Each year of this programme is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules, as well as opportunities to take optional modules in both physical and human geography, and discovery modules across the wider University so you can choose additional subjects of interest.
Our first year modules explore:
the role of volcanos, glaciers and earthquakes in creating our landscapes
how environments have changed during the history of our planet
the response of ecosystems to global environmental change
how interactions between humans and the environment determine the health of our planet
key concepts, approaches, and knowledge in political and development geography
You will also develop a grounding in the data analysis, writing, computer and laboratory skills that you will need during your degree and beyond.
Our second year modules build on the themes you explore in year one by developing your knowledge in more depth and teaching the advanced skills you need for your final year. You will be able to choose from modules that explore themes such as natural hazards, the dynamics of the climate system, the future of the biosphere in the Anthropocene and environmental sustainability.
You will learn advanced skills in programming for data analysis, GIS and remote sensing. You will also have a choice of residential fieldwork where you will learn new field techniques and develop and carry out a field research project as part of a group.
(Optional) One-year work placement or study abroad
To advance your skill set and boost your experience, you can apply to take up an industrial placement or study abroad at one of the many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. Both of these options will extend your degree by 12 months and take place between the second and third year. You then return to Leeds to complete your final year.
During the final year, you will undertake an independent research project. You will choose your topic, develop your research questions and execute and write up your project with the guidance of a member of academic staff.
Recent dissertation titles include:
The effect of broad-crested weir geometry on downstream channel hydraulics
To what extent does the invasive gecko Hemidactylus frenatus threaten the population of the endemic Phyllodactylus palmeus on Ulila Island, Honduras?
Investigating the jökulhaup characteristics from proglacial ice-dammed lakes in Greenland
Flooded heritage: a GIS analysis of the risks posed to archaeological sites by coastal processes following climate change in the Orkney Islands
You will also choose from a broad range of modules that include topics such as the challenges of rewilding, the dynamics of the cryosphere, sustainable development in tropical forest landscapes, and management of hydrological systems. You will also have the opportunity to customise your course further by undertaking a work, teaching or research placement and/or take a fieldcourse as one of your final year modules.
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 fieldwork opportunities at each level of study and they provide a great opportunity to study a fascinating subject in contrasting environments away from the University. In year one, fieldwork will be UK-based and in years two and three you will have the option to undertake fieldwork overseas.
During field trips you will learn essential fieldwork and team working skills and transferable skills that will prove invaluable to your future career.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
<p><h3>Modules</h3><h3>Year one</h3><p><strong>Compulsory modules </strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1000">Planet Under Threat</a> – 20 credits</strong></p><p>In this module you will study some of the key environmental challenges facing humanity and the wider biosphere from both social and natural science perspectives. Combining aspects of physical and human geography, you will explore specific environmental challenges such as climate change and global warming, biodiversity loss and species extinction, deforestation and desertification, flooding and extreme weather, food and energy shortages, resource and territory conflicts, migration, and climate refugees.</p><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1400">Digital Geographies</a> – 20 credits</strong></p><p>This exciting module offers students a beginner’s guide to the important and rapidly changing world of geographical data analysis. Students will learn core practical skills essential to geography in the 21st century, including geographic information systems (computer cartography), data handling, data visualisation, hypothesis testing and statistics. At its heart, the module seeks to give students the skills needed to make sense of the physical world by harnessing the power of geographic data.</p><p><strong>Exploring the Physical Environment – 20 credits</strong></p><p>This module uses a combination of fieldwork and small-group tutorials to develop essential understanding and skills for studying physical geography at university level. A residential fieldtrip to picturesque Malham in the Yorkshire Dales provides practical illustration of concepts taught in the classroom, as well as hands-on experience of practical field techniques.</p><p><strong>Optional modules </strong></p><ul><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1040">Dynamic Landscapes</a>* – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1045">Living Earth</a>* – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1550">Population, Society and Space</a> – 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1500">Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development </a>– 20 credits</strong></p></li><li><p><strong><a href="https://webprod3.leeds.ac.uk/catalogue/dynmodules.asp?Y=202223&F=P&M=GEOG-1450">The Urban Age</a> – 10 credits</strong></p></li></ul><p>*Choose one or both</p><h3>Year two and three</h3><p><strong><a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/geography-undergraduate-module-information/doc/geography-bsc">Find out more about modules in years two and three here</a>.</strong></p><h4>Geography with Geology pathway</h4><p>We are also looking to introduce a pathway combining Geography with Geology, that allows you to combine your geographical studies with topics from the Earth Sciences, such as the origins of rocks and minerals, the evolution of life on earth, volcanism, and the use of geological natural resources.</p></p>
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
Laboratory classes, project work and fieldwork allows you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together, they will equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and you will receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme. Peer mentors are students who are on your course, but are in Years two or three. They’ll help you when you arrive at University and throughout your first year. You’ll meet your peer mentors during your first week for a social activity.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Watch our taster lectures 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.
As a Geography BSc student at Leeds you will 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, 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, and 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.