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School of Environment, Education and Development

Two Geography students on field trip
BA Geography with International Study
Combine a degree from one of the world's top ten schools for geography with a year abroad.

BA Geography with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course description

Manchester is a great place to study Geography. It was the world's first industrial city and is now a vibrant twenty-first century metropolis. Set between three National Parks the city and its environment are an important resource for field teaching in all years. In addition, all students benefit from a heavily subsidised overseas fieldcourse in their second year, and spend the third year of their studies abroad.

The Geography programme at Manchester gives you maximum choice, with the opportunity to take options from across Physical and Human Geography. This allows you to tailor the course choosing from more than fifteen options in your fourth year. Unlike other Geography programmes, every course at Manchester has small group teaching so that you will enjoy high quality contact time with all our staff, including our world leading Professors.

By choosing your course units based on your interests and your preferred assessment methods, you are able to assemble the course structure that best suits you and allows you to showcase your skills and abilities.

Teaching and learning

Our teaching and learning strategy is designed to provide you with a stimulating and challenging set of experiences that will help you to develop a wide range of intellectual, subject specific and transferable skills whilst studying a dynamic and broad-ranging subject. We develop your ability to think critically, analytically and creatively. You learn about contemporary issues and problems, to which much of our research relates, in ways that help you discuss and develop your own views on current societal and environmental debates. In developing an understanding of these issues and problems, you acquire a set of subject-specific skills, associated with, for example, geographical representation (Geographical Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Visualisation) and field and laboratory analyses.

You will encounter a number of different learning situations. Some, like the lecture sessions, are quite different from school or college in that the classes are much larger. As you proceed through the degree courses, and there are more options from which to select, lecture sizes decrease. Lecture sessions do not just consist of someone standing at the front speaking while you take notes. Right from your first year, they are interactive. Students particularly enjoy the structure of third-year options where a second hour is used for discussions, debates and various forms of student presentations and activities. These interactions allow you to think through the ideas of the lecture and develop your own thoughts and views.

Coursework and assessment

The School's assessment strategy is devised to present you with the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of your abilities and skills. There is, therefore, a mix of assessment types in all three years that reflect the variety of abilities and skills that you develop and acquire as you proceed through the degree programmes.  The mix includes a dissertation, essays of varying lengths, individual and team projects, course work assignments, posters, presentations, practicals, field notebooks and unseen written examination papers (essay answers and multiple choice). Second-year work currently contributes 25% of your degree, with your dissertation, lecture course options (exams/coursework) and a general paper/team project contributing from the final year (75% of the degree).

The mix of assessment types is to help you in a number of ways. Some of them are to allow fuller coverage of, and feedback on, knowledge and understanding, which is so important. Some are devised to allow rapid feedback, e.g. objective tests. Others are to promote the development of argument e.g. tutorial and course work essays or the skills of teamwork. Some test the extent to which you can carry out work independently, such as course work essays and the dissertation.  All our assessment methods have been devised to promote in-depth learning and understanding.

Course content for year 1

The course units in the first year provide a basic introduction to the three strands of the degree courses.

In Human Geography, changing political, economic, social and cultural geographies are explored at a range of spatial scales. People and Environment is introduced through the issues arising from natural resource development and disease. Climate and earth surface systems are explored in the Physical Geography units. These compulsory units establish basic principles and concepts upon which the second and third years build. In addition to lectures, you will have tutorials, undertake skills-based activities in Studying Place and Approaches to Geographical Research, complete a team project in each semester, and carry out both Human and Physical Geography fieldwork in the Manchester area.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Key Ideas in Geography GEOG10191 10 Mandatory
Introducing Human Geographies 1 GEOG10251 10 Mandatory
Researching Manchester GEOG10292 10 Mandatory
Environmental Processes and Change: The Global System GEOG10401 10 Mandatory
Dynamic Earth GEOG10422 10 Mandatory
Introducing Human Geographies 2 GEOG10432 10 Mandatory
Tutorials and Book Review GEOG12011 10 Mandatory
Tutorials and Profile of a Research Geographer GEOG12012 10 Mandatory
Geographies of Globalisation GEOG10101 10 Optional
Environmental Pollution GEOG10161 10 Optional
Environment, Society and Space GEOG10172 10 Optional
River Catchment Science & Management GEOG10712 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

