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What makes Human Geography with International Year Abroad at Worcester special?

Our Human 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 BA Human Geography course, but you will spend your third year studying Human Geography at an English speaking university and return to Worcester for your fourth and final year.

Study abroad locations include a range of European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan or the USA. You will be hosted by a partner university and you will be able to choose freely from across their course offerings in Human Geography. During your year abroad, you will enjoy the diverse learning opportunities of your host institution and the cultural and travel opportunities offered by your destination.  

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 study abroad period.

At Worcester, Human Geography is all about the learning experience, our smaller class sizes will not only provide you with a supportive and friendly environment, but it will also allow you to gain access to specialist equipment to enable you to develop an extensive range of field, laboratory and GIS skills to support your future career aspirations or further study. 

Overview

Overview

Key features

  • Study abroad for a year in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia or New Zealand
  • Exciting fieldwork opportunities, including local day excursions and residential fieldwork in the UK and overseas (venues include Lake District, Scotland, France and Malawi).
  • Our degree programmes will provide you with the transferable skills and expertise essential for future employment.
  • Our research feeds directly into our teaching, meaning you will be taught by academics who are experts in their field and to ensure you have first-hand knowledge of recent research in areas such as sustainable development, climate change, migration, rural and urban change and political geography
  • You have the opportunity to take a professional placement with a wide range of organisations, such as local government, charities, schools, government agencies and environmental consultancies.
  • Small classes, allowing for intensive fieldwork, practical work and interactive learning time

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


Geography at Worcester

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University of the Year - Finalist 2020

We're proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year for the second year running.

Find out more
Royal Geographical Society with IBG accredited programme

Accreditation

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.

"Everything I was able to do whilst here enhanced my experience. I feel that I have learned a lot from the staff here and I am looking forward to my future studies."

Zuzka Majcova, BA Human Geography graduate.

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Applicant guide

Download the applicant guide to discover even more about studying Human Geography BA at the University of Worcester.

Download the guide

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

What qualifications will you need?

104-120
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.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk for advice.

Other information

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

If you are an international student who does not have the relevant entry requirements for direct entry onto this course, our pathway courses at University of Worcester International College could be the right option for you and enable you to still graduate with this degree. To find out more visit the Science and Health & Social Science pathways page.

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Book your place at an Open Day

Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

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Provence Field Course

Geography students at the University of Worcester have the opportunity to visit Provence in their final year, and explore the dynamic changes across rural and urban settings in the south of France.
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

What will you study?

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

Mandatory 

  • Geographical Investigations
  • Risk and Resilience
  • People and Place
  • Introduction to Sustainability

Year 2

Mandatory 

  • Geographical Information Systems and Research Methods
  • Rural-Urban Geographies
  • Geography Residential Field Course

Optional 

  • Contemporary Issues in Human Geography
  • Heritage Tourism and Place Promotion
  • Geographies of Development
  • Climate Change: Science and Policy
  • Optional language modules 

Year 3

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

Year 4

Mandatory 

  • Dissertation in Human Geography
  • Changing Places Field Course

Optional 

  • Professional Placement for Geographers
  • Political Geography
  • Countryside Conservation and Agricultural Change
  • Town and Country Planning
  • Built Heritage Management
  • Geographies and Disability
  • Environment and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Geography fieldwork

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.

Find out more about fieldwork opportunities

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

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.

Teaching

All modules within the BA Human Geography with International Year Abroad programme aim to encourage learners to engage in discussion of key issues and application of key concepts. Students are taught through a combination of fieldwork, seminars, presentations, tutorials, project work and online activities.d

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year, and three occasions in the second and third year of the course. You have an opportunity to meet with your personal academic tutor on more occasions if you wish. A key aim of the academic tutorial programme is to provide you with support for your academic studies.

Throughout 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.

During your course, you will have access to a wide range of specialist resources, including a fully equipped GIS Mapping and Visualization Suite, which provides access to high-end computers, industry standard GIS, statistical analysis software, and other mapping and remote sensing software. You will also have access to a variety of field equipment, laboratories for teaching and research, and industry-standard design software to prepare you for future employment.

Contact time

In a typical week, you will have approximately 12-16 contact hours of teaching. 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 12-16 hours of contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24 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 Lakeside Campus outdoor facilities, 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.

Assessment

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

  • 1 Practical Report
  • 2 Essays
  • 2 Written Assignments
  • 3 Presentations

Year 2

  • 1 Exam
  • 1 Poster and Presentation
  • 1 Project
  • 1 Research Proposal
  • 2 Essays
  • 2 Practical Reports
  • 2 Presentations
  • 2 Written Assignments

Year 3

  • 1 Essay
  • 1 Other (Dissertation)
  • 1 Practical report
  • 2 Projects
  • 3 Presentations
  • 4 Written Assignments

Feedback

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 programme specification document for BA Human Geography that includes BA Human Geography with International Year Abroad.

Meet the team

dr-david-storey

Dr David Storey

David has an eclectic range of research and teaching interests covering aspects of territory and identity, sport and place, rural change and development.

David has also published widely on these topics and have delivered papers at various international conferences. He has been involved in a number of research and consultancy projects for a range of external organisations.

