Joshua Emsley

Joshua is studying BSc Geography with International Study at The University of Manchester.

On choosing Geography at Manchester

Joshua Emsley

BSc Geography with International Study specifically offered course units I couldn’t find anywhere else, with a particular focus on urban policy and environmental governance.

During my A-levels, I read books such as An Introduction to the Ice Age and Environmental Governance which were written by Manchester academics, Prof Jamie Woodward and Prof James Evans.

The fact that Geography at Manchester offers academic development in both physical and human geography during first year, before specialisation in second and third year, also really appealed to me, as other universities normally require you to choose a specific binary.

The course was also highly desirable because of the option to pick different course units from other departments and Schools, allowing me to take course units in development economics, ecology and geopolitics.

It was also a great opportunity to get a cost-effective year out travelling in my dream destination.

On my university experience

In my first year, I took up rowing as a novice with Manchester University Boat Club (MUBC). Since then I’ve competed for the university across the UK and in Portugal.

I also volunteer as a PASS leader which allows me to meet first years and give them increased support in their studies and general worries.

I am, of course, also part of Manchester University Geographical Society (MUGS), which is another great way to make friends and go to socials with my course mates.

As a destination, Manchester as a destination is great, not just because of the blend of music and culture but also for fieldwork opportunities, being close to Snowdonia, the Peak District and the Lake District.

The best thing about living here though is getting to experience the vibrancy of the city coming from a small coastal town, with all sorts of music events going on all the time across all the different city venues.

On my future

After graduation I plan to continue studying, going on to complete a master’s in something related to cities and urban governance.

My course has really helped me mould my path, starting off in first year with really broad topics and then helping me narrow down my interests in second and third year through specific and more niche course units.

It has given me a really good academic grounding through the assessment style and has helped me through networking across the UK and potentially further afield in Canada through the year abroad.