Physical Geography (Study Abroad) MSci Hons - 2020 Entry

UCAS Code
4R64

Entry Year
2020

A Level Requirements
AAA see all requirements

Duration
Full time 4 Year(s)

Course Overview

Discover the natural environment in our exciting Study Abroad programme. With a strong emphasis on fieldwork, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge and skills from our world-renowned lecturers.

Physical geography addresses the major components that make up the earth-system, such as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere. Our Physical Geography degree has a strong emphasis on practical work. You will shape your degree from an extensive range of modules taught within a unique natural landscape.

Lancaster proves to be an exceptional location for studying physical geography. You will be able to explore some of the UK’s most unique areas of geographic interest and you will gain a wealth of experience with field trips to places such as the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbrian coast and Lake District. Our programme also allows you to explore international locations through field trips and your year abroad.

While studying at Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), you will have access to new teaching and research labs, computer systems and software and even our very 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 to accommodate your first year studies. LEC provides a wide range of suitable subjects cognate to physical geography, or you may choose to undertake Double Part I Geography, which encompasses Human Geography, and one other subject. Subjects from outside LEC can also be taken.

In the second year, you will study at one of our partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. There you will learn a variety of physical geography skills and concepts and will gain experience of another society and culture.

Lancaster University will make reasonable endeavours to place students at an approved overseas partner university that offers appropriate modules which contribute credit to your Lancaster degree.  Occasionally places overseas may not be available for all students who want to study abroad or the place at the partner university may be withdrawn if core modules are unavailable. If you are not offered a place to study overseas, you will be able to transfer to the equivalent standard degree scheme and would complete your studies at Lancaster.

Lancaster University cannot accept responsibility for any financial aspects of the year or term abroad.

Your third year includes 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. In addition, you will have access to a wide range of optional modules, covering topics such as Glacial Systems, Water Resource Management and Coastal Processes as well as 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.

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.

Entry Requirements

Grade Requirements

A Level AAA

Required Subjects A level Geography is recommended, or alternatively one of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, Physics.

GCSE Mathematics grade C or 4, English Language grade C or 4

IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.

Other Qualifications

International Baccalaureate 36 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including Geography or alternative cognate subject at HL grade 6

BTEC Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in a related subject but may additionally require a supporting A level in Geography or alternative cognate subject at grade A. Please contact the Admissions Team for further advice.

We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.

Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via ugadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk

Course Structure

Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme to complement your main specialism. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster please visit our Teaching and Learning section.

The following courses do not offer modules outside of the subject area due to the structured nature of the programmes: Architecture, Law, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Sports and Exercise Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedicine and Biomedical Science.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, and the University will make every reasonable effort to offer modules as advertised. In some cases changes may be necessary and may result in some combinations being unavailable, for example as a result of student feedback, timetabling, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes and new research.

Year 1

    Core

    Optional

Year 2

    Core

Year 3

    Core

    Optional

Year 4

    Core

    Optional

Careers

Careers

Geography graduates can achieve success in a variety of exciting careers. Recent examples of career opportunities have included entering the professions of Planning Officer, Environmental Consultant, Geographical Information Systems Officer, Weather Forecaster, Emergency Planner or Landscape Architect. Alternatively, many of our graduates choose to continue their studies to postgraduate level.

Our goal is to empower all our graduates with the skills, confidence and experience they need to achieve a successful career. You will be offered a wide range of support, helping you realise your career ambitions and providing you with the skills to reach your full potential.

We offer a variety of extra-curricular activities and volunteering opportunities that enable you to explore your interests and enhance your CV. Our weekly careers bulletin and careers blogs are written by student volunteers, and inform you of all careers events. The Green Lancaster programme run by the Students Union offers placements with external organisations, allowing students to gain volunteering experience at weekends by working in the local community, taking part in a wide range of activities and developing their practical skills.

Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12-month session, starting in the October of your year of study.

Our Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2020/21 are:

UK/EU Overseas
£9,250 £22,550

Undergraduate tuition fees

For students starting at the University for the 2020 session, subsequent year’s fees may be subject to increases. UK fees are set by the UK Government annually. For international applicants, any annual increase will be capped at 4% of the previous year’s fee. For more information about tuition fees, including fees for Study Abroad and Work Placements, please visit our undergraduate tuition fees page.

Applicants from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more information about this on our Island Fees page.

