BSc Physical Geography with Mathematics

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

In choosing to study Physical Geography with Mathematics Degree at Aberystwyth University you will be taught in one of the largest and longest-standing Geography departments in the UK. The Physical Geography with Mathematics degree course offers an interactive, varied and exciting course structure that combines theory, field studies and laboratory-based studies. You will be taught by world class staff who will help develop your understanding of the physical processes shaping the earth, from sea to rivers, glaciers to volcanoes, including landscapes from the arid to the Arctic. You will be given the option to travel on an international field trip in your second year of study. Aberystwyth is an area rich in natural beauty, and as a student here, you can't go far without catching glimpses of the sea, beautiful beaches, mountains or rivers.  Expand the sections below and find out more...

Overview

This BSc in Physical Geography with Mathematics is a specialist science-based Geography degree with the additional enhancement of mathematical training. This major/minor course gives you a remarkable opportunity to investigate the processes which structure the natural world with the aid of mathematical analysis. You will do this on local and global scales, and you will look at the implications for human society that these powerful forces may threaten.

You will examine a range of subjects including environmental management, quaternary science, global ecology and earth surface environments. In this, your maths training will provide you with a broad set of useful tools for analysis, including methods for sampling, calculating probabilities, and employing logarithms among many others.

You will be able to direct your study into specialist areas by choosing options modules including River System Dynamics, Geomorphology, Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing, or Volcanic Activity. You will also be able to choose your maths focus from modules including Comparative Statistical Inference and Linear Modelling Techniques.

This course is based at our internationally-renowned Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES) and supported by the Department of Mathematics. Our staff members specialise in particular branches of the discipline and will be available for advice and guidance throughout your course, including as you prepare to write and present your substantial final dissertation.

IGES is one of the largest Geography communities in the UK and the fascinating coastal, fluvial and biological geography around Aberystwyth is perfect for you to get out and conduct regular field work.

This BSc in Physical Geography with Mathematics 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 lecturers are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and you will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2014) DGES retained its crown of the best Geography department in Wales, with 78% of the research being undertaken classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent”. DGES is also in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regard 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. In Mathematics, all research submitted to REF 2014 was rated as internationally recognised and above.

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).

100% of our 2014 Maths graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating. 71% were in professional work or graduate level education, above the UK av
erage for the subject (DLHE 2014). This 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.

The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show high levels of satisfaction amongst Mathematics and Statistics students, with 84% reporting satisfaction with the quality of the teaching they received, and 92% satisfaction with learning resources (5 points above the UK average for the subject).

Our Staff

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

Most lecturers in the Department of Mathematics are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Many have a postgraduate teaching qualification.

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 (20 Credits) The following modules are core.

Semester 1

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13000

Semester 2

Key Concepts And Skills For Geographers GG13020

Year 1 Core (20 Credits) The following modules are core:

Semester 1

Algebra MA10510

Calculus MA10610

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

Semester 1

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11900

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11900

Semester 2

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 1 DA11910

Level 1 Geography Tutorial GG11910

Year 1 Options Core (30 credits) Students must take 30 credits from the list below. DA10610 and GG10610 cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Amgylcheddau Wyneb Y Ddaear DA10610

The Atmosphere And The Water Cycle EA12210

Earth Surface Environments GG10610

Semester 2

Global Ecology And Soil Systems GG10410

Global Environmental Issues GG12710

Year 1 Options Mathematics Minor: Students must take (i) MA11010 and MA11110 or (ii) MA11310 with one of MA10310 and MP12910.

Semester 1

Probability MA10310

Semester 2

Further Algebra And Calculus MA11010

Mathematical Analysis MA11110

Statistics MA11310

Year 1 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Tebygoleg MT10310

Semester 2

Algebra A Chalcwlws Pellach MT11010

Dadansoddi Mathemategol MT11110

Ystadegaeth MT11310

Cynllunio Gyrfa A Datblygu Sgiliau MT12910

Year 1 Options (20 credits) Students must choose up to 20 credits from the list below, or from appropriate modules offered elsewhere in DGES or in the university. DA10110 and GG14410, DA10210 and GG10210 cannot be taken together.

