BSc Geography with a Year in Industry

Full Time
Degree of Bachelor of Science

UCAS Course Code
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Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)


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Our BSc Geography degree focuses on the physical impact of a changing world. You will explore real-world problems, such as rising sea levels, climate change, and environmental hazards.

During your first year you will gain a solid understanding of the challenges facing the physical environment. As the course progresses, you will have the opportunity to develop valuable, practical experience through fieldwork, alongside the opportunity to acquire specialist theoretical knowledge in such areas as Global Tectonics and Field Ecology as part of a varied degree programme. You will also have the opportunity to spend your third year gaining valuable experience at a company of your choice.

When you choose to study BSc Geography at UEA you’ll be joining a community that is renowned for its cutting-edge research – we’re ranked first in the UK for research impact (REF 2014) and have a global reputation for excellence in Environmental Sciences.


Please note that this course is available for entry in September 2018 onwards.

Physical geography is concerned with some of the world’s most pressing problems. As the world changes – whether through rising sea levels, environmental hazards or climate – our understanding of it must change too, as well as our ways of living prosperously within it.

Our BSc Geography degree gives you the skills and knowledge to understand and investigate these problems, with an emphasis on the physical dimensions of environmental change through the study of rivers, oceans, the atmosphere, the environment, tectonic plates and volcanic regions.

You will gain a broad understanding of geographical concepts and issues, as well as how to collect data, formulate research questions, present results, and develop practical transferable skills.

You will also have the chance to work on group projects, which encourage using teamwork to tackle complex geographical issues, and are a fantastic way to improve your communication skills, as well as the opportunity to develop your research and analytical skills through field work.

By studying BSc Geography at UEA you can study modules in topics like climate change, meteorology and natural hazards to build a holistic picture of the Earth as a complex system that needs to be explored, understood and respected.

A subject of huge importance with exceptional career prospects

Geography produces some of the most employable graduates in the country. You’ll develop important practical knowledge, specialist training and a huge range of transferrable skills; from research and analysis to communication and teamwork.

Geography graduates enter a very wide range of career areas and have one of the highest rates of graduate employment, with potential employers spanning the private and public sectors, and particular opportunities at present with respect to climate change, energy systems and land or water resource management. 

Opportunities for internships exist with many organisations and our annual Careers Fair attracts a wide range of employers interested in graduates with geographical skills. You may also decide to move onto our four-year Year in Industry programme, where the third year is spent away from UEA working in an external organisation.

Study in a progressive, world-renowned and diverse school

UEA has one of the best Environmental Science schools in the world (World Top 100, QS Subject Rankings 2017), producing some of the most important research in the country (First for Research Impact in REF 2014).

That means you’ll have the chance to study with world-leading academics; benefit from cutting-edge facilities; and choose modules from a huge and varied range thanks to the vast expertise in our departments.

The course

This three-year course covers a broad range of topics in geography, moving from a first year that provides you with an essential foundation, through to more flexible second and third years. The course culminates in an independent research project and there are opportunities to participate in field courses in all three years of the degree.

Year 1

Your first year is designed to give you a broad understanding of the challenges facing contemporary geographers, underpinned by an introduction to fundamental research techniques to appreciate what methods physical geographers can use to analyse and understand the world.

Year 2

In the second year, you’ll gain valuable technical expertise through the GIS Skills for Project Work module, before choosing from a range of options including: Geomorphology; Population Ecology and Management; Climate Change Science and Policy; and Global Tectonics.

Year 3 (Year in Industry)

You will spend your third year on an industrial work placement lasting from nine to fourteen months, gaining relevant experience and developing your skills and knowledge. We have established research links throughout the UK and beyond, and we will help you in identifying and competing for appropriate positions.

Year 4

In your fourth and final year, you will spend a substantial amount of time on your Independent Project. This accounts for a third of the final year assessment and provides a brilliant opportunity to put everything you’ve learnt throughout your degree into practice, as well as a chance to specialise in a topic that really fascinates you with the supervision of a world-class expert. There are also further optional modules to study, including: Geophysical Hazards; Paleoclimatology; Biodiversity, Conservation and Human Society; The Carbon Cycle and Climate Change; Catchment Water Resources; Natural Resources and Environmental Economics - your options could also include a Field Course to Greece or Spain.

Year In Industry

Completion of a Year in Industry programme will ensure you graduate with relevant work experience, putting you one step ahead of your peers. 

There is no greater asset in today’s competitive job market than relevant work experience. A Year in Industry will give you first-hand knowledge of not only the mechanics of how your chosen field operates but it will also greatly improve your chances of progressing within that sector as you seal valuable contacts and insight. This course will also enhance your studies as theory is transformed into reality in a context governed by very real time and financial constraints.

