Geography BA


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:L700
Qualification:BA Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Geography
UCAS code
UCAS code
Geography | BA Hons
3 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
Geography or equivalent subject (environmental science, environmental studies or world development); GCSE maths grade C or above
IB score
34 (5 in geography at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places

This course may still be open to international applicants for 2016 entry. Please visit our international pages for details of courses and application procedures from now until the end of August.


Focused on understanding the physical and human environment, this flexible course allows students to choose from a range of modules according to their own interests.
Read full overview

This single honours geography course offers a broad and flexible programme of study, which will equip you with the necessary skills of analysis and synthesis to critically understand information from a wide range of sources. 

This degree offers opportunities to travel to inspirational destinations in the UK and overseas, through a number of modules with a field trip element.

Year one

The first year is a foundation programme covering human and physical geography and geographical information science. You are encouraged to choose geography options appropriate to your BA degree or other modules at an appropriate level from across the University. Many students opt to study languages, the social and natural sciences or engineering, in addition to modules offered by the School of Geography.

Year two

In year two you have fewer core modules and more opportunity to choose from a range of modules appropriate to your BA degree. You also have the opportunity to pursue 20 credits of appropriate modules from outside geography, subject to approval.

You can also apply to spend the autumn semester of your second year studying abroad

Year three

In year three the dissertation is the sole core module. Alongside this you have the opportunity to choose from a range of advanced modules appropriate to your BA degree and your year two optional choices.

Student profile

James Salinger describes the useful skills he has developed from his degree.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB including geography or equivalent subject (environmental science, environmental studies or world development)

GCSEs: For all of our degree courses we require GCSE maths grade C or above

English language requirements 

IELTS: 7.0 with no less than 6.0 in reading, writing, speaking and listening

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications 

View the alternative qualifications page for details.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Notes for applicants 

We are looking for students who have the ability and motivation to benefit from our courses, and who will make a valued contribution to the department and the University. Candidates for full-time admission are considered on the basis of their Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) form.

All applications are considered equally on merit; students are usually selected on the basis of academic excellence and personal qualities.

We do not rely on predicted grades alone but take into account the broader context of each applicant's achievements, primarily as reflected by their engagement with geography beyond studying it as an academic subject - as evidenced in their personal statement and reference.

Applicants are not routinely interviewed. If you are offered a place you will be invited to a UCAS visit day. The aim of the visit is for you to ensure that Nottingham meets your perceived needs and aspirations. In addition to a formal presentation, which provides details of the courses we offer, you will also be able to meet members of the teaching staff and, very importantly, some current undergraduates. 



Typical year one modules


Careers Skills for Geographers
  • Self-marketing and CVs
  • Preparing for interviews and assessment
  • Careers for geographers
  • Subject-focused vocational talk
  • Postgraduate study (masters and PhD) 
  • Guest lectures (eg. from Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geographers) 
  • Career planning 

Topics will be delivered by the school's Career Advisor from the Careers and Employability Service (CES) and academics from the School of Geography.

Importantly, you will be expected to make regular use of the Careers and Employability Service (CES) to assist with progress during the year and attend a range of employer presentations and other events (eg. employer fairs).

The module aims to:

  • introduce the issues of career education and employability within the Geography undergraduate curriculum
  • develop and enhance the students' key skills for use in seeking work experience, graduate employment and postgraduate opportunities 
  • provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate and reflect on their personal and key skill development in the School of Geography and the University 
  • inform students of the role of the Careers and Employability Service (CES)
Earth and Environmental Dynamics

This module integrates knowledge taken from the atmosphere, oceans and continents to inform an understanding of global physical systems as they affect people and the environment. The module considers:

  • principles of climate and general circulation patterns in the atmosphere and ocean 
  • principles of Earth and geomorphological systems

This module aims to:

  • provide an understanding of the atmosphere and hydrosphere 
  • develop knowledge of the terrasphere through learning about geoscience and geomorphology
  • provide a platform for interpreting geographical and environmental issues

On completion of the module, the students will have developed an ability to think analytically about physical and geomorphological processes and understand, synthesise and critically evaluate current debates on environmental issues within a broader conceptual and scientific framework.

Exploring Human Geography

The module provides students with introductory knowledge about current issues in human geography. It critically examines the complex relations between people and places through key themes and concepts in current human geography.

Attention is given to innovative work in cultural, historical, medical, environmental, economic and development geography and to the traditionally broad perspective of human geography as a whole. The module will examine a variety of key themes that may vary from year to year.

This module provides a foundation for more specialised human geography modules at Levels 2 and 3.

This module aims to provide undergraduates with detailed introductory knowledge and understanding of a range of current issues in human geography. The issues relate to current themes of interest across the broad range of human geography including cultural, medical, environmental, economic, development, financial and urban. A selection of these themes will be covered.

Geographical Field Course

A four day intensive residential field study period. Teaching will concentrate on the rationale and techniques of field study in both human and physical aspects of geography. Particular emphasis is placed on the design, practice and analysis of small research projects based on geographical issues.

The aims of this module are to:

  • provide a field course experience away from Nottingham 
  • provide the opportunity to evaluate issues involved in applying research design and execution skills within the specific context of field-based research
  • provide the opportunity to evaluate field based techniques and approaches to the collection of geographical information 
  • foster an awareness of the ethical issues related to data gathering 
  • foster a culture of safe field work through awareness, management and practice of both general and specific safety issues
  • develop skills of risk assessment related to field work 
  • further develop intellectual and communication skills gained with tutorials
Interpreting Geographical Data

This module will provide the basic statistical concepts and techniques required for studying geography. Topics will include:

  • Spreadsheets and statistical packages
  • Introduction to statistical concepts 
  • Descriptive statistics and distributions
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Parametric and non-parametric tests
  • Correlation and regression

This module aims to:

  • introduce students to the core concepts and techniques of geographical data handling
  • introduce students to the core concepts and practical applications in statistical analysis (parametric, non-parametric and spatial)
  • provide training in the use of standard packages for data handling and analysis (including a standard spreadsheet and a standard statistical package)
  • introduce students to the concepts of statistical thinking, of using statistical methods to present problems, to challenge assumptions and promote critical thinking
  • provide students with the grounding in the practical and technical skills necessary to support the student's work throughout the geography degree course including understanding quantitative concepts quoted in the literature and undertaking project and field-work
  • provide a basis for more specific technical modules, both core and optional, in the second and third years of the course
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

The module provides students with the theoretical background and practical training to undertake basic spatial analysis within a contemporary Geographic Information System (GIS). 

It aims to ensure competency in the use of a contemporary GIS software package whilst developing transferable ICT skills. It also encourages students to develop the analytical skills necessary for the creation of workflows that utilise the built-in analytical functionality of a GIS to solve a spatial problem. 

Specific topics covered are: 

  • What is GIS?
  • Cartographic principles behind GIS
  • Spatial data models and database management systems
  • Fundamental spatial analysis
  • Creating maps within a GIS

This module aims to develop the fundamental practical and conceptual skills necessary to undertake simple GIS analysis, and the theoretical and practical competency necessary to study GIS at a higher level. 

It aims to introduce the student to commercially available software, instruct students in the use of this software in applied GIS analysis scenarios and ensures a solid theoretical and conceptual foundation in GIS fundamental methods and analyses.


Small group tutorials in both the Autumn and Spring semesters in which emphasis will be placed on discussion, essay writing and seminar presentations which will be based on topics in the Qualifying Year geography modules and from broader intellectual, cultural and political fields.

The aims of the module are to:

  • develop intellectual skills in small-group tutorials based on topics in Qualifying Year geography and from wider intellectual, cultural and political fields 
  • develop skills of problem recognition and definition 
  • develop powers to identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving
  • develop skills of information collection and synthesis and evaluate the significance and relevance of information
  • develop powers of reasoning, discussion and cogent argument
  • develop communication skills in the form of essay writing, verbal articulation of ideas and issues through group discussions and seminar presentations


Exploring Place

The module introduces students to geographical research on place, conveying current research in the field, including that carried out within the School of Geography. Students will gain knowledge of key concepts and methodological approaches, with understanding developed through the examination of place-based case studies.

Lectures will outline developments in the geographical study of place in recent decades, and explore key themes such as place and memory, place and knowledge, and place and identity. The challenges and opportunities offered by the digital exploration of place will be outlined, using case studies of digital mapping and the public display of geographical information. Regional case studies will show how the research themes presented in the module can be brought together around the study of specific places and landscapes.

Throughout the module, staff will draw upon their own research as well as the wider academic literature, giving students a sense of the possibilities of geographical research exploring place.

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the geographical understanding of place, conveying current research in the field, including that carried out within the School of Geography.

Students will gain knowledge of key concepts and methodological approaches in the exploration of place, with understanding developed through the examination of place-based case studies.

On Earth and Life

On Earth and Life explores the deep historical co-evolution of Earth and Life and emphasises uniqueness of place and historical contingency. The module leads on from and complements Physical Landscapes of Britain in exploring geological, plate tectonic and palaeoenvironmental ideas and research, but at the global scale.

The module also prepares the ground for and contextualises several second and third year geography modules, especially Environmental Change and Patterns of Life.

The aim of the module is to encourage students to explore the history of the Earth and life, as well as the history of ideas about the nature and evolution of the Earth's surface and the evolution and biogeography of plants, animals and humans.

On completing the module, students should know more about the evolution of the Earth and life and be able to assess critically the ideas and methods of researchers in the historical and geographical sciences.

Physical Landscapes of Britain

This module provides an understanding of the history and origins of the Earth and its life and landforms through consideration of the following topics:

  • Origins of the Earth 
  • Development of life over geological time
  • Environmental changes over geological time
  • Field trip to the Peak District (full costs will be supplied nearer the time of the trip)

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the history and origins of the Earth and its life and landforms. Particular attention is paid to the way in which the area of Britain has formed via tectonic and geomorphological processes. Both systematic and regional approaches are used, with a number of case studies being presented.

Tracing Economic Globalisation

The module introduces students to contemporary and historical approaches to understanding economic globalisation and its spatial unevenness. Students will develop knowledge relating to globalisation as a set of discourses and practices using case studies relating to key themes of relevance.

Lectures will outline the key debates relating to globalisation as a phenomenon and will interrogate the relevance of the concept through an examination of commodities, labour and work, governance and money and finance.

The students will also explore the spatial unevenness of globalisation, and develop understandings of the ways in which globalisation has contributed to an increasingly unequal and differentiated society at a variety of scales. Alternatives to globalisation will also be discussed, focusing upon various counter-globalisation strategies in the forms of localism, activism and protest.

Throughout the module, staff will draw upon their own research as well as the wider academic literature, giving students a sense of the complexity, and importance, of globalisation as a set of theories and a set of sited realities.

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the economic geographies of globalisation, providing an overview of contemporary research in the field, including that undertaken by staff within the School of Geography.

Students will gain knowledge of key concepts in the exploration of economic globalisation and this understanding will be developed through the study of pertinent geographical case studies.


Typical year two modules


Dissertation Preparation

This module is taught by formal lectures, scheduled preliminary fieldwork, supervision meetings with dissertation tutor. It covers the following:

  • Introduction to the dissertation process and procedures 
  • What is a dissertation? 
  • Ethics, risk and safety implications when conducting Geographical research 
  • Preparing a dissertation proposal 
  • Analysing material 
  • Critically reflecting on literature and writing a coherent literature review 
  • Evaluation of past dissertations

The aims of this module are to prepare undergraduate geography students for undertaking their 40 credit dissertation which is a significant piece of supervised research that includes working in the field, collecting primary and/or secondary data, conducting a literature review, undertaking independent research and writing their research up to produce a significant piece of original scholarship.

The module will equip students with an understanding of research design and methodology, will explore the nature of the dissertation and how to select a topic, determine appropriate methodologies and methods of analysis and will explain the ethical, risk and safety frameworks under which dissertations are undertaken. The module will detail the timetable, procedures and processes that students need to follow in order to complete the dissertation.

Research Tutorial

This module will cover the breadth of world-leading research being carried out in the School of Geography and is reflected in the school's research themes.

The two lectures will introduce the role, breadth and practice of research in geography. Joint delivered by researchers on the physical and human sides of the discipline, the lectures will examine the epistemological and philosophical bases of research in geography, with a focus on the diversity but also shared, unifying features of geographical research, providing broader context for the small group tutorials.

Each student will be assigned to a small tutorial group for the semester and will participate in tutorials with a different member of staff. Specific topics will be chosen by staff members based on their own, active, research programs and will reflect the leading research questions and problems in the discipline. Students will be supplied with a set of readings prior to each tutorial. Students will also be required to research the background context of the readings.

This module will expose students to the breadth and depth of research undertaken in geography. The module aims to develop a critical appreciation of contemporary research problems in geography and introduce students to alternative approaches to geographical research.

Students will benefit through discussing the complete research process, from idea and project development, to methods, dissemination and evaluation of research in geography.

Techniques in Human Geography

This module allows students to understand and experience human geography research methods through participation in three practical projects. The module covers methods for:

  • arts and humanities research (such as archival research, visual and textual analysis) 
  • social science research (such as interviewing, questionnaires and discussion groups) 
  • quantitative human geography research (such as mapping and visualisation)

This module aims to explore methods for students undertaking original research in human geography including for their dissertation. The module comprises a small number of lectures on different types of sources followed by three practical projects through which students undertake research methods for the arts and humanities, for social science and for quantitative human geography. 



Cultural and Historical Geography

This module introduces students to cultural and historical geography, including:

  • The development of cultural and historical geography as sub-disciplines
  • The key thematic areas of contemporary cultural and historical geography, including landscape, identity, culture, power and knowledge 
  • The theoretical underpinnings of cultural and historical geography 
  • The links between cultural and historical geography and other fields of enquiry in the humanities and social sciences 
  • The methods and sources used in cultural and historical geographical research, including archives, texts and images, and field study 
  • The work of key figures from the sub-disciplines past and present

The module aims to introduce students to the sub-disciplines of cultural and historical geography, covering both empirical and theoretical issues. Students are given a grounding in the contribution of geography to cultural and historical study, and the module thus provides a foundation for specialist modules and dissertation research within the School of Geography.

On completion of the module students will have a clear conception of cultural and historical geography as fields of enquiry, the ability to connect theoretical discussion with empirical case studies, and a clear appreciation of the methods and sources required for such work.

Desert Geomorphology

This module addresses the research issues and problems in desert environments. The module opens with a definition of deserts environments and a description of the characteristic features of deserts around the world. Key topics include:

  • The nature of deserts, aridity and drylands 
  • Sediment production and weathering processes 
  • Sediment entrainment by wind 
  • The formation of sand dunes and dust deposits 
  • Desert surfaces
  • The role of water

Throughout the module emphasis is placed upon past and current research including experimental design.

This module aims to provide:

  • an understanding of the geomorphology of desert environments 
  • an ability to critically evaluate contested theories of desert landform development
  • an ability to evaluate the impact of vegetation and climate in desert processes
  • a foundation of skills and knowledge for further study of desert environments
Digital Explorers

This module provides a consideration of:

  • Introduction to GI Science/Systems/Studies/Services 
  • Spatial Data Types and Sources 
  • Vector Processing Algorithms 
  • Raster Processing Algorithms
  • Spatial Analysis and Decision Making 
  • Professional Training in ArcGIS 
  • Project planning, implementation and reporting

The aim of this module is to produce students that have both theoretical and technical competence in the use of GIS software for spatial data analysis. It encompasses both taught instruction and project based learning to ensure that students have sufficient skills to independently develop, justify, undertake and report a complex GIS-based analysis project in response to a project brief.

Economic Geography

The module will cover the following topics:

  • Economic globalisation
  • Changing geographies of the world economy during the 20th century 
  • Economic geographies of advanced producer services 
  • World cities 
  • Distinctive spatialities of economic behaviour: industrial clusters, global production sites, and the creative economy, for example

The module aims to provide an understanding of the evolution of Economic Geography from a variety of perspectives. The module will build on foundation principles taught during the Qualifying Year and will feed in to more specialised, research-led modules in Part 2.

Students studying this module will be expected to develop a broad and critical understanding of the geographies of the global space economy, different ways of conceptualising change, and of the importance of different scales of analysis. The module will also consider these broader conceptual issues through the lens of particular empirical examples from around the world.

Environmental Change

This module considers the mechanisms for, and evidence of, global environmental change during the timescale of the Quaternary period. The nature, causes and impacts of change are evaluated in the context of the available evidence within a range of natural and human environments. The nature and impacts of future climate change are also considered.

This module aims to provide:

  • an understanding of the mechanisms driving global change at a range of different timescales
  • a knowledge of the existence and limitations of evidence for change
  • an appreciation of sources of information on this topic and how to integrate this knowledge into cogent written and oral arguments related to Quaternary environmental change
  • an ability to evaluate the nature of change from literature-based evidence
  • a foundation of skills and knowledge for further study of Quaternary environments and proxy records of change
Medical Geography

This module explores aspects of medical geography, with special reference to the geography of infectious diseases. Topics include:

  • Nature of Medical Geography and the Geography of Health
  • History of Medical Geography
  • Epidemiological concepts 
  • The disease record 
  • The epidemiological transition 
  • Spatial diffusion of infectious diseases 
  • The geography of disease emergence and re-emergence 
  • Islands as epidemiological laboratories 
  • Geography of war and disease 
  • Disease forecasting and control

The module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly developing interdisciplinary field of medical geography.

Mineralogy and Petrology

The module will consider:

  • Economic mineral deposits
  • Hydrocarbon resources
  • Environmental mineralogy, eg. radioactive waste management, shale gas
  • Volcanology and volcanic hazards

Specifically the module will include discussion of:

  • Major rock types and rock-forming 
  • Bulk materials 
  • Types of ore deposit, how they form, and the important ore minerals and critical metals
  • Types of oil and gas reservoirs, traps, seals, burial diagenesis and hydrocarbon migration
  • Environmental mineralogy and geochemistry, covering carbon capture and storage technology and radioactive waste management

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the major different rock types and the rock-forming minerals from which they are made. 

