BSc (Hons) Geography

With study abroad and sandwich year options

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This course is open for Clearing applications for international fee-paying students only.

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Study Geography at Manchester Met and you’ll begin with a good grounding in earth surface processes and landform development alongside society, culture, place and space. With a wide range of options in the later years of your Geography degree, you can explore the issues and areas that interest you most.

While we have excellent teaching facilities on campus, we know that some of the most powerful lessons are learned outside the classroom. So you’ll have ample opportunity to get involved in fieldwork trips around the UK and overseas, helping you develop and refine your practical skills. And, if you take the four-year route, you can spend a year either working on a placement or studying overseas before returning for your final year.

Along the way, you’ll explore key theories and concepts – and how they apply to geographical phenomena – while developing practical skills and techniques through field and laboratory work.

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • We've been ranked in the top three of the People and Planet University League of most sustainable universities for six years running
  • Our four-year study abroad route gives you the opportunity to study overseas during your third year in North America, Australia or in Europe.
  • Alternatively, the four-year sandwich route allows you to spend your third year on an employment placement, enhancing your career opportunities on graduation.
  • The Department has been awarded Green Hero Status for Excellence in Environmental Education and Practice from the Green Organisation.
  • Residential fieldwork opportunities in the UK or overseas are available during each year of the degree.
  • Our laboratories and facilities are state-of-the-art and will give you first-hand experience of a wide range of manual and instrumental lab skills and techniques.
  • Read our Geography and the Environment student blogs:
"My research examines the impact of climate change on glaciers and rivers. Arctic glaciers are sensitive to climate change because that part of the world is warming at twice the average global rate. Finding out how glaciers have retreated allows us to predict future responses. We map landforms and analyse sediment layers in the laboratory, to find out about glaciers’ age and activity – a bit like reading a bar code.” Dr Kathryn Adamson, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

We've been ranked in the top three of the People and Planet University League of most sustainable universities for six years running.

Career Prospects

Our Geography graduates have found careers in a range of sectors, including transport planning, the civil service, environment quality monitoring, environmental sustainability, urban planning, the recycling industry, the international environmental charity sector and the energy efficiency industry. Major employers include private sector environmental consultancies, local and regional authorities, environmental charities and trusts, and energy and communications companies. Our dedicated careers and placement tutor runs a series of career talks and activities to enhance your employment prospects.

Learn more about graduate careers


of BSc (Hons) Geography students are overall satisfied with their course.*

*2018 National Student Survey.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) including grade C in Geography.

BTEC only accepted in combination with relevant A Level at grade C to achieve 104-112 UCAS Tariff points.  

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics. GCSE Science and Mathematics requirement may be met through the Level 3 requirements for the course. Please contact the institution if further information is required.

Level 2 Functional Skills English and Mathematics also accepted. BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (Science) with a minimum 106 UCAS tariff points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Dip pts inc. HL gr.5 Geography

IELTS score required for international students

IELTS 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in any element.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

The first year of your Geography degree involves set units to get everyone up to speed. We’ll introduce you to key geographical concepts and you’ll also develop core academic and research skills.

Your second and third years are quite flexible. You can choose units based around your interests, which will build on the skills you’ve already learned and grow your knowledge in specialised areas.

Typical units of study include:

  • Professional Geographer
  • Earth Surface Processes
  • Geosystems Science
  • Introducing Geographical Information Science
  • Introducing Human Geographies
  • Researching Geography

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Earth Surface Processes

This unit examines processes operating at or near Earths surface and examines how they interact with other Earth systems to produce unique geomorphological systems.

Geosystems Science

In this unit, you will gain an overview of geological and atmospheric systems including Earth history, Earth structure, global tectonics (including hazards), Earth materials (including resources), and weather.

Introducing Geographical Information Science

The unit introduces the concepts and methods of spatial data handling for the creation, analysis, and visualisation of geographical information. Key themes and topics include: Concepts and ideas of spatial thinking, spatial literacy, and spatial reasoning: scale, map reading and navigation, spatial arrangement (landmarks), representation, interpreting and querying spatial information.

