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Home>Study at York>Undergraduate>Courses>Environmental Geography (MEnv)

Overview Understand physical geography within an environmental context

UCAS code


Typical offer

ABB (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.

The living wall . Photo by David Rippin
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.

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

In the third year you undertake advanced research training to prepare the way to your fourth year of masters study. You can also select optional modules to suit your interests and employment objectives. 

Core modules:

  • Advanced Literature Review
  • Research Skills and Statistical methods
  • 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
  • Land Use Change and Management

You can replace some optional modules with electives from other Departments.

Full listing of the degree structure and modules

Year 4

In year 4 you undertake further advanced training, vocational modules and a significant independent research project tailored to your research interests and career ambitions.

Core modules:

  • Research Dissertation
  • Vocational modules (Business and the Environment and Environmental Impact Assessment or Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • Reconstructing Environmental Change
  • Current Research in Environmental Geography

Optional modules:

  • IPCC Science
  • Maldives Field Trip

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. Applicants who are offered a place are encouraged to attend one of the Departmental visit days held during the Spring term.

How to apply

A-levels and GCSEs


ABB or equivalent including Geography or Geology plus one subject from among:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology


GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above, or equivalent.

Other UK qualifications

Scottish Highers
AAABB without Advanced Highers 
AB + AABBB Advanced Highers and Highers

BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM

Cambridge Pre-U
D3 M2, M2

Access to HE Diploma 
15 credits from units awarded Distinction and 15 awarded Merit or higher

Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

International options

International Baccalaureate
34 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

European Baccalaureate
Overall average of 75 per cent or higher

Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions.

English language

6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in all units

Pearson PTE Academic 
61 overall and 51 in all parts

Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) 
Grade A

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 
Grade C

Unistats for this course

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions