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What makes Geography with International Year Abroad at the University of Worcester special?

Our Geography with International Year Abroad programme provides you with an exciting opportunity to study abroad with one of our International Partners. This four-year programme has the same structure as our BSc Geography course, but you will spend your third year studying Geography at an English-speaking university and return to Worcester for your fourth and final year. During your year abroad, you will enjoy the diverse learning opportunities of your host institution, as well as the cultural and travel opportunities of your year abroad destination. You will be in regular contact with your personal academic tutors throughout the year.

Study abroad locations currently include a range of European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and the USA. You will be hosted by a partner university and you will be able to choose freely from across their course offerings in Geography. 

Spending a year living and studying in another country is a fantastic experience that will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Explore a new country and experience different cultures
  • Broaden your academic horizons and gain a new perspective on your studies
  • Improve your career prospects by gaining new skills and increasing your employability by preparing you for the global job market
  • Develop your social skills, make new friends and participate in sports and activities in a different environment
  • Improve your foreign language skills or learn a new language

Visit our Study Abroad pages to find out more about where you can study and the bursaries and travel grants available to support your period abroad.



Key features

  • Study abroad – You will have the opportunity to study abroad for a year in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia or New Zealand
  • Small, Friendly and Supportive Community – our small group sizes allow us to get to know you from the very start. At Worcester you are not just another face in the crowd
  • Access to the latest technology – we provide extensive training and practical experience in the use of research grade field and laboratory equipment, you will learn how to fly drones, use laser survey equipment and you will have access to a wide range of specialist equipment to support research in atmospheric, river science and environmental monitoring
  • Authentic Assessments – you will prepare for the workplace via ‘authentic’ assessments rather than formal examinations. Professional computer-based skills such as GIS and Earth Observation are embedded within most modules
  • Research-informed Learning – research-informed learning runs throughout our course. You will learn from cutting- edge research, delivered by internationally recognised subject specialists and practitioners who are passionate about the subjects they teach
  • Fieldwork – at Worcester we place strong emphasis on fieldwork. Local fieldwork is offered in almost every module. You will also have the opportunity to experience fully funded residential fieldwork in all three years
  • Employability – we have a strong emphasis upon employability throughout the course. You will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through professional placements

Register your interest

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Royal Geographical Society with IBG accredited programme


This programme 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 accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Case study: Constantin Back

"I experienced so much to be grateful for, and many things I will never forget. I made some amazing friends whom I'm still in contact with."

Constantin Back, University of Valencia (2019/20)


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104-120 UCAS tariff points

The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff, including pre-2002 qualifications such as GNVQ.

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. Find out more about T levels as UCAS tariff points here.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or

Other information

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from

Applicants for this course must also have a good command of reading, writing and spoken English.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, Academic IELTs of 6.0 with a score of at least 5.5 in each component.

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Adele Rawlinson

Adele Rawlinson

‘’Choosing to study abroad was definitely the best decision I have ever made. My host university was extremely welcoming and enabled me to engage and make new friends almost straight away I feel as though studying abroad has improved my academic potential by giving me access to a new range of learning materials, study practices and has given me a chance to learn things in a new way from different lecturers. I will remember my exchange experiences forever and only wish I could do it all again!’’

Adele Rawlinson, Darwin, Australia (2019/20)

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

Year 1 provides you with a foundation in human and physical geography and introduces you to a variety of contemporary environmental issues and practical skills. Local fieldwork is supplemented by a residential field course during Semester 1. You will be supported throughout by a personal academic tutor, who will work with you to support your development.

Mandatory modules

  • Earth Surface Processes and landforms
  • People and Place
  • Geographical Fieldwork
  • Skills for Geographers

Optional modules

Year 2

Year 2 provides an opportunity to specialise more in human or physical geography, should you wish to do so. This can be achieved in two ways. Firstly, Research Design and Project Management and the Residential Field Course provide separate pathways for human and physical geographers. Secondly, you can specialise through your selection of optional modules.

This year is about exploring topics and skills in greater depth and starting to think about your final-year research project (dissertation). Students opting to spend a semester studying abroad usually do so in the second semester.

Your personal academic tutor will continue to work with you, helping you understand assignment feedback, as well as encouraging you think about careers.

Mandatory modules

  • Research Design and Project Management
  • Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management
  • Geography Residential Field Cours

Optional modules

Year 3

Your third year is spent abroad at a partner university in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia or New Zealand.

Year 4

The final year provides yet more opportunities to specialise through optional modules, your dissertation topic, and your choice of overseas residential field course. However, some students opt for a more balanced programme.

You will also be thinking increasingly about life after graduation. By this stage, you will have a much better understanding of your strengths, interests, and career aspirations. Your personal academic tutor and the Careers Service will be on hand to support you.

