Accredited by the Royal Geographical Society, this foundation course in Geography is designed for students who do not meet the admissions criteria for direct entry to the BSc (Hons) Geography degree. You’ll start by completing a foundation year, which provides well structured support, allowing you to develop your scientific skills and knowledge.
On this Geography course, you’ll explore how the environment affects society, the economy and culture, and in turn, how we adapt and transform that environment. Our Geography degree emphasises issues that shape people and places in a global society. You’ll investigate critical issues that are challenging the 21st century, from the local to global scale. By focusing on current issues and recognising the links between human and physical geography, you’ll gain a range of skills needed to interpret and analyse the relationship between human and non-human environments, and how to sustain their delicate balance. Follow us on Twitter.
You can design your Geography degree around human or physical geography or focus on both elements, depending on your interests. Each year you will explore a diversity of critical issues challenging 21st century societies, environments and cultures, from local to global scales. You will also build your knowledge and skills through structured pathways of study which elevates the student learning experience and graduate employability to a significantly higher level through the opportunity for extended work placements, opportunities to work on real projects and Project Management.
The Foundation Year will provide an opportunity for you to study both the physical and social sciences, and to gain further technical background. Successful completion will enable you to progress to year one of the degree programme.
The Geography degree is taught through a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars, tutorials, practical laboratory work and community project work.. Fieldwork, both day and residential also provides the ideal opportunity for building your transferable skills. Hands-on training in bespoke GIS and remote sensing labs further develop your practical skills.
The number of hours of formal teaching will vary depending on your module choice and year of study and can be timetabled throughout the week. Fieldwork is also timetabled, including both day, half day and residential. Normally, depending on the module, it will consist of 48 hours of contact and 152 hours of independent study.
We run a lecture series during the year that is endorsed by the Royal Geographical Society. Speakers range from academics presenting cutting-edge research, to industry professionals exploring applied research topics.
Assessment combines a mixture of more traditional methods including: essays, examinations, group project work, oral and poster presentations with an array of more innovative methods which include: reflective report writing, community based strategy development, and multimedia project work.
This Geography degree has been accredited by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in geographical knowledge and skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of the world beyond higher education.
The University’s location for fieldwork is second to none. Cardiff, Wales’s
capital city, the Brecon Beacons National Park, and the Glamorgan
Heritage Coast are all nearby and provide a natural laboratory for study.
We offer a rich and diverse international portfolio of fieldwork too. You
could study volcanic activity and environmental hazards in Sicily, or
transect New York’s Central Park. If that’s not enough, you could
discover conservation strategy on safari in east Africa, map geological
features in Brittany, or consider deep earth processes in Iceland. Learning in and through these diverse locations will provide unforgettable experiences and essential skills.
Field courses and the opportunity for residential fieldwork ensure a rich experiential degree. Previous fieldwork locations have included Sicily, Malta, New York, Hong Kong and Uganda (additional costs apply).
All residential field courses are optional but carry an additional cost although staff work hard to keep those costs to a minimum. Students may be required to pay for inoculations and visas for travel to some of the countries visited on these field trips.
As well as making use of the great outdoors, students on our Geography degrees work in modern laboratories and classrooms. The Upper Glyntaff buildings comprise two distinct parts. Our new George Knox laboratories are part of a £15m investment in science for the University, meaning you will be taught in new and well-equipped spaces. These join the Grade II listed Alfred Russel Wallace building, which is also used for teaching. Our Geography students use a variety of fully equipped geographical information systems (GIS), media editing and IT laboratories, each carrying industry-standard research and specialist software.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass in a relevant subject
Pass IB Diploma or two IB Certficates at Higher level to include Science or Maths.
Pass Maths or Science Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits all Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
EE to include a relevant Science subject but excluding General Studies
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment) *||£50 - £180||
Field work requires rugged walking boots/shoes and waterproof and thermal clothing.
|Field Trips *||£50 - £75||
Field trips in the UK will be paid for by the University. Students will be expected to provide food.
Please note that students who successfuly secure a placement in industry or abroad to complete their projects would be expected to pay for their own travelling costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accomodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement. Students are provided with reading lists but are not expected to buy any books, instead students are actively encouraged to make use of the extensive learning resources of the University. Many books are available as ebooks. The course uses the many computing facilities of the Glyntaff campus (students are not expected to buy their own computer but having a personal PC will help with their studies)
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Graduates of this Geography degree have varied careers in the UK and overseas. They are adept in collecting and analysing information using technical and laboratory methods. They can also recognise and articulate the moral and ethical issues involved in debates and enquiries. Graduates typically enter employment with local and central government agencies and planning departments. They also build careers in environmental management or consultancies, conservation agencies, geo-science, specialist mapping, specialist GIS and computing technology, and utility companies. A number of students from our Geography course progress to taught or research postgraduate degrees in environmental and conservation areas, or undertake further training in teaching or management.
As a USW Geography student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.