Geography with Environmental Mathematics BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
FG80
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Urban Data Science and Analytics MSc header image

If you want to explore how our Earth system operates and its underlying mathematical principles, our combined course is for you.

Throughout this degree, you’ll look into the processes that shape our world's dramatic landscapes and the dynamics of the atmosphere and biosphere, and how you can have a say in how we manage our future environment. You'll also develop an appreciation of how processes at work on the Earth's surface can be described mathematically and represented in simulation models. For those who wish to, there is flexibility within the course structure to choose modules in human geography as well as in subjects across the University, allowing you to customise your learning to match your interests.

This course offers all of the benefits of being a BSc Geography graduate alongside being equipped with quantitative skills that employers within environmental industries tell us they need. Graduates from this course will be able to simulate environmental processes, understand how these processes have changed in the past, and how they are likely to evolve into the future.

You’ll develop both specialist and transferable skills. You’ll build skills in presenting your ideas in reports and orally, in data collection, in data analysis, and in the mathematical understanding and simulation of environmental processes.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Our  globally-renowned research here at Leeds has had a pioneering impact on current global agendas in environmental protection, public health and the economy and feeds directly into your course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking.
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a School that has taught geography for over 100 years and is made up of academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of geography disciplines.
  • Access excellent teaching facilities, including specialist labs and a dedicated field store fully equipped with research-grade equipment to support your learning and practical fieldwork.
  • Put theory into practice with our fieldwork activities, where you’ll experience ‘real world’ learning that will advance your research, project planning and teamwork skills whilst gaining hands-on experience highly valued by employers in industry.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate by undertaking a work placement. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — organisations such as Unilever, RSK, EDF Energy, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and Balfour Beatty.
  • Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across many universities worldwide.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society GeogSoc which gives you the chance to meet like-minded students who share your passion for geography. The society organises a range of social activities and trips and has football and netball teams in the University’s intra-mural league.

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Course details

You'll study climate change, human impacts on the biosphere and the hydro-geomorphological processes that shape physical landscapes.

Throughout your studies, you'll acquire key skills in environmental mathematics that will enhance your understanding of how different processes shape our environment.

Additionally, you may choose from a range of discovery modules.

You’ll also undertake fieldwork throughout, giving you the chance to apply your learned knowledge to a practical setting.

Please note: field trip destinations specified below are typical examples but may be subject to change.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Course Structure

The course information shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Geography with Environmental Mathematics BSc in the course catalogue.

Year 1

In year 1, you can choose from a range of physical and human geography topics, and then as you progress through your second and final year you can specialise according to your strengths and interests.

You’ll develop a grounding in the core concepts and themes of physical geography, in addition to developing key data analysis and writing skills. Optional modules explore environmental change in the past-present-future, processes on the earth’s surface, the biosphere, and the interactions between humans and the environment. You'll also receive a grounding in environmental mathematics.

Compulsory modules

Planet Under Threat – 20 credits

Explore the major environmental challenges facing humanity and the wider biosphere from both human and physical geography perspectives such as climate change and global warming, biodiversity loss and species extinction, deforestation and desertification, flooding and extreme weather, food and energy shortages, and resource and territory conflicts that generate climate refugees. You'll learn how to evaluate the range of political responses and potential solutions at different scales, assess the effectiveness of national and international environmental policies, and acquire a foundation for studying human and physical geography throughout the course.

Digital Geographies – 20 credits

This exciting module is a beginner’s guide to the important and rapidly changing world of geographical data analysis that blends new digital, mobile and spatial technologies with core numerical skills and conceptual understandings of how space and spatial relationships can be represented. You'll learn core practical skills essential to geography in the 21st century, including geographic information systems (computer cartography), data collection, data handling, data visualisation, hypothesis testing, statistics, analytics and mapping. It will teach you how to design online surveys and collect data using smartphones and other GPS-enabled devices, as well as the potential uses and applications of data from policing to planning, and new forms of data such as crowdsourcing. At its heart, the module seeks to give you the skills needed to make sense of the physical world by harnessing the power of geographic data.

Exploring the Physical Environment – 20 credits

Using a combination of fieldwork and small-group tutorials, this module will help you develop the essential understanding and skills for studying physical geography at university level. A residential field trip to picturesque Blencathra provides practical illustration of concepts taught in the classroom, as well as hands-on experience of practical field techniques.

Advanced Mathematics 1 – 10 credits

This module is designed to be a gentle lead-in to university-level environmental maths. It aims to extend what you have learned in A-level Maths on differentiation and integration and to provide a sound base on which you can develop further maths skills later in the course.

Advanced Mathematics 2 – 10 credits

Building on the skills taught in Advanced Maths 1, here you'll explore techniques such as vector calculus, Fourier analysis and multi-dimensional integration, all of which can be used to solve numerical problems commonly presented in the simulation of natural environmental processes.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Dynamic Landscapes* – 20 credits
  • Living Earth* – 20 credits
  • Population, Society and Space – 20 credits
  • Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development – 20 credits

*Choose one or both

Year 2

You’ll be provided with a core programme of study and research skills, including further environmental mathematics, data analysis and visualisation and career skills training that you’ll supplement from optional modules that build on all the key themes at level one. You'll have a choice of residential fieldwork towards the end of Year 2 where you'll learn new field techniques and develop and carry out a field research project as part of a group.

