BA Human Geography / English Literature

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

In choosing to study a degree in Human Geography and English Literature at Aberystwyth University you will be part of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, one of the largest and most dynamic departments of its kind in Britain. Human Geography and English Literature (LQ73) is an exciting and rewarding subject to study. You will explore the nature and impact of cultural, social, economic and political processes from the local to the global scale. By studying Human Geography and English Literature you will acquire a wide range of the skills and knowledge that employers are increasingly seeking. Typically 91% of our Geography and Earth Sciences graduates are in employment (or studying for a postgraduate qualification) within 6 months of graduating. Expand the sections below and find out more...


This BA in Human Geography and English Literature is a remarkable joint honours scheme in which you will investigate the human societies and the politics of place in conjunction with the study of great writers and their literature. The university has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It placed the university in the top 50 institutions for research power and intensity. It submitted 77% of eligible staff and 95% of the university's research was of an internationally recognised standard.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction results show high levels of satisfaction in both Human and Social Geography and Physical Geography and Environmental Science courses, with 91% of students satisfied with the quality of the teaching. Overall satisfaction was above UK national averages for the subject.

96% of our Geography and Earth Science graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, 11 percentage points higher than the previous year and 3 percentage points higher than the UK subject average (DLHE 2014).

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction among English students, with 88% satisfaction rate for the quality of teaching

93% of our 2014 English and Creative Writing graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 4 percentage point increase on the previous year and equal to the overall UK sector average (DLHE 2014). This increase reflects our investment in innovative and strategic student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic Institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.

In your human geography studies, you will engage with the human forces which change every geographical environment, from contemporary urban metropolises and rural communities to children's playgrounds and motorway hard shoulders. In your literature studies, you will consider texts and authors who engage with and shape societies, cultures and history.

You will find the study of Human Geography and English Literature to be a varied and stimulating experience which you can tailor to suit your own interests. You will be able to specialise both areas of study through selecting option modules. Your options may include Climate Change; Medieval and Renaissance Writing; Placing Politics; Romantic Eroticism; Landscapes of British Modernity; and African American Literature among many others.

This course is hosted jointly by our internationally-renowned Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, one of the largest Geography communities in the UK, and our vibrant Department of English and Creative Writing. Staff members of both departments are published experts and researchers in their fields. They will be available for advice and guidance throughout your course, including as you prepare to write and present your substantial final dissertation.

This BA in Human Geography and English Literature will be valuable in any almost any graduate workplace. Upon obtaining your degree, you will be a capable researcher, a confident analyst and fluent communicator. You will be experienced in planning projects, presenting in both oral and written form, and leading and co-operating in team settings. These skills are just some of the many you will be able to bring to any graduate workplace.

Our Staff

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

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

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.

Year 1 Core (40 Credits) You must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Encountering Texts EN10020

Semester 2

Ancestral Voices EN10220

Year 1 Core (10 Credits) The following modules are core.

Semester 2

Power, Place And Development GG14210

Year 1 Options Core (30 credits). Welsh medium (DA) and English medium (GG) modules. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA11900/10 instead of GG11900/10, DA10110 instead of GG14410, and DA10210 instead of GG10210.

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11900

The City And Country: Processes Of Conflict And Change GG10210

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11900

Place, Culture And Society GG14410

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11910

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11910

Year 1 Options You may choose up to 40 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Greek And Roman Epic And Drama CL10120

Re-writing, Re-visioning Texts EN10120

American Literature 1819-1925 EN11220

Semester 2

History Of Greek And Roman Ideas CL10320

Contemporary Writing EN10520

Year 1 Options (20 credits). Students must choose up to 20 credits from the list below, or from appropriate modules offered elsewhere in IGES or in the university.

Semester 1

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13000

Semester 2

Amgylchedd Cymru DA10810

Methodoleg Maes Amgylcheddol DA10910

Byw Gyda Risg DA12810

Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptations GG10810

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13020

Year 2 Core (10 Credits) The following modules are core.

Semester 1

Researching People And Place GG20510

Year 2 Core (20 Credits) ENGLISH - You must take the following module

Semester 1

Literary Theory: Debates And Dialogues EN20120

Year 2 Options Core (10 credits). Welsh medium (DA) and English medium (GG) modules. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA22100/10 instead of GG22100/10.

