Undergraduate 

Geography BSc/MA/MA(SocSci)

Geography student on beach

Geography is the study of the surface of the Earth as the site of human living and working. It considers the variability in physical and human landscapes, along with the interrelationships binding them together. Geography is a dynamic, relevant and ever-changing subject, at the heart of many local and global current issues, from river/coastal management and conservation to migration, development and urban geography.

Graduates from this programme have subsequently been employed by companies and organisations including BAE Systems, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Foreign Office.  

2021 Clearing places available

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Geography BSc (Hons): F800 4 year degree
  • Geography MA (Hons): L702 4 year degree
  • Geography MA(SocSci) (Hons): L700 4 year degree

Why study Geography?

  • This degree programme is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and the Royal Geographical Society
  • Our location - a culturally and historically significant city, close to some of the most the spectacular landscapes in the world - gives us an unparalleled advantage in the study of both human and physical geography
  • Fieldwork is a fundamental part of studying Geography at the University of Glasgow, and all students undertake residential field classes in south Wales and Mallorca, giving you a comprehensive learning experience
  • Find out more about what it's like to study in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences: meet our students

Be part of the solution.

Programme structure

Geography can be studied as one of three different degrees in Arts, Science or Social Sciences. The Geography component of each degree is identical; the difference is additional subjects that can be taken in years 1 and 2.

Arts students taking Geography in their first year should choose their additional courses from other Arts degree programmes.

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Year 1

Core courses:

You will explore an equal balance of physical and human geography themes including a world of resources, an underdeveloped world, a world of changing environments, a shrinking world, and a changing biosphere in a changing environment.

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Year 2

Core courses:

You will explore human and physical processes, examining environmental problems and their possible resolutions. You will be trained in statistical methods, geographical information systems (GIS) and laboratory analysis using a mixture of fieldwork and our own IT and physical geography laboratories.

You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2, to pursue your interests and ensure maximum flexibility; see Flexible degrees.

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Year 3 and 4 

Core courses:

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will study both core and optional courses. Core courses are related to advanced training methods such as data management, modelling, geographical information systems, interviewing and interpretative methods, dissertation training and development of key graduate attributes. A wide range of optional courses complement the core courses and allow you to build a programme around your particular interests. Some Earth Science optional courses may also be available to Geography students.

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Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Special Glasgow feature

If you intend to continue to Honours, you will attend a week-long residential field course in year 2 to extend the field, laboratory and statistical skills introduced earlier by focusing on group projects, data collection, problem solving, and presentations. This training is developed in year 3 in a week-long overseas field class focusing on dissertation-related project work.

Our international links

You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. This will not add any time to your studies. See Study abroad.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2022

Summary of entry requirements for Geography

SQA Higher Entry Requirements

  • BBBB at S5 will be considered. Typically S6 entrants will have AAAB at Higher. B at Advanced Higher is equivalent to A at Higher.
  • Additional requirements:
    Applicants to Geography (BSc): Two Higher Science subjects.
    Applicants to Geography (MA): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.
    Applicants to Geography (MA SocSci): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject or Mathematics.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S5 or S6)

  • MD20 – BBBB (also other target groups*)
  • MD40 – AABB*
  • Additional requirements:
    Applicants to Geography (BSc): Two Higher Science subjects.
    Applicants to Geography (MA): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject.
    Applicants to Geography (MA SocSci): Higher English and a Higher Humanities subject or Mathematics.
    Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.

* See Access Glasgow for eligibility.

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BCC
  • Additional requirements:
    Applicants to Geography (BSc): A-level Science subject.
    Applicants to Geography (MA/MA SocSci): A-level English or Humanities subject.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 38 (6,6,6 HL) – 34 (6,5,5 HL)
  • Additional requirements:
    Applicants to Geography (BSc): HL Science subject.
    Applicants to Geography (MA/MA SocSci): HL English and HL Humanities subject.

