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BA (Hons) Human Geography and Environment (with a year in industry)

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

Year of entry: 2020

UCAS code

L7F6

Institution code

Y50

Length

4 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2020/21)

International fees

£22,080 per year (2020/21)

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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.

Government and Industry

We have strong links with organisations across government and industry as well as links to policy makers, meaning your learning is informed by topical issues.

Course content

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.

Study abroad

There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:

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.

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

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

Option modules

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

Year 3

Your year in industry placement will start in June or July and will run for nine to twelve months. You'll be paid at a rate typical of the industry hosting the placement.

  • You'll have a supervisor in the department who will maintain links with you throughout the placement 
  • You'll write a 5000-word reflective report on your experience
  • University fees are significantly reduced for the placement year

You'll be guided through the process of finding a placement by a dedicated member of staff. You'll be expected to perform well throughout the application process so that you secure the placement: helping you get practical experience that will be invaluable after graduation.

Placements can be found throughout industry, including environmental consultancy, government agencies, political bodies, construction, conservation and ecological charities (subject to availability).

Year 4

You specialise further in the final year with your independent research project and a range of core and optional modules. 

Core modules

Option modules

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

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Debate, interpret and explain local to global sustainability, development and environmental issues occurring on a range of scales using appropriate methods and norms, and engage critically with theory, knowledge and emerging issues in human geography.
  • Obtain, synthesise and critically evaluate complex information on human geography and related areas from a wide range of reliable sources.
  • Cut across disciplinary boundaries to link knowledge and experience from a wide range of research areas to generate knowledge and understanding from experiences of the epistemologies of social statistics, development studies, human geography and environmental planning.
  • Plan, design and execute research as an individual or as part of a team using critically-selected methods including GIS, ethnography, social survey, focus groups, interviewing, observation, use of textual and archival sources.
  • Critically analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data using appropriate tools to draw meaningful conclusions from research in the field of human geography.
  • Effectively communicate knowledge, complex ideas and persuasive arguments to professional and non-specialist audiences using verbal, written, visual and digital media.
  • Recommend sustainable solutions to environmental problems that consider the broader social, political and environmental contexts, and the ethical implications of their application by applying knowledge, theories and approaches from social, political, economic and environmental disciplines.
  • Work responsibly as part of a team or as a team-leader to set challenging yet attainable goals and make an important contribution to understanding the impacts of global sustainability, development and environmental issues.
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.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £22,080

Additional costs

Field work is integral to your course, so in Years 1 and 2, there are core residential field trips. The travel and accommodation costs of these are included in your student fees.*  Compulsory trips include both residential and day trips. Optional field trips are not paid for, and you will be asked to contribute to the cost of these.

* The Department covers the costs of flights up to a maximum based on typical flight costs from regional airports bought in good time

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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.

  • You'll participate in residential field trips to the North York Moors (Year 1) and to Tenerife (Year 2)
  • In Year 4 there is an optional field trip to Prague.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures6 hours per week
Seminars0-2 hours per week
Workshops6 hours
Practicals1-2 hours per week
Field trips2 weeks

These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.

Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Environment Department which is based on Campus West. Teaching takes place at a variety of locations across Campus West including in the state-of-the-art Environment building, and the Department of Biology.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

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.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams35%38%0%8%
Coursework53%50%100%85%
Practical exams12%12%0%7%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Careers and skills

This course will equip you for roles 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. Find out more about careers and employability.

Career opportunities

  • Environmental conservationist
  • Graduate policy analyst
  • Flood risk officer
  • Graduate environmental consultant
  • Environmental engineer
  • Oil and gas analyst

Example employers

  • Network Rail
  • Environment Agency
  • Anglian Water
  • Atkins
  • Department for International Development
  • WSP│Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultancy
  • DEFRA

Transferable skills

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

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels

AAB including Geography

Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD in any of the following subjects: Environmental sustainability, Hospitality, Business or Travel and Tourism
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including Geography
European Baccalaureate 80% overall (including Geography)
International Baccalaureate 35 points (including Higher Level Geography)

You should also have GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in Listening, 21 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 21 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. Applicants who are offered a place are encouraged to attend one of the Departmental visit days during the Spring Term.

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Department of Environment and Geography

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