At Worcester, fieldwork is central to our approach to teaching and research in Geography.
In addition to a range of fantastic residential field courses (destinations this year include Malawi, California, Switzerland, France and Scotland), we include local and regional fieldwork in most of our modules.
Fieldwork is embedded throughout the degree, which is important because it provides frequent opportunities to apply and extend knowledge and skills in the ‘real world’. As well as being essential preparation for employment and further study, it can be hugely enjoyable.
Residential field courses
This section provides a brief overview of field courses running in the current academic year. Venues and timings are subject to change as we are always looking to improve our fieldwork provision.
Year 1: Lake District (4 days)
This trip provides students with their first experience of residential fieldwork at University. A range of topics is covered at an introductory level, including nature conservation, tourism, glaciation, and rivers. Its timing near the start of the academic year is designed to help students find their feet, both academically and socially.
Year 2: The Cairngorms (7 days)
Based in the beautiful Cairngorms National Park, students can choose from a range of physical and human geography activities. Human topics include highland culture, estate management, and urban change in Inverness. Physical topics include landscape change in Glen Feshie, geology and landscape, and glaciation. This field trip normally runs at the start of second year.
Year 3: European Alps (7 days)
Set in the spectacular Swiss and French Alps, students study mountain hydrology, glaciers and glaciation, as well as climate change. They employ a range of techniques including drone surveys. This trip usually runs at the same time as the Provence field course.
Year 3: Provence (7 days)
Students on this trip explore issues of rural diversification, tourism and heritage, along with urban change in a range of Mediterranean settings in the south of France. This trip usually runs at the same time as the European Alps field course.
Year 3: Lake District (3 days)
This short trip, which forms part of the optional Mountain Glaciers and Landscape module, involves landscape interpretation and mapping.
Year 3: Malawi (13 days)*
Students examine the inter-relationships between people and their environment, and undertake fieldwork with NGOs and local farmers in one of Africa’s least developed countries.
Year 3: California (10 days)*
Topics explored by students include hazards, water management, arid geomorphology, and mountain landscapes. The trip includes visits to Death Valley and Yosemite National Park, and there is a day or so available to explore San Francisco.
* Malawi and California are optional field courses which are run subject to availability and student demand. Students are expected to contribute to the costs of these field courses.
Residential field course costs
Travel and accommodation costs of all residential field courses (apart from Malawi and California) are covered by the University. However, students may be asked to cover the costs of some or all of their meals. There may be additional costs for some venues (e.g. visas).
Worcestershire and the West Midlands is an ideal location for fieldwork and provides access to a diverse range of rural and urban settings, as well as the region’s many rivers. This includes the Leigh Brook, where we have our own river monitoring station, and the River Severn, where our students study flood management. Depending on your choice of modules, our local fieldwork activities may take you to the Brecon Beacons, the Malvern and Shropshire Hills, Bournville and the Cotswolds.