Patterns of Life

The module focuses on patterns in the distribution of organisms in space and time, and theories proposed to explain those patterns. The main themes are:

  • Biodiversity patterns 
  • Island biogeography and nature conservation theory
  • Ecological succession
  • Biological invasions
  • Extinction and mass extinctions
  • Quaternary refugia and the palaeoecological record
  • The process of biogeographical research

The main aims of this module are to develop:

  • a broad knowledge of biogeographic patterns
  • an understanding of the theories proposed to explain these patterns
  • an ability to understand and interpret the biogeographic literature experience of biogeographical research

The primary focus is on patterns manifest at global spatial scales and long temporal scales. This knowledge is the basis for:

  • appropriate interpretation of human impacts on the environment
  • understanding and evaluating nature conservation theory and practice
  • understanding of the diversity and interdependence of the natural world
River Processes and Dynamics

Introduces the fluid and sediment processes that operate in rivers and describes the characteristic channel forms of alluvial channels and the links between process and form. Uses laboratory practicals and a fieldtrip to deliver student centred learning and supplement teaching through lectures. Topics covered include:

  • Foundations of fluvial geomorphology
  • Flow resistance, sediment transport and bank erosion
  • Introduction to biogeomorphology and aquatic ecology
  • Dominant discharge and hydraulic geometry
  • Laboratory practicals
  • Fieldtrip: fluvial processes and forms in the Hawkcombe catchment, Somerset 
  • Spaces and timescales of river change 
  • River planforms: braided, meandering and straight 
  • Morphological adjustments in an unstable channels 
  • Complex response in the fluvial system

This module assumes no prior knowledge in introducing the fundamentals of fluid flow, sediment transport and bank erosion in rivers. Semester one builds on the underpinning science of open channel flow to examine the processes that lead to channel formation and the creation and maintenance of aquatic habitat.

At the beginning of semester two, the mechanics and concepts covered are brought together through consideration of regime theory and hydraulic geometry in alluvial channels. Semester two also deals with the dynamics of rivers with straight, meandering and braided patterns. It goes on to investigate trends of change exhibited by unstable rivers and how simple disturbances can trigger complex responses in the fluvial system. 

Rural Environmental Geography

This module explores a range of rural environmental issues in the global South and supplements macro-scale perspectives on the evolution of environmentalism and development thinking with closer examinations of rural environmental issues from the perspective of a range of different stakeholders.

Throughout the module, particular attention is placed on how environmental use and management varies by socio-economic status, community and gender. Emphasis is placed on the viewpoints of different stakeholders regarding the rural environmental issues they experience. As the module is based strongly on research-led teaching, a significant proportion of the case studies given in lectures are centred on India.

The main aims of this module are to:

  • enhance understanding of the evolution of environmentalism and development thinking
  • investigate rural environmental issues from a range of time periods and locations in the global South and from the perspectives of stakeholders from different socio-economic, gender and community groups
  • heighten appreciation of the different environmental knowledge systems possessed by these different stakeholder groups and the impacts of these on environmental management
  • investigate the impacts of agricultural modernisation on different socio-economic, gender and landowner groups
  • critically examine the value of participatory appraisal for investigating rural environmental problems and issues
  • foster an appreciation of the complexity of rural environmental issues over a range of time scales and spatial contexts
Sedimentology and Palaeontology

Students will be given a comprehensive course on sedimentology and palaeontology and how they are used scientifically and industrially together with their impact on human society and the natural environment.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to sedimentology/sedimentary geology (the study of sediments such as sand, silt and clay and the processes that result in their deposition) and palaeontology [the study of fossils (both animal and plant, and both macroscopic and microscopic)].

Urban Geography

This module introduces students to urban geography, including the:

  • historical development of urban geography as a sub-discipline
  • key thematic areas of contemporary urban geography, including research in the social, economic and cultural and historical geographies of cities
  • theoretical underpinnings of approaches to urban geography
  • importance of cities in understanding social difference, cultural landscapes and economic development in the Global North and South
  • work of key figures from the sub-disciplines past and present

On completion of the module, students will have a clear understanding of the diversity of urban geography as a field of study, will be able to connect theories and concepts with real world case studies and examples, and will be familiar with the approaches and sources needed within the sub-discipline.


Typical year three modules


Dissertation BA

This is an individual project based on a geographical topic involving fieldwork and/or secondary data, and agreed by the candidate with their tutor and a specialist supervisor.

The module aims are:

  • Developing skills of problem recognition and definition 
  • Raising awareness of and responding to the ethical issues related to gathering data 
  • Implementing risk assessment skills related to fieldwork and developing a culture of safety and appropriate research practices 
  • The opportunity to develop and apply research design and investigation skills in a field-based environment 
  • Enhance skills of information collection and synthesis, and the ability to evaluate the significance and relevance of information


Advances in Remote Sensing

The anticipated content and structure is:

Part I - Principles and Systems

  • Introduction: the past, present and the future
  • Electromagnetic radiation and the terrestrial environment
  • Interaction of radiation with matter 
  • Interaction of radiation with matter 
  • Sensing systems from a range of vantage points 
  • Remote sensing scale and data selection issues 
  • Using remote sensing data I, II and III 

Part II - Information Extraction

  • Exploiting advances in the spatial, spectral and temporal domains 
  • Exploiting strengths of data: data fusion 
  • Technological innovations 
  • Integrating remote sensing and GIS 
  • Practising remote sensing 
  • Student led assessment

The aim of the module is to provide an advanced study into the rapidly evolving field of remote sensing. The module will cover the basic physical principles of remote sensing, key remote sensing systems, digital image processing and applications.

