BA single honours or in combination with another subject Geography 2020/21

Year of entry

94% of our Geography students were satisfied with the quality of their course.

National Student Survey 2019

This degree provides a challenging programme of modules, which demonstrate the importance of geography to a wide range of contemporary socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental issues.

You will have the flexibility to choose from a range of human geography modules, depending on your interest and career plans, with a bias towards human geography in the final year.

You will develop your understanding of the world through a combination of theoretical and practical investigations, including fieldwork in the local region throughout your degree. You will also have the opportunity to take part in further residential, foreign fieldwork in years one and two.

You will explore areas including:

  • geography of a changing world
  • world regional geography
  • the physical environment.

Our Geography course reflects the diversity and scope of the subject and introduces you to the major changes in the contemporary world and to the diversity of places, cultures and environments. Staff are involved in a number of exciting research projects which feed into our teaching, and enjoy keen engagement with students throughout the course.

We teach Geography as an applied discipline that gives you a wide range of employment options as a graduate. The main features of our Geography degree include the opportunity for fieldwork in each year, and an emphasis on specialist and transferable skills which will help you in everyday life, further study and employment.

We are a small and caring team of geographers in the attractive, historical and vibrant city of Canterbury. We offer teaching and learning in a friendly and supportive environment, where you are not just another face in the crowd.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

The first year follows a common core of six modules which provides the basis for the degree, introducing basic concepts, integrating fieldwork (both local and international), data collection and analysis, and combining theory and practice in both physical and human geography at a variety of scales from local to global. The importance of understanding issues in sustainable development is introduced and embedded within these modules. One key skill developed will be the use of GIS.

The second and third years allow you to develop a degree which suits your particular interests and career aspirations. You will have a choice from a range of human and physical geography modules in addition to further modules in GIS, depending on your interest and career plans, but will bias towards human geography in your final year Independent Study and final year core module.

In addition to fieldwork undertaken as part of the degree, optional field visits to Dublin and Berlin are run most years.

94% of our Geography students were satisfied with their learning opportunities.

National Student Survey 2019

Work experience

You will have the opportunity to undertake work ­related experience through summer internships. These include both funded internships through the university, or those organised by the students themselves with outside organisations. An optional Placement module is also available in your second year if you wish to enhance your employability skills further.

Recent examples of internships include a habitat and biodiversity survey of the university's estate, including use of a geographical information system (GIS), and another involved to research into cartography in the news media's coverage of geopolitical and environmental issues. An example of an external internship included work for a company to analyse the impact of air traffic noise from London's airports on house prices.

Other information

Up to two year two Single Honours Geography students are able to undertake their second year modules in the Geography Department at Lethbridge University, Canada, as part of the Geography Exchange Programme. The Exchange has run successfully for over 10 years, with students stating what a great experience it is both academically and as a life experience. This exchange programme carries credit for the students who have their grades translated back to the home university and thus count towards their final degree classification.

Martin Davis, a former student has gone on to extend his undergraduate research project on Soviet mapping into a PhD and is now a university instructor. Martin said: 

"My undergraduate degree was an excellent stepping­stone into research and also taught me a wide range of technical skills in geographic information systems (GIS) that I now teach to a new generation of students."

Core modules

Year 1

Basic Cartography and GIS (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

This module introduces the practical and theoretical aspects of mapping, especially cartographic design and geographical information systems (GIS). It provides a strong conceptual foundation for approaching the key issues of scale and generalisation, and introduces you to the fundamentals of cartographic design with a view to regarding cartographic visualisation as a key output of GIS. The module regards maps as important tools for capturing and communicating environmental information but also as selective representations that can evoke a sense of place. It introduces the origins and development of cartography, and utilises a range of relevant case studies to explain the principles, techniques, and applications of mapping and GIS. The module will equip you with a wide range of practical skills, as a substantial component of the module is the provision of 'hands ­on' experience in cartographic design and in building a GIS with industry standard hardware and software.

Contemporary Human Geography * (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

The module focuses on a number of distinct human geography themes including how the discipline has developed and what constitutes human geography concerns as well as sub­disciplines of human geography including urban, economic, development and population geography. Additionally, the module provides an understanding of why 'where­ness' (space, place, region, location, territory, distance, scale) matters, and demonstrates how human geographical concepts and skills can be used in providing insight and potential solutions to contemporary local and global issues. The module provides both an introduction to contemporary human geography at level 4 and a comprehensive and wide­ ranging framework for a more detailed study in human geography at subsequent levels of the degree programmes.

Introduction to Environmental Issues * (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

This module provides an introduction to approaches to the environment in Geography and aims to encourage a critical approach to environmental issues through an increased awareness of their social, historical, and political context. The module contributes directly to building awareness of environmental stewardship and global citizenship. Beginning with the place of humans in the environment, the module explores the relationship between people and nature and how environmental values have changed over time. This will include an examination of how the ‘environment’ has been conceived in Geography and consider evidence for the rise of humans as a driver of change in the global environment. Key concepts such as nature, place, sustainability and resilience will be introduced.