Introducing Human Geographies

The unit provides an introduction to conceptual themes and contemporary issues and debates regarding cultural, social, political, economic and urban geography. Through contemporary research you will consider key challenges facing society and how expertise in human geography can help us to respond to these. 

Researching Geography

The unit will introduce students to a range of geographical field and analytical techniques and encourages their critical implementation during a residential field course. The techniques will include a range of earth science, environmental science and social science, including qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Professional Geographer

Students will work in multidisciplinary teams to research a topic of geographical interest. Project topics will be chosen from a range of themes across the full spectrum of geography (i.e. human to physical), and with an emphasis on education for sustainable development (eg global citizenship, environmental stewardship, social justice, and sustainable futures).

Typical units of study include:

Core unit:

  • Fieldwork and Research Design

You will choose two of the following:

  • Arctic and Alpine Environments
  • Catchment Hydrology and Geomorphology
  • Climate Change, Impacts and Responses
  • Reconstructing Quaternary Environments

You will choose two of the following:

  • Contemporary Urbanism
  • Cultural Geography
  • Frontiers in Human Geography
  • Political Geography

You will choose two of the following option units:

  • Earth Observation
  • GIS and the Workplace
  • Professional Practice
  • Sustainability of Organisations

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Catchment Hydrology and Geomorphology

This unit explores the movement of sediment and water in catchments, from source to sink, and their role in landform evolution.

Political Geography

This unit focuses on key issues in political geography such as migration and mobility, and how these are transforming the political geographies of states. 

Frontiers in Human Geography

Students will be given an introduction to emerging research within Human Geography research at the outset of the unit and subsequently through a research seminar programme comprising researchers from both Manchester Metropolitan University and the international research community.

Cultural Geography

The unit critically analyses the relationship between culture, space and place, focusing upon theories of cultural identity and the cultural representation of space and place. The main theories examined include essentialism, social constructionism, relationality and self/other, performativity and embodiment, and intersectionality.

Contemporary Urbanism

This unit introduces students to the development and application of key theoretical approaches to analysing the contemporary city. Students will examine the interplay of economic, social, political and cultural forces shaping contemporary urban development, and evaluate different theoretical perspectives to improving the city.

Reconstructing Quaternary Environments

This unit examines climate change drivers and evidence for climatic and environmental changes at global, regional and local scales during the Quaternary period.  Students will be introduced to key internal and external drivers of climatic and environmental change, their causes and their effects. 

Climate Change, Impacts and Responses

This unit investigates recent and future climate change, examining impacts and the responses needed to avoid dangerous climate change and adapt to future climate conditions.

Arctic and Alpine Environments

The unit examines key geomorphological processes operating in Arctic and Alpine environments and considers their influence on landform evolution.

Fieldwork and Research Design

This unit provides practical experience in the design and implementation of a field-based (or equivalent) research project and training for the final year dissertation unit. The unit normally requires students to participate in an overseas residential fieldtrip.

Option Units

Earth Observation

In this unit, students will study electromagnetic spectrum, energy-matter interactions, satellite platforms and sensors, applications of remote sensing, digital image processing, spectral signatures, image enhancement and image classification.

Sustainability of Organisations

In this unit, students will explore the challenges to organisations that arise from the need to shift to more sustainable patterns of operation. This unit will introduce students to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and how the approach is adopted by organisations in an attempt to manage and communicate their contributions to sustainable development. It will examine how organisations can deliver against the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) framework by acknowledging the benefits of improving environmental and social performance alongside traditional models of profit maximisation. 

Professional Practice

An employability based skills unit with opportunities to work with both internal and external partners. The unit encompasses employability skills development workshops including cover letter and C.V. construction, job search strategies, interview techniques, and placement preparation. 

GIS and the Workplace

This unit provides the fundamental theory and practical techniques of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) used to solve real-world environmental and geographical problems. It will incorporate a range of social and environmental issues, which will typically include: wildfires, air pollution, ecosystem services, retail, tourism, transport, crime, and animal/plant species.

If you choose the four-year sandwich or study overseas option, Year 3 will be spent on work placement or studying abroad before returning to the University for your final year.