Compulsory modules

Career Skills in Geography – 10 credits

This module provides you with a suite of insights, skills and experiences that will better prepare you for how to use your geography degree in your future career. This includes: developing a professional CV; what to expect at graduate scheme selection days; understanding how the diverse skills possessed by geographers can be most effectively presented to employers; enhanced understanding of the range of employment and other opportunities available to geographers, and how geographical skills can be used effectively in a diversity of workplaces; gaining familiarity with the process of searching, applying and interviewing for a graduate job; and an opportunity to demonstrate skills possessed by geographers whilst undertaking an applied role-playing project and associated pitch presentation.

Advanced Mathematics 3 – 10 credits

The topics covered in this module are essential mathematical tools for understanding many physical phenomena. Matrices provide a powerful tool for storing, displaying and manipulating information about linear systems of algebraic and differential equations. You'll explore how they can be applied to environmental problems, such as being able to represent fluid flow and heat transfer in the natural environment.

Advanced Mathematics 4 – 10 credits

This module introduces you to the mathematical techniques required to solve differential equations arising in the geophysical sciences, with a focus on the wave and diffusion equations which apply to many environmental phenomena. Skills covered include using series solutions to ordinary differential equations, and the use of separation of variables to solve the diffusion and wave equations.

Skills for Physical Geographers - 40 credits

This module reinforces and builds upon the skills learnt at level 1, helping you to develop competency in research design, fieldwork, data collection, and specialist geographical analysis such as GIS and remote sensing which are the hallmark of a good geography graduate. In addition, the module helps you to develop high levels of literacy (critical writing skills), numeracy (statistics and modelling), and applied graphicacy (graphing and mapping of data). This module aims to ensure you have these skills and know how and where/when to apply them in a variety of real-world situations.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

You’ll choose one of the following field trip modules:

  • European Alps Field Class – 10 credits
  • Mallorca Field Class – 10 credits
  • Portugal Field Class – 10 credits

You’ll also choose 40 credits of the following optional modules:

  • Earth Surface Processes – 20 credits
  • Ecosystems: Process, Pattern, and Change – 20 credits
  • Climate Systems – 20 credits
  • Sustainability: Living Within Limits – 20 credits
  • Political & Development Geographies – 20 credits
  • Geographies of Economies - 20 credits
  • The Making of the Modern City – 20 credits
  • Citizenship and Identity: Comparative Perspectives – 20 credits

Year 3

You’ll be required to undertake a significant independent final year project. You'll choose your project topic and will be supported to develop key research questions within your chosen area. Topics can span any aspect of physical geography and recent ones include:

  • Testing mathematical models of river hydraulics with data from an experimental flume
  • Assessing the most important controls on upland wildfires using GIS
  • Understanding how different farming operations affect soil infiltration and flood response
  • Reconstructing past storm intensity and frequency using proxy data from peat cores

You'll complete your last environmental maths module on statistics and computer simulation using Python and will do a compulsory module in Geography on field monitoring and computer modelling of hydrological systems. Together, these modules provide you with industry-relevant experience in the development and testing of environmental models.

In addition, there is a suite of optional modules that cover subjects such as global environmental challenges, understanding the dynamics of the biosphere, water as a resource, glaciers and glaciation, and Earth system science. You'll also have the choice to undertake a placement hosted by an industrial partner, within an academic research group, or in a primary or secondary school setting, as one of your final year modules.

Compulsory modules

Physical Geography Dissertation – 40 credits

You'll successfully plan, implement and write up an individual research project on a physical geography topic of choice. You'll develop a broad range of skills including general communication, writing and project management skills, subject-specific skills, methodological skills that may include primary and/or secondary data collection, and various data analysis skills.

Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling – 20 credits

The module concerns arguably our most precious resource: water. It trains you in the measurement of this resource and also its management via the use of simulation models. In completing this module you'll develop skills that equip you well for work in organisations dealing with the supply of water and the regulation of water, including flood management.

Coding and Numerical Analysis - 20 credits

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Physical Geography Field Research Project – 20 credits
  • Water Science & Management – 20 credits
  • Creating Alternative Futures – 20 credits
  • Environment, Conflict and Policy – 20 credits
  • The Cryosphere – 20 credits
  • Tropical forests and sustainable development – 20 credits
  • Contested Cities – 20 credits
  • Advanced Population and Health Geographies – 20 credits
  • Spaces of Migration and Encounter – 20 credits
  • Retail Location Planning – 20 credits
  • Geographies of Global Insecurities - 20 credits
  • Professional Work Placement - 20 credits
  • Geographical Research Opportunities - 20 credits
  • School and Educational Placements – 20 credits

Fieldwork

Ask any of our students and they will tell you that taking part in field trips is one of the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the geography programmes at Leeds. We offer increasingly sustainable fieldwork opportunities throughout your degree, giving you the chance to study a fascinating subject in contrasting environments away from the University.