Mandatory modules

  • Dissertation
  • Advanced Residential Fieldwork
  • Professional Development and Careers for Geographers

Optional modules

  • Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Geographies of the Body
  • Planning Sustainable Places
  • Geography of Health and well-being
  • Planning Space. Making Place
  • Cultural and Heritage Tourism
  • Our Fragile Planet: Biogeography
  • River Conservation Management
  • Glaciers and Glaciation
  • Engineering Geomorphology
  • Earth Observation and Environmental Change
  • Rural Planning for Conservation

Geography fieldwork

At Worcester, fieldwork is central to our approach to teaching and research in Geography.

In addition to residential field courses, 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.

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Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.

You are taught through a diverse range of teaching methods, including, interactive workshops, lectures, seminars, fieldwork and laboratory practical activities. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures. Laboratory practical act are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group project work.

The university is a close-knit community and we adopt very personal approach with an open-door policy allowing you easy access to teaching staff who will offer advice and feedback on your assessed work. You will be assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will support your academic progress and will assist you with any issues throughout your time at the university.

During your year abroad, you will enjoy the diverse learning opportunities of your host institution, as well as the cultural and travel opportunities of your year abroad destination. You will be in regular contact with your personal academic tutors throughout the year.

Contact time

Weekly contact time is 3-4 hours per module depending on type of delivery, which equates to a total of 12-16 hours per week. The exact contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected. In practical based modules, students can expect up to 48 hours contact time per semester. In the final year there is normally slightly less contact time in order carry out more independent self-study. However, students will have guided supervision, with up to 48 hours contact time in taught sessions if the module requires the use of specialist software or field/ laboratory-based activities.

Typical class contact time is structured around:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Interactive workshops
  • Practical sessions
  • Group activities
  • Fieldwork

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 25 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes professors in human and physical geography, senior academics with industry experience, demonstrators and technicians.

Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and a very high percentage (85+%) of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.  You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, written assignments (including consultancy reports and planning statements), journals, practical investigations, practical reports, portfolios, individual and groups presentations, posters, and a final year independent studies project.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken. You will not be expected to complete all assignments list below (i.e. the exact pattern of assignments depends on your optional modules); however, a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • 2 Essays
  • 1 Field Notebook
  • 1 Portfolio
  • 2 Poster Presentations
  • 2 Presentations
  • 1 Reflective writing assignment
  • 1 Report
  • 2 Research/Practical write ups
  • 2 Written assignments

Year 2

  • 1 Essay
  • 1 Exam
  • 1 Individual or Group Presentation
  • 1 Poster Presentation
  • 1 Reflective writing assignment
  • 1 Report
  • 2 Research/Practical write ups
  • 1 Written Assignment
  • 1 Other (Hydrometric Network Design)

Year 4

  • 1 Fieldwork Portfolio
  • 2 Other (Dissertation & Mock-interview)
  • 1 Presentation
  • 2 Reflective writing assignment
  • 2 Report
  • 1 Research/Practical write ups
  • 2 Written Assignment


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest specification for BSc Geography that includes BSc Geography with International Year Abroad.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes professors in human and physical geography, senior academics with industry experience, demonstrators and technicians.

Professor Ian Maddock

Professor Ian Maddock

Professor Ian Maddock joined Worcester in 1993 and has teaching and research interests in River Science, Hydromorphology and the use of drones or Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for high resolution surveys and to assess environmental change.

Ian's University learning and teaching experience includes being a tutor for BSc Geography, BSc Physical Geography and BSc Environmental Science degrees and the newly created BSc Environmental Management and Sustainability degree. He also led the development of and is course leader for the MRes in River Science. He teaches on a range of modules including generic modules (e.g. Environmental Investigations, Dynamic Earth, Geographical Investigations) and subject specific modules (e.g. River Conservation and Management, River Monitoring and Assessment, The Physical Geography of Mountain Environments, the Mountain Environments Field Course).


Dr Cheryl Jones

As well as teaching a variety of modules on the Geography BSc (Hons) course and supervising PhD students, Dr Cheryl Jones also has a number of other roles within University of Worcester – as a KTI Fellow; Award leader in Physical Geography; Enterprise co-ordinator; and Examinations Officer.


Professor Alan Dixon

Alan is an interdisciplinary Geographer and Human Ecologist with research interests in sustainable development and social-ecological systems, especially in the global south. 

FleurWebsite photo

Dr Fleur Visser

From Fleur's undergraduate degree in Physical Geography at the University of Amsterdam she gained strong field-based research skills, which she used to produce a sediment budget for tropical sugarcane land during my PhD project at the Australian National University and CSIRO Townsville. A subsequent opportunity to study soil erosion in a different way, using hyperspectral image data, sparked her interest in the use of Earth Observation (EO) image analysis for mapping and monitoring of the world around us.