Our Industrial Links

We have well-established commercial connections throughout the UK and beyond. Over 100 of our students have undertaken year-long placements as part of this programme. The fine work undertaken by the students leads to an ever growing network of employers who have experienced the positive benefits which come from offering a placement opportunity. We can help you to tap into this network and also provide other ideas of organisations who you might contact. Our students have worked in various geography and environmental roles within Local and National Government, in SMEs and Multinationals, for Environmental Consultancies and Research Institutes and with Conservation groups and NGOs.

Financial Benefits

A big attraction to this type of course, apart from the enhanced career prospects, is that students will pay much reduced tuition fees for that year (see ‘Year in Industry’ in our fees and funding section). In addition, of course, you are typically paid by the placement provider during the year, a great way to help fund your studies.

How it Works

The Year in Industry degree programmes are four years in length with the work placement taking place during your third year. Placements constitute a minimum of nine months full-time employment and a maximum of 14 months.

In Years 1 and 2, we will help you prepare for an industrial placement by running workshops to raise awareness of key issues and to encourage networking. We will make sure you are fully aware of all the organisations who have previously hosted our placement students. We will also advertise all current placement opportunities of which we are aware. Our Careers service will be on hand to help with your applications. With this support, you will take the lead in securing your own placement - not only will this ensure that you work within your preferred field of Geography, it will also provide you with the essential job-hunting skills you will require after graduation. Throughout the work placement itself, you will keep in close contact with an assigned mentor at UEA and your mentor will also visit you in your place of work during the year. In your placement year you will also undertake a Work Based Learning module which will help you to reflect on and get the very most from the placement experience.

Please note that we cannot guarantee any student a work placement as this decision rests with potential employers and students will be expected to source these placements themselves. If you were unable to secure a work placement by the end of your second year you will have the option to apply to be transferred onto the equivalent three-year degree programme without a Year in Industry. 

“The Year in Industry was one of the best choices I could have made for my career. It enabled me to gain valuable technical skills and responsibilities, essential for improving my employability as well as developing industry contacts”. Bex Holmes, BSc Environmental Sciences with a Year in Industry – Placement at Atkins Ltd

“I was reemployed by my placement provider BRE and owe this important start in life and my career to the Year in Industry programme. I really think it provides opportunities and essential experience for the workplace and hope it goes from strength to strength in the future”. Roger Connick, BSc Environmental Sciences with a Year in Industry – Placement at BRE.


Course Modules 2017/8

This course is offered from September 2018 entry.

Year 1

Compulsory Module Examples:

  • Geographical Perspectives
  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Research and Field Skills
  • Understanding the Dynamic Planet

Optional Module Examples:

  • Sustainability, Society and Biodiversity
  • Atmosphere and Oceans
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Mathematics for Scientists

Year 2

Compulsory Module Example:

  • GIS Skills for Project Work

Optional Module Examples:

  • Geomorphology 
  • Social Research Skills for Geographers with Field Course
  • Population Ecology and Management 
  • Climate Change: Science and Policy
  • Low Carbon Energy 
  • People and Place
  • Environmental Politics and Policy Making
  • Global Tectonics
  • Meteorology

Year 3

Spent on placement in industry

Year 4

Compulsory Module Example:

  • Independent Project

Optional Module Examples:

  • Geophysical Hazards
  • Energy and People
  • Urban Geographies
  • Palaeoclimatology 
  • Catchment Water Resources
  • Geography Field Course to Spain
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Economics
  • Biodiversity, Conservation and Human Society
  • Climate Systems


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

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  • UEA Award

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Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB to include Geography. Science A-levels must include a pass in the practical element.
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including HL Geography at 5. If no GCSE equivalent is held, offer will include Mathematics and English requirements.
  • Scottish Highers Only accepted in combination with Scottish Advanced Highers.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC to include Geography. A combination of Advanced Highers and Highers may be acceptable.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB or 2 subjects at H1, 4 at H2, including Higher Level Geography.
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3, including 12 Level 3 credits in Geography.
  • BTEC DDM in a relevant subject area including 6 units of Geography. BTEC Public Services is not accepted. BTEC and A-level combinations are considered - please contact us.
  • European Baccalaureate 75% overall, including at least 70% in Geography.

Entry Requirement

GCSE Requirements:  GCSE English Language grade 4 and GCSE Mathematics grade 4 or GCSE English Language grade C and GCSE Mathematics grade C.  (N.B. please change grades as required)

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. 

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Review our English Language Equivalences here.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Pre-sessional English at INTO UEA
English for University Study at INTO UEA


The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview. However, for some students an interview will be requested. These are normally quite informal and generally cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year, believing that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and may wish to contact the appropriate Admissions Office directly to discuss this further.


The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

We encourage you to apply if you have alternative qualifications equivalent to our stated entry requirements. Please contact us for further information.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515