Geography with Transport Studies BA

Year of entry

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UCAS code
L7N9
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Train

Ever wondered how to plan transport to beat traffic jams, make buses and trains work, and deliver all those online orders? How do we make cities sustainable and healthy at the same time as providing access to jobs? This course explores transport’s essential contribution to quality of life, and how to resolve problems it causes for society.

Our Geography with Transport Studies BA course explores how transport contributes to quality of life, but also causes problems for society – an issue that has taken it to the top of the political agenda.

This is a degree with a distinctive employability element - you'll study human geography alongside modules taught by the University’s internationally renowned Institute for Transport Studies.

You’ll be equipped with skills for a multitude of careers in the transport sector and beyond in the UK or worldwide, including transport planning, transport analysis and economics, freight and logistics, project management, location planning.

Our graduates are in demand for both their specialist and transferable skills. You’ll build skills in presenting your ideas in reports and orally, in data collection, presentation and analysis, and in the investigation and computer simulation of transport networks.

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 the Institute for Transport Studies and the School of Geography that has taught geography for over 100 years. Learn from academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of transport and geography disciplines.
  • Access excellent teaching facilities, including specialist labs, lecture theatres and industry-standard software, fully equipped with the latest technology to support your learning.
  • 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 Network Rail, TUI, CrossCountry and StageCoach.
  • 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.

Course details

Each year of this course is designed around a combination of compulsory core modules that provide essential foundational knowledge and skills in human geography and transport studies. There are further opportunities to study optional and discovery modules across geography and transport subjects, or across the wider University so you can choose different subjects of interest if you wish to.

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

Year 1

You’ll develop a grounding in the foundational concepts and themes of human geography and transport studies, plus key skills in academic writing, digital learning and data analysis. Compulsory modules explore the planetary environmental crisis, urbanisation, and the challenges for transport and mobility. We focus on issues of power, justice, difference (including ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and disability), identity, space, place and accessibility across different global scales and ideologies. You have the option to take a physical geography module as well but can choose to focus on human geography and transport.

Quantitative Research Methods pathway

At the end of year 1, you'll have the opportunity to request a place on our BA Geography with Quantitative Methods course, subject to meeting the entry requirements.

The course will help you to develop advanced analytical skills, which are in high demand across the public, private, and third sectors. You'll learn spatial and statistical analysis techniques and their application to ‘real’ world problems related to crime, health, transport, business, planning and environment.

Find out more about the Quantitative Research Methods pathway.

Year 2

You’ll be provided with a core programme of human geography research skills and expertise in transport and society. You’ll be able to develop a specialism in transport such as transport economics, transport land use and development, transport energy and environment, project appraisal to analyse the economic pros and cons of transport and other infrastructure investments.

You'll supplement further from optional geography modules that cover geopolitics and international development, service analysis and planning, economic geography, the development of modern cities, citizenship and identity, and natural resource management. You can also take a physical geography module in a range of topics spanning natural planetary systems.

Year 3

You’ll undertake a significant independent final year project - currently a dissertation - alongside a suite of optional modules which cover subjects such as urban social movements, creating alternative futures, population and health geographies, sustainability, retail location analysis, global insecurities, migration and encounter, health impacts of travel in cities, public transport, freight logistics and the environment, social analysis of travel activity and social psychology focused on individual decision making, and modelling for decision making.

You'll also have the choice of a research, work or teacher placement module with an external organisation, and can take a physical geography module from a choice of topics.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. 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.

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.

In year 1, fieldwork is UK-based. You'll use Leeds as your ‘laboratory’, exploring the city through group work. In future years, you'll have the option to undertake residential field classes in the UK or in Europe. During field trips, you'll learn essential fieldwork and teamwork skills whilst building transferable skills that'll prove invaluable to your future career.

Course structure

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

Modules

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 please read Geography with Transport Studies BA in the course catalogue.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

The Urban Age – 20 credits

You'll learn about the dynamic nature of urban and economic geography, exploring the geography of cities and urban settlements and their constitution by environmental, economic, social and political processes through time and space. Particular attention is paid to planetary urbanisation, urban planning, systems of collective consumption, housing and the welfare state, service and retail economy, neoliberal globalisation, post-industrial urbanism, power, austerity and contestation. Key features of the module are small group tutorials and local urban fieldwork.

Planet Under Threat – 20 credits

This module focuses on 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 will 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 offers students 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 will 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 and Twitter. 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.

Challenges in Transport and Mobility – 10 credits

Everybody needs to use the transport system as part of their daily lives and so we all have opinions about it based on our own personal experiences. But it is a much greater challenge to be able to see ‘the big picture’, as this requires a deeper understanding of: how current transport systems have evolved; what impacts they have on society, the economy and people’s lives; and what factors may help or hinder how we are able to travel in the future. This module will introduce you to a range of approaches (lectures, reading, tutorials and place-based case studies) to explore how travel and mobility contribute to quality of life.

Transport Policy in Action – 10 credits

This module is for students interested in the power and the limitations of transport policy and planning as it is enacted in the real world. It provides a framework for exploring the evidence about different transport policies, drawing on cases from the UK and throughout the world, highlighting instances of good practice and areas of difficulty. In doing so, we seek to facilitate students’ active engagement with live transport policy developments.

