MA

Practising Human Geography

Key Facts

Course Code L791
  • Qualification

    MA

  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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The skills and expertise with which this course will equip you are particularly relevant if you hope to gain employment with government agencies, public bodies, research institutes or private consultancies, or if you wish to progress to further doctoral-level research. Based at Aberystwyth University’s internationally-renowned Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, this course will expose you to Human Geography at its cutting-edge and you will become aware of the most up-to-date debates, theories and methodologies in the context of a lively and robust working department.

  • Key Facts
  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning

Key Facts

We invite applications from students from a range of related disciplinary backgrounds including geologists, geographers and environmental Earth scientists.

Applications can be made online by visiting our Postgraduate Application Portal, or can be made offline (by post or email). Please see our How to Apply page for more detail. 

Duration:

One year full-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters, but this course is administered in two parts: Part One runs from October to May; Part Two runs from June to September. 

Contact Time:

Approximately 10-14 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.

Assessment: Part 1 of the course is delivered and assessed through lectures, tutorials and essay projects. In Part 2, the successful acceptance of your dissertation (up to 20,000 words) leads to the award of an MA. 

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Contact:

For more information on the course, please contact Dr Gareth Hoskins at tgh@aber.ac.uk or +44 (0) 1970 622630.

For more information on the application process or entrance requirements, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office at pg-admissions@aber.ac.uk or +44 (0) 1970 622023. 

Overview

Why study MA Practising Human Geography at Aberystwyth University?

  • Study at a research-led institution and in a multi-national community
  •  The Department of Geography and Earth Science is top in Wales, with 78% of its research classified as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ -  REF 2014
  •  Aberystwyth DGES is in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regards to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department
  • Our Human Geography receives funding from the Economic and Social Science and Arts and Humanities Research Councils, as well as the Leverhulme Trust and the European Research Council
  •  This course functions as an ESRC-recognised pathway within the Wales Doctoral Training Partnership giving eligibility for ESRC PhD funding
  •  Opportunity to attend two major research groups (the Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group and the New Political Geographies Research Group) which are comprised of experts who regularly contribute to international debates
  •  This course provides innovative and unique cross-institution training with a Theory School and Methods School delivered jointly with the Geography departments at Cardiff and Swansea University
  •  Opportunity to network and increase your professional exposure through the department’s regular guest seminars and the residential theory school (held in conjunction with Cardiff and Swansea Universities)
Our Staff

Department of Geography and Earth Science: lecturers are all qualified to PhD level or working towards a PhD.

Modules

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Employability

Careers

Students graduating from this course will be highly competent contributors to any work relating to:

  • policy and governance
  • territory
  • landscape
  • sustainability
  • research design
  • data handling

DGES graduates have taken a wide variety of career pathways:

  • Environmental consultancy
  •  Oil and gas exploration and development
  • Research work alongside prominent institutions/initiatives - REDD+ initiative, Norwegian Space Centre
  • Policy advocacy work in the energy sector
  •  Management
  • Commercial & Quality Assurance
  •  Strategic Research Consultancy
  • Marketing and Strategy Development
  •  Planning roles across various market sectors
  • Local and national government
  •  Civil Service
  • International, investment, and private banking
  • Education

Skills

Throughout this programme you will enhance your:

  • Presentation and communication skills
  •  Research and study skills
  • Critical analysis and evaluation
  •  Project management and problem solving skills
  • Subject-specific knowledge, skills and competencies 
  • Ability to structure and communicate complex ideas efficiently
  • Ability to work independently and in a team setting
  • Professional work ethic 

Teaching & Learning

How will I learn?

This course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters. When studied full time, in the first two semesters, students will complete the taught part of the course, which is delivered through a combination of seminars, lecture-seminars and tutorials. Students undertaking this course will also attend a residential theory school, the DGES seminar series Dialogues in Human Geography, and guest lectures offered in the Department.  

During the final semester, students will arrange their level of contact time with their assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters, you will undertake a number of core and optional modules, totalling 120 credits. Through these modules you will develop an awareness of key themes and policy debates in Human Geography, the ethical, moral and legal perspectives on the subject, and the practical, philosophical, epistemological and theoretical approaches to Human Geography. You will also develop research skills by undertaking research training modules.

In the final semester, you will apply your learning in the individual dissertation worth an additional 60 credits.

How will I be assessed?

Depending on the modules chosen, assessment is via a combination of essays, reports, presentations, research proposals, reflective journals, research critiques, literature reviews, policy recommendations, and seminar discussion. The optional Postgraduate Work Experience module is assessed by a reflective essay, a project report and a journal. 

Successful submission of the master’s dissertation at the end of the academic year leads to the award of an MA.