Semester 1

Cefn Gwlad A'r Ddinas DA10210

Planet Earth EA11510

Rocks And Minerals EA11600

The Dynamic Earth EA11710

The City And Country: Processes Of Conflict And Change GG10210

Place, Culture And Society GG14410

Semester 2

Pobl A Lle DA10110

Amgylchedd Cymru DA10810

Methodoleg Maes Amgylcheddol DA10910

Byw Gyda Risg DA12810

Rocks And Minerals EA11610

The Earth In Space And Time EA11810

Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptations GG10810

Power, Place And Development GG14210

Year 2 Core (40 Credits) The following modules are core.

Semester 1

Reconstructing Past Environments GG20310

Analysis And Presentation Of Geographical Data GG21700

Glacial Processes And Landforms GG23910

Semester 2

Environmental Management EA20110

Analysis And Presentation Of Geographical Data GG21710

Year 2 Options Core (40 credits). Welsh medium (DA) and English medium (GG) modules. Welsh speaking students are encouraged to take DA22100/10 instead of GG22100/10, DA22420 instead of GG22420 and DA22510 instead of GG22610.

Semester 1

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22100

Geomorffoleg Afonol DA22510

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22100

Catchment Systems GG22610

Semester 2

Tiwtorial Daearyddiaeth Lefel 2 DA22110

Gwaith Maes Daearyddiaeth DA22420

Level 2 Geography Tutorial GG22110

Geography Fieldwork GG22420

Year 2 Options Mathematics Minor (FSS): Students must take 40 credits of MA modules; EITHER Block A OR Block B plus a further 10 credits of MA Level 2

Year 2 Options BLOCK A:

Semester 1

Real Analysis MA20110

Semester 2

Linear Algebra MA21410

Complex Analysis MA21510

Year 2 Options BLOCK B:

Semester 1

Distributions And Estimation MA26010

Year 2 Options Welsh medium alternative modules

Semester 1

Dadansoddiad Real MT20110

Semester 2

Algebra Llinol MT21410

Final Year Options Core (20 credits). 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 Mathematics Minor. Students must take 30 credits from Maths level 3 modules and another 10 credits from Maths level 2/3 modules.

Final Year Options (60 credits) Students must take 60 credits from the list below.

Semester 1

Adnoddau Dwr A Hydroleg Bydol DA31620

Environmental Geochemistry EA30120

Oceanography And Marine Geology EA30520

River Systems And Global Environmental Change GG30420

Earth Observation From Satellites And Aircraft GG32020

Geographical Information Systems GG32820

Palaeoenvironmental Change Beyond The Ice Sheets GG33120

Palaeoglaciology GG33920

Semester 2

Volcanic Activity: Hazards And Environmental Change EA30420

Engineering Geology EA32620

Welsh Mineral Resources: Origins, Exploitation And Planning EA34120

Process Glaciology GG30320

People, Climate And Environment: A Palaeoenvironmental Perspective GG33720

Employability

Career Prospects

Your BSc in Physical Geography with Mathematics can prepare you for a broad range of employment and further training options. Your expertise in Physical Geography will make you a strong candidate for opportunities in cartography, environmental consulting, planning and development, and teaching. Your mathematical training will assist you in work relating to numeric analysis, such as working as an investment analyst, statistician, research scientist or secondary school teacher.

Recent statistics from HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) show that over 82 per cent of Geography graduates find either paid employment or continue with further study upon graduation from BSc courses comparable to this one. 40% of Mathematics graduates who find work do so in the business and financial sector. For more information see job prospects with a Geography degree and job prospects with a degree in Mathematics.

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

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Physical Geography with Mathematics 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.

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, workshops and field trips. This combination will balance the theoretical with the practical and the group work with individual assignments. You will be able to 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 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 be assessed through essays, exams and oral presentations. 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

My course is very interesting. I have learnt about many different aspects of the world from how it was formed to what it could be like in the future. The lecturers are all really nice and friendly and they're happy to help anyone out with any problems or issues. My favourite modules are the practical ones where we get to do experiments. The fieldtrip in the second year is also a pretty good bonus. Charlotte Hewsen

Physical Geography starts with a love for the outdoors. It's brilliant because it's real, it's out there; you can't walk down a street without noticing geography. So many people have a fascination for the natural processes which take place around us, but few truly understand them. By studying Physical Geography you can gain valuable knowledge about the world around you. By engaging with the world we live in, we can understand it, promote it and conserve it for future generations, and that's pretty cool! Emily Brown

Key Information Set