Geography

Study Geography and graduate with a university degree

Geography is the integrated study of the world, its landscapes, places, people and their relationship with the environment. Geography seeks to make sense of the world we live in and is unique in bridging the environmental and social sciences.

Geography image. While Physical Geography and Human Geography are disciplines in their own right, Environmental Geography combines these subjects to provide a much-needed capability to study and understand interactions between people, and between people and the environments in which they live. Environmental Geographers have expert knowledge and skills to research, analyse and communicate how the changing environment affects our lives. Their ability to visualise geographical issues at different spatial scales, from global to local and to offer solutions to some of our most pressing environmental problems, ensures that graduates in Environmental Geography are highly sought after by a wide range of employers.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:
BBC

IB Diploma:
32 points

Essential subjects:
To include one of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:
ABB

GCE A-level:
ABB

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include on of Environmental Science, Geography or Geology AND one of Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Politics or Sociology.

Other qualifications

HNC/HND:
Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry Not available

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Essential subjects:
As listed above or equivalent.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply.
Mathematics Standard Grade (2), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent required.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those students who do not meet the required criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Science, Computing and Engineering to the required standard provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).

Course contact

Dr Robert McCulloch Geography
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK
+ 44 (0) 1786 467771 http://www.sbes.stir.ac.uk/people/mcculloch/index.html

Course Director

Dr Robert McCulloch

Find out more

http://www.stir.ac.uk/natural-sciences/about-us/bes/

Degree course

Environmental Geography is an integrated four-year degree course that provides you with training across the spectrum of the subject. Environmental Geography and Education provides graduates with a teaching qualification in Geography (and Modern Studies) as recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

This qualification is achieved within four years compared to the normal five-year route if you were to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) following on from an Honours degree.

Environmental Geography

Semesters 1 – 5

You will take the following core modules:

  • People and the Environment
  • Global Environmental Issues
  • Building Planet Earth (Geology)
  • Landscape Evolution (Geomorphology)
  • Ecology
  • Biosphere
  • Statistical Techniques
  • Advanced Analytical Techniques

You will choose from a wide range of modules including:

  • Politics of the British Isles
  • Environmental History
  • Economics (Micro and Macro)
  • Social Differentiation; Social Problems
  • Environmental Policy and Management

Semesters 6 - 8

Years 3 and 4 offer increased specialisation. Students may choose from advanced modules including, for example,

  • Environmental Hazards,
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Glaciers and Landscape  
  • Core issues in Geography

A residential field class forms an element of the course. Students may choose to either go to southern Spain or to Iceland.

In addition, all Honours students develop their research skills through the completion of an Environmental Geography dissertation in a subject of their choosing.

Environmental Geography and Education

Semesters 1 - 5

You will take the core modules for Environmental Geography as well as:

  • Learners and Learning in Education
  • Challenges and Trends in Education
  • Introduction to Pedagogy
  • Information Technology Skills
  • The Nature and Goals of Teaching
  • Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Units of Work
  • Either two modules of Politics or two modules of Sociology

Core modules cover:

  • Curriculum Studies
  • Core Issues in Geography
  • Pupil Support and Curriculum Studies

Semesters 6 - 8

Option modules include:

  • Environmental Hazards
  • Sustainable Development
  • Drainage Basins
  • Scottish Society

In addition, all Honours students complete a teaching-related Geography project and a review essay. A residential field class in Spain is an optional element.

You will undertake three school placements. The first two normally take place in January and February, between Semesters 3 and 4, and between Semesters 5 and 6. In the final year, 12 weeks of teaching practice are undertaken in Semester 7.

Module titles

Year 1

  • Building Planet Earth
  • People and the environment
  • Landscape Evolution
  • Global Environmental Issues

Year 2

  • Ecology
  • Lochgoilhead Field Course
  • Environmental History
  • Statistical Techniques

Year 3

  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Advanced Analytical Techniques
  • Residential fieldtrip to either Spain or Iceland
  • Choice of modules from Semester 5-8 options

Year 4

  • Honours Dissertation Project
  • Environmental Geography Review Essay
  • Choice of modules from Semester 5-8 options

Semester 5-8 options

  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Environmental Hazards
  • Environmental Economics
  • Drainage Basins
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Sustainable Water Management 
  • Sustainable Development
  • Green Politics
  • Agriculture and Food Security in the 21st Century
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Remote Sensing
  • Soil Quality and Protection
  • Conservation Management
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Glaciers and Landscapes

Teaching and assessment

At all levels of the degree we emphasise practical local field studies. There’s a range of natural environments around Stirling, plus easy access to major urban and industrial centres, new towns and rural settlements. Assessment balances coursework and examinations.

Combined degrees

Geography can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
Environmental Geography and Professional Education FX81

Related degrees

Geography image.

Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) within the School of Natural Sciences is a multi-disciplinary department that participates in research and teaching in a broad range of subjects in the biological and environmental sciences. The principle focus of the research is at the interface between the environment and society. Within BES, staff conduct research in areas as diverse as the reconstruction of past landscapes; conservation, environmental impact assessment and environmental management and evolutionary ecology of plants and animals. BES is a friendly, vibrant, and dynamic place in which to learn and research with a great sense of belonging engendered in our students from their very first days at the University.

Research-led teaching is the key to deep learning and understanding.  The academic staff in Biological and Environmental Sciences at Stirling are typically world leaders in their respective fields, thus ensuring that research-led teaching is at the core of all of our courses.  Many students work closely with academics throughout their time and benefit from actively participating in research programmes. We have strong contacts with external conservation and environmental organisations who also contribute to the undergraduate experience.  This approach ensures that our students appreciate the transferable nature of a science degree and see how their learning can be applied to the real world.

Study abroad

As well as the exchange opportunities available to all Stirling students, Environmental Geography has well established course links with the University of Guelph in Canada. Students may spend either one or two semesters during Year 3, studying courses equivalent to those taken at Stirling and have the opportunity to broaden your geographical and cultural experience.

Our students

Stirling University was the ideal location to undertake my environmental geography degree. The beautiful campus provides the unique opportunity to learn and develop fieldwork skills ‘on your doorstep’ and this is something that the course takes full advantage of. I have gained knowledge on a wide range of environmental topics as well as practical computer program skills that are highly sought after in the workplace. A particular highlight for me was the field course to Iceland; working in a small group on a personal project allowed us to focus on our interests and learn a great deal in an amazing and unfamiliar environment. Overall, I could not have wished for a better university experience thanks to the exceptional staff, my fellow students and the university.  

Caroline Thomson (2013), BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography

I came to Stirling as the course it offers is unique to Scotland, by combining education with geography, I achieved a degree and a teaching qualification all in four years. The external placements are definitely one of the biggest learning experiences and the ‘hands-on’ elements helped us all to grow in confidence so much.

Gail Thomson (2010), BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography and Professional Education (Secondary)

Our Staff

Robert McCulloch  BA (Birmingham University) PhD (Aberdeen University) is an enthusiastic champion of geography and all things geographical at Stirling.  He is one of the UK’s leading experts investigating the landscape history of southern Patagonia.  His research has also taken him from the Shetland Islands, Scotland, to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.  In collaboration with international partners he has been involved in challenging field work in awesome environments to map glacial landforms and to sample sediment cores for laboratory analysis, This research focuses on the reconstruction of past glacial fluctuations and the changing patterns of vegetation to better understand the changing climate of the world and the impact of prehistoric people on the landscape we see today.

Success stories

Rebecca Barclay, an Environmental Geographer at the University of Stirling, was awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) University Medal for her achievements in her studies and in her research dissertation.  The award ceremony was held at the Perth Concert Hall, near the new RSGS Headquarters in Perth and the medals were presented by HRH The Princess Royal. 

Rebecca graduated with a 1st class Honours degree and completed an outstanding Honours research project focused on Viking farming settlements in the north-west of Iceland.  Her research formed a valuable part of ongoing research carried by Professor Ian Simpson in conjunction with Icelandic archaeologists. She is furthering her academic career by studying for a PhD.

94% of University of Stirling 2012 graduates have found work, or are in a further programme of study within 6 months of graduation. The Telegraph ranks Stirling in the top 12 UK universities for getting a job.

Career opportunities

Graduates enter a wide range of professions and are considered valuable recruits given the broad range of skills that they develop throughout the course. These include both Communication and Information, and Communications Technology (ICT) skills.

Geography provides a unique combination of subject specific and generic skills so that geographers can enter a diverse range of careers, including education. Geographers are attractive to employers because of their understanding of relationships between environment and people, their spatial awareness and their skills in areas such as field investigation, problem-solving, team working, communication and information technology.

Fees Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography 2014/5

Overseas students (non-EU)£ 13,100.00
Scottish and EU students£ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Fees Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geography and Professional Education 2014/5

Overseas students (non-EU)£ 13,100.00
Scottish and EU students£ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK£6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

Funding

Geography
  • Degree award BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS Code FL97; FX81
  • Type Part-time, Full-time
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