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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Environmental Geography (Extended Degree) (BSc)

Overview Understand physical geography within an environmental context

UCAS code


Typical offer

Decided by interview (full entry requirements)


4 years full-time

Environmental geography focuses on the physical environment and its effect on humans. Understanding the integration of physical and environmental geography has never been more important than it is today to address the environmental challenges facing the world.

This programme covers aspects of physical geography such as sea level change, glacial and coastal environments and environmental hazards. It also covers other areas of environmental geography such as biogeography, GIS and sustainability. Importantly, the degree also provides opportunities to study the human impacts on the environment through the study of natural resource management, environmental law and policy and environmental economics.

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


Environmental geography gives you the tools to develop sustainable solutions to environmental problems. For example, you will learn about the effect of climate change on biodiversity, the impact of humans on environmental resources and much more.

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 
  • Dynamic Earth 
  • Ecological Principles for the Environment 
  • Environment, Development & Society
  • Environment Field Project for Environmental Geography & Environmental Science 
  • Environmental Geography Research
  • Physical Geography

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 environmental geography. You can then begin to tailor your degree to your own interests with a choice of optional modules.

Core modules:

  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Earth Processes and Landforms
  • Environmental Systems Project
  • Biogeography
  • Residential Field Trip

Optional modules:

  • Ocean Management and Conservation
  • Climate Change
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Ecosystem Processes
  • Food, Space, Culture & Society
  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Environmental Ecology (Biology)

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
  • Coastal Environments
  • Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Climate Change
  • Environmental Hazards

Optional modules:

  • Glaciology and Volcanism in Iceland
  • Atmosphere and Ocean Science
  • Land Use Change and Management
  • Environmental Politics
  • Biodiversity and Society
  • Environmental Politics

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 students from the Environment Department 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's an optional field trip to Iceland


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

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

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Your degree in environmental geography will help you become a numerate graduate with practical, applied skills. You'll also learn to communicate clearly in written reports and during oral presentations.

Career opportunities

  • Environmental consultancies
  • Environmental management
  • Policy formulation
  • Public sector such as the Environment Agency, DEFRA
  • Conservation bodies

Transferable skills

  • Project management 
  • Feasibility studies
  • Data analysis 
  • Research skills 
  • Time management
The multidisciplinary approach to the degree was what I particularly enjoyed and it is advantageous to an employer. In the past six months I have had to utilise and build upon my knowledge from the Law, Environmental Health and Environmental Monitoring modules which I was taught, to name but a few.
Lucy Collins
Magnox Graduate Scheme
Environmental Geography, 2012

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