In year 1, fieldwork is UK-based – you'll take part in a residential trip studying the landscape in the Lake District, and there are day trips looking at important environments. In future years, you'll have the option to undertake residential field classes in the UK and in Europe.

Fieldwork is integrated with lectures and module coursework, giving you the opportunity to:

  • Practice the skills you have learnt in class in real-world situations.
  • Gain first-hand experience of collecting and analysing data.
  • Build valuable individual and team research skills – vital for your final year research project.
  • Develop professional skills sought after by employers like project planning, communication and teamwork.
  • Get to know your lecturers and fellow students even better.

Our field trips are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible and balance their carbon footprint with the learning outcomes of the trip.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and work experience. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn through a range of teaching methods, including fieldwork, tutorials (groups up to seven), seminars (groups of up to approximately 30), computer classes, lab practical classes, group-work, online exercises, and lectures, depending on the modules you study.

Independent study is also an important part of this course, and you'll develop your research and analytical skills in order to think and work independently.

You'll receive guidance and support throughout your degree, and there will be opportunities for extra support through one-to-one assistance, workshops and skills training.

Taster lecture

Watch our taster lecture to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

You'll be assessed via a range of methods, designed to allow students with different strengths and interests to excel. Some assessments are based around examinations and essay writing, while there are also reports, presentations, practical exercises (including coding), posters, blogs, vlogs, projects (such as the dissertation) and reflective logs.

All assessments are closely tied to the learning objectives of the course to ensure you graduate equipped with relevant knowledge and skills. They are structured to help you develop valuable transferable qualities that employers are looking for in the workplace.

Our assessments are reviewed annually to ensure they remain fair and inclusive, and to maintain an element of flexibility within module choices such that you can select a package of learning to best reflect your own learning style and long-term career goals.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including Mathematics and one of the following subjects: Biology; Chemistry; Computing/Computer Science; Design and Technology; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Life and Health Sciences (Double Award only), Marine Science; Pure Maths, Further Maths (Mathematics (Maths) is compulsory); Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Sport Science; Statistics.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking. Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

GCSE: English Language and Mathematics at grade 4/C or above, or an appropriate English and or Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): we recognise the value of this qualification and the effort and skills required to undertake it. Where an applicant is taking the EPQ/IPQ/ASCC this may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. The EPQ/IPQ/ASCC taken with A-Levels, for example, could be ABB with an A in the EPQ/IPQ/ASCC.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.

BTEC

DDD in National Extended Diploma/3 National Extended Certificates in Mathematics and an accepted subject. We will accept a combination of BTECs and A-Levels.

Please contact us for further information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D2, M2, M2 including Geography and Mathematics or two accepted subjects.

International Baccalaureate

16 points at higher level at 6.5.5, including 5 in maths and 5 in an accepted subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

AAAABB/H2H2H2H2H3H3 including Mathematics (H2/A) and an accepted subject.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers, or A in an Advanced Higher and AABBB in Highers, or AAAABB in Highers. To include Mathematics and an accepted subject.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBB plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme.

Foundation years

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year.

We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you will be able to progress onto your chosen course.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

Travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with compulsory field trips are covered by the University. However, you must pay for incidental or personal expenses. In addition, whilst we supply equipment such as wellington boots and waders, you may have to provide items such as waterproofs and walking boots.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course and check the deadline for applications through the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Geography
School of Earth and Environment

Contact us

School of Geography Undergraduate Admissions

Email: geo-ug-enq@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

If you choose to study Geography with Environmental Mathematics at Leeds, your employment opportunities couldn’t be more exciting and wide-ranging.

We structure this programme to ensure you develop the key transferable skills sought by graduate recruiters, skills such as: team-working, commercial awareness, report-writing, fluency in oral communication and presentation, numerical analysis, IT expertise and investigative skills.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research.

Examples of recent graduate destinations include:

  • Environment Agency
  • Thames Water
  • Tarmac
  • WSP
  • Leap Environmental
  • Leeds City Council
  • IBM
  • KPMG

Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability Team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

You'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field
  • Our strong connections with industry mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in a particular company or sector
  • Improve your employability

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

With the help and support of our dedicated Employability Team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:

  • Global Supply Chain Planner, Unilever
  • Category Analyst, Kantar
  • Assistant Transport Planner, RSK
  • Ecological Project Assistant, Middlemarch Environmental Ltd
  • Water Management Consultant, Atkins
  • Biodiversity and Geomorphology Industrial Placement, Environment Agency
  • Weather and Climate Analyst, Arcus FM
  • Environmental Safety Industrial Placement, EDF Energy
  • Data Management Officer, Barnsley Council
  • Risk Strategy Analyst, Lloyds Bank

During your industrial placement, you'll have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Alumni profile: Ryan Pigott

The summer placement that I did with the Environment Agency was really valuable in getting me to where I am now, because it gave me an insight and experience of the job that I currently do.
Find out more about Ryan Pigott's time at Leeds