What Will You Study

Learn about processes operating within our natural environment and explore the physical world. Work in our outstanding practical facilities, alongside world-renowned lecturers.

Physical Geography considers the processes and patterns occurring within our natural environment, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere. Our Physical Geography degree has a strong emphasis on practical work. You will discover how the environment has changed in the past, the controls on environmental processes in the present, and how we can predict changes in the future. You are able shape your degree by choosing from an extensive range of modules.

Lancaster proves to be an exceptional location for studying a degree in physical geography. Located between the rural settings of the north and the bustling cities of Liverpool and Manchester, enables us to explore some of the UK’s most unique areas of geographic interest. You will gain a wealth of hands-on experience with field trips to places such as the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbrian coast and Lake District, as well as international locations such as Iceland, the Mediterranean and Croatia.

While studying at Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), you will have access to new teaching and research labs, computer systems and software and even our own weather monitoring station! You will work in comfortable class sizes, giving you the opportunity to get to know your lecturers personally and benefit from their expert knowledge and helpful one-to-one advice.

First year modules equip you with a well-rounded introduction to some of the key themes of physical geography. In addition to the Physical Geography modules, you will be given the opportunity to take two other subjects alongside your first year studies. You will further develop your understanding of environmental processes by studying another subject from within LEC, such as Environmental Science, as well as undertaking a third subject from either within LEC or the wider University, such as Biology or Maths, to enhance your transferrable skills.

In the second year, you will learn a variety of physical geography skills and concepts. Modules include Spatial Analysis and Geographic Information Systems, and you will develop valuable research project skills in preparation for your final years of study. Optional choices include a field trip to Spain, where you will study environmental problems in Mediterranean environments, and modules that address individual topics in hydrology, soil science, and glaciology.

In the third year you will undertake a dissertation project, guided by your academic supervisor which offers a chance to perform original geographical research on a topic of your choice. While completing the dissertation, you will use the key research, analytical and academic writing skills you have learnt throughout your degree. You may wish to take advantage of the unique opportunity to collaborate with a business to complete your dissertation research, allowing you to gain valuable work experience at the same time. In addition, you will be offered further optional module choices including exciting fieldwork opportunities in Croatia and Iceland.

Your fourth year of study provides an advanced qualification which will give you a competitive edge in the graduate jobs market by equipping you with the extra experience, knowledge and skills that come with studying Masters-level modules and undertaking a second dissertation. This will enable you to stand out from the crowd in the selection process for graduate roles.

MSci Hons (Study Abroad)

Our Study Abroad programme enables you to complete a year of your study at one of our partner universities in the USA, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. While there, you will engage in a range of modules including local field courses that will allow you to make extensive use of your surroundings.

Assessment

We offer flexible programmes with a strong emphasis on practical learning. You will engage in a wide range of fieldwork and lab-based modules that span the breadth of geographical topics and infuse content from across the physical sciences. Your work will be regularly assessed by a combination of classroom and lab-based assignments, in addition to written examinations and project reports.