEOG30802 20 Optional
Feminist Geographies of Health GEOG31021 20 Optional
Green Planet: Plant Ecology and Global Change GEOG31042 20 Optional
Asian Workers and the Labour of Globalisation GEOG31072 20 Optional
Pyrogeography: Fire in the Earth System GEOG32011 20 Optional
Global Urban Futures GEOG32042 20 Optional
Digital Technology & the City GEOG32061 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 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 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. 

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