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BA (Hons) Human Geography and Environment

Bringing together social science and environmental science to understand the complex linkages between people, places and the planet

Year of entry: 2022/23

UCAS code

L7F8

Institution code

Y50

Length

3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2022(term dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£24,000 per year

Undergraduate Online Open Days

Considering your options for 2022? Meet us online on Sunday 19 September.

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Our BA Human Geography and Environment builds the skills, knowledge and capacities for understanding and developing solutions for pressing 21st century social and environmental challenges. It draws on cutting-edge insights from human geography and environmental studies to critically explore the complex relationships between people, places and environments. It explores challenges and solutions to real-world problems, such as inequalities in global development, how to achieve inclusive and sustainable change, creating sustainable food and transport systems, and the challenges of moving to sustainable consumption.

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

You will take core modules which may include:

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 option modules.

Core modules

You will take core modules which may include:

Option modules

You will take a selection of option modules, examples of which may include:

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

Year 3

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

Core modules

You will take core modules which may include:

Option modules

You will take a selection of option modules, examples of which may include:

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

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

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

The fees and funding figures below are for 2022/23 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £24,000

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home): 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 and EU students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at two per cent each year.

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.

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

Type Amount
Textbooks Optional additional expense £100
Field trips Included in course fees £0
Travel to non-UoY locations Optional additional expense £0
Specialist clothing, uniforms, lab coats, laundry... Included in course fees £0
Equipment/facility hire and insurance Included in course fees £0

Funding

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2022/23 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 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 3 there is an optional field trip to Prague.

Timetabled activities

In your first year, you can expect:

Lectures4-6 hours per week
Seminars1-2 hours per week
Workshops2-4 hours per week
Practicals2-4 hours per week
Field trips1 week

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 Department of Environment and Geography 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; where possible these will be real-world and solutions-based assessments.

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 3
Written exams35%38%8%
Coursework53%50%85%
Practical exams12%12%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

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 DD in the BTEC National Diploma plus A level Geography or equivalent. If you are studying for the BTEC National Extended Diploma or a different combination of A levels and BTEC qualifications please contact us at ug-admisions@york.ac.uk for advice.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including Geography
European Baccalaureate 80% overall including Geography
International Baccalaureate 35 points including 6 in Geography at Higher Level
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other qualifications We consider a wide range of academic and vocational qualifications as long as Geography is obtained at A level or equivalent and are happy to talk to you about your individual qualifications profile
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

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

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.

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:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Duolingo 110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C
LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 Communicator High Pass with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
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 English language test 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.

Next steps

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Department of Environment and Geography

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