The main focus of the module is on the remote sensing of the terrestrial environment using a range of sensors, at a range of vantage points. The students will be taken to the research frontier within the discipline with exposure to the current issues, for example, use of volunteered information, terrestrial and atmospheric carbon accounting and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Cultural Geography of English Landscape

The module addresses issues of landscape and culture in England from the eighteenth century to the present day. Key themes throughout include landscape and national identity and relations of city and country. The module utilises sources including archives, literature, paintings, prints, poetry, maps, film and photography.

The first semester focuses on issues of landscape and Englishness since 1880. Topics covered include:

  • Tradition and modernism
  • Competing notions of heritage
  • The cultural politics of land
  • Questions of citizenship and the body

The second semester focuses on landscapes of Georgian England. Topics covered include:

  • Parks and gardens
  • Colonial landscapes
  • Agriculture
  • Industry and science
  • Towns
  • Transport and travel

Throughout the module the focus on landscape allows the exploration of key areas of cultural history. A one-day field trip to Derwent Valley is arranged, full costs will be provided nearer the time of the trip.

This module aims to examine the cultural geographies of English landscape since the eighteenth century through the use of a wide range of source materials. 

Environment, Development and Livelihoods

This module investigates key linkages between development, livelihood and environmental problems in the global South with particular reference to competition and conflict over environmental resources. Attention is placed on exploring livelihood-environment interactions from the perspectives of different income, gender and community groups and contrasting their everyday realities with key development concepts and aggregate statistics.

The module contains a mixture of lecture-based sessions, seminar-based sessions and workshops involving role-play, practical exercises and data analysis. The module emphasises the importance of livelihood concerns to an understanding of the motivations of those participating in environmental management. As teaching is strongly research-led teaching, a significant proportion of the case studies given in lectures are centred on India.

The aims of this module are to:

  • enhance understanding of the interactions between livelihoods and environmental issues in the global South from the perspectives of people from different income, gender and community groups 
  • take a political ecology approach to highlight variations in livelihood security by gender, community socio-economic status and dependence on natural resources
  • enhance understandings of how the 'messy realities' underlying key development concepts and aggregate statistics are experienced by different socio-economic, gender and community groups through participation in group-based role-play exercises
  • heighten appreciation of environment and livelihood interactions and how these are experienced by different socio-economic and gender groups in a range of geographical contexts 
  • emphasise the diverse economic, socio-cultural linkages between environmental problems, livelihoods and development and foster an appreciation of the complexity of environmental issues at a range of scales and in different geographical contexts
Environmental Informatics and Modelling

This module will expose students to current practices, technologies and ideas existing at the forefront of environmental modelling. The module offers an opportunity for students to experience the theory and practice associated with key developments that are occurring in major modelling domains and the most recent advances from the research community.

Hands-on experience of using machine-learning software and developing data-driven models will be an integral part of the learning experience.

The module will comprise four parts. Part one is composed entirely of 1-hour lectures, with parts two-four incorporating an alternating programme of lecture and practical classes.

  1. Introduction 
  2. Modelling the Impacts of Climate Change 
  3. Modelling Biogeography 
  4. Hydroinformatics

This module will expose students to current practices, technologies and ideas existing at the forefront of environmental modelling. The module offers an opportunity for students to experience the theory and practice associated with key developments that are occurring in major modelling domains and the most recent advances from the research community.

Hands-on experience of using machine-learning software and developing data-driven models will be an integral part of the learning experience.

European Urban Geographies (Berlin Fieldcourse)

The module will cover the following topics:

  • The historical development of a major European city, to be visited on a field excursion
  • A critical approach to the cultural, historical, social and economic geography of same city
  • A wide range of methodologies for conducting urban fieldwork

The module aims to provide an understanding of the evolution, and socio-economic, political, and cultural dynamics of the city of Berlin which will be visited on a field course during the reading week in early November. 

The module will be divided into two parts. The first section will include a series of lectures to provide some background in advance of the field course, while the second involves a five day field trip to Berlin. The module will build on foundation principles taught during Part I of the geography degree in pre-requisite modules. Students studying this module will be expected to develop a broad and critical understanding of the geographies of European cities and their regions, particularly Berlin, the different ways of conceptualising change, and of the importance of different scales of analysis. 

The modules will be delivered entirely in Semester 1, students will be required to submit a six page essay on Berlin (excluding references) and a 5,000 word report or equivalent on the fieldcourse.

The Geographical Imagination

This module will review the history of geography over the past three centuries to provide a deeper understanding of contemporary debates, and provide a cultural and historical analysis of the nature of geography as an academic subject and field of knowledge.

The first semester considers the emergence of geography as a self-consciously 'enlightened' 18th century science and reviews some of the factors that influenced its subsequent development, including cartography and mapping, exploration and field observation, evolutionary and early social scientific theories, the rise of civic education, national and imperial politics, radical and revolutionary ideas, and warfare and geopolitics.

The second semester focuses on the twentieth century to consider connections between field cultures and geographical knowledge, the visual cultures of geography, links between geography and Cold War politics, and ideas of geography as spatial science. Attention is given throughout to the biographies of key figures exercising the geographical imagination.

This module aims to provide students with a deeper understanding of the intellectual, social and political factors that have shaped the history of geography as a discipline.

Geographies of Fashion and Food

This module covers a range of issues relating to the geographies of fashion and food. Topics covered include:

  • Commodity chains, global networks of supply and regulation 
  • The embodied and material practices of food and fashion consumption 
  • Branding, labelling, consumer knowledges and reflexive consumption 
  • Commodity biographies, origins and the social life of things 
  • Retail power, architecture and space 
  • Theorising agency and value 
  • Transforming, industrialising and globalising food 
  • City foodscapes 
  • Alternative food networks and food quality 
  • Gender and food provisioning

This module aims to explore the economic geographies of fashion and food - two of the most global and yet most intimate and personal commodities. It explores the two sectors from a variety of scales and examines the contested conceptual bases of work on commodity chains, ethical systems of provision, retailing and exchange.

The module examines the geographies of production, employment, commodity movement, retailing, regulation and consumption of both fashion and food. We will be critically questioning who makes our food and clothes, where, how, why and under what conditions? Throughout we expect students to critically reflect on a range of geographical and other relevant literatures and to understand a variety of approaches to the topic.

Geographies of Money and Finance

This module aims to explore the economic geographies of money and of the contemporary processes of financialisation. Competing theories of money, and the changing landscapes of finance and the financial services industry are explored at a variety of spatial scales. Spaces examined include the global financial system, the UK retail financial market, the City of London and the emergence of local currency systems.

More specifically, the following core topics are covered:

  • The history and theory of money 
  • Financial services and financial intermediation 
  • Globalisation and the international financial system 
  • The City of London as international financial centre 
  • Landscapes of retail financial services 
  • Alternative and imagined landscapes of money

This module aims to explore the economic geographies of money, finance and the financial services industry. It reveals the contested nature of knowledge about money and finance and in so doing it enables students to critically reflect on a range of geographical and other relevant literatures.

Geographies of Violence

This module will cover the following topics:

  • Political, historical, and cultural geographies of war 
  • Spaces of internal violence and non-violence relating to colonialism, anti-colonialism, religious nationalism, and decolonisation/partition 
  • Spaces of terrorism and the war against terror 
  • Case studies from a variety of national and international contexts

The module aims to provide an understanding of the violent realities by which the geographies of the present and the past have been crafted. The three fundamental modes of violence that will be examined are war, colonialism, and terror. This violence will be traced not only in its materiality and technologies, but also in its geopolitical visions, rhetorical and epistemological categories, evolution, translatability, and mobility.

The more general aims will be pursued through detailed historical investigations of Britain, Continental Europe, the United States and India, and the post-9/11 world.

Students will benefit from being pushed to integrate theoretical, global and local studies. They will also be engaging with a revived and exciting sub-discipline of geography (geopolitics) whilst benefiting from an historical perspective on contemporary issues.

Students will learn how to interpret contemporary media reports, theoretical discussions, and methodological debates regarding the geographies of violence. These debates will contribute to the more general project of inducing a critical awareness of the contemporary environment, an historical understanding of contemporary geographies, and an appreciation of the contribution of technology and culture to processes of domination and resistance.

Geospatial Technologies: Mobile, Augmented and Virtual

This module focuses on the uptake of digital Geographic Information across a wide range of applications in society and the research agenda that is underpinning these developments. We will explore the use of location-aware mobile devices and techniques for geo-visualization that are visually immersive and interactive. Content is organised as follows:

Part I: Digital Geographic Information in the public domain

Here we consider how a convergence of technologies (positioning, communication and processing) has allowed digital geographic information to make an impact 'beyond the desktop' at both a global scale through the web, and at a personal scale via the mobile device. This includes Virtual Globes, 'open' and 'linked' geographic information, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), Location Based Services, and mobile geospatial apps.

Part II: Virtual Geographic Environments

Here we look at the role and impact of multi-dimensional geographic visualisation to support decision making, environmental impact assessment, and the communication of spatial context. This includes animation and 3D graphics, advances in data capture, urban and rural landscape visualisation, interaction design and immersion, Augmented and Virtual Realities.

The module aims to give students an understanding of the way digital Geographic Information is being used in the public domain, in particular in connection with location-aware mobile devices and multi-dimensional geo-visualization techniques.

