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Undergraduate Course

Human Geography BA (Hons)

Investigate the social, economic, cultural and political processes that shape our profoundly connected world.

Students on the shambles

Human Geography is about people. Consider big questions about globalisation, social justice, inequality and cultural identity. See things from new perspectives, think about your place in the world and consider how you can make a difference to communities, locally and globally.

  • Available in Clearing

100% of Geography students were satisfied with their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

  • RGS Accredited programme

York campus

  • UCAS Code – 8B12
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover Geography at York St John University

Course overview

Throughout this course you will explore urban, social, cultural and tourism geographies. York’s thriving tourist industry and rich history make it an ideal location to study these exciting areas of geography. You will have the opportunity to study a range of geographical themes including:

  • Culture and landscape
  • Inequalities and social justice
  • Urban development and global cities
  • Tourism and sustainability.

Through this degree you will develop knowledge and skills relevant to a wide range of careers. Our Human Geography graduates have gone on to work in sectors such as international development, housing, finance, planning and education.

Your learning will never be confined to the classroom. From the start you will apply theory to the world around you, actively engaging with the issues we investigate by choosing your own case studies or carrying out fieldwork. The course will take you from exploring the city on your doorstep to conducting your own research on residential field trips in the UK and abroad. Field trips provide practical experience that is central to your learning, so the cost of them is covered by your fees. Deepen your understanding through first hand experience, gaining skills and confidence in your abilities as an independent researcher. Our current overseas destinations are Malta and Ljulbljana (Slovenia).

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to raise concerns about health and travel, our residential field trips are replaced with non residential and/or virtual fieldwork. But we will do our best to offer as much of our usual fieldwork as possible.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are st­udying full time or part time.

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Updated information about residential field trips

From 2020 onwards we will be offering non-residential and/or virtual fieldwork as an alternative to residential field trips. This was developed in response to the travel restrictions and concerns caused by COVID-19. For the 2020-21 academic year it is likely that all students will undertake this version of fieldwork in place of international work. While we hope to have all of our trips up and running again as soon as possible, non-residential and/or virtual fieldwork will continue to be available as an option in the future.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This is a module that is designed to help you transition into higher education. We focus on one or more topical and controversial issues, examining a range of evidence and arguments. We will introduce you to some of the conventions of academic study, focusing on the use of appropriate sources and the correct procedures for referencing them. You will also build skills in critical reasoning and the application of geography in the field. You will reflect on geographical knowledge, its generation and its use. The skills you develop in this module will help you to succeed throughout your degree.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will develop your cartographic skills, as you design maps using both professional geographical information systems (GIS) software. As well as learning the principles of map design, you will consider the role and power of maps in society. The module also introduces you to the idea of ‘integrated geography’ by studying both physical and human geographical changes in York and the Yorkshire region. 

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to key themes and debates in social and cultural geography, including important and innovative subfields of human geography. The module explores social and spatial inequalities, focusing on issues such as :

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Class
  • Race
  • Disability.

As you develop your understanding of how identities shape people’s experience of the world around them, you will also further your skills in analysis and communication.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Fieldwork is essential to your geographical education and for geographical research. This module will contextualise fieldwork within your study. You will also develop your knowledge of field-based research methods in human and physical geography. This will provide a solid foundation for the fieldwork you will complete throughout your degree.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module focuses on the changing nature and role of cities in the modern world. This includes the changing economic processes in cities, the nature and experience of urban life in various global contexts, urban regeneration and social/spatial inequalities within cities. You will also examine:

  • Theories of economic development
  • The changing geographies of production and consumption
  • The nature and impacts of globalisation (on economy, society and environment)
  • The relationship between the global and the local.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will engage with the imagery and messaging used to promote tourist destinations. You will also develop new skills in interviewing and analysing interview data. We will investigate the impact of tourism on the environment, the commodification of place through tourism, its role in the construction of social identity and much more. You will reflect on how some of these issues manifest themselves within the city of York.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Geography is an extraordinarily diverse discipline. In this module you will learn about the variety of methodological approaches that geographers use in their research, across human, physical and environmental geography. This includes paying attention to the very latest developments, as well as the ethical and political dimensions of producing geographical knowledge. The module prepares you for undertaking your own research later in your degree.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will examine the relationship between space and society. You will consider how space relates to social identities, as well as how these identities are both expressed in and produce, particular spaces. This includes spaces such as the home, the workplace, public spaces and virtual spaces. There is a focus on difference, inequality and exclusion and their implications within increasingly transnational global contexts.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will consider how the concept of landscape has changed throughout history, and learn how to read landscapes from different perspectives. You will examine landscape in symbolic and material terms, engaging with debates in visual cultural theory that have shaped the geographical analysis of the past 40 years. You will approach landscapes as expressions of power, identity and economic change.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will involve working in small groups to develop research plans and then undertaking the research on a residential field trip. Our current destination for this trip is Malta. The module provides practical experience in conducting your own research, helping prepare you for your independent dissertation next year. During the module you will also produce a research proposal for your dissertation.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This is an opportunity to experience professional practice related to your degree. This might be a short internship, a period of shadowing a relevant professional, voluntary work in an appropriate setting or a study of a profession, workplace or employer relevant to geography. This will develop new skills and experience that will help you become more employable after you graduate. It will also help you identify areas of personal and professional development you would like to build on to prepare for your career.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Cultural and heritage tourism is a growing sector of the tourism industry at an international level. It is also a major attraction for the City of York and its region. It's an important factor in connecting our city to the international tourism industry. You will explore the impact of:

