The course

UCAS code
Up to 4 years
Delivery type

Gain specialist skills to tackle global environmental challenges in human and physical geography with opportunities to study abroad.



Studying Geography at Heriot-Watt covers human geography, physical geography, social policy, economics and modern studies. It combines theory and practical work drawn from these main subject areas to create an inherently interesting and broadly defined university degree.

Geography is a subject which holds the key to our future. Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future.

Michael Palin

Our Geography BSc focuses on physical geography studying the processes that shape the natural environment, including hydrology, geology and geomorphology.

Detailed course information

Course content

Our Geography degrees cover the fundamentals of both physical geography - the elements that shape our natural environment as well as human geography - the way people shape and are shaped by the environments they live in.

Learn key field work skills in surveying, mapping and key research skills whilst learning core modules in statistics and data analysis. A cross disciplinary working that helps student acquire a mutual understanding between professions.

Detailed course guide

Year 1

8 mandatory modules

Providing introductory theory on subjects relevant to real-world issues across the globe such as human and urban geography, microeconomics, the built environment, living planet and environmental change and statistics, data analysis and GIS.

  • A residential fieldtrip within the UK to gain knowledge on city development and change while establishing key research skills.
  • Undertake a week long collaborative design project working with students from across disciplines within the school.

Year 2

6 mandatory modules | 2 optional modules

Introducing new laboratory and fieldwork skills in surveying and mapping, mandatory modules include urban political economy, catchment hydrology, urban and real estate economics, and geomorphology, landscapes and society. Students will choose 2 optional modules from subjects covering various languages, maths, biology and design.

Year 3

8 mandatory modules

Year 3 offers more critical understanding of key subjects including geology and soil properties, transportation engineering, water quality, global challenges, river and estuarine processes and environmental engineering.

  • Opportunity to go on a European city fieldtrip exploring issues of urban planning, real estate and urban geography.

Year 4

Dissertation | 4 mandatory modules | 2 optional modules

Students complete an individual dissertation project, complete 4 core modules and will choose 2 optional modules. Mandatory modules include carbon capture and renewable energy, river basin and flood risk management, pollution and remediation and environmental impact assessment. Optional modules available to choose from are cross-cultural perspectives on society, global heritage, environmental planning and social sustainability.

  • Undertake a week long collaborative design project working with students from across disciplines within the school.
  • Field visit around Scotland’s central belt hearing from industry experts.
Unistats course data


Work and study

This is what our BSc (Hons) Geography students are doing six months after graduating:

  • 81% are working
  • 8% are studying
  • 7% are working and studying.

Managerial/professional position

  • 92% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.


  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £25000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £22000

Entry requirements

Year 1

  • Highers AAAB or BBBBC
  • A-Levels ABC or BBB
  • Scottish Baccalaureate Pass
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB, plus BBC at Higher in other subjects
  • A-Levels ABB
  • Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points
  • HNC A in graded unit
  • HND BB in graded unit

Additional information

For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualifications and mature candidates. All EU and overseas candidates will require an IELTS overall grade 6.0 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 5.5 or equivalent.


Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £14,640

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries (not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales).

*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2018

In addition to government maintenance loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.