The module encourages students to think critically about how geospatial technologies can be made to work effectively in these areas, and the research challenges that exist in terms of design and human computer interaction, and the way geography can work alongside other disciplines in this rapidly expanding field.

Global Climate Change
  1. A review of modern climate systems and forcings
  2. Climate modelling, projections of future climate change and their uncertainty
  3. Controversies around climate change, the argument between believers and sceptics and the ways in which climate change is communicated to and perceived by the public 
  4. The impact of climate change on the world's physical and built environments, water and food resources, and human health
  5. Mitigation and adaptation to future climate change including the role played by policy markers and NGOs

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the science and issues that surround present and future climate change and its impacts on human society and the natural environment. The module will cover the scientific basis for global climate change together with its impact on society, policy, mitigation and adaptation.

The Landscape History of Liguria (Italy Field Course)

An interdisciplinary module which introduces the principles of historical ecology and landscape history, drawing on a wide range of sources including historical maps and documents, field survey of vegetation and landscape features and oral history using Liguria as a case study. This includes a field trip to Liguria, full costs will be supplied nearer the time of the trip.

Management, teamwork and communications skills will be developed through group project work and the oral presentation of these findings on the residential field trip. Analytical writing and research skills will be developed in the interim essay and final project report.

This module will deliver:

  • A broad understanding of the main issues and concerns in landscape history
  • An understanding of the applied historical geography
  • An understanding of historical ecology
Practical River Management and Restoration (Mt St Helens Field Course)

This module aims to provide students with hands-on skills in the management of highly unstable and/or dynamic rivers. The module is based in the Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington State, USA.

Mt St Helens is famous for its eruption in May 1980. The collapse of a large proportion of the mountain produced the largest recorded landslide in history. The subsequent blast (which resulted in ejections of partially molten rock and steam travelling at close to the speed of sound over distances of up to 37 km) flattened 600 square km of forestry. The environment was almost entirely sterilized for a distance of up to 30km around the blast. The landslide buried the valley of the North Fork Toutle river in sediment with burial depths exceeding 100m. Ever since, this material has been transported downstream by the North Fork Toutle river, where it is deposited in the channel causing severe flooding problems and threatening navigation on the Columbia river.

The objective of the field course is to explore methods for managing this problem by developing long-term estimates of future sediment transport in the river and by assessing novel engineering methods that are aimed at reducing the transport of sediment downstream.

Quaternary Environments

This module considers the Quaternary history of the world, building explicitly on material covered in Environmental Change. The focus of the course will be evolution of the present climate and environment of the lowland tropics and the interaction between the natural environment and human societies.

The main elements are:

  • An overview of climate dynamics in the tropics, with particular emphasis on changes in the monsoon, the impact of sea level change and drivers of change from mid-latitudes 
  • Critical review of methods of environmental reconstruction and dating techniques 
  • Archives of change relevant to the study area, primarily lakes and cave systems 
  • Mesoamerican archaeology and cultural change in the Yucatan 
  • Exploration of the possible role of climate in driving societal change
Scale and Diversity in the Canary Islands

The module involves study in Nottingham on secondary data relating to broad-scale patterns of diversity, endemism and evolution in the Canary Islands.

This module completes the biogeography pathway in the School of Geography. The broad aim of the module is to encourage students to apply knowledge, concepts and theoretical ideas studied in F81125 (Earth and Environmental Dynamics) and F82163/F82228/F82328 (Patterns of Life) at a range of spatial scales within a professional research context and to communicate research findings at a professional level.



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



As a graduate from The University of Nottingham, you will be highly sought after, and by studying a degree in the School of Geography, you will acquire a broad skill set that will lay the foundations for your chosen career. 

Employability is at the heart of our teaching, and we ensure that all of our degrees will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge that employers are looking for. Our comprehensive careers programme includes one-to-one CV workshops and employer talks from school alumni, as well as career networking events and a summer internship scheme.

Our graduates go on to a wide range of careers. Some graduates enter roles that have a direct correlation to their degree, including conservation and heritage protection and land surveying. Other graduates secure positions that utilise their transferable skills such as management consultancy, PR, marketing and financial roles. 

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 95% of first-degree graduates in the School of Geography who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,702 with the highest being £39,500.*

* Known destinations of full-time home first degree undergraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


There is assessment associated with this programme that is not attached to a specific module. In the first year, students take a non credit bearing course on building employability. Sessions cover key skills needed to find work experience and employment and evaluating personal development, while highlighting the range of support available. 

The course is assessed by the production of a Curriculum Vitae (CV) and self reflection on employability skills acquired, as well as a plan for further skills building. 

How to use the data


travelling to locations such as Italy and Germany as part of your degree
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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


The Undergraduate Admissions Secretary, School of Geography  









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