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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.
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.
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.
Work and study
This is what our MA (Hons) students are doing six months after graduating:
- 81% are working
- 8% are studying
- 7% are working and studying.
- 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
- Scottish Widows
- Standard Life
- Jones Lang LaSalle
Year 1Standard 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
- 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 3HND 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 / 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.
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 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.