MA (Hons) Geography, Society and Environment
The Geography, Society and Environment degree is designed for students who are interested in human geography and related topics in urban design, social policy, cities and modern studies. Overall, this degree explores the ways in which people shape and are shaped by the places and environments in which they live. How do cities change and how do the people involved shape those cities and neighbourhoods? How does the built environment shape our behaviour? What makes some places healthier or happier or more resilient?
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. Cross-disciplinary and problem-based working helps students acquire the skills needed to work in multi-disciplinary teams and solve real-world problems.
We are ranked 9th in the UK for Town and Country Planning and Landscape Design in the Complete University Guide 2022.
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.
Global College pathway for this degree
If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.
I believe my degree provided me with the knowledge and skills required for the career path I am taking in Transport Planning. Course content such as report writing, presentations and multidisciplinary team projects have been invaluable in my development as a young professional.
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.
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.
5 mandatory modules | 3 optional modules
Year 3 offers more critical understanding of key human geography topics including comparative urban development, place and place-making and governance and participation. Preparation for the final year dissertation begins with a core module in research methods. Students also get the opportunity to continue with some physical geography topics, including coastal and marine geographies and river geomorphology.
Dissertation | 2 mandatory modules | 4 optional modules
Students complete an individual dissertation project, complete 2 core modules (technical networks and urban resilience and social sustainability) and will choose 4 optional modules from subjects such as cross cultural perspectives on society, global heritage, urban economy and property markets, UK and international housing markets and environmental planning.
Discover Uni course data
Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.
Work and study
This is what our MA (Hons) students are doing 15 months after graduating:
- 60% are working
- 10% are studying
- 10% are working and studying.
- The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £25000
- The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £25000
These are the most common high skilled jobs students go into 15 months after graduating:
- Conservation and environment professionals
- Teaching Professionals
Standard entry requirements
- Highers AABB
- A-Levels BBC - ABB
- 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 BBC - ABB
* 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
- 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)
- Global College Successful completion of Bachelors Degree Accelerator Foundation - Built Environment
HND AB in graded units (in a relevant subject area)
- For all years, applications are welcomed from holders of non-school qualifications, mature candidates and overseas students.
- If you do not see your qualifications here please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please check that you meet our University-wide National 5/GCSE (or equivalent) English and Maths requirements.
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.
|Status*||Scotland||England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland||International**|
|Fee||Paid by SAAS||£9,250||£16,000|
* 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.
** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.
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
Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales
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 undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:
- Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.