Typical units of study include:

Core unit:

  • Dissertation for Geographers

Plus six option units from:

  • Applied Climatology
  • Applied Environmental Reconstruction
  • Bodies, Sexuality and Space
  • Cities and Architecture
  • Environmental and Climate Modelling
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Remote Sensing and GIS
  • Geographies of Place-making
  • Geomorphic Hazards
  • GIS in the City
  • Glacial Systems
  • Music, Sound and Space
  • National Identity and Globalisation
  • Planning Theory and Practice
  • River and Coastal Management
  • Space, Politics and Memory
  • Specialist Field Investigation
  • Sustainable Resource and Waste Management
  • The Undergraduate Consultancy
  • Volcanoes and Society

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Dissertation for Geographers

Building on an initial project proposal developed within the Year 2 Fieldwork and Research Design unit, students will identify and develop a topic of geographical interest and complete a substantial piece of independent research leading to the production of a dissertation. This will involve the collection, analysis, and presentation of primary and/or secondary data.

Option Units

Sustainable Resource and Waste Management

This unit explores the role of consumption, production and waste management in driving the transition from a linear (take-make-use-dispose) to a circular economy.

Environmental Impact Assessment

This unit provides a practical overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and its requirements under the UK Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations. 

Volcanoes and Society

This unit will examine planetary differentiation and magma generation; aspects of global volcanic systems including the distribution of volcanoes, types of volcanic activity, magma composition, products such as lava flows, pyroclastic deposits and volcanic gases; volcanic hazards; methods and techniques to monitor volcanic activity; management and mitigation of volcanic hazards around the world. 

The Undergraduate Consultancy

This unit challenges students to deliver high-quality outputs from live projects to address the needs of professional clients.

Specialist Field Investigation

Students will undertake fieldwork (typically an overseas residential field course) including field-based research design and implementation, and analysis and presentation of field-based data.

Space, Politics and Memory

This unit takes a socio-cultural geographical approach to the politics of how contemporary societies remember the past in creating senses of identity, particularly national identity.

River and Coastal Management

The unit will address the need for practitioners in river and coastal management to have an understanding of both hydromorphic processes and policy frameworks. Hydrological, geomorphological, environmental and ecological processes will be reviewed as an essential scientific information base for the formulation of policy, legislation and the operation of relevant agencies. Emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of the social and physical costs and benefits of particular strategies and practices of management intervention. 

Planning Theory and Practice

The unit critiques the planning and management of the contemporary city. It also outlines potential future careers in contemporary place management and town planning. 

National Identity and Globalisation

This unit explores how global and national identities are formed and contested, examining the spaces, places and networks in which such identities emerge.

Music, Sound and Space

This unit will provide students with a critical understanding and an enhanced awareness of the relationship between music, sound, space and place.

Glacial Systems

This unit examines glaciology in modern and ancient glacial systems, including sediment erosion, transfer and deposition, landform development, glacier dynamics and glacier-climate links.

GIS in the City

The aim of this unit is to develop the skills of identifying and applying appropriate spatial analysis techniques to problems in the urban environment. 

Geomorphic Hazards

This unit explores hazards arising from geomorphological processes, their causal factors, human interactions, and techniques and strategies for their assessment, mitigation, and management.

Geographies of Place-making

This unit introduces students to theoretical approaches to place-making, focusing on creativity and place, everyday place-making practices, tactical/resistance place making, and strategic place development.

Environmental Remote Sensing and GIS

This unit explores advanced Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing approaches to problem-solving in different environmental settings and applications.

Environmental and Climate Modelling

This unit explores and critically evaluates key themes related to climate modelling and the science and techniques of environmental modelling. 

Cities and Architecture

The unit explores why and how geographers study architecture and buildings, highlighting key theoretical developments within the field. It examines key moments in the intellectual conception and practice of city making from utopian urbanism to iconic architecture and the evolving agenda of architectural conservation.

Bodies, Sexuality and Space

This unit introduces key contemporary issues in the geographies of sexualities such as the relationship between gender, embodiment and sexualities. 