Funding

For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page

Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews. 

Download the latest Geography brochure, featuring all of the information you could need. The includes detailed course information about each of our courses.

Emily Christopherson, BSc Geography

A place for Emily

The course was a great transition from studying Geography at A level and focused on enhancing my skills to the next level. As a geographer, I've always loved exploring and getting out there, and that's exactly what my course enabled me to do.

At Lancaster, I've had the opportunity to continue studying both human and physical aspects of geography. The first year of my course gave me a great taster of both, leading me to specialise more in my second year. I chose to balance my studies between physical and human geography, but you can choose to focus more on one or the other if that's what you'd like to do. The degree is yours to be flexible with.

There's a great selection of modules, including interdisciplinary modules. I went on a water management trip to Croatia which combines aspects of physical and human geography. There's definitely something for every kind of geographer.

There are loads of opportunities to develop your learning at Lancaster, and fieldwork is the main one for me. I've visited Kendal to focus on implementing field management measures. I've visited White Scar Caves to look into hydrology and water systems. In laboratory sessions, I've done everything from studying rock formations in geology to studying flow rates in water. Not only is it varied and interesting, but it's also been brilliant to learn these industry skills to prepare me for life after my degree.

The Careers Service at the University ran a module for us, which was a four-week course on how to write a CV, the best places to look for jobs, and how to create a good cover letter and more, which was invaluable.

Emily Christopherson, BSc Geography

Learn on location

We take full advantage of our natural surroundings to create amazing fieldwork experiences, in addition to the opportunities to travel the world with optional overseas field trips. Fieldwork is a fascinating way to develop your practical skills. You'll gain hands-on experience of a wide range of environmental, ecological and geological situations that will place your studies in the context of real-world issues.

Iceland

Experience glacial processes first-hand and their impacts on the dynamic tectonic landscape of Iceland. You will learn how glaciers interact with the surrounding volcanic landscape. As well as developing your practical field skills, you will also observe the stunning Icelandic scenery and understand how glaciers fit into the broader study of the physical environment.

Paris

You’ll have the opportunity to visit various food settings, including urban markets, industrial food production sites and ethnic food stands. You will also explore the temporal and spatial links between food production and consumption, and discover how food, culture and politics are woven into daily life and that of the dinner table!

The Brazilian Amazon

The Amazon is a fascinating place to explore the conservation and development challenges facing tropical forests. You will visit people's homes and agricultural plots to understand the challenges faced by local people. This is a unique opportunity to work alongside experts and understand the challenges of pursuing biodiversity conservation while reducing poverty.

New York

This trip offers you the opportunity to engage critically with the geography and inequality of New York. You will visit activist groups and learn about migration and gentrification. Throughout the trip, you will study the links between cultural, economic, political and social processes and the ways they influence life in New York City.

Lectures

Lectures provide an introduction to the key issues and findings in each topic. An expert in that particular field will deliver each module. Lectures usually last either one or two hours and should be complemented by reading the relevant literature on the topic. We provide online reading lists, suggesting suitable books and journals which will be available either digitally or in print from our library.

Tutorials

Tutorials are usually one-hour sessions where you will be encouraged to discuss your learning with a small group of fellow students, under the guidance of a tutor. We encourage you to make the most of these groups by becoming used to speaking out, listening to others and learning to present yourself with confidence. You'll become experienced in being part of a team and explore the topics under study together.

Practical Classes

Many of our modules include practical sessions alongside lectures and tutorials. These are designed to help you discover the critical biological principles underpinning your study, while also developing your skills which you will be able to put to use throughout your degree and future career.

Assessment

The assessment process varies across modules but includes laboratory reports, essays, independent project reports, group presentations, multiple-choice tests and exams. Assessment is an on-going process, rather than being left solely until the end of the degree. We can offer feedback to you throughout your degree and, equally as importantly, it relieves pressure on you when modules are examined at the end of each year.

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Important Information

The information on this site relates primarily to 2020/21 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication. The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses.

In the event of a course being withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date information before you submit your application. Further legal information.

The amount of time you spend in lectures, seminars and similar will differ from year to year. Taken as an average over all years of the course, you will spend an average of 6.3 hours per week in lectures, seminars and similar during term time.

A broad range of assessments methods will be used throughout the degree. As a guide, 78% of assessment is by coursework over the duration of the course.

Our Students’ Charter

We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.