BSc

Physical Geography

Key Facts

Code F840
  • Typical A-level offer

    BBB with B in Geography, ABB without Geography

  • Course Length

    3 Years

Further details on entry requirements

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Aberystwyth University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences is one of the most established and experienced department of its kind. Aberystwyth University offers you the unique opportunity to study geography in one of the most picturesque locations in Europe. Set on the coast of Cardigan Bay and surrounded by a great diversity of beautiful environments, including marine, moorland, mountain and grassland, the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences is uniquely placed to make the most of the stunning landscapes that surround it, providing you with a fabulous variety of fieldwork and recreational opportunities. This degree will equip you with the skills, abilities and expertise to face and engage with the challenges facing society today. 

Top 15 in the UK for student satisfaction in the subject area of Physical Geography (NSS 2016)
2nd in the UK for teaching quality in the subject area of Physical Geography (NSS 2016)
100% student satisfaction for our Physical Geography degree scheme (NSS 2016)

Department of Geography and Earth Sciences: 95% student satisfaction (NSS 2016)

95% of undergraduates from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences who graduated in 2015 were in employment or further education six months after graduating (DLHE 2015)

  • Overview
  • Modules
  • Employability
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Student Views

Overview

Why study Physical Geography at Aberystwyth University?

As a large dynamic Geography community we are able to offer you an extremely broad range of geographical specialism, opportunities and facilities;

  • River catchment processes
  • Glaciology
  • Biogeography
  • Quaternary Environmental change
  • Current trends in Geohazards
  • Remotes Sensing and Geographical Information Systems
  • Fieldwork opportunities in New Zealand, Crete, New York, and Ireland.
  • Travel awards available each year to fund your own adventures (up to £400)
  • State of the art teaching facilities with the latest technology to enhance learning
  • Fully stocked laboratories with an array of analytical instruments e.g. mass spectrometers and core scanners of which can be used for fieldwork and independent study

What can I do with a degree in Physical Geography?

Our graduates have, for example, found employment as environmental consultants, planners, civil servants, surveyors, in and in education among many other things.

Employability is embedded within all courses provided by us. Our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a range of sectors. In a rapidly shifting global economy, our graduates are adaptable and able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that they are always in demand.

The skill sets include:

  • Enhanced mathematical and computational skills
  • Effective problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • Information technology skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Time-management, organisational skills
  • Communication skills both written and oral
  • Self-motivation and self-reliance

Work experience:

If you're interested in taking part in a Year in Industry, then you may be interested in our sister course Physical Geography with Integrated Year in Industry (F846). The syllabus is identical to this course (F840), however you undertake your work placement in between your second and final year of studying. 

International Exchange Opportunities:

For those who would like study with one of our partner Universities within Europe and the rest of the world, then the course Physical Geography with Integrated study abroad may appeal to you (F845). This course is identical to F840, however you will study abroad in between your second and final year. 

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

What can I do with a degree in Physical Geography?

Our graduates have, for example, found employment as environmental consultants, planners, civil servants, surveyors, in and in education among many other things.

Employability is embedded within all courses provided by us. Our degrees provide a solid foundation for a vast array of careers across a range of sectors. In a rapidly shifting global economy, our graduates are adaptable and able to draw on a range of transferable skills, ensuring that they are always in demand.

The skill sets include:

  • Enhanced mathematical and computational skills
  • Effective problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • Information technology skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Time-management, organisational skills
  • Communication skills both written and oral
  • Self-motivation and self-reliance

Further opportunities:

Work Opportunities:

If you are interested in undertaking valuable work experience during your degree, then perhaps our sister course (F846) may be some interest to you. This course combines the identical syllabus as F840, however you will undertake your work placement in-between your second and final year. 

International Opportunities:

If you would like to study abroad during your degree, then our sister course (F845) may be for you. You will have the opportunity to study in any of our partner Universities across the world in- between your second and final year.

DGES has also established Erasmus Exchange Programmes with the University of Bergen, the University of Oulu, Finland, and the University Centre in Svalbard, giving students the unique experience of studying in one of the world’s most extreme environments. We also have strong links with a number of universities in North America, where students can complete their second year of study. In recent years, our Exchange Co-ordinator has overseen placements at Purdue University (Indiana), the University of Alabama, the University of Georgia, the University of Montana and the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn?

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you will be introduced to:

  • Key concepts in geographical study
  • Issues and techniques in the collection, analysis and presentation of geographical data
  • Climate change
  • Landscape processes
  • Global Environmental Change

In your second year you will develop further in:

  • Your field
  • Laboratory and computer research skills in preparation for your independent research project
  • You will learn how to analyse quantitative datasets
  • Produce maps and other graphical representations of geographical data.
  • Participate in a residential field trip in the UK or overseas.
  • You can also choose optional modules to specialise or simply maintain a broad interest across Geography

In your third year:

  • You will undertake an independent research project involving collection, analysis and interpretation of your own data.
  • You will be allocated your own advisor who will provide guidance.
  • Optional modules as diverse as glaciology, hydrology, volcanic hazards, and past climate change, will enable you to tailor your study to suit your interests.

How will I be taught?

Our courses are taught through lectures, seminars, laboratory and computer practicals, small group tutorials, field courses and individual supervision of project work.

How will I be assessed?

We assess our students through a different range of methods. Some modules are assessed in part through traditional exams, but some have elements of coursework. We also have some modules that may require the student to produce practical reports, oral presentations, the design of web pages, production of short films, or contribution to online discussion forums. Some modules, notably the tutorials and field courses are assessed entirely through coursework. 

Student Views

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 process 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

Physical Geography is EVERYWHERE - especially in Aberystwyth. You can't go far without catching glimpses of the sea, beaches, mountains or rivers, and what better subject to take than one that allows you to explore how these came to be and how they're changing today. It's a subject that will never cease to amaze me, and the course itself explains it in such an engaging way, and in such brilliant detail. Rachel Say

The thing I love about my course is that here in Aberystwyth, it's all around me - We have the sea, we have the mountains, we have the rivers, we have the valleys. My degree is the only one that wherever I am in the world, I can look and see it all around me. Jonathon Ackroyd

Entry Requirements

A Levels BBB with B in Geography, ABB without Geography

GCSE requirements (grade C min):
English or Welsh, Mathematics

BTEC National Diploma:
DMM-DDM with specified subject

International Students

International Baccalaureate:
28-30 points overall with 4-5 points in Geography at Higher Level

European Baccalaureate:
65-75% overall with 70% in specified subject

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