Applied Environmental Reconstruction

The unit investigates impacts of natural and human-related processes using a variety of methods and techniques applied to past environmental reconstruction.

Applied Climatology

This unit investigates sensitivity to weather and climate in natural and socioeconomic contexts, applying the latest scientific tools to evaluate the impacts of climate change.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Additional information about this course

Students are expected to comply with the Department's codes of conduct and behaviour on field courses, placements and exchanges. Placements and study exchange opportunities are dependent on passing each stage at the first opportunity and being of good standing.

Placement options

All our geography degrees have been designed to be flexible. You can opt for the four-year sandwich degree route and spend Year 3 on a professional paid placement with a degree related organisation.

Alternatively, if you opt for the four-year study overseas route, you will spend your third year in Europe, North America or Australia.

There are also residential fieldwork opportunities in the UK and overseas.

Department of Natural Sciences

Our Department of Natural Sciences is a research-rich academic community with a well-established reputation in biology, chemistry, geography and environmental science.

The department works with research institutions, industry partners, national organisations and NGOs worldwide to address the challenges posed by environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political change, as well as health and advanced materials.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,000 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international students: Part-time fee: £4000 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop for their degree (costing approximately £300 to £400) and a printer (costing £50 to £100 including print consumables, plus £20 to £40 for print consumables in every subsequent year). However, there are numerous drop-in computer facilities across campus and laptops for loan in the library. Lab coats are provided free of charge in the first year of entry and are expected to last for the duration of the course. Students will have to purchase replacements for lost or damaged PPE. Estimated cost of text books is £70 in the first year and £40 in the subsequent years).

Placement Costs


1) Students go on residential fieldtrips for core units throughout the degree course. These are subsidised but students can expect to pay a contribution to costs of £60 for a UK-based residential field course at Level 4 and a maximum of £300 for an overseas residential field course at Level 5 (currently Spain, Malta, Tenerife, Berlin). For all field courses, there are non-residential zero-cost to student alternatives for any student who chooses not to go. 2) Students opting to study abroad in third year (SENAA). If you are studying at one of our partner universities on an approved exchange programme, you will continue to pay tuition fees to Manchester Metropolitan University and you will not pay any tuition fees to your partner university. Some partner universities may charge additional fees for mandatory administrative and recreational services, non-mandatory language classes, courses including fieldwork or non-mandatory project costs. If this is relevant to you, the partner university will inform you of any additional costs during the application process. During your study exchange abroad, you will need to budget for the general cost of living as well as additional costs for visas, travel, medical insurance and vaccinations (depending on your destination). Applicants should visit the MMUi web pages for more details including sources of travel funding. 3) Students choosing to undertake a placement (sandwich) in third year. The sandwich year involves full-time work experience work placement. This lasts for a minimum of 36 weeks and normally attracts a salary/weekly wage but this is not guaranteed. Placements are competitive and based on successful interviews with the placement provider. Students will have to pay travel and accommodation costs (including for interview) plus personal insurance. 4) Students undertaking short placements as part of vocational optional units. Students should expect to pay travel expenses to placements.

Professional Costs

Students may wish to become student members of relevant professional bodies but this is not normally a requirement. Membership of the IES is free. Membership of CIEEM is £10 for students on accredited degrees and £20 for students on n on-accredited degrees.

Other Costs


Manchester Met now provides free travel insurance for students when they travel in connection with their programme of study, for example, placements, field trips, exchanges etc. However, students should also take out personal insurance cover for belongings as items such as mobile phones are not covered by this policy. Our courses are field-based so students would be expected to dress appropriately (i.e. purchase waterproof coats and trousers, sturdy footwear/walking boots). Students will be expected to print out some assessments (such as posters). Travel expenses associated with independent data collection for final year dissertations are not reimbursed by the Department. Students will be advised to undertake low-cost local fieldwork at the design and planning stages of a project if necessary.


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

This course is only open to International students through Clearing

Call our friendly team to find out more about this course and how to apply through Clearing

Please have the following information available:

Call us +44 (0)161 247 3000 Or email

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.