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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Human Geography and Environment (Extended Degree) (BA)

Overview This degree brings together social science and environmental science to understand the complex linkages between people, places and the planet

UCAS code


Typical offer

Decided by interview (full entry requirements)


4 years full-time

This degree provides an understanding of contemporary human geography and environmental science. The Human Geography and Environment degree explores real-world problems, such as transportation, urbanisation, food security, mega-cities and their impact on the natural environment.

Environment building: interior. Photo by David Rippin a lecturer in the department
Photo by David Rippin

Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatres and seminar rooms.

Course content What you’ll study


You will study contemporary human geography and current environmental issues. You'll learn to use geographical concepts and skills to deliver solutions to global problems.

Foundation year

This year is taught at York College and all modules are compulsory:

  • Academic Skills
  • Environmental Study Techniques
  • Maths and Statistics
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Living Organisms and Environment
  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography - Sustainable Development
  • Individual Project

These modules are designed to provide a foundation for students with non-A-level backgrounds (or equivalents) so that they are able to engage with the BSc and MEnv programmes offered by the Environment Department.  

Year 1

The first year modules give you an introduction to the basics of the course, providing you with a foundation for advanced material in the future.

All first year modules are core. 

  • Data Analysis for Environmental Research 
  • Ecological Principles for the Environment  
  • Environment, Development & Society 
  • Environment Field Project for Human Geography & Environment; Environment, Economics & Ecology
  • Introduction to Human Geography 
  • Global Geographies 
  • Qualitative Approaches to Social Science Research

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module. This covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.

This module will:

  • define academic integrity and academic misconduct
  • explain why and when you should reference source material and other people's work
  • provide interactive exercises to help you to assess whether you've understood the concepts
  • provide answers to FAQs and links to useful resources.

Year 2

You will take a range of core modules to develop your knowledge of human geography and environment. You can then begin to tailor your degree to your own interests with a choice of optional modules.

Core modules:

  • Geographies of Development
  • Food, Space, Culture and Society
  • Residential Field Trip 
  • Sustainable Tourism and Transport 
  • Geographical Information Systems

Optional modules:

  • Energy and the Environment 
  • Megacities and Urbanisation 
  • Environmental Policy: From Global to Local
  • Environmental Systems Project
  • Biogeography 
  • Ocean Management and Conservation
  • Economics of Sustainable Development

Or you can replace some optional modules with electives from other Departments.

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Year 3

You specialise further in Year 3 with your independent research project and a range of core and optional modules. 

Core modules:

  • Research Project 
  • Gender, Environment and Global Poverty 
  • Environmental Psychology for a Sustainable Society 

Optional modules:

  • Production and Consumption Geographies - Field Trip to Prague 
  • Environmental Politics
  • Biodiversity and Society

Or you can replace some optional modules with electives from other Departments.

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Study abroad

The University has exchange agreements with a number of other universities across the world. Typically one or two environment students study abroad every year in places such as Australia, Canada and the US.

For me, the most important thing at York has been the community. You always feel like you’re part of a family.
Chloe, second year student. Read more on Chloe's blog.

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

Teaching includes field-based learning, research-led teaching and a more traditional combination of lectures, tutorials, and seminars.

Practical work is a key feature, both in individual projects and in groups.

Field trips form an important part of your course, with excursions (residential and non-residential) each year.

  • In Year 2 you will participate in a field trip to Tenerife.
  • In Year 3 there is an optional field trip to Prague


Each module will be assessed either by coursework, closed examination or a combination of both. Coursework can include:

  • Open exercises
  • Practical write-ups
  • Oral presentations
  • Data analysis exercises
  • Essays.

In your final year, you will complete an independent research project based on your interests and career aspirations.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Graduates could find employment tackling environmental issues at a local, national or international level. You will also develop transferable skills that can be used outside the geography and environment sector.

Career opportunities

  • International aid and development
  • Public sector such as the Environment Agency, DEFRA
  • Private sector industries including energy companies, construction, retail, travel, transport
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Conservation bodies

Transferable skills

  • Project management 
  • Feasibility studies
  • Data analysis 
  • Research skills 
  • Time management

We partner with these organisations to enhance your learning experience:

• The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI-Y)
• The Food and Environment Research Agency
• The Centre for the Integration of Research, Conservation and Learning (CIRCLE)

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

All applications must be made through UCAS. This degree with foundation year at York College is for mature students from a non-traditional A-level background and offers are made on an individual basis, after interview.

How to apply

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions