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studying at university

check out our epic virtual library for loads of uni-recommended geography books you can purchase (sustainably!) and read before (or during!) your course :)

what course is for me?

before you begin...

There are various different ways to study Geography at University, and it is important to mention in advance that no two courses are fully alike.  

Most often you are given two choices - to specialise in Physical or Human Geography.

  • Physical Geography  (typically BSc [ Bachelor Of Science] Degree]) involves the study of the natural world around us, and processes acting in a temporal and spatial sense which have created and are shaping it; sometimes overlapping in content structure with courses such as Biology and Geology.  There are many unique fields, such as Biogeography, Coastal Geography, Seismology etc... which you could pursue in more depth and sound pretty cool!

  • Human Geography  (typically BA [ Bachelor  Of Arts] Degree])  focuses deeply on the ever-increasing role of human activity on earth and its consequences, opportunities and challenges.  On many topics there are direct links to content from Physical Geography, such as the role of Population and Urbanisation on Climate Change. There are also topics shared with other subjects such as Economic Geography, Geopolitics & International Relations, Cultural and Legal Geographies of Civilisations etc... 

Some usually higher entrance tariff courses (notably the Oxbridgey ones) focus on a blend of both Human and Physical Geography, with more emphasis on their interdependence, as you would have studied at school.  

TL;DR Fact Box:

Undergrad Course Std.:      

Course Duration:                 

Course Undertaking:   


Entry Requirements:             

Physical Geography [BSc]

Human Geography [BA]

Geography [BSc/BA]

3/4 Yrs

Usually mix of rolling coursework, annual exam series and dissertation

Standard A-Level Qualifications CCC - A*AA or comparable, often ideally in Geography.

what about afterwards?

There are so many options!!


Either you can continue your study with a MAs (masters) or research degree at postgraduate level include both MA or MSc in Geography as well as Life & Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Meteorology and Climatology, Aquatic Science, Climate Change and Sustainability, and Land Management, to name but a few associated fields!

Or you could go into employment, take a placement year, travel about, volunteer at an NGO - quite honestly anything - the world is your oyster and if there's one thing you should know in life it's always to make the most of it!

Or you could become a banker... 🥴

Don't forget!

In many cases, you can study Geography with another subject - or alternatively study a similar subject to Geography, which incorporates a large chunk of the content, such as Environmental Sciences, Transport / City Planning and Sustainable Development.  These actually sound pretty cool ngl...

how should i apply?

so how do i apply?

In the UK, Applying to read Geography, or a similar subject at University is usually fairly straightforward through the UCAS Portal, although beware if applying to a university abroad this is liable to be significantly different.  For example, American Universities tend to place much more of a focus on your extra-curricular activities and memberships.  

Check the deadlines for your entrance year series for applying, and make sure your predicted grades or are on target to be able to meet the tariff (A*-U) requirements of your chosen course to stand a chance.

Ideally one subject of which is Geography - although this is by no means a prerequisite!  Human courses tend to lean towards a preference in you studying sociology, psychology, economics or maths, whereas physical geography courses may lean towards candidates with a background in biology or chemistry, for example.  Don't let you not doing these subjects from deterring you, however, so long as you can impress in your personal statement!

Write a killer personal statement - there's plenty of advice online as to how to do the best possible. Most universities will judge you by this along with your teacher recommendation and results. 


Some universities may additionally bring you in for an interview with faculty and HR, in which case it is important to show your enthusiasm for the subject over all - don't worry if you make a mistake on a question or two they ask you - they want to know your thought processes!

  • Make sure you open by conveying succinctly WHY you're passionate for geography or a more specific field within it.  

  • Throw in valuable past learned experiences or anecdotes if possible.

  • Write about what books you have read or lectures or documentaries you may have watched, but with an emphasis on analysing what you gathered from them, not just listing what you've actually read or seen.

  • Use our constantly expanding virtual library to pick out some of these by topic, search or by which field of stem of geography you're interested in!

some useful tips!

good luck!

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