Geography with Environmental Mathematics BSc

Year of entry

Open Days 2023

Register your interest to be notified when bookings open. Register your interest

UCAS code
Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
3 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
Typical Access to Leeds offer
plus a pass in the Access to Leeds scheme
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Geog and env maths

If you want to explore how our Earth system operates and its underlying mathematical principles, our combined course is for you. It is unique in the UK in being mainly a BSc Geography degree with a mathematical ‘flavour’.

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 will 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.

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, in data analysis, and in the mathematical understanding and simulation of environmental processes.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Take advantage of our world-leading research here at Leeds, which has had a pioneering impact on current global agendas, influencing key decision-makers in shaping environmental protection, public health and the economy.
  • Experience expertise teaching delivered by a School that has taught geography for over 100 years. Learn from internationally renowned academics and researchers at the forefront of their fields who specialise in a variety of geography disciplines.
  • Benefit from excellent specialist facilities, including industry-level teaching laboratories and a dedicated field store fully equipped with research-grade equipment to support your learning and practical fieldwork.
  • Put theory into practice with our extensive fieldwork activities located across the world, 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 with our paid industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — major organisations such as Unilever, RSK, EDF Energy and Lloyds Bank.
  • 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.

Additional highlights

This course offers all of the benefits of being a BSc Geography graduate alongside being equipped with the highly sought-after quantitative skills that employers within environmental industries tell us they need. This blend is unique, at least within the UK, and therefore makes graduates from this course particularly appealing to employers with an interest in being able to simulate environmental processes, understand how they have changed in the past, and how they are likely to evolve into the future.

Course details

You’ll cover developments in the study of 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.

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 have the opportunity to 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 analytical and writing skills. Optional modules explore environment 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.

Year 2

You’ll be provided with a core programme of study and research skills, including further environmental mathematics, data analysis and visualisation using Python, 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 will learn new field techniques and develop and carry out a field research project as part of a group.

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 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.

One-year optional 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.


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 1, you’ll use Leeds as your ‘laboratory’, carrying out group work around the city you live in and in years two and three you’ll have the option to undertake fieldwork at a range of destinations.

During field trips, you’ll learn essential fieldwork and team working skills and transferable skills that will 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.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

Planet Under Threat – 20 credits

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.

Digital Geographies – 20 credits

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.

Exploring the Physical Environment – 20 credits

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.

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 will 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)

*Choose one or both

Year 2

Compulsory modules

Field Project: The Dynamic Environment – 10 credits

The emphasis of this module is on field research including training in field techniques and the formulation of hypotheses for research projects. The module is primarily a field course that explores areas around the UK, or continental Europe (for example Portugal’s Atlantic coast, or the Austrian Alps), depending on the Covid restrictions in place. Indicative topics covered in the field include water quality, fluvial geomorphology, water resource management, rock slope stability, beach hydrology, vegetation and soils, geology, national park management, mapping and remote sensing.

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.

Research project and skills in physical geography – 10 credits

This module reinforces and builds upon the skills learnt at Level 1, helping students to develop competency in research design and data analysis. In addition, the module helps students to develop high levels of literacy (critical writing skills), numeracy (statistics and modelling), and applied graphicacy (graphing and mapping of data), which are the hallmark of a good geography graduate from a world top-50 university.

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 will 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.

Data Analysis and Visualisation for Environmental Applications – 10 credits

This module is designed to teach the computer programming skills required to analyse and plot environmental data sets, beyond what could be done using software such as Excel. You will be introduced to the UNIX computer system and the basic principles of computer programming, and will learn aspects of the Python language needed for data manipulation and visualisation. It is intended that the module will provide the basic skills required to write the custom computer programs necessary for projects such as your final year dissertation.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Year 3

Compulsory modules

Physical Geography Dissertation – 40 credits

Numerical Methods and Statistics – 10 credits

You will be introduced to the most common numerical methods and their implementation in Python. You will also learn how to handle and report data with uncertainties in an appropriate manner. In doing this, you will be challenged to think and write about the role of simulation in physical geography.

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 will develop skills that equip you well for work in organisations dealing with the supply of water and the regulation of water, including flood management.

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Discovery modules

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

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 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 will have a personal tutor all the way through your degree. Our Virtual Learning Environment will also 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 will 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 lecture on ‘Geographical perspectives of malaria transmission’ to get a flavour of what it’s like to study physical geography 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 with Environmental Mathematics BSc student at Leeds, 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, 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.

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; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths; Physical Education; Physics; Psychology; Science (applied); Sport Science; Statistics.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

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.


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

Please contact us for further information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D2, M2, M2 or D3, M1, M2 including Mathematics and an accepted subject.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall, with 16 points at higher level to include 5 points in Mathematics and 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 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.


UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,750 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2022/23
For UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2022/23 the fee will be £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students for 2023/24 have been agreed by the UK Government and will remain at the current fee level of £9,250. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation and as permitted by law. Fees for UK undergraduate students are decided by the government and may vary if policy changes.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 should be available on individual course pages from September 2022.

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

Because we recognise the value of field experience, the school heavily subsidises or covers transport and accommodation costs for compulsory taught field courses and many optional field trips. You will have to supplement the cost of some optional field trips.

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 about additional costs.

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.


Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on 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.

Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Geography
School of Earth and Environment

Contact us

School of Geography Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

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.

University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research.

If you choose to study Geography with Environmental Mathematics 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 Environmental Mathematics graduates, 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.

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 will 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 will 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

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

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.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you will 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

The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers 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
  • All placements are salaried
  • 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 will 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 will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

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