  • Historical buildings and sites
  • Event management
  • Museums and galleries
  • Food tourism
  • Festivals and sport
  • local traditions and customs.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • A Dissertation module across semesters 1 and 2.
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 1 compulsory module and 1 optional module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

This year long module will involve working independently to research a topic of your choice. It is the culmination of your degree studies, and your chance to explore a topic you are passionate about. You will build on the research skills you developed earlier in the course, demonstrating your capacity for independent working, autonomy, self reliance and project management. Once your dissertation proposal has been approved and has passed ethical scrutiny you will work under the guidance of a tutor. A dissertation conference gives you the opportunity to present your ongoing research and allows for supportive peer discussion.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

The focus for this module is the contemporary city, and particularly issues of democracy and participation in urban decision making. You will learn about urban transition through the lenses of post-colonialism, post-democracy and sustainability. Investigate how public space is shaped, understood and contested at multiple scales in a globalized world.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module takes a cultural geography perspective on nature. We will interrogate common assumptions about the separation between humans and nature, and how these assumptions shape our understanding of contemporary issues. Analyse what is meant by terms like natural, un-natural, environment, pure, and wild, and how such notions are embedded throughout contemporary culture.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module involves residential fieldwork in an unfamiliar setting. Our current destination is Slovenia. Through the module you work both collaboratively and independently to develop your understanding of the fieldwork location. In the field you will apply your geographical knowledge of place, space and landscape to interpret your surroundings. You will then develop written or multimedia materials to communicate your understanding to others.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will examine how transnational film can articulate themes of displacement, nomadism, cosmopolitanism, border-crossing, homelessness, diaspora, and hybridity. This includes exploring how transnational cinema, both as a cultural form and a mode of production. We will consider cinematic representations of marginalised groups like immigrants, exiles and asylum seekers and case studies of a diverse range of film makers. This module will also include a field trip relevant to the study of transnational cinema.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries that has the potential to bring huge economic benefits. However, it also involves diverse stakeholders such as local communities, tourists and public and private sectors. This means it has political implications. On this module you will study sustainability in tourism and what being responsible means for tourists and all its other stakeholders.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

For all of our Geography degrees, our aim is to get you practising geography for yourself from the outset. This means collecting and analysing data, applying theories for yourself and developing your skills.

We use a range of teaching styles and settings to support you in this. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Fieldwork
  • Collaborative learning.

Teaching sessions include discussions, problem-solving exercises, group work, debates and data analysis exercises. We encourage you to take an active part in teaching sessions, rather than just being a passive receiver of information. Sometimes you will even take the lead in sessions.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no exams on this course. The assessment methods we use reflect the kinds of work geographers are likely to undertake after graduation. Your assessments could include:

  • Essays
  • Reports (including fieldwork reports)
  • Verbal presentations
  • Portfolios.

You will receive feedback on your work throughout each module. This will help you to improve your work for your graded assessments.

Placements

You may have the opportunity to work on placements with a range of organisations. This includes:

  • Charities such as International Service, Dig Deep and SASH
  • Tourism organisations including Visit York and the National Glass Centre
  • Schools
  • Commercial companies.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Human Geography

This degree will provide you with specialist geographical skills such as cartography, the use of Geographical Information Systems, research, fieldwork and data analysis. It also allows you to build more broadly transferable skills in critical thinking, forming arguments, decision making, self management and team working.

This degree could be the first step toward your career in:

  • Local government and planning
  • International development and global issues
  • Tourism management
  • Urban regeneration
  • Policy and government.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Additional Requirements

  • You do not need an A level in Geography to apply for this course.
  • You will need to demonstrate an interest and enthusiasm for Geography in your personal statement.

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Liberal Arts foundation year

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

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