Alan Dixon Profile

Dr Alan Dixon

Research Interests

Alan is an interdisciplinary Geographer and Human Ecologist with research interests in sustainability, environment-development relationships in developing countries, and social-ecological systems. Much of Alan's work has focused on the importance of wetland environments at the community level, where he has explored how local knowledge, social capital and common property resource institutions contribute to sustainable wetland management strategies that produce win-win outcomes for both local peoples’ livelihoods and wetland ecosystem services.

Alan has been involved in various participatory action research and consultancy projects, ranging from ESRC-funded research examining the role of local institutional arrangements in wetland management in Ethiopia, to work undertaken for the FAO that led to the development of global Guidelines for Wetland-Agriculture Interactions. Since 2008 Alan has been working with the NGO Self Help Africa in Malawi and Zambia to develop and disseminate a ‘Functional Landscape Approach’ for wetland management. As well as informing wetland policy-making and management practice, Alan’s work has also had a direct impact on enhancing food security and building sustainable and resilient livelihoods among hundreds of thousands of households across sub-Saharan Africa.

Alan has co-authored the highly successful book ‘Africa: Diversity and Development’, which has become a key text in geography, international development, and African studies courses around the world (a new edition is forthcoming). In 2013 he also co-authored the Routledge book ‘Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa,' which sets out a new agenda for wetland management in the 21st century.

Teaching

Alan is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and his teaching on our Geography courses reflects his research interests and enthusiasm for participatory, interactive and experiential learning. In the first year he leads fieldwork and class-based sessions in GEOG1312 People and Place and GEOG1311 Risk and Resilience, while in the second year he leads GEOG2110 Researching Geography, and GEOG2131 Geographies of Development. In the latter, students have the opportunity to engage with real-world practitioners and decision-makers in the field of international development by attending a public conference with local partners, Beacons Development Education Centre. For a quick taster of this have a look at our video here.  

In the final year, Alan leads the award-winning module GEOG3136 Environment and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, in which students explore sustainable development either through virtual fieldwork in Ethiopia, or by going on a 12-day residential field course to Malawi. Have a listen to their experiences in Malawi here.  

Qualifications

  • PhD 'Indigenous knowledge and the hydrological management of wetlands in Illubabor, Southwest Ethiopia' (University of Huddersfield, 2000)
  • BSc (Hons) Human Ecology (Huddersfield, 1995)

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.

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.

professor-nick-evans

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 research and teaching during this time. His academic interests lie firmly within the arena of agricultural geography, contributing to reinvigorating its relevance in human geography as agri-cultural geography. Nicks work focuses particularly upon the social and cultural reasons lying behind the way agriculture in the Western World is practised, offering alternative explanations to those usually based on economics. Using this approach, he is striving to uncover how agricultural policies and farm families really work!

dr-chris-corcoran

Dr Chris Corcoran

My teaching and research has always focussed on issues of inclusion and specifically the lived experiences of people with a disability. Much of my research has focussed on issues of spatial access (geographical and social) and experiences of people with a visual impairment and I have published widely in this area.This research forms an integral part of my teaching and has led to the development of a module on geographies and disability. My experience in this area also helps me support our disabled students in the Institute as I am also the Disability Link Tutor.

Qualifications:

  • BSc (Hons) Geographical Science
  • PGCert in education
  • PhD in rural youth

See the Geography team

Watch the Geography team introduce themselves in a series of short videos.
Careers

Where could it take you?

The course will prepare you for a range of interesting and diverse careers, including environmental consultancy, geographical information systems (GIS) management, local government and planning (e.g. town and country planning, regeneration managers, tourism officers, climate change development officers, data managers, community service managers), conservation, working with the wildlife trusts or Civil Service, research and teaching. Alternatively, you may wish to continue to postgraduate study and other professional qualifications. 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.

Our Human Geography graduates have a good track record in gaining employment in a wide range of professions and organisations, as a result of the broad range of skills developed through hands-on learning activities centred on the analysis of real-world issues and processes.

You'll have many opportunities to extend your experience and enhance your CV by carrying out voluntary work or by taking the Professional Practice module in your 4th year of study. We have links with several local government (such as local authority planning departments) organisations and other environmental and conservation agencies and can help organise voluntary work (which can feed into dissertation projects in the final year of study).

Geography Graduate Careers Booklet cover

Geography Graduate Career Profiles

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

Download the booklet

Malawi field course

Our Geography students experience the sustainable development challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa.

Liam Wright, Human Geography graduate.

“For my degree, I wanted to combine the two subjects that I was most keen to pursue further, and to develop my own interests in. Human Geography and Sociology, although based in different departments, possess significant overlaps, which provided me with a holistic understanding of a number of social processes and practices. This was one of the reasons why I chose the University of Worcester for my degree; the ability to be able to study both subjects in conjunction with each other.

"Overall, my degree has not only enhanced my subject knowledge in the disciplines that I have studied, but also provided me with a number of skills and strategies that have enabled me to use these to my advantage. My course allowed flexibility in the modules with which I studied, which gave me the opportunity to explore in further detail my own personal interests.”

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Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2021/22 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 registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 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 registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 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 will be covered in by the University. The majority of field courses are either self-catered or half-board and students may be expected to purchase meals.

You will need to pay for any optional field courses you take.

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.

Accommodation

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 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Human Geography with International Year Abroad BA (Hons) –  L715

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.

UCAS Code

L715

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 and Archaeology

SSE Academic Support Unit