The course

UCAS code
3K30
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Gain specialist skills to tackle global environmental challenges in human and physical geography. We are ranked 5th in the UK for Town and Country Planning in the Complete University Guide 2021.

Contact

Overview

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.

Our Geography BSc focuses on physical geography, studying the processes that shape the natural environment including hydrology, geology and geomorphology. You will develop field work skills in surveying, mapping and site assessment with field work and site visits as a key strand in your learning.

You will develop important research skills through core modules in statistics, data analysis and research methods which you will apply to your final year research dissertation. Throughout your degree cross-disciplinary and problem-based working helps students acquire the skills needed to work in multi-disciplinary teams and solve real-world problems.

Highlights

You can participate in residential field trips in years 1, 2 and 3 – visiting locations in Scotland, the UK and beyond, plus shorter one-day trips and site visits. These trips provide important opportunities to deepen practical skills in field survey, site observation, data collection and analysis.

You can experience links to practice and industry – hearing from visiting speakers and professionals working as chartered geographers, surveyors and planners.

In year 3, all students are given the opportunity for mentoring by a practitioner, someone working in industry who can discuss career choices, graduate job opportunities and professional membership routes.

Course content

Year 1

8 mandatory modules

Providing introductory knowledge and understanding of subjects relevant to real-world issues across the globe such as human geography, geography in the city, our dynamic earth, Scottish geographies and Geography Today. 

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, city life and difference, and geomorphology, landscapes and society. Students will choose 2 optional modules from subjects covering various languages, maths, biology and design.

Year 3

6 mandatory modules | 2 optional modules

Year 3 offers more critical understanding of key subjects including river geomorphology, coastal and marine geography and glacial landscapes. Preparation for the final year dissertation begins with a core module in research methods.

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.

Employability

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.

Salary

  • 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

Standard entry requirements 
  • Highers AABB
  • A-Levels BBC
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • BTEC DMM (in a relevant subject)
  • HNC B in graded unit (in relevant HNC)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC
  • A-Levels BCC

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB plus Highers AABB
  • A-Levels ABB
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points
  • HNC A in graded unit (in a relevant subject area)
  • HND BB in graded units (in a relevant subject area)
  • BTEC DDM (in a relevant subject)

Year 3

HND AB in graded units (in a relevant subject area)

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £15,080

* 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).

4 years for the price of 3

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, study with us and save £9,250 over your 4-year degree.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020

In addition to government 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.