In the second year, lectures develop the themes established in the first year but introduce you to wider aspects of the subject. Doing Geographical Research is an additional course unit that introduces some of the major philosophical, theoretical and practical ways in which geography is `done'. This course unit also helps you to learn about particular research techniques for your dissertation. Communication Skills will give you practice in team work, report writing, researching, oral presentations, role playing and negotiation whilst helping you to prepare a curriculum vitae and a dissertation proposal. Tutorials in the second year give advice on dissertations and develop your writing skills. During the second year, you will take part in an overseas field course that will help you to develop your research skills further.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research Design and Overseas Fieldcourses GEOG20072 20 Mandatory
Skills for Geographers GEOG20621 20 Mandatory
Economic Geography: Understanding the economy. creating economic spaces GEOG20101 20 Optional
Economic Geography: Understanding the economy. creating economic spaces GEOG20102 20 Optional
Development and Inequality GEOG20121 20 Optional
Development and Inequality GEOG20122 20 Optional
Green Planet: Plant Ecology and Global Change GEOG20291 20 Optional
Environmental Change and the Human Past GEOG20302 20 Optional
Glaciers GEOG20351 20 Optional
Glaciers GEOG20352 20 Optional
Remote Sensing in Action: Mapping and monitoring land cover changes GEOG20381 20 Optional
Remote Sensing in Action: Mapping and monitoring land cover changes GEOG20382 20 Optional
Rivers GEOG20401 20 Optional
Rivers GEOG20402 20 Optional
Spatial Thinking with GIS: Constructing and exploring virtual worlds GEOG20501 20 Optional
Spatial Thinking with GIS: Constructing and exploring virtual worlds GEOG20502 20 Optional
Transport Geographies GEOG20541 20 Optional
Transport Geographies GEOG20542 20 Optional
North American Cities - Change and Continuity in the Metropolis GEOG20551 20 Optional
North American Cities - Change and Continuity in the Metropolis GEOG20552 20 Optional
Creative Geographies GEOG21311 20 Optional
Moral Geographies GEOG21331 20 Optional
Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Global South GEOG21402 20 Optional
Everyday Geographies: Social and Cultural Concepts and Methods GEOG21421 20 Optional
Everyday Geographies: Social and Cultural Concepts and Methods GEOG21422 20 Optional
Quaternary Climates and Landscapes GEOG21431 20 Optional
Moral Geographies GEOG21432 20 Optional
City Planet: Challenges in theory and practice GEOG21891 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 28 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

The third year is spent abroad at a Partner University in various European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, or the USA. Dissertation work is usually related to this period of study. For more information about the worldwide exchange possibilities please visit the Study Abroad website; www.manchester.ac.uk/undergraduate/studyabroad

Course content for year 4

In the fourth year, you will choose three course units from approximately 10-12 options available in any one year. The range of optional course units is common to both the BA and BSc degree courses and allows you to get experience of geography at the research face, as members of staff lead courses dealing with their areas of particular expertise and interest. The lecture courses encourage student participation and often include a practical element. In addition, you will continue to explore the ways in which we gain geographical knowledge through the General Paper Support sessions, and you will undertake a team project evaluating a classic geographical text.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation GEOG30000 40 Mandatory
Borders and Security GEOG30031 20 Optional
Borders and Security in a Mobile World GEOG30032 20 Optional
Mediterranean Quaternary Landscapes GEOG30131 20 Optional
Geographies of Food and Farming GEOG30161 20 Optional
Climate Change and carbon Cycling GEOG30181 20 Optional
Climate Change and carbon Cycling GEOG30182 20 Optional
Energy, Society and Space GEOG30201 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30231 20 Optional
Peatlands Under Pressure GEOG30232 20 Optional
Geography of Life GEOG30352 20 Optional
Social Constructions of Health and Disease GEOG30451 20 Optional
Islands: Playful Human Geographies? GEOG30502 20 Optional
Dryland Environments: Past, Present and Future GEOG30531 20 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG30552 20 Optional
European Cities GEOG30652 20 Optional
Governing Urban Transformation GEOG30802 20 Optional
Asian Workers and the Labour of Globalisation GEOG31071 20 Optional
Space, Nature and Social Power GEOG31211 20 Optional
Space, Nature and Social Power GEOG31212 20 Optional
Coastal Processes: Sea Level Change and Marine Hazards GEOG31952 20 Optional
Understanding the Himalayan Landscape GEOG36661 20 Optional
Principles, Perspectives and Practice MGDI31101 20 Optional
Environment and development MGDI31212 20 Optional
Displaying 10 of 24 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

No specific academic scholarships available for this course.

What our students say

I think the Geography department at Manchester is fantastic as it has many lecturers who specialise in a broad number of fields.  This allows you a greater choice of subjects and to tailor your degree to how you would like and what really interests you!  The lecturers are approachable and friendly and this creates a good, relaxed working environment 

(Second Year Student, BA Geography)

Facilities

In Summer 2007, the School of Environment and Development moved to new purpose built facilities. The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk