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 course 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, Geographical Information Systems and sustainability. You'll have opportunities to study the human impacts on the environment through the study of natural resource management, environmental law and policy and environmental economics.
Please note, from 2022 entry, this course will change from 'Environmental Geography with a year in industry' to 'Environmental Geography with a placement year'. The content of the course is very similar, the modification simply reflects changes to how the year will be administered and supported.
Accredited by the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
Our staff collaborate with a broad range of private and public organisations including UNEP, DEFRA, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Overseas Development Institute, Willis Global Insurance Broker.
The Stockholm Environment Institute at York is based in our Department and is among the top think tanks on environmental policy in the world. As a student here you may be taught by staff from the institute and may have the opportunity to carry out your research project with them.
Our Department has strong links to global policy makers including UNEP and WHO
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.
There are opportunities for you to spend time abroad during your course:
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.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module 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:
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 option modules.
Or you can replace some optional modules with electives from other Departments.
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 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).
You specialise further in Year 4 with your independent research project, and a range of core and option modules.
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.
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.
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.
The fees and funding figures below are for 2021/22 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year
|UK (home)||International and EU|
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
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.
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
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.
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.
“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.
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.
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
We hope to deliver this course as advertised for 2021/22 entry, but it’s unclear when we’ll be able to return to a normal timetable. For an idea of how this course might be affected, see our changes for 2020/21 entry.
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:
For the Year in Industry, a dedicated member of staff will guide you through the process of finding a placement. You will be assigned a supervisor for your placement and be expected to contribute academic work based on your experience. Placements can be local, national or international.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||4-5 hours per week|
|Workshops||0-2 hours per term|
|Practicals||1-2 hours per week|
|Field trips||2 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, practise 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.
Our state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatres and seminar rooms.
Your contact hours will be divided between the Department of Environment and Geography, the Department of Biology and other locations nearby.
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.
Each module will be assessed either by coursework, closed examination or a combination of both. Coursework can include:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
Our superb, £12.5m state-of-the-art building contains purpose-built labs, lecture theatre and seminar rooms as well as featuring a spectacular living wall
Academic and industry speakers are invited to talk about key and policy-relevant areas of environmental research
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. Find out more about careers and employability.
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
AAB including Geography or Geology plus a second science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology or Life and Health Sciences)
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDD|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, D3, M2|
|European Baccalaureate||80% overall (including Geography)|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points (including Higher Level Geography)|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
You should also have GCSE Mathematics at grade 4 (C) or above, or equivalent.
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|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.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|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 in each component|
|TOEFL||87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Merit in all components|
|Duolingo||110 overall, with a minimum of 100 in each component|
For more information see our undergraduate 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.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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