Browser does not support script.

Undergraduate course

Environmental Geography BSc (Hons)

Our natural world is remarkable - explore it, our relationship to it and learn more about how we can protect its future.

Studying the effect humans are having on the planet is more relevant and urgent now than it has ever been. Environmental Geography focuses on the natural world and our relationship with it. If you are passionate about facing major environmental issues and communicating their importance to others, then this is the degree for you.

100% of Graduates say that IT resources and facilities provided have supported my learning well - NSS 2018

Accredited by:

  • RGS Accredited programme

York campus

  • UCAS Code – FF81
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs Graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £9,250 per year

    International 2020-21 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and approaches these issues from both human and physical geographical perspectives, considering the environment itself along with the people and populations who interact with it. Topics you will explore include ecosystems, biogeography, environmental hazards, nature conservation, sustainability and the global environmental challenges we are facing today. Tackling these issues head-on will challenge you to think about your own environmental values and your relationship with the natural world.

This confrontation of environmental issues is never purely theoretical. We see relevant, real-world experience as an essential part of your learning. You will go beyond the classroom to get out into the field and study the natural world up close. We make the most of our location, in a Yorkshire landscape of moors, National Parks and coastland. Guest speakers from local environmental organisations also strengthen your connection to the region.

As you progress through this degree you will study an increasingly broad range of natural environments. You will take part in residential field trips, which at present include locations such as Malta and Slovenia. This experience of planning and carrying out your own research develops valuable, employable skills and is an essential part of the course and therefore participation on these trips is included within your course fees.

Those who choose to study Environmental Geography usually want to make a difference in the struggle for the health of the planet. Graduates from this subject may go on to have rewarding careers in environmental charities, sustainability management and environmental policy and planning. With the fate of the planet in our hands, having skills to confront the challenges which humanity faces will be invaluable.

Course structure

Level 1


Modules include:

  • Ecosystems and Biogeography examines relationships between plants and animals and their living and physical environment

  • Earth Systems & Geomorphology investigates the processes that shape the physical landscape

  • Critical Thinking & Academic Skills in Geography focuses on a contentious issue to critically analyse arguments and evidence, developing your own position. This module incorporates a compulsory residential field trip within the UK

  • Mapping the Geographies of Yorkshire develops cartographic skills, designing maps using both professional graphic software and geographical information systems (GIS) software

  • Nature Conservation focuses on conservation policy to sense of the huge variety of nature conservation designations

  • Environmental Geography Fieldwork Studies introduces you to geography’s history of field exploration and develops your own environmental geography field research skills

Level 2


Modules include:

  • Environmental Change involves identifying and understanding environmental change.

  • Environmental Hazards examines causes and consequences of hazards, and how to manage them

  • Geographical Thought (studied by students on all geography programmes) reviews the range of approaches that geographers have taken to doing geographical research

  • Sustainability: Global Environmental Challenges examines key environmental challenges of the 21st Century, from local to global scales

  • Research Project: in this module students work in small groups to develop research plans for an environmental or physical geography project, then undertaking the research on residential field work (current destination: Malta)

  • Geographers’ Professional Practice (work placement)

Level 3


Modules include:

  • Nature/Culture examines the cultural idea of ‘nature’, critiquing our sense of separation from nature and highlighting the ways that ideas of nature or naturalness are embedded in everyday life

  • Applied GIS uses geographical information systems to address real-world environmental problems

  • Habitat Management applies knowledge of ecosystems and biogeography to undertake a consultancy-style project

  • International/Environmental Fieldworks involves interpreting the natural environment through residential fieldwork (current destination: Slovenia) and developing skills in environmental communication

  • Environmental Geography Dissertation is a year-long module in which students undertake their own research project on a relevant topic of their interest, guided by a tutor

Teaching & Assessment

For all of our Geography Degrees, our aim is to get you practising geography for yourself from the outset: collecting and analyzing data, applying theories for yourself, and developing your skills and abilities – generating your own knowledge.

Teaching methods

We use a range of teaching styles and settings to support you in this. This includes lectures and seminars (small groups of students with a tutor), tutorials (one-to-one meetings with a tutor), fieldwork, ICT workshops, independent study outside of formal teaching sessions, collaborative learning (working with your fellow students) and using online resources through the university’s Virtual Learning Environment. Teaching sessions include discussions, problem-solving exercises, group work, debates and data analysis exercises. Throughout your degree you are encouraged to take an active part in teaching sessions, rather than just being a passive receiver of information. Sometimes students are even asked to take the lead in sessions.


You may have the opportunity to work on placements with a range of organisations, including charities such as International Service and Dig Deep, tourism organisations including Visit York and the National Glass Centre, as well as with schools and commercial companies.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment of this degree is entirely through coursework, with no exams. This is to ensure that the kinds of work you are doing through the degree reflect the kinds of work geographers undertake after graduation, in professional employment. You will encounter a wide range of assessment, including essays, reports (including fieldwork reports), verbal presentations and portfolios (potentially with some multimedia elements in them). Many modules are assessed through one piece of coursework, with development of this work supported throughout the course of the module. Feedback on assignments is designed to support you in your future learning, at the same time as assessing what you have already learned.

Final year dissertation

By your final year, you will be ready to take control of your learning for yourself. The dissertation involves you undertaking an independent research project (guided by a tutor) on a geography topic of your choice, demonstrating self-reliance and developing skills of project management. The fieldwork module in your final semester brings together all that you will have learned through your degree, giving you plenty of scope to demonstrate your knowledge, abilities and creativity.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

 A demonstrable interest in, and enthusiasm for, geography. An A Level (or equivalent) in Geography is not essential requirement. You can use your UCAS personal statement to provide evidence of your interest in the subject, along with any relevant past experience.


2021 entry

For 2021 entry, the minimum entry requirements for this course will be:

104 UCAS Tariff points

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

International Students

If you're an international student, you will need to show that your qualifications are equivalent to those above.

Detailed qualification equivalence can be found in our 2020 International Prospectus (PDF18.08MB)

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

Foundation Year

This course is available with a foundation year. This option is ideal if you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto a degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education. A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. Passing it guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

Foundation courses

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject is essential. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued criteria

We also value the ability to demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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 will depend on whether you're a UK and EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

UK and EU 2020 entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time UK, EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For UK, EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students studying part time, the tuition fee for 2020 entry to this course is £4,265 per year.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Find out more about funding for Foundation or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

International (non-EU) 2020 entry

The tuition fee for 2020 entry onto this course is £12,750 per year for international (non-EU) students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support

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


Whilst 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.


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


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.


Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

Learning beyond the classroom

More to explore

Join us in 2020

Two female students smiling in York

What makes us different

Get in touch

Cookie Settings