Introduction to the Physical Environment * (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

This introductory module examines the broad area of Environmental Geography. It develops awareness of the essential concepts, principles and theories of how environmental processes work and starts to challenge some commonly held pre­conceptions. The module adopts a systematic approach to physical geography and starts by discussing how the nature of the discipline has developed over time. The module develops understanding of a selection of environmental processes, ranging from land-­based processes to those controlling the oceans and the atmosphere. The module also considers how the processes are dynamic and cause change and may be applied to sustainable management of the environment. The module shows how understanding environmental processes is essential if the landscape is to be interpreted.

Investigating Landscape: Continuity and Change (20 credits)

(Core for all students)

This module provides a balanced and varied introduction to a range of fundamental geographical methods, techniques and resources that are relevant to studying social and physical environments. The module introduces, applies and develops basic geographical field, cartographic and analytical techniques both statistical and non-­statistical, together with the relevant key concepts through practical projects and/or exercises. To develop skills and techniques across a variety of fields within geography, the module is organised into two sections, each focusing on one holistic geographical theme exploring the changing landscapes of Kent. Two case studies will explore the interplay between humans and their environment, in response to economic, political, technological and social change over time. Reference to early phases of development (e.g. coastal resorts) will be complemented by an examination of contemporary issues relating to strategic planning and policy in the region.

Living with Uncertainty in the Environment (20 credits)

(Single Honours only)

Fieldwork has a central role within the geography programmes and residential fieldwork re­affirms the active engagement with the wider world which itself is a hallmark of a geographical education. This module applies the skills techniques learned in the Investigating Landscape module, but in an international context in Tenerife. The module examines the different ways that uncertainty is a key element that all societies have to live with, whether environmental hazards or the uncertainties of socio­economic change in a globalised world. In addition, the module ensures you are aware of good fieldwork practice and introduces and practises a range of field survey methods.

* If you are a Single Honours student and wish to take a language you can opt out of ONE of these modules

Year 2

Geographical Investigation and Research (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

Geographical Investigation and Research has a central role within the geography programme. It introduces you to the scope and academic identity of geography as a discipline, developing your ability to identify, investigate and solve problems by deploying suitable research strategies combining appropriate methods and techniques for geographical analysis. The module emphasises the relevance of geography to human and physical environments and will evaluate the role of the geographer as an independent researcher with a wide range of employability skills. By emphasising the identity of the discipline, the module will enhance your self-­awareness as geographers and provide a focus for reflection on possible future careers. With that in mind there will be an emphasis on using software that is considered to be ‘industry standard’ for data analysis and research thus enhancing both numeracy and the digital literacy of the students.

Field Investigation in Geography (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

Field Investigation is another residential field module, undertaken in Malta, supporting the active engagement with the wider world which is a hallmark of a geographical education. An important aim of the module, therefore, is to enable you to appreciate that universal processes and relationships are modified at local scales by the particular characteristics of individual places. By doing this, it aims to promote greater empathy and to develop a heightened awareness of regional identity and difference. The module provides an invaluable opportunity for you to undertake structured investigations in an unfamiliar international geographical setting, drawing especially on the methods and techniques introduced within the module Geographical Investigation and Research. The module introduces a range of field survey techniques, some of which will be practised during the residential field week to ensure that those students who undertake a field ­based Independent Study at Level 6 are sufficiently prepared.

Year 3

Independent Study in Human Geography (40 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

The Independent Study in Human Geography should be seen as the culmination of your learning experience in Geography. The Study draws upon the wide range of intellectual and key skills developed throughout the programme, and applies those skills towards the completion of an individual and substantial piece of research work related to an area of interest within human geography, while recognising that integration with physical geography may be necessary. This module requires you to undertake independent work and display individual thought and initiative in the analysis and interpretation of geographical issues. In consultation with your supervisor, you will be expected to give due consideration to the ethical issues involved in research, and to address these issues in your project.

Exploring Critical Human Geographies (20 credits)

(Option for Combined Honours)

The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity for you to focus on topics in Human Geography not delivered elsewhere in the BA programme with a view to developing specific knowledge, skills and currency in an area where you hope to improve your employability in a flexible and responsive learning environment. The module aims to expand your learning horizons through exploration of a particular sub­ field or specialisation within Human Geography. In addition, you will be encouraged to enhance your critical, analytical and writing skills. It may be possible to link the aims of the module specifically to work­ based learning and/or placement earlier in the programme thus integrating knowledge gained in the work place back into the academic curriculum.

