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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Undergraduate  /  BA/BSc Geography

BA/BSc Geography

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Our Undergraduate Single-Honours Programme is a long-established course that provides a thorough grounding in the discipline of Geography as well as the opportunity to specialise in one of our many areas of research excellence.

Our Undergraduate Programme enables students to gain a thorough knowledge and appreciation of the breadth of contemporary Geography research, whilst also developing their own areas of personal interest. As one of the largest UK Geography Departments, our students can choose from multiple modules to build a personalised course of study that suits their interests. From climate change to contemporary cities, we’ll work together through research-led teaching to identify how we can answer some of the most important questions of the day.

Our students combine theory and practical field work to develop a set of highly transferable skills, including reasoning, analysis and critical thought. In the final year, students hone their project management and creativity skills through their dissertation.  All this makes our Geography graduates highly attractive to employers across a range of sectors.

Gaining this combination of skills at a Geography Department that has been consistently ranked as amongst the very best in the world stands our students in good stead whatever they do afterwards. Many of our students go on to develop the passions they identify with us through further research. Others pursue successful careers in the public and private sectors.

First year

In the first year, the emphasis is on integration. Recognising that our students have a diversity of arts and science backgrounds, the choice of courses is structured so that they are brought up to speed with the skills required of the course. So, though you can take one module outside the Department, you’ll largely be working together as a group to explore what Geography is today and where it is heading. Students will therefore be introduced to some of the core concerns of contemporary geographers as they start to identify the kind of geographer they want to be. You’ll be meeting in a small group of five or so students once each week with your allocated tutor. Their job is to ensure all our students are coming to master higher-level study skills.

Second year

In the second year, you will be given an opportunity to start specialising. Many of our students continue to develop both their human and physical Geography skills in the later years, but you can also decide to be an entirely human or physical geographer from this point forward. Alongside taking a range of different courses, key to the work you will do in the second year will be to start honing your geographical research skills in preparation for the third year dissertation. Students will therefore all take at least one methods course. These courses will expose you to the decisions and challenges associated with doing practical geography research and give you the skills to make sound and effective decisions about managing projects. Alongside this, all students will take another course that helps them to identify topics that could be usefully researched. How do we go about defining something that is worth researching as geographers and how do we take geography forward through these means? This is a key part of our activity as geographers that make a difference so we’ll spend a good deal of time ensuring you can make a difference through these means too.

Third year

In the third year, you will again take a range of courses that match your interests. Many of these will be directly building on the interests you will have developed in the second year (in topics such as urban geography, environment and society, migration, hydrological processes or climate change). Alongside this, and with regular support from an academic who shares your interests, the third year will be the time when you can really explore a topic of your own choosing in some depth through the dissertation. By the end of your third year, you will have advanced study management skills and an original research focus that you can rightly claim to be your own.

Fieldwork provides a great opportunity to test out academic ideas and techniques. It also enables staff and students to work collaboratively both with each other and with us. To reflect this, our Programme offers overseas fieldwork trips in all three years.  We have one Field class in the first year for everyone that has just joined us. Then there are both physical and human options in the second year for you to choose from. Finally, in the third year, there are three options for continuing to hone your skills in making sense of a new place.

Read more about our Fieldwork options

We are passionate about doing great geography research at UCL and we want to give you the chance to do your own whilst you are here. Read more about our Dissertation Projects, and some of the award-winning work our students have produced.

Applications for Undergraduate Programmes at UCL should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Please ensure you’ve read the guidelines and entry requirements for the Programme you wish to apply for before submitting your application. You can return to the Undergraduate Programme page, if you wish to revisit the Programme overview and entry requirements.

    Apply for Undergraduate Programmes

    If you have any further queries about our Undergraduate Programmes, you can email geog.office@ucl.ac.uk. Please do read all the information online before contacting us as you may find the answer to your question online.

    The admissions process of all our programmes is now centralised. Due to the large volume of applications our central admissions team receives, it may take a little while before a decision on your application can be returned. Please therefore do not be concerned if you don't hear back from us immediately.

    What our students say...

    “A big factor in my decision to study Geography at UCL was the world-leading research. I have been taught and supervised by academics who are contributing to and shaping current debates in the understanding of past climates, recent environmental change and environmental modelling and observation. Their research often forms the basis for teaching and it is fascinating to learn the very latest in the area that you choose to specialise in. The academics at UCL really care about their research and I think this makes the learning experience much more fascinating and enjoyable.”
    Alex Curtis
    BSc Geography