Fleur's ongoing research investigates the possibilities for using very high and ultra-high resolution imagery (e.g. collected from drones) to detect and map submerged aquatic vegetation and algae in shallow river systems. Fleur uses Object-based image analysis (OBIA) and Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry techniques, which makes it possible to remotely study river environments that until recently were beyond the reach of EO technology.

Des McDougall with cameras and tripod

Dr Des McDougall

Des is a physical geographer with interests in glaciers and glaciation, mountain geomorphology, and Quaternary environmental change. He enjoys teaching and has particular interests in learning technologies, fieldwork, and virtual reality. An example of the work he has done in this area is his VR Glaciers and Glaciated Landscapes resource, which is used by a growing number of schools, colleges and universities around the world. 

Nick Evans picture 1

Professor Nick Evans

Prof. Nick Evans joined the Geography Department at Worcester in the 1990s and has been dedicated to the development of excellence in both teaching and research ever since. His academic interests lie firmly within the arena of rural geography; and agricultural geography in particular, contributing to reinvigorating its relevance in human geography as agri-cultural geography. Nick’s work focuses particularly upon the social and cultural reasons which explain the way in which Western World models of global agriculture actually work, offering alternative explanations to those usually based solely on economics. This approach encompasses studying the interactions between farming people, agricultural policy and environmental impacts. Nick has also been at the forefront of the emergence of a critical new animal geography through his work on farm livestock and landscape.


Dr Matthew Smith

Matt has experience of teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students both in the UK and abroad (e.g. Austria and Poland). Matt is an active researcher, and is best known for his work as an aerobiologist studying temporal and spatial variations in airborne allergenic pollen and fungal spores. Other research interests include climate change impacts with particular focus on allergy and health, environmental change in relation to the distribution of allergenic plants, and phenology. He has co-authored more than 70 peer reviewed scientific journal articles and five book chapters, and currently works as an editor for three journals. 

Dr Heather Barrett

Dr Heather Barrett

Heather's main teaching and research interests relate to urban geography and planning. She is particularly interested in urban conservation and the tensions that exist between the desire to preserve urban heritage and the impulses for change and regeneration in cities. In addition to publishing research in this area, Heather is also the co-author of the undergraduate student text book Urban Geography, which has been informed by her undergraduate teaching at Worcester.

sian evans staff profile image

Dr Sian Evans

Dr Sian Evans joined the University of Worcester in 2010 after a number of different roles in academia and industry. Sian has diverse interdisciplinary research and teaching interests in sustainability and environmental and cultural geographies, she also works closely with the University’s Director of Sustainability on a range of university and community sustainability initiatives.



Our Geography graduates have an excellent track record in gaining employment in a wide range of professions and organisations. On graduating you will have developed a wide range of subject specific and transferable skills actively sought by employers. These will include the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Our BSc Geography Graduates are always in demand for careers in:

  • Environmental management and consultancy
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Flood Management
  • Surveying
  • River Science
  • Urban and Rural Planning
  • Local Government
  • Sustainable Development
  • Data management
  • Conservation
  • Tourism
  • Regeneration
  • Earth Observation
  • Teaching

Potential employers include:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Wildlife Trusts
  • The Met Office
  • Water companies (Severn Trent Water, Thames Water, Wessex Water)
  • Environmental consultancies (SLR Consulting, Environmental Ltd)
  • Engineering consultancies (Atkins Global, Jacobs Engineering Ltd, Halcrow Group)
  • Waste management companies (Biffa, Mott MacDonald)
  • Roles in local government (sustainability officer, planning officer, recycling officer, environmental services, climate change advisor and flood risk management officer)
  • GIS specialists (ESRI, Ordnance Survey, Gaist, Ministry of Defence)

Further Study

This course will also prepare you for competitive entry into post graduate degree programmes, professional qualifications and apprenticeships. Many of our students choose a career in teaching and go on to further study on one of our PGCE courses in Geography here at the University of Worcester.

Professional placements and work experience

You will have many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance your CV by carrying out voluntary work or by completing a professional placement in your 3rd year of study. You will have access to a wide range of work placement opportunities and we have well-established links with local government organisations (such as local authority planning departments) and environmental and conservation agencies.

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Geography Graduate Career Profiles

Read this collection of graduate career profiles to find out where a University of Worcester Geography degree could take you.

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Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

The costs of travel and accommodation on all mandatory taught field courses are currently covered by the University. The majority of field courses are either self-catered or half-board and students may be expected to purchase meals.

You may also need to purchase your own outdoor clothing suitable for some field courses.

Your Third Year Abroad tuition fee will cost you 15% of that year’s tuition fee. For example, if the yearly tuition fee is £9,250, you will only pay £1,388 for the full year of tuition.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Geography BSc (Hons) with International Year Abroad – L705

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Cheryl Jones

Head of Geography

SSE Academic Support Unit