Glasgow International College

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no sub-test under 6.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 90 with minimum R 20, L 19, S 19, W 23.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

PTE (Academic)

  • 60 with minimum 59 in all sub-tests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 4 years 5 months of start date. Combined scores from two tests taken within 6 months of each other can be considered.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Undergraduate degree from English speaking country (including Canada if taught in English)
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from English speaking country
  • Undergraduate 2+2 TNE degree taught in English in non-English speaking country
  • Masters degree from English speaking country
  • Masters degree (equivalent on NARIC to UK masters degree) taught in English in non-English speaking country.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

Graduates of this programme have gone on to work for companies and organisations such as BAE Systems, the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, and Caledonian MacBrayne. Positions include Coastal and Rivers Engineer, Environmental Social Researcher, Hydrographic Surveyor and Statistician.

Degrees and UCAS codes

Which degree should I choose for Geography?

Geography is offered as three different types of honours degrees: BSc, MA and MA (Soc). The Geography courses within these degrees are identical but the programme structure includes a selection of other subjects in years 1 and 2, which may vary according to the degree. There may be small differences in entry requirements between the degrees as well. This means that you should choose your degree according to the context in which you plan to study Geography and the subjects that you have studied previously. Here is some guidance.

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

If you have a background in Science you may be particularly interested in the areas of the Geography degree that cover scientific topics, such as the role of data gathering and imaging techniques in studying the environment and how it is changing.
The first year comprises Geography and two other subjects, which are typically drawn from the sciences: often Earth Science, Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry or Archaeology. This is the most common choice of degree. Combined honours courses are also available such as Geography/Mathematics or Geography/Archaeology.

Master of Arts in Social Science (MA SocSci)

This option is intended for students who have a background in Social Sciences and are particularly interested in the areas of the Geography degree that investigate the economic, social or behavioural aspects of society.
An obvious subject to take alongside Geography in first year is Sociology and you might be interested in Economics as well. Indeed if you want to take a degree in Economics or Business with Geography, then the only route is via the MA SocSci. Other combined honours courses are also available such as Geography/ Sociology or Geography/Politics.

Master of Arts (MA)

This is a more specialised route with fewer course choice options, and is typically chosen by students with a background in English or Languages, who are particularly interested in the areas of the Geography degree that explore the geographical context of language, literature or philosophy.
The first year comprises Geography and two Arts courses, such as English or another language and Philosophy. Combined honours courses are also available such as Geography/Spanish or Geography/French.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

BSc (Hons)

Geography: F800 (4 years)
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Geography/Archaeology: FV84 (4 years)
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Geography/Computing Science: FG84 (4 years)
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Geography/Mathematics: FG81 (4 years)
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MA (Hons)

Geography: L702 (4 years)
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Geography/Archaeology: LV74 (4 years)
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Geography/Celtic Civilisation: LQ75 (4 years)
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Geography/Celtic Studies: QL57 (4 years)
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Geography/Classics: LQ78 (4 years)
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Geography/Digital Media & Information Studies: GL57 (4 years)
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Geography/French: LR71 (5 years)
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Geography/German: LR72 (5 years)
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Geography/History: LV71 (4 years)
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Geography/History of Art: LVR3 (4 years)
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Geography/Latin: QL67 (4 years)
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Geography/Music: LW73 (4 years)
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Geography/Philosophy: LV75 (4 years)
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Geography/Portuguese: 3T5Y (5 years)
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Geography/Scottish History: LVR2 (4 years)
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Geography/Scottish Literature: LQ72 (4 years)
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Geography/Spanish: RL47 (5 years)
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Geography/Theatre Studies: LW74 (4 years)
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MA(SocSci) (Hons)

Geography: L700 (4 years)
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Geography/Business & Management: LN72 (4 years)
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Geography/Business Economics: LLC7 (4 years)
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Geography/Central & East European Studies: RL77 (4 years)
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Geography/Economic & Social History: LV73 (4 years)
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Geography/Economics: LL17 (4 years)
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Geography/Politics: LL72 (4 years)
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Geography/Social & Public Policy: LL47 (4 years)
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Geography/Sociology: LL37 (4 years)
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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

The Geospatial Scholarship Fund

Black and mixed Black heritage students are significantly under-represented within the fields of geography and geoscience.

The Geospatial Scholarship Fund would like to tackle this by helping to promote geography and geoscience as a positive life choice for students. Awards aims to provide financial and other support for students throughout their studies and ultimately increase the number of Black and mixed Black heritage students studying and working within the disciplines

University of Glasgow/Glasgow International College Achievement Award

In conjunction with GIC we are pleased to reward our best-performing students who finish the Foundation course with excellent grades and attendance. This is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £3,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

College of Science and Engineering Deans' Award

The College of Science and Engineering is offering ten scholarships worth £10,000 each towards tuition fees for academically excellent students wishing to study an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught programme within the College’s programme portfolio.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a number of Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new International and EU students for 2021 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

RUK Excellence Scholarship

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study. The scholarship is open to new applicants to the University. Current students who have previously been in receipt of the award may reapply, however, preference will be given to applicants entering their first year of study.

RUK Access Bursary

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2021/22, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Access Bursary

Glasgow has a long and proud tradition of providing financial support to talented students who, for reasons of financial hardship, might not be able to take a place at university. Our RoI Access Bursary is part of our commitment to continue to attract and support students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The RoI bursary will be up to £2,000 for your first year of study and £1,000 for continuing years.

Payments of the RoI Access Bursary will be detailed in your Award Letter.

  • The RoI Access Bursary will be awarded as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Access Bursary will be paid in 10 instalments from October until July; this award is based on household income
  • The RoI Access Bursary will only be awarded in years where tuition fees of £9,250 apply (i.e. Normally Years 1,2 and 3. Bursary is not paid in Year 4 where no tuition fees are due).

Republic of Ireland (RoI) Excellence Scholarship

The RoI Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained at Irish Higher grades A1, A1, A1, A1 from the Irish Leaving Certificate.  Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants are not eligible for this award.

Payments

  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be processed as a cash payment.
  • The RoI Excellence Scholarship will be paid in 2 instalments.
  • The first payment will be in October and the second payment will be in February.

These payments will be credited to the UK bank account held on your MyCampus profile; therefore, it is vital that this is up to date at the start of the session. By submitting your bank details on the MyCampus system, you are confirming that you agree with the terms and conditions of the award.

Undergraduate Talent Scholarships

The University of Glasgow awards c.50 undergraduate Talent Scholarships each academic year to support students who could face financial difficulties in taking up their place to study at the University. The value of each scholarship is typically £1,500 p.a. for each year of the degree programme, subject to satisfactory progress. Talent Scholarships are available to students entering any of the University's Colleges.

Dental School students are eligible for a Talent Scholarship in their first year of study only. They are eligible for the NHS Dental Student Support Grant in the following years.

Scholarship application deadline is 5PM on SUNDAY, 13TH JUNE.

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

Cowrie Foundation Scholarship

The University of Glasgow and The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation (CSF) will offer a scholarship to support Black African and Caribbean heritage applicants from socio-economically challenged backgrounds.  Applicants must be ordinarily resident in the UK and commencing an undergraduate study in the academic year 2021-2022.

The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation wants to fund 100 Black British students through UK universities in the next decade. More information on the Foundation can be found here.

Humanitarian Scholarships

The University of Glasgow is offering four scholarships (one per college) for applicants to the University who are staying in the UK on humanitarian grounds and are facing challenges in progressing onto Higher Education. The scholarship is open to prospective undergraduate and postgraduate taught students of the University of Glasgow applying for entry in 2021/22. The scholarship meets the full cost of tuition fees for the duration of your programme as well providing an additional £5,000 per year stipend, if the eligibility criteria for university accommodation is met this will also be provided for the duration of your degree. For more information on the accommodation criteria, please see the Accommodation Services section on the website.

We are also offering eight scholarships to students who hold refugee status. This scholarship is awarded as a £2,500 stipend towards study costs, per year of study.

The Clan Gregor Society Prize

The Clan Gregor Society are offering an award to new entrants to the University of Glasgow who descend from Clan Gregor. Prospective students will be asked to submit an application highlighting areas of consideration such as academic excellence and financial need. The award is open to both Undergraduate and postgraduate applicants.

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

SQA applicants who are eligible for our Widening Participation programmes are encouraged to participate in one or more of these programmes, including Summer School, to support your application and the transition to higher education.

International students to Arts, Engineering, Law, Nursing, Science, and Social Sciences can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS. Applications to Dentistry, Education, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine must be made through UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website).
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

How to apply for Advanced Entry

Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.

Apply via UCAS

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