A Geography degree develops a wide range of skills that are demanded in the work place. Some of the specialist skills that we develop, such as proficiency in the use of geographical information systems (GIS) have proven to be especially useful for those based in local authority planning departments or working for public bodies such as Transport for London, the National Health Service and the Environment Agency. Our graduates have entered a wide range of careers, both in the public and private sectors. These include cartographer, chartered surveyor, environmental consultancy, GIS manager, journalism, local government officer, nature conservation officer, remote sensing scientist, retail manager, teacher (primary and secondary), town and country planner.

“My Geography degree has meant that employers have seen me as a diverse individual that can adapt to many roles. Studying geography does not limit what you can do after your degree, but only enhances it. There are so many opportunities available with a geography degree, and not just in the field directly related to geography itself."

Tom Sycamore, Geography graduate, graduate management trainee


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

Field Trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc)

Trips to Dublin (a weekend) and Berlin (4-5 days) may be offered as optional extra-curricular activities. The Dublin trip is usually made available to first and second year students, while the Berlin trip is available to second and third year students. The cost of the trips will depend on numbers involved and the details of the trip organised.

Single Honours students and Combined Honours students opting to take the Field Investigation module in the second year will also require a valid UK passport (NB: for non-UK residents a visa may be required).

Clothing / Kit

Geography at Christ Church involves a reasonable amount of fieldwork which, in the UK, can be done a wide range of weather conditions. It is essential, therefore, that you have appropriate clothing. Nothing that you need is particularly expensive, but the following are likely to be required at some point:

  • Field clothing, including sturdy footwear and a waterproof (not showerproof) jacket.
  • Small backpack and A4 clipboard

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

92% of our Geography students were satisfied with the teaching quality of their course.

National Student Survey 2019


All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and field investigation. You will typically have around 12 contact hours per week although your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. Tutorials with module tutors will provide individual guidance and constructive and critical feedback on written or oral assignments. In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor. 

You will use industry-standard software, in particular with reference to GIS. You will have access to specialist facilities throughout your course.

In year 1, Single Honours students will have a foreign residential field trip at the beginning of Semester 2; in year 2, one of the modules is also a foreign residential field trip. Your final year project is also likely to include an element of fieldwork. 

In year 2, there is an optional placement module with an external organisation. Your final year dissertation, while largely independent, will be supported by a series of workshops.  You will work under the supervision of a tutor who you will meet regularly.

Independent Learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study.  Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

There is a growing emphasis on independent learning throughout the programme, culminating in the Independent Study in Human Geography.  You will work under the supervision of a tutor who you will meet regularly.

Overall Workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours per week (4 hours per module). You will undertake 24 hours independent learning and assessment activity (8 hours per module). In addition, there will be field trips. Apart from the residential field trips, most field trips fall within the University timetable. One of the Level 5 optional module field days takes place on a Saturday.

For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 12 hours a week.

Academic Input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold doctoral and teaching qualifications. Most are research-active. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Meet the Team webpage. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.


A particular feature of the degree is the range of assessment methods employed. These reflect the nature and learning experience of each module and ensure that you are able to develop and demonstrate your ability in a wide range of skills. The methods of assessment used in geography include essays and project reports (including field reports), individual and group oral presentations, portfolios, poster presentations, computer-based assignments (including both quantitative analysis and cartographic work), in addition to some examinations. Many modules contain at least one piece of practice or 'formative' assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

The largest piece of work, the final year Independent Study, gives you the opportunity to work independently on a topic of choice and to produce a dissertation. This is designed to allow you to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have developed during your degree. Accordingly, assessment procedures will take account of not only your newly acquired knowledge and skills, but also the process of developing skills and the ability to apply such knowledge and skills in the world of work. You will also be encouraged to develop skills of enterprise and self-confidence to equip you for your future career or for postgraduate studies.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

All core modules are assessed by 100 per cent coursework. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1
  • 100 per cent coursework
Year 2
  • Most modules are 100 per cent coursework; two optional modules have 40 per cent written exams.
Year 3
  • Most modules are 100 per cent coursework; three optional modules have written exams (two at 50 per cent; one at 60 per cent)


You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).


Geography students have access to a dedicated Resource Centre in addition to the University’s open access computer rooms. All the computers in the Centre have ArcGIS installed and there is a Geography Technician close at hand if you require support.

Another important online resource of our Geography degree is Edina Digimap, which provides access to Ordnance Survey digital mapping data. In addition to the standard package of mapping data, the University also subscribes to Historic Digimap. A range of hi-tech equipment such as GPS and laser rangefinders is available for use in the field.

We have strong links with the British Cartographic Society (BCS) and the Trust for Conservation Volunteers (TCV) which we use for training in field techniques and volunteering, for example.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Part-time study

Apply directly to us


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000 (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • F842 Human and Social Geography

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements



Last edited 06/09/2019 11:18:00

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Last edited: 06/09/2019 11:18:00