Optional modules

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Research Approaches in Human Geography – 20 credits

This is an essential training programme for human geography students in the fundamentals of devising, conducting and writing up qualitative research so you’re equipped to conduct your own final year independent research project. You'll first learn about the core ideas and scientific approaches underpinning human geography and be trained in the key skills of compiling, summarising and critically analysing different literatures and data sources. This is followed by training in research design, methodology and a variety of qualitative research methods before putting them into practice through conducting fieldwork, data collection, and data analysis in a research team.

Social and Spatial Data Analysis with GIS – 10 credits

This module provides human geography students with essential training in quantitative analysis such as social data statistics, spatial data analysis and the theory behind Geographical Information Systems (GIS). You'll develop advanced skills in collecting, summarising, and manipulating data as well as exploring spatial data relationships through overlay analysis, sieve mapping, cluster analysis and classification, heatmaps, spatial trends, data projections, network analyses, digital elevation models, and regression. This will be complemented by exploring the potential uses and applications of spatial data through site and location suitability analyses.

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 a 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.

Key Challenges in Transport and Society – 10 credits

This module develops your understanding of transport and travel and how it interacts with society at large. It focuses on the dynamic ways in which transport and travel influence and are influenced by society by exploring how social factors such as globalisation or inequalities and transport and travel affect each other, , and how transport policy, provision and use can change in light of politics, protest and community engagement/action.

Exploring Transport and Society – 10 credits

Using a range of case studies, this module illustrates the ways in which theoretical concepts relating to interactions between transport, travel and society manifest themselves in our everyday lives. By addressing the social factors influencing and influenced by transport and travel, and by exploring in more depth the range of transport and travel cultures at play across society, and the power relations, ethics and contestations bound up with individual and organisational decisions on transport. For example, what are the transport consequences of migration policy decisions? Or how might cultural perspectives of different modes of transport be a barrier to successful transport policy implementation to increase walking and cycling to improve health?

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Human Geography Dissertation – 40 credits

This module forms the pinnacle of your degree: a 10,000-word thesis based on an independent research project that is focused on a specific problem or question that you have devised. You will successfully plan, implement, and write up an individual research project on a human geography topic of choice. Doing a dissertation introduces you to the practicalities of doing research, from coming up with a topic, thinking about aims and objectives, planning and working through the different elements of your research (theoretical, empirical, analytical), and writing up your findings. You will 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. You will be following a very similar process to the one that academics undertake when conducting research and writing books, reports or papers for journals.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Learning and teaching

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

Independent study is also an important part of this course and will 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. You'll have a personal tutor all the way through your degree.

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 using a range of methods throughout the course. There will be timed examinations, essay and report writing, presentations, practical exercises, posters, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, research-based projects (such as the dissertation), briefing notes and reflective logs.

All assessments are closely tied to the learning objectives of the course to ensure you graduate equipped with cutting edge knowledge and skills, as well as being structured to help you develop the key transferable qualities that employers are looking for within the workplace.

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 one of the following subjects: Ancient History/History; Business/Business Studies; Classical Civilisation; Economics; English; Geography; Government and Politics; Law; Media Studies; Modern Languages or Ancient Languages; Philosophy; Politics; Psychology; Religious Studies; Sociology.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above, or an appropriate English and 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 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 or two relevant subjects

International Baccalaureate

16 points at higher level to include 6,5,5 points including 5 in a relevant subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

AAAABB/H2H2H2H2H3H3 including Geography or two relevant subjects

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 Geography or two relevant subjects.

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 an alternative 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 alternative admissions.

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

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 a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.

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: £9,250 (per year)

International: £27,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.

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.

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 through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses in the School of Geography. The number of applicants exceeds the number of places available so, to ensure that we treat all applications fairly and equitably, we wait until after the UCAS equal consideration application deadline has passed before making a final decision on applications.

If we put your application on hold for review after the UCAS application deadline, we will send you an email to let you know. Although you may have to wait longer than usual to receive a decision, you will hear from us by mid-May at the latest, in line with the deadline that UCAS sets universities for making decisions on applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline.

Offer decisions are made based on an overall review of applications including predicted grades, breadth of knowledge demonstrated through qualifications, personal statement, extra-curricular and work experience, and contextual information. We look for enthusiastic and talented students who have the potential to succeed in their studies with us and contribute to our community.

Advanced entry is not generally permitted on this course.

Admissions guidance

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

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
Institute for Transport Studies

Contact us

School of Geography Undergraduate Admissions

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

Career opportunities

If you choose to study Geography with Transport Studies at Leeds, you can be confident that you’re not only joining a university whose graduates are targeted by top employers, but that as Geography with Transport Studies graduates, your employment opportunities couldn’t be more exciting and wide-ranging.

A degree from Leeds and the experience you'll gain here will give you the edge to find the career you want. Your course will give you the experience and knowledge that employers are looking for to help you secure a graduate job.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research.

Examples of recent graduate destinations include:

  • British Airways
  • Deloitte
  • Environment Agency
  • IBM
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Thames Water
  • Transport for Greater Manchester
  • World Health Organisation

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:

  • Transport Planning and Development Team, AECOM
  • Train Planning Student, CrossCountry
  • Performance Placement Student, CrossCountry
  • Revenue Management, Network Rail
  • Operations Improvements Placement, Northern Train Operator
  • Rail Analyst, StageCoach
  • Undergraduate Transport Planner, WSP
  • Online Merchandising Placement, TUI

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.

Student profile: Sofie Wimble

I’m currently paired with a successful alumni and am meeting with her to gain insight, advice and listen to her experience within the industry of NGOs and charity sectors.
Find out more about Sofie Wimble's time at Leeds