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Undergraduate course

Human Geography with Media Studies BA (Hons)

Are you interested in how human activity and the media change the world we live in?

Students in lecture Hall

Develop your understanding of the central role of media and popular culture in contemporary society along with a geographer’s knowledge of local-to-global interactions. Within this course you’ll get a unique insight into the world around you; addressing issues such as inequality, poverty, globalisation, urban planning and regeneration.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – L7P3
  • 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

Gain insight into the world around us and our everyday lives, where the media is becoming an ever more prevalent force. From the rise of the role of cities in
our lives to lively discussions around race, gender, age, class and disability we will explore contemporary thinking throughout a range of diverse and engaging modules.

You’ll hone your research skills through immersive fieldwork within the UK and overseas as we strongly believe you can’t meaningfully study the world if you
don’t leave the lecture theatre! Real-world learning will form a central part of your studies with us. You’ll examine first-hand the glorious city of York and the
spectacular and diverse geography of the Yorkshire region. This is supported by residential field trips which will take you much further afield. 

Current residential destinations include Malta and Slovenia, where you get the opportunity to explore the geography of the location and what it can offer a public audience.

This course offers maximum practical relevance to support your development as a professional. In each semester you will study two Human Geography
modules and one Media module, ensuring you develop in-depth knowledge and a geographer’s range of skills. This degree offers broad employment opportunities in governmental, public, private and charitable organisations, tourism or heritage management, social policy and planning where the invaluable diverse range of skills which you will learn can be applied. This programme has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

Course structure

Level 1

The Degree is designed to ensure that you develop increasingly specialist knowledge and skills throughout the programme. In lectures, seminars, workshops and practical fieldwork you will be learning alongside staff who are active researchers in their specialist areas.


Modules include:

  • Urban Geography explores the changing nature and role of cities in the 21st century
  • 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
  • Social & Cultural Geography examines social and spatial inequalities with reference to issues such as gender, age, class, ethnicity, race and disability
  • Human Geography Fieldwork Studies introduces you to geography’s history of field exploration and develops your own human geography field research skill
  • Media Publics
  • Critical Perspectives

Level 2


Modules include:

  • Society and Space focuses on the ways that social identities (e.g. age, class, ethnicity) are expressed in, and produce, particular spaces
  • Culture and Landscape examines the changing concept of ‘landscape’ through history, and how to ‘read’ landscapes from different perspectives
  • Geographical Thought (studied by students on all geography programmes) reviews the range of approaches that geographers have taken to doing geographical research
  • Research Project: in this module students work in small groups to develop research plans for a human geography project, then undertaking the research on residential field work (current destination: Malta)
  • Geographers’ Professional Practice (work placement)
  • Issues of Taste
  • Popular Genres

Level 3


Modules include:

  • Human Geography Dissertation is a year-long module in which students undertake their own research project on a human geography topic of their interest, guided by a tutor
  • Cities in Transition focuses on contemporary issues in cities, particularly relating to democracy and decision-making
  • International/Cross-Cultural Fieldwork applies your knowledge through residential fieldwork, interpreting some aspect of the geography of the destination for a public audience (current destination: Slovenia)
  • Media Geographies
  • Futures

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.

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.

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