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Geography (Human) (BSc)

  • L700

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Human Geography is an exciting and innovative degree course which will provide you with a comprehensive and critical understanding of geography as well as opportunities to specialise in specific areas of the discipline. The Human Geography course combines theoretical and conceptual approaches to the relations between space, place and environment with detailed empirical case studies of geography in action.

Due to the explicit focus on Human Geography, this course allows students to learn about different aspects of the relations between people and place in greater depth than most other geography degree programmes. However, we also recognise that students may be interested in some aspects of physical geography. The School has strong links with Cardiff School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and students may select modules from a number of physical geography related options during their studies.

Field Study Visits are a key aspect of our Human Geography programme, and destinations for our undergraduate trips currently include Brussels, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Dar es Salaam. There are also additional opportunities to undertake periods of funded study within Europe and beyond.

Geography (Human) BSc

Established in 1966, the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography is a leading international centre for teaching and research in human geography. We adopt an applied and multi-disciplinary approach in our teaching and our research, and are the premier school in the UK for spatial research and education.

What makes us special?

  • Teaching Excellence: We consistently achieve high ratings in the National Student Survey with a 100% satisfaction rate in 2014
  • Research Excellence: We ranked top in our field in the latest Research Assessment Exercise
  • Professional links and employability: In 2013 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating. A further 5% were pursuing other activities (
  • Facilities: The School is based in the Grade II* listed Glamorgan Building and most of our teaching is delivered within the School. We have a wide range of lecture rooms, design studios, and a state-of-the-art computer laboratory.

Key Facts

UCAS Code L700
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits c140 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received c750
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer  AAA-ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Christopher Bear
Tel Number 029 2087 6087
Email address
School website

The course explores geographical ideas and practice at various spatial scales, making connections between the local, regional, national and global levels. It covers the key social, political, economic and environmental components of geography, and allows students to take specialist modules which build on their own interests and passions. A key aspect of this course lies in its emphasis on the relevance of Human Geography, particularly to policy-makers and the public. Students have the opportunity to learn how the discipline informs elected decision-makers, helps the voluntary sector and seeks to improve civil society. The course also provides students with the crucial opportunity to translate their geographical knowledge into practice by offering a work placement module (Citizen Geographies) in the second year. This module enables students to ease their transition between education and the ‘real world’ by providing crucial work experience beyond the University.

Students taking the human geography degree will also develop and strengthen their skills in the broad range of research methods used in the discipline. These skills, along with students’ own interests, contribute to the research dissertation in the third year. With supervision from an expert active in their research area, students undertake exciting projects at both home and abroad. The quality of these dissertations often leads to student progression into postgraduate study and sometimes even publication. Innovative teaching and learning ideas, favourable staff:student ratios, and overseas field study visits ensure that BSc Geography (Human) students receive the highest quality learning experience.

The course structure is as follows:

Year 1

The first year provides an introduction to the key dimensions of human geography, including the contemporary nature of the discipline, key geographical ideas, environmental processes and city development. Through the Study Skills module, students will also develop the essential skills for studying human geography at degree level.

You will study:

  • The Geographical Imagination
  • The Big Questions in Human Geography
  • Introducing Research Methods
  • Study Skills
  • Environmental Geography
  • Cities
  • Earth and Planetary System Science (This is an optional module and can be taken instead of Environmental Geography or Development and Underdevelopment)

Year 2

The second year builds on the foundations provided in Year 1, looking in more depth at the history of geographical thought and the economic, social, cultural, political, rural and development subfields of human geography. The work placement module 'Citizen Geographies' is also available in Year 2. In this year, further attention is also given to research techniques and issues, which provide an introduction to the dissertation to be completed in Year 3.

You will study:

  • Geographical Ideas
  • Developing Research Methods

Plus four option modules from:

  • Spaces of Production: Economic Geography
  • Culture, Space and Place
  • Social Geography
  • Post-Carbon Worlds: Energy Geographies
  • Political Geography: Place, Space and Power
  • Citizen Geographies
  • Rural Geographies
  • Development and Underdevelopment
  • The Oceanic Atmosphere System

Year 3

The third year explores the broader relevance of geography to policy and society in a core module 'Public Geographies'. This and the dissertation are compulsory. You will then be able to choose three modules from eight options, and finally you will be able to choose from a choice of overseas Field Study Visits.

You will study:

  • Research Dissertation
  • Public Geographies

Plus three option modules from:

  • Advanced Economic Geography
  • Geographies of Consumption
  • Cities and Social Justice
  • Mobilities
  • Demography and Health
  • Housing Policies and Systems
  • Geographies of the Developing World
  • More-than-Human Geographies

And one choice from the following Field Study Visits:

  • Geographies of Hong Kong
  • Geographies of Las Vegas and Los Angeles
  • Geographies of Dar es Salaam

Visit the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography website for more information about course structure, modules and credits.

Our approach is based upon a commitment to provide the highest quality teaching to our students. As far as possible, we aim to teach students in small groups because we believe that this encourages a more positive learning environment between staff and students and amongst students themselves. Typically you will study six modules per year, and will receive 15 hours of contact-led study per week, plus further guided study exercises. Teaching takes place through a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars, field study visits, studio work and workshops. Subject-based teaching is enriched by opportunities to participate in study skills training, employability workshops, and interaction with high profile speakers from academia, policy and business, who contribute to the School's Innovation and Engagement programme.

Our degrees are designed with your employability to the fore. The programmes have a strong identity, designed to build knowledge year on year, with internal coherence and strong identity, leading to the development of critical skills, academic insight and professional awareness that allows for the potential of each student to be realised.

We encourage innovation and creativity in the delivery and assessment of teaching and learning, for example the use of digital media and field study visits. You will receive skills training from presentation of critical thinking through film-based assessments. Forms of assessment will equip you for the demands of a changing workplace; from individual academic essays and policy reports for a range of stakeholders, to group presentations.

Typical A-level Offer


Geography A-level. General Studies is not accepted.

Typical WBQ Offer Grade A in the Core and grades AA-AB at A-level, including Geography.
Typical Int Bacc Offer  35-34 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In 2013, 90% of our graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduating and a further 5% were pursuing other activities (e.g. travel).

Our graduates occupy key positions in national and local governments, business consultancies, sustainable energy centres, environmental agencies, housing strategy companies, construction, surveying and are active in both the public and private sectors.

There are numerous exciting and varied career opportunities available to students graduating from the BSc City and Regional Planning. These include careers in planning, surveying, design and development, as well as fields such as transport, economic development and urban regeneration. In particular, opportunities exist to practise in local planning authorities, central government, neighbourhood planning organisations, transport organisations, private planning consultancies, private developers and environmental organisations in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and even further afield.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: General Admissions  

Telephone: 02920 876087 



School Contact

Name: Dr Christopher Bear  

Telephone: 029 2087 6087 



More information

School of Planning and Geography