Semester 1

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22100

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22100

Semester 2

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22110

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22110

Year 2 Options You should choose at least 20 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Literary Modernisms EN20920

The Shapes Of Tragedy EN22020

Semester 2

Nineteenth Century Literature EN20720

Place And Self EN22120

Literature Since 1945 EN22920

Year 2 Options (40 credits) Students must take 40 credits from the modules below. DA28700/20 and GG28700/20 cannot be taken together, DA22420 and GG22420 cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Cyfathrebu Cymdeithas A Gwyddor DA28610

Lleoli Gwleidyddiaeth DA28700

Placing Culture GG28500

Placing Politics GG28700

Sustainability And Resilience GG28910

Semester 2

Gwaith Maes Daearyddiaeth DA22420

Hanes Amgylcheddol DA22710

Lleoli Gwleidyddiaeth DA28720

Geography Fieldwork GG22420

Placing Culture GG28520

Placing Politics GG28720

The Welsh Environment GG29110

Year 2 Options You may choose up to 40 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Contemporary Queer Fiction EN31620

Forms Of Children's Narrative Prose EN37820

Writing Women For The Public Stage, 1670-1780 EN38720

Semester 2

Society,sexuality And Subversion In The Middle Ages EN31220

Shakespeare, Jonson And Company EN33020

Demons, Degenerates And New Women: Fin De Siecle Fictions EN33420

Final Year Options (20 credits) The following modules are core. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA34200/20 instead of GG34200/20.

Semester 1

Prosiect Daearyddiaeth Anrhydedd Cyfun/prif Bwnc DA34200

Geography Joint Honours/major Project GG34200

Semester 2

Prosiect Daearyddiaeth Anrhydedd Cyfun/prif Bwnc DA34220

Geography Joint Honours/major Project GG34220

Final Year Options (40 credits) Students must take 40 credits from the modules listed below.

Semester 1

Landscapes Of British Modernity GG36220

Geographies Of Memory GG37920

Regional Geographies GG39920

Semester 2

Geographies Of The Global Countryside GG36820

Urban Risk And Environmental Resilience GG37520

World Regional Islam GG38420

Final Year Options ENGLISH - You should take 40 to 80 credits from the following modules

Semester 1

Undergraduate Dissertation EN30000

Reading Theory / Reading Text EN30120

Elizabethan Drama: Hieronimo To Hamlet EN30220

Victorian Childhoods EN30320

Twentieth Century Welsh Writing In English EN30420

The American Novel In The Nineteenth Century EN37520

Semester 2

Undergraduate Dissertation EN30040

Romantic Eroticism EN30520

Reimagining The World Wars: Contempoary Historical Fictions EN30720

Haunting Texts EN30820

Detective And Crime Fiction EN34620

A Virtuous Vice? Or: The True History Of The English Novel EN37620

American Literature In The Twentieth Century EN39420


Career Prospects

Your joint honours BA in Human Geography and English Literature will prepare you for a broad range of employment and further training options. As a geographer, you will be a strong candidate for opportunities in cartography, environmental consulting, town planning and development, and teaching. As a literature graduate, you will be suited for opportunities in publishing and editing, journalism, marketing and communications, library work and teaching.

Recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that over 82% of Geography graduates and over 92% of English graduates find either paid employment or continue with further study upon graduation from BA courses comparable to this joint honours course.

Throughout your training you will develop a wealth of core and other generic skills which can be easily transferred into almost any graduate or professional employment situation.

You will be able to evaluate and improve research practices, critically review debates on relevant issues, present data through a number of channels and articulate an informed response to enquiries. You will also be confident in reading and evaluating source material quickly and efficiently; selecting and deploying the most appropriate of a range of critical methodologies; and delivering cogent and compelling arguments.

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Human Geography and English Literature will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• enhanced numerical and computational skills
• the ability to research, interpret and analyse business and financial data
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• effective problem-solving
• analytical and creative thinking skills
• decision-making
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Personal Development Plan

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This course will be delivered through a programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and the geographical portion of this course includes workshops and field trips. This combination will balance the theoretical with the practical so that you can debate the topics with your peers and stretch your fieldwork abilities in the open air.

The ethos of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, which co-hosts this joint honours degree, is student-centred, meaning that you will be supported through your studies, but given the freedom to forge your own study path through module selection and exciting opportunities for fieldwork. 

You will benefit greatly from studying Human Geography in IGES because it has always been at the cutting edge of innovations in teaching and research. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (2008), the Department was ranked in the top 12 in Britain for Geography, with 45% of research classed as either "world-leading " or "internationally excellent".

You will be assessed through essays, exams, oral presentations and a final dissertation in English Literature. You will also be required to complete additional assignments and work with others on particular tasks.

Your personal tutor

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

Student Views

I love it! I have been exposed to a variety of different subject areas and it has allowed me to choose modules to fit with my own interests. The tutors are great, approachable and friendly. Would recommend to anyone considering doing human geography. Ashley Wilding

I love my Human Geography course because it has made me look at the world around me in a different and more interesting way. I can understand why it is like it is, and what it might look like in the future. It has really opened up my eyes to the different processes which shape our modern society. Rebecca Priest

My Human Geography course allows me to look at the world from a different perspective, appreciating the idea of place and the way sense of place shapes everyday life. I now can sit on a park bench and 'people watch'; analysing how people act in public spaces, but under the title of ethnography. Human geography takes into account the spatial relations of areas that have not been considered before, or have been taken for granted. It is like looking through a pair of epistemological glasses. Florence Genis

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